The Kirbas Institute and the Fetzer Institute Present

The Sanctity of Nature Conference

October, 2010

Kalamazoo, Michigan

The Conference Participants

Dr. Dennis Alexander

Dr. Denis Alexander is the Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at Cambridge, where he is a Fellow. Dr Alexander was previously Chairman of the Molecular Immunology Programme and Head of the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge. Prior to that Dr Alexander was at the Imperial Cancer Research Laboratories in London (now Cancer Research UK), and spent 15 years developing university departments and laboratories overseas, latterly as Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the Medical Faculty of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, where he helped to establish the National Unit of Human Genetics. Dr Alexander writes, lectures and broadcasts widely in the field of science and religion. Since 1992 he has been Editor of the journal Science & Christian Belief, and currently serves on the National Committee of Christians in Science and as a member of the International Society for Science and Religion.

Dr. Noah Efron

Dr. Noah Efron chairs the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University, in Israel. He is also President of the Israeli Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Science and Religion. He has been appointed to serve on the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture’s committee to evaluate and regulate genetically modified agriculture and invited to participate in Knesset deliberations on human cloning. Efron has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a fellow of the Dibner Institute for History of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology and a fellow at Harvard University. He was recently selected to receive a Greenwall Ruebhausen Fellowship, which will support a brief tenure as a visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon, Rothschild, Posen, John Templeton and Thomas J. Watson Foundations, as well as the Israeli Academy for Higher Education.

Dr. Darrel Falk

Dr. Darrel Falk is President of The BioLogos Foundation (, an organization founded by Dr. Francis Collins, who is now the head of the NIH. He is Professor of Biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, where he has taught since 1988. His courses have included vertebrate physiology, comparative anatomy, microbiology, molecular biology, developmental biology, cell biology, general biology, general zoology, vertebrate biology, history and philosophy of biology and genetics. Falk has given talks about the relationship between science and faith at many universities and seminaries in the last several years. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Scientific Affiliation. He is the author of Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology.

Dr. Rebecca J. Flietstra

Dr. Rebecca J. Flietstra is Professor of Biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She earned a BA in biology from Calvin College and her PhD in physiology from Kansas University Medical Center. Rebecca won a Templeton Science and Religion Course Award in 1999 and gave science and religion seminars at Oxford in 1999–2001. This year she spoke on “Rooting Evolution in Grace” at the Wesleyan Theological Society, Duke University. Other topics have been “Consciousness, Synaptic Plasticity, and the Means of Grace,” “Biology of Grace,” and “Evolution and the Golden Rule” (given at the ASA annual meeting at Pepperdine University in 2002). She has attended science and religion conferences at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, CA.

Dr. Robin Gibbons

Dr. Robin Gibbons is the Alexander Schmemann Professor of Eastern Christianity at the Graduate Theological Foundation. He was professed as a Benedictine Monk at St Michael’s Abbey Farnborough in England in 1973 and ordained priest in 1979. It was there that he became introduced to the Eastern Church, especially the Byzantine Tradition. He is also an iconographer and one of his major works can be found in the Monastery of Christ in The Desert (Abiquiu, New Mexico). Dr. Gibbons has written many articles and been a contributor to several books, in 2006 publishing