Dr. Jerry Johnston: What we see in trends that – even in the nones – that atheism is a small segment. Would you agree? Or are people afraid to say they’re an atheist?
Dr. Richard Dawkins: Oh no, it is small. It is small especially in America. It’s not small among elite scientists. It’s about 90% among elite scientists, among members of the National Academy and, similarly, fellows of the Ross Society in Britain. I think we’ve got a job to do – I mean an educational job to do.
@cristiejohnston and I have now filmed with nearly 100 of the leading sociologists, philosophers, scientists, atheists, and apologists in the world. And, our multifaceted project continues. We are in the process of writing four separate books as well as producing several other resources.
Dawkins admitted to us in Oxford, England that “atheists” represent a small population in the USA. Correct. Four out of five Americans believe in God. Pew Research (survey of 4,700 adults in December 2017 and released April 25, 2018) reveals that one-third of Americans say they do not believe in the God of the Bible, however, 56 percent say they believe in God “as described in the Bible.”
Cause for concern: Adults under age 50 and college graduates are less likely to believe in God than older Americans and people with only a high school education.
Drs. Cristie Jo & Jerry Johnston May 9, 2017 Interview with Dr. Richard Dawkins
Dr. Cristie Jo Johnston: How did you get over your sexual abuse? Because many people like the nones that are listening to this documentary right now – many of them perhaps have been sexually abused. They are looking for ways to recover.
Dr. Richard Dawkins: There’s a spectrum of sexual abuse and this is my point. The abuse that I endured was negligible compared to what some people endure at the hands of maybe a family member. There’s awful stories of fathers or uncles saying, ‘This is our little secret between us,’ and day after day, night after night, week after week abusing them. It’s very, very difficult to get over that kind of thing. But if it’s just a very small incident as it was in my case, I got over it. You’re asking me how I got over it. I went and talked to my friends about it and they said, ‘Oh yes, that happened to me too.’ And a little bit later, the teacher concerned committed suicide.
Atheist Richards Dawkins’ upbringing was typical Anglican, he was confirmed and believed in God until his mid-teens when, having read about Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Dr. Cristie Jo Johnston: Has your outspoken Christianity, your outspoken faith, caused any problems with your promotions here at Rice University? Because we see that in other parts of the country. What about for you here?
Dr. James Tour: Nothing has happened in promotions as far as professorial promotions at Rice. I came to Rice as a chaired professor and I’ve maintained that chair. Thirty years ago, things were different than they are now. In 2004, approximately when the Dover trial occurred, there was a sort of change where people started thinking more critically toward Christians. I have been held back tremendously in awards and in societies – in professional societies that have not permitted me to come in because of my faith – because of my not buying in wholeheartedly to the mantra of evolution.
Dr. James Tour’s scientific research areas include nanoelectronics, graphene electronics and photovoltaics, carbon supercapacitors, lithium ion batteries, chemical self-assembly and carbon nanotube and graphene synthetic modifications. He has also worked extensively on carbon composites, hydrogen storage, and practical applications in medicine and oil recovery for nanoengineered carbon. He is perhaps best known for his carbon-based fullerene-wheeled “nanocars,” a 2005 breakthrough feat in nanoengineering that produced functional, rolling vehicles just a few nanometers in size.
Tour also built small humanoids using similar technology. An example called the “NanoKid” became the basis for a school-based learning program for children that introduced them to nanoscience. His commitment to science education continued with his more recent Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero science educational package development for middle school education.
Tour received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Syracuse Univ., and his Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue Univ. He joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999. Tour has more than 650 research publications, more than 120 patents and averages more than 3,000 citations per year.
Dr. Jerry Johnston: If some of these stats are right, about 80 to 90 percent of students raised in solid, biblical-teaching churches don’t continue their faith after they go to a secular university. How do you respond to that?
Dr. James Tour: Well this is part of why I’m here. We have to fill universities with people who love the Lord and are not afraid to talk about Him. I even understand and I see myself what’s happened in the last 20 years with my being here at Rice. Students used to come to me and to say, ‘Biology professor so-and-so is mocking Christians all the time.’ Is he mocking Christians? Why would they want to do that? Have they not enough biology to teach? Why don’t they come and mock me? We’ll go toe-to-toe. And they can mock me and tell me how silly I am. And we’ll put my credentials against theirs.
Each year, the editors of R&D Magazine are tasked with the responsibility of choosing candidates for its top individual award, the Scientist of the Year. For 48 years, this Award has recognized many of the world’s preeminent scientists and most accomplished researchers. Without exception, its recipients have made substantial contributions to their field of study, whether materials science, physics, biology or chemistry.
Professor James M. Tour was named the 2013 R&D Magazine “Scientist of the Year.”
The . T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry at Rice University, Tour is a synthetic organic chemist who has made numerous contributions to our fundamental understanding of chemistry and materials science, particularly at the nanoscale. His work has resulted in a wealth of practical applications for microscale and nanoscale science, and he, with the contribution of the James M. Tour Group research facility at Rice, has helped make substantial advances in the ability to manipulate small volumes of organic materials.
Dr. Cristie Jo Johnston: So, Professor Tour, let’s talk about you being a racecar driver. So, if you Google the word ‘nanocar,’ your name pops up as the creator, along with some other team members here at Rice University. What is a nanocar? And how do you race a nanocar?
Dr. James Tour: So, a nanocar is a single molecule. It has a chassis, axles, wheels, and motor. And you build it such that it’s all based upon the building up of single molecules. You can park about 50,000 of them across the diameter of a human hair. The diameter is this way across the human hair. So they’re very small. We make about a billion, billion of them at a time. And they had the first nanocar race this summer in Toulouse, France. And we won.
James M. Tour, PhD, has published more than 650 research articles, and has developed more than 100 patents. He was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015. Tour was named among “The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today” by TheBestSchools.org in 2014, listed in “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch.com in 2014, and was the recipient of the Trotter Prize in “Information, Complexity and Inference” in 2014. He has received numerous other awards for his research and his work as a professor.
Jerry Johnston: How does science strengthen your faith?
Dr. James Tour: When I look at biological systems, and the amazing functionality of a biological system – even if we just take a cell, just a single cell, and you look at the mechanisms within that cell – it is utterly amazing. Take any chemist, any biochemist, any evolutionary biologist, and say, ‘I will give you all the components of a cell. I’ll give you all the nucleic acids, all the proteins, all the lipids, all the carbohydrates. Could you hook them up in the orders that they need to be hooked up?’ The answer is ‘no.’ ‘But even if I gave them to you in whatever order hooked up that you wanted, could you then put them together in the cell and have the cell operate?’ And the answer is ‘no.’ Anybody who would claim otherwise is a rookie. They really don’t know what they’re talking about.
James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist, earned a PhD in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and completed postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University. He joined the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999, where he is presently the T.T. and W.F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering.
My son and his wife Audrey were interviewed on FoxBusiness by Stuart Varney of Varney & Co. They shared with Stuart how their faith in God kept with afloat through Harvey and their mandatory evacuation from Fort Bend County with our 5 grandchildren.
Harvey victims say faith kept them afloat during Harvey
Professor Richard Dawkins, English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, author, emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, continued his filmed interview with Dr.Cristie Jo Johnston, Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist Univesity. She asked a daring question, “The Bible says that anyone that says in their heart there is no God they are a fool. What do you think about that?” Realizing @CristieJoJohnston was speaking to the world’s most well-known atheist, I froze in the corner of the room as we filmed @UniofOxford. First, I admired my wife for asking a reasonable question sourced in the provocative exclamation of David in the Psalms, “The fool has said in his heart,‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1). I know Cristie sincerely wanted Richard’s opinion on this volatile Bible text.
And, in that moment, I realized the atheist, who often decries God and the Christian faith would obviously have an answer ready for such a question. There was a long pause and Richard Dawkins responded as he and Cristie Jo stared into each other’s eyes, “That’s ridiculous obviously. I mean you’ve taken a verse from the Bible, the fool has said in his heart there is no God. What am I supposed to say? This is a random text written by some random scribe at some point, a few centuries ago. So what?”
It was a thought provoking moment bravely asked by my girl who I have come to know for nearly four decades and who would never intentionally try to hurt anyone’s feelings, and, yet, has a knack for ‘getting down to business’ when we are discussing important issues. This is the tantamount argument university students face from scores of professors worldwide – “there is no god – get smart and get rid of your superstition.” There is only one problem with that scenario. There are equally brilliant men and women distinguished in their academic careers who do believe in God. The media does not equally promote or review their books as they are not provocative and “newsworthy.”
The recent Gallup Poll disagrees with Richard Dawkins and stated that 89% of Americans believe in God – a startling 9 out of every 10 Americans (June 29, 2016). I still make the argument to atheists: why all the hoopla disproving a God you don’t believe in anyway. It doesn’t make sense to me. And, let me add one notable postscript to the burgeoning category of “nones” who have religiously disaffiliated – only a small percentage of “nones” claim to be atheists. Nones, in the vast majority still believe in some form of spirituality and many in God or a Higher Being.
We knew our investigative journey had to include some of the finest philosophers of the world. At one time “philosophy” in the universities omitted “theology,” let alone Christianity philosophy. Not anymore! Some of the finest, most brilliant philosophers in the world are Christians in many of the world’s finest universities. So we journeyed from our interview with Richard Dawkins to the highly respected, 50-year @UniofOxford Christian philosopher, Richard Swinburne, author of “The Existence of God”. He doesn’t take Richard Dawkins too seriously. You will be keenly interested in his remarks coming your way very soon.
Researchers, Drs. Jerry and Cristie Jo Johnston, are Executive Producing a quick-paced film via transcontinental, staccato interviews documenting the shocking rise of the non-religious.