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Howard J. Van Till Collection

Overview

Abstract

Biographical Note

Detailed Description

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Howard J. Van Till Collection, 1967-2008 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

By Ed Gerritsen, April 2010

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Collection Overview

Title: Howard J. Van Till Collection, 1967-2008

ID: COLL/505

Primary Creator: Van Till, Howard J. (1938-)

Extent: 1.0 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description

Abstract

Professor of physics at Calvin College. The collection includes critiques, book reviews, advertisements, articles, prepared statements, reactions, correspondence, a lecture, and an interview. It details the controversy regarding Van Till's book, The Fourth Day.

Biographical Note

Howard J. Van Till was born on 28 Nov 1938 in Modesto, California. Van Till attended Calvin College and graduated with a BS in 1960. He furthered his education at Michigan State University, where he earned his PhD in physics in 1965. As he was doing post-doctoral research at the University of California at Riverside he was also teaching at the University of Redlands. His area of focus was in solid-state physics.

In 1967 his alma mater, Calvin College, asked him to join the faculty of the physics department. Van Till accepted the position, and he would remain with the college for the next thirty years. He began his career at Calvin teaching Astronomy 110. Eventually Van Till switched his focus of solid-state physics to astrophysics. He even went on sabbatical leave for a year to the University of Texas-Austin and the McDonnell Observatory in 1974.

Besides being a gifted educator and lecturer, Van Till was also a talented writer. He has written a great number of publications in professional journals such as Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation as well as religious periodicals like the Banner. However, in 1986 Van Till faced controversy regarding his first book, The Fourth Day. Soon after the book was released some members of the Christian Reformed Church community strongly criticized Van Till's work and even questioned the validity of his faith. For four years Van Till was investigated by the college regarding his eligibility to teach. Despite the investigation, Van Till continued to work at Calvin College until his retirement in the late nineties. Standing by Van Till's side throughout the ups and down was his wife Betty and their four children-Steven, Roger, Nancy, and Mary Beth.

Van Till is one of the founding members of the International Society for Science and Religion. He has been a member of professional societies such as the American Astronomical Society and American Scientific Affiliation. Van Till continues to speak and write on issues of science and religion. More recently, Van Till has expressed his journey from Calvinism to free thought, and even gave a presentation to the Freethought Association of West Michigan in 2006.


Box and Folder Listing


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Box 9
Folder 1: Papers and related material for Theology and Science Consultation, Center for Theological Inquiry --- Jun. 1995
Folder 2: Lectures to various church groups --- 1980s
Folder 3: Lecture, “Natural Effects of the Fall: A Perspective From Physical Science,” Joint Seminar on Science and Religion --- Mar. 1980
Folder 4: Lectures for Astronomy 110 Course: “The Purpose of Natural Science” and “Natural Science and Christian Faith: Friends or Rivals?” --- 1981
Folder 5: Lecture, “Objects and Projections: A Metaphor to Illustrate Complementary or an Alternate to Eitherorsmanship” at a meeting --- Aug. 1982
Folder 6: Lectures for January 1983 speaking tour and related material --- undated
Folder 7: Lecture, “The Cosmos: Nature or Creation" --- 1993
Folder 8: Lecture, “Is Cosmic History Evolutionary in Character?” CCCS Seminar --- Oct. 1984, Mar. 1985
Folder 9: Lecture, “What Shall We Do With Big-Bang Cosmology?” Calvin Fall Conference --- Sept. 1986
Folder 10: Lecture, “Scientific World Pictures Within the Bounds of a Christian Worldview,” Dordt College --- Sept. 1988
Folder 11: Lecture, “Cotton Mather, Joe McCarthy, Leo Peters and the Hunt for Witches,” January Series, James Bratt --- 1989
Folder 12: Lectures, “The Twin Pillars of Christian Scholarship,” A. Plantinga, Henry Stob Lectures --- 1989
Folder 13: Templeton/ASA Foundation Lecture, “Is Special Creation a Heresy?” Yale University --- 1992
Folder 14: Templeton Lecture, “Evolutionary Science and the Forgotten Doctrine of Creation’s Functional Integrity" --- 1992
Folder 15: Lecture, “Evolutionary Science and the Forgotten Doctrine of Creation’s Functional Integrity,” Templeton Lecture Series --- 1992
Folder 16: Lecture, “Anti-Evolution as a Reaction to Scientism,” AAAS --- 1993
Folder 17: Lecture, “Anti-Evolution as a Reaction to Scientism,” AAAS --- 1993 Conference
Folder 18: Four Lectures for the CTNS Templeton Workshop on “Theology and Natural Science" --- 1994
Folder 19: Staley Lecture, “Science and Christian Belief: Allies or Adversaries?” --- 1995
Folder 20: Lecture, “Did God Know We Were Coming?” Luther College --- Sept. 1998

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[Box 7],
[Box 8],
[Box 9],
[Box 10],
[Box 11],
[Box 12],
[Box 13],
[Box 14],
[Box 15],
[Box 16],
[Box 17],
[Box 18],
[Box 19],
[All]


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