Scholar Team

Dr. Hugh Ross

Hugh launched his career at age seven when he went to the library to find out why stars are hot. Physics and astronomy captured his curiosity and never let go. At age seventeen he became the youngest person ever to serve as director of observations for Vancouver’s Royal Astronomical Society. With the help of a provincial scholarship and a National Research Council (NRC) of Canada fellowship, he completed his undergraduate degree in physics (University of British Columbia) and graduate degrees in astronomy (University of Toronto). The NRC also sent him to the United States for postdoctoral studies. At Caltech he researched quasi-stellar objects, or “quasars,” some of the most distant and ancient objects in the universe.

Not all of Hugh’s discoveries involved astrophysics. Prompted by curiosity, he studied the world’s religions and “holy books” and found only one book that proved scientifically and historically accurate: the Bible. Hugh started at religious “ground zero” and through scientific and historical reality-testing became convinced that the Bible is truly the Word of God! When he went on to describe for others his journey to faith in Jesus Christ, he was surprised to discover how many people believed or disbelieved without checking evidence.

Hugh’s unshakable confidence that God’s revelations in Scripture and nature do not, will not, and cannot contradict became his unique message. Wholeheartedly encouraged by family and friends, communicating that message as broadly and clearly as possible became his mission.  Thus, in 1986, he founded science-faith think tank Reasons To Believe (RTB). He and his colleagues at RTB keep tabs on the frontiers of research to share with scientists and nonscientists alike the thrilling news of what’s being discovered and how it connects with biblical theology. In this realm, he has written many books, including: The Fingerprint of God, The Creator and the Cosmos, Beyond the Cosmos, The Genesis Question, A Matter of Days, Creation As Science, Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, and More Than a Theory.

Between writing books and articles, recording podcasts, and taking interviews, Hugh travels the world challenging students and faculty, churches and professional groups, to consider what they believe and why. He presents a persuasive case for Christianity without applying pressure. Because he treats people’s questions and comments with respect, he is in great demand as a speaker and as a talk-radio and television guest.

Having grown up amid the splendor of Canada’s mountains, wildlife, and waterways, Hugh loves the outdoors. Hiking, trail running, and photography are among his favorite recreational pursuits – in addition to stargazing. Hugh lives in Southern California with his wife, Kathy, and two sons.

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Dr. Fazale “Fuz” Rana

Fuz discovered the fascinating world of cells while taking chemistry and biology courses for the premed program at West Virginia State College (University). As a presidential scholar there, he earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry with highest honors. He completed a PhD in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry at Ohio University, where he twice won the Donald Clippinger Research Award. Postdoctoral studies took him to the Universities of Virginia and Georgia. Fuz then worked seven years as a senior scientist in product development for Procter & Gamble.

Research in biochemistry provided Fuz with the initial evidence that life must have been created. Although he recognized the work of a designer, he did not know the designer’s identity. An acquaintance’s challenge to read the Bible led him to believe that the God of the Bible is that Designer. Eventually, concern for the supposed incompatibility of science and Scripture led Fuz to Reasons To Believe (RTB).

Today Fuz travels widely, speaking on science-and-faith issues at churches, business firms, and universities. He also participates in RTB’s podcasts and daily blog, Today’s New Reasons to Believe, and has made guest appearances on The John Ankerberg Show, The Harvest Show, and Newsmakers (hosted by Jerry Rose on Total Living Network). Fuz also lectures for the Master of Science and Religion program in Christian Apologetics at Biola University.

Since joining RTB as executive vice president of research and apologetics, Fuz has authored and coauthored the books Origins of Life, Who Was Adam?, The Cell’s Design, and, most recently, Creating Life in the Lab. Additionally, Fuz has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals including Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, Biochemistry, Applied Spectroscopy, FEBS Letters, Journal of Microbiological Methods, and Journal of Chemical Education. He has made presentations at numerous international scientific meetings, coauthored a chapter on antimicrobial peptides for Biological and Synthetic Membranes, and holds two patents.

A native of West Virginia, Fuz loves blues and southern and country rock music, particularly Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker, Johnny Winter, and Blind Willie Johnson. He roots for the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals, enjoys playing fantasy football, baseball, and basketball with his RTB colleagues, and likes reading Shakespeare—especially the tragedies. Fuz lives in Southern California with his wife, Amy, and their three daughters.

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Dr. Jeff Zweerink

Jeff thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps as a chemistry professor until a high school teacher piqued his interest in physics. Jeff pursued a BS in physics and a PhD in astrophysics at Iowa State University (ISU), where he focused his study on gamma rays—messengers from distant black holes and neutron stars.

Upon completing his education, Jeff taught at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Postdoctoral research took him to the West Coast, to University of California, Riverside, and eventually to a research faculty position at UCLA. He has conducted research using the STACEE and VERITAS gamma-ray telescopes, and currently works on GAPS, a balloon experiment seeking to detect dark matter.

A Christian from childhood, Jeff desired to understand how the worlds of science and Scripture integrate. He struggled when his scientific studies seemed to collide with his early biblical training. While an undergrad at ISU, Jeff heard Hugh Ross speak and learned of Reasons To Believe (RTB) and its ministry of reconciliation—tearing down the presumed barriers between science and faith and introducing people to their personal Creator. Jeff knew this was something he was called to be a part of.

Today, as a research scholar at RTB, Jeff speaks at churches, youth groups, universities, and professional groups around the country, encouraging people to consider the truth of Scripture and how it connects with the evidence of science. His involvement with RTB grows from an enthusiasm for helping others bridge the perceived science-faith gap. He seeks to assist others in avoiding the difficulties he experienced.

Jeff is author of Who’s Afraid of the Multiverse? and coauthor of more than 30 journal articles, as well as numerous conference proceedings. He still serves part-time on the physics and astronomy research faculty at UCLA. He directs RTB’s online learning programs, Reasons Institute and Reasons Academy, and also contributes to the ministry’s podcasts and daily blog, Today’s New Reason to Believe.

When he isn’t participating in science-faith apologetics Jeff enjoys fishing, camping, and working on home improvement projects. An enthusiastic sports fan, he coaches his children’s teams and challenges his RTB colleagues in fantasy football. He roots for the Kansas City Chiefs and for NASCAR’s Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon. Jeff and his wife, Lisa, live in Southern California with their five children.

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Kenneth Richard Samples

Kenneth began voraciously studying Christian philosophy and theology when his thirst for purpose found relief in the Bible. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and social science from Concordia University and his MA in theological studies from Talbot School of Theology. For seven years, Kenneth worked as Senior Research Consultant and Correspondence Editor at the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and regularly cohosted the popular call-in radio program, The Bible Answer Man, with Dr. Walter Martin.

As a youth, Kenneth wrestled with “unsettling feelings of meaninglessness and boredom,” driving him to seek answers to life’s big questions. An encounter with Christian philosophy in Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis led Kenneth to examine the New Testament and “finally believe that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, the Lord and Savior of the world.” From then on, he pursued an intellectually satisfying faith.

Today, as senior research scholar at Reasons To Believe (RTB), Kenneth uses what he’s learned to help others find the answers to life’s questions. He encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges skeptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level. He is the author of Without a Doubt and A World of Difference, and has contributed to numerous other books, including: Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men, The Cult of the Virgin, and Prophets of the Apocalypse. He has written articles for Christianity Today and The Christian Research Journal, and regularly participates in RTB’s podcasts, including Straight Thinking, a podcast dedicated to encouraging Christians to utilize sound reasoning in their apologetics. Though previously a contributor to Today’s New Reason to Believe, he now writes his own blog, Reflections, for the ministry.

An avid speaker and debater, Kenneth has appeared on numerous radio programs such as Voice America Radio, Newsmakers, The Frank Pastore Show, Stand to Reason, White Horse Inn, Talk New York, and Issues Etc, as well as participated in debates and dialogues on topics relating to Christian doctrine and apologetics. He currently lectures for the Master of Arts program in Christian Apologetics at Biola University. Kenneth also teaches adult classes at Christ Reformed Church in Southern California.

Over the years Kenneth has held memberships in the American Philosophical Association, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Evangelical Press Association.

The son of a decorated World War II veteran, Kenneth is an enthusiastic student of American history, particularly the Civil War and WWII. His favorite Christian thinkers include Athanasius, Augustine, Pascal, and C. S. Lewis. He greatly enjoys the music of the Beatles and is a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan. Kenneth lives in Southern California with his wife, Joan, and their three children.

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Dr. Patricia Fanning

Patricia dreamed of being an explorer, and she found a wonderful world to explore: biochemistry. A native of Baton Rouge, Patricia completed a BS in premed and completed a year of medical school at Louisiana State University (LSU). She studied computer science at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and worked for several years as a consultant in the software industry, interacting with companies like IBM, Sun Microsystems, and AT&T. She then went on to earn her PhD in biochemistry from NCSU, specializing in RNA structure and using her computer science knowledge in computational biochemistry.

Patricia was raised in a Catholic family and was devoted to her faith. But it wasn’t until an LSU friend invited her to a Bible study that Patricia heard the gospel. She believed immediately in its truth and, as she says, “I became a Christian on the spot.”

About three years ago she was introduced to Reasons To Believe when her husband heard Hugh Ross speak at a men’s breakfast. Patricia found RTB’s views on theology and science resonated with hers. Within three months, she gave her first talk on behalf of RTB at her local RTB chapter in Austin, Texas. Interaction with Fuz Rana and other RTB scholars at the Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science conference in 2010 led to an invitation to become RTB’s first visiting scholar.

Patricia plans to devote up to 12 months at RTB headquarters, helping the ministry expand its resources (such as podcasts, articles, and more). In particular, her work at RTB focuses on embryological development and its potential impact in science-faith apologetics. Her work appears on our science blog, Today’s New Reason to Believe, and podcasts I Didn’t Know That! and Science News Flash. Her passion for science and for showing how it glorifies God promises to leave a lasting impact.

When she isn’t involved in science apologetics, Patricia enjoys creative endeavors, such as decorating, sewing, and gardening. She loves watching action-adventure and science fiction movies and reading mysteries. Her home is in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Mike.

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