To our knowledge, Dr. Georgia Purdom will soon be the first female Ph.D. scientist currently engaged in full-time research and speaking on the Book of Genesis for a creationist organization which accepts Genesis as literal history (including a young earth).1
Earlier today at the Creation Mega Conference in Lynchburg, Virginia, USA, Ken Ham, AiG–US president, announced this groundbreaking appointment to the 1,800 people in attendance at this international conference. Ham indicated that Dr. Purdom will join AiG’s science faculty next year, but will offer her some assignments through the next eleven months.
Even at her young age (she received her Ph.D. in molecular genetics in 2000 from Ohio State University), Dr. Purdom has already developed into an expert on the creation/evolution controversy. She has also become a compelling, dynamic lecturer, and thus will be an especially good fit for women’s groups and young people’s meetings; for AiG, she will also become a specialist lecturer on science topics at some of AiG’s in-depth conferences. This morning in Lynchburg, she spoke on the topic of the Intelligent Design Movement and some of the cautions Christians should have about this growing movement.
She told AiG recently that “the creation and evolution issue is so important because it is foundational to biblical authority, a Christian worldview and to the whole of Christianity. Therefore, it is necessary to have a solid understanding of the issue of origins.”
Dr. Purdom became a Christian when she was attending a youth camp (she was eight years old). Six years later at a Christian youth conference, she dedicated her life to serving the Lord.
Among her professional accomplishments include the winning of a variety of scholarships, and the completion of five years of teaching at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University (Ohio), where she will soon be serving out her final academic year as an associate professor of biology.
Dr. Purdom has published papers in the Journal of Neuroscience, the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
Her particular interest is in the role of mutations and horizontal gene transfer in microbial populations (and other organisms) in natural selection.
Dr. Purdom has designed and taught (via distance learning) a course about “Intelligent Design Biology.” It focused on the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM), which has become highly publicized in the media recently. She commented to AiG that: “On the surface, IDM looks very attractive to Christians in that it supports the existence of God through science alone, while leaving out the Bible. It seems less controversial because a ‘god’ is not named and therefore, could be taught in schools in opposition to evolution. Many Christians are not educated about the IDM and the implications that it is teaching, which I think are problematic.”
Dr. Purdom heard Ken Ham speak several years ago when she was a student at a Christian college in Central Ohio, Cedarville University. Her appointment now to AiG fulfills a dream that she has had for several years, after noticing that there were not very many women engaged in even part-time creation research and lecturing. The addition of Dr. Purdom to AiG’s growing faculty will enable AiG to reach audiences (such as major women’s conferences) that have been formerly unreached. She also looks forward to conducting workshops for teachers and others at AiG’s Creation Museum when it opens in 2007.
Dr. Purdom’s main area of specialty is cell and molecular biology. Her graduate work focused on genetic regulation of factors important for bone remodeling.
She will move with her husband Chris and daughter Elizabeth (now 19 months old) in June to begin her duties as a full-time researcher and speaker, just after the academic year concludes.