Fossils, Parasites, and Blessed Plants: The 2020 Sanders Scholars
In 2020, three students will share $11,260 in scholarship funding for original, supervised research related to creation and origins. The funding originates from the Sanders Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2018 by Core Academy of Science. Named in honor of Core Academy’s co-founder Roger W. Sanders (1950-2018), the Sanders Fund provides support for students to learn research skills from established mentors as they work together on a project of scholarly interest. We are thrilled to announce the inaugural class of Sanders Scholars for 2020. (For confidentiality and security, the last names of the recipients have been omitted.)
One of the most striking patterns in creation will be examined by Joseph under the guidance of Matt McLain of The Master’s University. They will be looking at convergence, the recurrence of similarity in different kinds of organisms. Their research will involve studying a group of reptiles called Phytosaurs that look remarkably like crocodiles, even though they aren’t. “A traditional evolutionary perspective would suggest that organisms with similar features always develop from common ancestors,” Joseph wrote in his application, “Convergence challenges this explanation, presenting unrelated organisms with similar features.” A native Californian, Joseph is currently studying molecular biology and hopes to become a science teacher. In his spare time, he enjoys running and playing Frisbee.
In our modern world, plants can be both a blessing and a danger, and in the creation account of Genesis, plants function as both blessing and curse. In 2020, the plants of creation will be examined again by Doug, our only graduate student Sanders Scholar, as he hopes to uncover plants’ “key role in testifying to the ground cursed because of human sin.” He will work with Jeremy Lyon of Truett-McConnell University as well as consulting with other Hebrew scholars. Doug starts his Ph.D. studies in the spring, and he’s looking forward to future work in teaching and creation ministry. He currently teaches full-time at a Christian school in Virginia, and he and his wife have five children.
As the book of Job shows us, death and suffering have long been a struggle for those who believe in a good creation. Our final Sanders Scholar, Darius, will be studying a particularly gruesome example in the insect world: parasitoid wasps that eat their hosts from the inside out. Working with Jeremy Blaschke at Union University, Darius will describe a new species of wasp from western Tennessee and explore the origins of their disturbing life cycle. In his application, Darius explained that “discovering and naming animals has been a distinct and important task for humans since the creation of Adam.” A Missouri native, Darius studies biology at Union and loves to make music in his spare time.
“Congratulations to Joseph, Doug, and Darius. I have long dreamed of the day we can financially support students working to become tomorrow’s creationist leaders,” said Todd Wood, Core Academy president. “I can’t wait to see what the Lord will do through these Sanders Scholars!”
If you would like to contribute to the Sanders Fund to help advance the cause of creation by raising up a new generation of careful scholars and faithful Christians, please click below or visit coresci.org/sanders for more information. If you would be interested in applying for funding through the scholarship fund, the call for applications for the 2021 awards will be announced in the spring.