Episode 015: Jim Martin PhD, Revelation Through Science, Organic Chemistry Makes Space for a Creator
In Episode 015 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, we explore the interface between science and spirituality, evolution and creationism, faith and the experimental method. I have a wonderful conversation with a dear friend and honorary family member, former governor of North Carolina and nurturing grandfather Jim Martin.
Jim is a Princeton PhD organic chemist who initially taught at his alma mater Davidson College During that time, he played principal tuba in the Charlotte Symphony and officiated high school football. Drawn to politics as a precinct worker, he was then elected three times as county commissioner, six times to the U.S. Congress, and twice as Governor of North Carolina. After twenty-six years of public service, he returned to his scientific roots in private life to serve as vice president of medical research at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. He and his wife Dottie have three children and five grandchildren in addition to being amazing family friends to my grandparents and all the Abbott’s in my loving family.
In our conversation Jim shares some amazing insights regarding the complexities of biology, organic chemistry, and physics as they relate to the current existence of humanity and our universe as a whole.
In distilling down some of the major ideas in his groundbreaking book: Revelation Through Science
Jim provides us with a small glimpse into some foundational scientific principles that perhaps, do not and WILL NEVER PROVE the existence of a God, but do indeed provide evidence POINTING TO the existence of a larger Creator.
Introducing the concepts of irreducible complexities, the remarkable relational geometry of DNA, RNA, sugars, and amino acids, we explore that miraculous machinery that allows for the storage and interpretation of genetic code and the eventual creation of an incredible array of proteins and biologic tissues.
Getting a little geeky, we, as two chemists explore the concepts of chirality or handedness of molecules. Why should we care if something is left handed or right handed? What does it mean to be left handed in the first place?
And what the heck is a enantiomer?
Changing gears, James and I explore Scripture and the biblical text
Can we treat the Bible as a scientific textbook or as a book of relational and interpretive wisdom?
Is it fair to judge the biblical text against our current understanding of the scientific method?
Dancing into the beautiful trinity of sugars, RNA/DNA, and amino acids, Jim creates the wonderful three way chicken, egg and creator conundrum, what came first nucleic acids, or ribose and deoxyribose, or amino acids or perhaps something we don’t even currently understand?
I am so grateful to Jim for sharing this space with me and engaging in a thoughtful discussion seeking to bring peace to the supposed dichotomy between science and spirituality, providing a middle ground for individuals to recognize that you can both believe in God and evolution, use the scientific method and rely on faith for understanding.
And please check out Jim’s book: Revelation Through Science, it really is a fascinating collection of thoughtful scientific inquiry accessible to both the rigorous scientist and curious layperson.
You can find links to Jim’s page and his book in our show notes, as well as slides describing some of the concepts we discuss in the podcast, for those, like myself, who are rather visually inclined.
I really hope you enjoy the show!
Use this link to access Jim’s website: http://www.beatenpathbooks.com/
Use this link to access Jim’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Revelation-Through-Science-James-Martin/dp/1524536083