Has Your Faith Affected Your Promotions?

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.

WHY ARE STUDENTS LEAVING THE FAITH?

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.

WHAT IS A NANOCAR?

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.

How does science strengthen your faith?

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.

Dr. Jeremiah J. Johnston speaks to 7 thousand delegates at the AACC World Conference 2017

Dr. Jeremiah J. Johnston speaks to 7 thousand delegates at the AACC World Conference 2017

Jeremiah J. Johnston, PhD, associate professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University, and president of the Christian Thinkers Society, captivated thousands of delegates during the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference in September 2017 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. There were about 7,000 event attendees who learned more about Johnston and HBU.

Johnston’s latest book, “Unimaginable: What Our World Would Be Like Without Christianity,” follows his equally important work, “Unanswered: Lasting Truth for Trending Questions.”

Prayer is essential to the teaching of God’s holy word.

Jeremiah & Audrey turned to their faith to keep them afloat during Harvey

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

Visit Houston Baptist University website to see how you can help those hurt by Harvey.

Fox Business

Christian Thinkers Society

Cristie Jo Johnston asked Richard Dawkins about Psalm 14:1

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.” 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.

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.

The Visionary 97-year-old Stewart Morris Sr. – One of HBU’s Founding Fathers

He is 97-years-young, spry, alert, and when the topic of HBU is discussed there are tears in the eyes of Stewart Morris Sr. At the invitation of Dr. Morris, Billy Graham responded to come and presented the Dedication sermon of Houston Baptist College in 1963. Every 12th-grade student from the public schools in Houston enjoyed the bus ride to new campus on this notable, historic day. HBU celebrates it’s 20,000 graduate in May 2017!
To know Stewart Morris Sr. is to love him. He is inimitable and an encyclopedia of both the history of HBU and Houston. @RobertBSloan, President of HBU, creatively initiated the vision plan to dramatically expand HBU On Line academic programs and Dr. Morris help lead the effort. Dynamic plans and personnel are being pursued toward to goal of making HBU a national Christian University! Dr. Sloan’s entrepreneurial spirit is captured in HBU’s Ten Pillars vision which is yet another distinction of the University (www.hbu.edu)
As a Founding Father who was instrumental in establishing and supporting the Christian mission of HBU, Dr. Stewart Morris Sr. received the inaugural  Founders Medal presented by @RobertBSloan at the biannual Spirit of Excellence Gala in November 2016. Dr. Morris remains a visionary today, and his continued involvement is visible in every area of the University.
Rising from office clerk to the head of a publicly-held international corporate giant, Stewart Morris Sr. has devoted his career to the management, growth, and expansion of Stewart Information Services Corporation (SISCO) and its subsidiary companies known as Stewart Title. Morris succeeded his father, William Carloss Morris, after his death in 1950, when Stewart Title was comprised of only eight offices and a handful of Texas-based agents. Morris, with older brother Carloss, has seen the company expand to 50 states and 13 foreign countries, with offices and agents in over 9,000 locations.
The University expresses their thanks to Dr. Morris. HBU is poised for dramatic, strategic growth, uniquely, in the mega city of Houston where 12MM people live within a 200-mile radius. There is no place in America quite like Houston – the largest philanthropic city of America.
What did Dr. Morris do after our 52-minute filmed interview? On a golf cart, ice cream in hand, he cruised throughout the campus envisioning the growth of HBU in the days to come!

Jerry Johnston’s Full Interview with Philip Renner of Philip Renner Ministries out of Moscow Good News Church

Dr. Jerry Johnston on the Rise of Christianity in Russia – Philip Renner of Philip Renner Ministries Full Interview.

Learn all about CTS LIVE Unanswered Tour with Museum of the Bible at christianthinkers.com/tour