Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Scientist Talks about His Faith

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Scientist Talks about His Faith

Article excerpt

'Either Jesus is who the Bible says he is or he is not," Dr. Richard Pierce said. "Either way, it was very important for me to know."

Pierce is a gifted and talented scientist. A curious researcher by nature and profession, he joined Mote Marine more than 30 years ago. He became the first director of research in 1989, the director of the Center for Ecotoxicology in 1998 and currently serves as the principal investigator of multidisciplinary research projects.

Pierce lectures nationally and internationally.

He has secured more than 20 successful research grants and the thriving author has published more than 30 scientific articles.

He earned a conventional science-related education; B.A. and master's in chemistry from the University of South Florida, Ph.D. in chemical oceanography and a postdoctoral research fellowship from the University of Rhode Island.

Pierce and his wife, Sharon, attend Sarasota Baptist Church. His scientific pedigree is a testament to his faith -- which, he said, transcends religious affiliation.

The couple recently tuned in to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Love -- Live from Dallas Cowboys Stadium" on the Christian author's GBTV network.

Pierce's faith journey began long before Beck's restoration event. Reared in the Protestant church, he said that he attended church but never fully understood the concept of "personal salvation."

Faith is a secure belief in God and trusting acceptance of God's will -- belief in things unseen.

A successful faith journey can take decades if not a lifetime -- so a scientist who is willing to unequivocally state that "God is the way that everything came to be and from whom we derive our purpose and direction in life," as Pierce does, is rare.

"Because of my scientific background I was able to see the flaws in the evolutionary theory -- life formed from non-living chemicals.

"When you understand the process, you understand that it is impossible."

Pierce is brilliant and articulate, but he understands that "amino acids" and "biological active protein, DNA-RNA encoded complex molecular structure" extrapolated to evolution remains beyond some of us. …

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