When Dr. Larry Vardiman was a graduate student in atmospheric science at Colorado State University, he, like many Christian scientists, struggled with the conflicts between a literal interpretation of the Bible and what he was learning.
"With the assistance of several members of my church and a lot of soul searching, I finally made a decision in 1972 to believe the statements about creation and the Flood, even if it flew in the face of the conventional science that I was being taught," the Chair of the ICR Graduate School's Department of Astro/Geophysics said in a recent interview.
Less than two weeks after deciding this, two gentlemen named Dr. Henry Morris and Dr. Duane Gish came to his church for a weekend seminar on creation science. "I had never heard of either of them, but they said things during the conference that I had never heard before, which confirmed the decision I had already made," Dr. Vardiman said.
Three years later, Dr. Morris referred a Dallas Theological Seminary student to Dr. Vardiman for help with his research. Dr. Vardiman had just completed his doctorate degree and was working in Denver, Colorado, for the U.S. Department of the Interior. The student, Jody Dillow, needed an atmospheric scientist's assistance in refining his vapor canopy model. "I got caught up in his research on the vapor canopy and have been involved in creationist research in one way or another ever since," Dr. Vardiman said.
Dr. Vardiman came to the Institute for Creation Research in 1989. His research here has included Ice Age studies in young-earth timeframes, simulating "hypercanes" that may have taken place within the millennium after the Flood of Noah's day, and directing the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth project.
In 1994, he had the opportunity to meet and correspond with popular astrophysicist and cosmologist Carl Sagan. "We struck up a very cordial relationship at an American Geophysical meeting in San Francisco," Dr. Vardiman said. "I was hoping and praying that he would eventually accept the Lord before he died [in 1996], but as far as I know, he didn't unless it was on his deathbed. Although he and I had two completely different worldviews, his death was difficult for me. I considered him a close friend. He was deeply religious, but he could not accept the Bible as the path to God. It was painful to watch someone who couldn't accept what God so freely offers."
Over the past decade, Dr. Vardiman has become critical of the current view on global warming. "I have conducted considerable research on this topic and found that global warming was likely occurring from about 1850 to 2000, but it was only slightly caused by carbon dioxide released by man's activities. Most of it was probably caused by fluctuations in the sun," he said. "It now appears that cooling has possibly begun." He publishes his research through ICR.
Research and education are critical activities from the creation perspective, Dr. Vardiman said. "Some Christians who have full confidence in the veracity of Scripture only need to study what the Bible says. But most Christians today are swayed by secular views of origins. Many only need one or two critical issues answered by logical scientific research to put their confidence in the Bible."
"It's not enough to just do Bible studies these days--we live in a different culture than our parents and grandparents. We must do legitimate creationist research and teach it to others, particularly those who will, in turn, teach it to yet others," he said.
ICR continues to focus on research at its core, gathering the scientific evidence that verifies the authority, accuracy, and authenticity of God's Word.
* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Dao, C. 2010. Profile: Larry Vardiman. Acts & Facts. 39 (8): 15.