For the past 50 years, the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation has facilitated discussions about science and Christian faith in Canada. As part of our 50th-anniversary celebrations, we asked 50 CSCA members to comment on their personal connections to science, scripture, and Canadian scenery. We will share these contributions throughout 2023 in the hope that you will find them engaging and encouraging.
CSCA member of the week: Gary Partlow, Retired Professor, Dept Biomedical Science, University of Guelph
1. Why did you choose your scientific discipline?
In my fourth year as an undergraduate, I still did not know what I wanted to do with my life. I went to the lab one Saturday morning to work on my research project. The supervisor dropped by and asked what I was up to. I was feeling down and concerned about deciding what was next upon completing my BSc. He asked me if I had a favourite subject and what it was. Without hesitation, I answered Anatomy. And his response was, “So be it.” I followed that advice into graduate school and eventually joined the faculty of Biomedical Science at the University of Guelph. The structure of the human body and how it works has fascinated me throughout my career. Its complexity, as well as the similarities and differences to all mammals, continues to intrigue me.
2. What is one of your favourite Bible verses and why?
I have several favourite scriptures, all of which offer a pattern of living. Though I am not always successful in doing this, I feel that Jesus has given us the best example to follow, as described in these verses.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
—Philippians 4:8–9 (NIV)
“I pray that, according to the riches of God’s glory, God may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through God’s Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
—Ephesians 3:16-21 (NRSV)
“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God!”
—Micah 6:8 (NRSV)
3. Which Canadian city or landscape do you love exploring and why?
I love all of Canada, with its vast diversity in people, cultures and landscape. My favourite city is probably Montreal, mostly because of the food, so much variety in flavour, and ethnic dishes. My favourite landscapes include the tides in the Bay of Fundy, the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, and a warm fall day hiking the Niagara gorge.