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Meet Kirk Durston … scientist, clergyman, philosopher, father, husband, nature photographer, and wilderness adventurer

Kirk relaxing at Wycliffe College

Kirk relaxing at Wycliffe College

Kirk grew up on a cattle and grain farm in central Manitoba, Canada, where he spent countless hours in the forest as a young boy, fascinated with the plants and animals that are native to that region. Throughout his teen years he worked six days a week as a farm hand. He left his father’s farm at the age of 19 for university. Upon completion of his first two degrees, he was an experimental test engineer with Pratt & Whitney, helping coordinate the build and test of experimental aircraft engines. During those years, however, he felt a strong call to work with university students. After several years of considerable thought, he left engineering to work with Power to Change at universities across Canada for the past 36 years, thinking, writing and speaking about the interaction of science, theology and philosophy within the context of authentic Christianity. He has been married for 39 years to Patti and they have six children and five grandchildren. He enjoys nature photography, wilderness canoeing and camping, fly fishing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Education

Ph.D. Biophysics, 2010 (University of Guelph)

M.A. Philosophy, 1997 (University of Manitoba)

B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, 1979 (University of Manitoba)

B.Sc. Physics, 1976 (University of Manitoba)

Has also completed 12 seminary-level courses

Academic Publications

Papers published in journals of science

Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y., Wong, A.K.C., Li, G.C.L., Statistical discovery of site inter-dependencies in sub-molecular hierarchical protein structuring, EURASIP J Bioinform Syst Biol. (2012) Jul 13;2012(1):8. doi: 10.1186/1687-4153-2012-8.

A k-modes algorithm can be used to discover interdependent sites within an aligned sequence from which a cluster tree can be constructed, revealing sub-molecular interdependencies within the 3D structure of a protein family. – Read Abstract –  Read and download full article from Journal Website

 Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y., Abel, D.L., Trevors, J.T., Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins (Highly accessed)Theor Biol Med Model. (2007) Dec 6;4:47.

In this paper, a method is presented for measuring the functional sequence complexity (also referred to as functional information) of proteins, using multiple sequence alignments for protein families, as well as a method for measuring changes in a protein, in terms of functional complexity.  – Read Abstract  –  Read and download full article from Journal Website

Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y., (2005), A functional entropy model for biological sequencesDynamics of Continuous, Discrete and Impulsive Systems: Series B Supplement. — Download full article

Papers published in journals of philosophy

Durston, K., The Incompatibility of God and gratuitous evil: implications for the termination of civilizationsReligious Studies (2015), 51, Special issue 03, 411-419.

Many  have objected to the idea that God would order the destruction of the Canaanites. If we grant, however, a common assumption in atheistic arguments from evil against the existence of God, that God cannot permit gratuitous evil, it follows that when a civilization crosses the line to become gratuitously evil, then God must terminate it.   – View – Download full article

Durston, K., The Failure of Type-4 Arguments From Evil, in the Face of the Consequential Complexity of HistoryPhilo (2006), 8, No. 2.

Type-4 arguments from evil reason by abductive inference (inference to the best explanation) to the conclusion that gratuitous evil exists, therefore, God does not. In this paper, Durston shows that Type-4 arguments fail due to what we do not know about future history and alternate histories. –  Download full article

Durston, K., The Complexity of History and Evil: A Reply to TrakakisReligious Studies (2006), 42, 87-99.

Philosopher Nick Trakakis has raised some objections to the argument in my earlier paper (2000). Here, I respond to Trakakis’ objections to my earlier argument.   – View – Download full article

Durston, K., The Consequential Complexity of History and Gratuitous EvilReligious Studies (2000) 36, 65-80.

Some have argued that instances of evil that appear to be pointless are sufficient justification to conclude that God does not exist. This paper argues that, due to the fact that every event produces an exponentially increasing number of consequences stretching into the future of the actual world and other possible worlds, it is impossible for us to know what God should or should not permit. – View – Download full article

Other peer reviewed academic publications

Durston, K.K.; Chiu, D.K.Y. (2011), Chapter 5. Functional Sequence Complexity in Biopolymers. In The First Gene: The Birth of Programming, Messaging and Formal Control, Abel, D. L., Ed. LongView Press–Academic, Biol. Res. Div.: New York, N.Y., pp 117-133. – View – Download full article

Durston, K.K., (2003), Review: Humble ApologeticsPhilosophia Christi5, No. 2.

Work

  • 2019 to present: Power to Change (The Life Project) - researcher, speaker, writer

  • 1994-2018: Power to Change (Students) - Researcher, Ultimate Questions Group

  • 1983-1994: Power to Change (Students) - Student Advisor

  • 1979-1983: Pratt & Whitney - Experimental Test Engineer

  • Student summer job 1978: Programmer, National Defence Research, Underwater Acoustics

  • Student summer job 1977: Engineering Assistant, Electrical Department, City of Penticton

  • Student summer job 1976: Geological Assistant, Manitoba Geological Survey, Mapping

Speaking experience

  • Thirty four years, and continuing, speaking at most of the major universities across Canada, focussing on topics pertaining to the interplay of God, philosophy, and science. This includes a few hundred talks and lectures as well as participating in approximately 80 formal debates on topics relevant to the defence of the basic beliefs of Christianity.