Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Kristie Cerling


Dr. Kristie Cerling is the associate dean in the HBU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and an associate professor of Education. Dr. Cerling’s experience is extensive; she worked as a K-12 teacher, principal, curriculum director and superintendent of schools before moving into higher education. Her specialties include teaching strategies, classroom management and content area reading. Dr. Cerling has presented in numerous professional settings and has received multiple honors. Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Dr. Kristie Cerling”

How You Think?

Are you trying to figure out how people behave? Look first at how they think. Philosophy is a way of thinking about the world and much more. Who or what shapes the way you think? Enter C. Stephen Evans, PhD at @baylor, and author of the recently released, A History of Western Philosophy: From Pre-Socratics to Postmodernism @ivpress. It took him seven years to write it. What an unusual conversation we had as @cristiejohnston and my project rolls on – our 98th filmed interview.


Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Elizabeth Saldivar

Elizabeth Saldivar serves as chair of the Student Foundation, a group whose members serve as fitting representatives of the University, interacting with friends and guests of HBU at various events. She is a student worker in the President’s Office, at the desk of the Academic Success Center, and serves as a tutor. Saldivar also serves as a mentor for the Summer Launch and Impact programs, and is a historian for the Filipino Student Association. As a management major, she is the first person in her family to go to college. Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Elizabeth Saldivar”

Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Andre Walker

André Walker III is a defensive end on the HBU Football team and is a pre-med major. Walker is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Alpha Epsilon Delta (the pre-med society). In the summer of 2018, he shadowed team physician, Dr. Vishal M. Shah, and participated in the Summer Health Professions Education Program at Columbia University.  Continue reading “Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Andre Walker”


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.

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.


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.

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.