Naturalis Historia is the collective works and thoughts of Joel Duff, a professor of biology at the University of Akron. I have spent over 20 years discussing and writing about the intersection of science and faith. I am fascinated by God’s creation and am concerned that modern conservative evangelicals have increasing abandoned the study of natural revelation resulting in both a lack of appreciation for the “good” creation and the inability to properly assess the evidence and theories generated by modern science. I enjoy studying natural history and reading about natural historians of the 17th and 18th century when the study of nature was considered natural theology. I am a father of five, a child of reformed theology, a long-time member of a PCA (Presbyterian Church of America) church. I grew up in the OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) as a preachers kid and have an ongoing interest in the origins debate which seems to be ever-present in the evangelical community and especially among conservative evangelicals.
Purpose of Site
Naturalis Historia is the repository of my extended writings from my personal research on science and faith issues, some less formal thoughts and short highlights (NH Notes) of pertinent stories about science and the church. For close followers (Email, Twitter or Facebook) new articles will usually include information-rich original writing rather than simply links to other stories though I will include periodic links to especially good external content within my posts. At times I will also include posts that include my own personal photography (NH Photos) and some general interest natural history stories that are just cool science.
Comment Moderation Policy: This site is not intended to be an open creation/evolution or theist/atheist debate board. I post articles that readers can decide if they find useful but I won’t necessarily discuss my writings further usually due to time constraints. Comments are welcome and I will do my best to respond to serious questions but will not engage in long polemic arguments. If you wish to have a pejorative-based debate with other users I will ask you to take it to another site. Comments that disparage others, are rude, and do not engage with the content in a meaningful way as I determine will result in their not being posted. The New York Times has a reasonable policy that I will try to emulate:
We are interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article…Our standards for taste are reflected in the articles we publish…we expect your comments to follow that example. A few things we won’t tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity…commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence and SHOUTING…
Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we have created a space where readers can exchange intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information. While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can.
Copyright Information and Free Use Policy
All written works on this site (TheNaturalHistorian.com), unless otherwise quoted or referenced, represent original compositions of the owner of this site – Joel Duff – and are protected under the creative commons licensing 2.5. Readers who wish to use materials in classrooms or for any other education purposes are may freely photocopy the text of any article provided they acknowledge myself as the original source. Image use: All images from my own photography that are used on this site can be used for any purpose as long as longs as the source is cited. Other images that appear on this site are drawn from multiple sources and permission for additional use it not mine to give. You should locate the original source (hopefully I have acknowledged those both in the common domain and otherwise) and seek permission from them.
If you are looking for my photography in addition to the pictures I have posted here, you may find them at my home for photography: BeechnutPhotography.com.
Disclaimer: The thoughts that I have shared on this blog do not represent any institution with which I am employed or am a volunteer. The thoughts I have expressed in old posts may have changed over time and thus don’t necessarily represent my current state of thought on some topics. This blog represents an opportunity for me to improve my writing skills and sharpen my own thinking even while sharing some of the knowledge I have gained over 20 years of reading and writing about science and faith.
Please note that content of posts may be updated periodically as I find errors or am pointed to areas of poor logic or lack of clarity. Usually these will be posted as updated version of previous articles.
Please use the contact form below to leave me a message. You may also send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.