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: Heather Prior, Biology Professor at The King’s University in Edmonton, AB; CSCA President.
1. Why did you choose your scientific discipline?
I chose biology because I fell in love with bugs and frogs and collected them endlessly as a child (much to my mother’s chagrin). Although I hadn’t necessarily planned on a career in biology, when my classmates started calling me “Betty Biologist,” I realized that I should consider it.
2. What is one of your favourite Bible verses and why?
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
I love the book of Philippians, and this passage, along with the following verses about the humble mindset of our Lord Jesus Christ, reminds me of how important it is to look out for one another and how blessed I feel to be surrounded by God’s love, both through creation and through his children.
3. Which Canadian city or landscape do you love exploring and why?
I love exploring all natural spaces across Canada, and I would like to explore as many as possible in the years ahead (one I have not yet visited is the far north). In Alberta, the foothills of the Rocky Mountains are among my favourite spots, including locations like Crowsnest Pass, Rocky Mountain House, and even Cypress Hills (which is on the Saskatchewan border but is higher in elevation than any point in Canada between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador). A notable tree species in this region is the limber pine, one of Canada’s longest-living organisms (some have been standing for an estimated 3000 years). I feel humble standing in the shadow of the ancient mountains, next to an ancient tree, and remember the posture of humility that we are called to in Christ.