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Faculty: Loren Haarsma

Loren haarsma616-526-8517
Science Building 160

1734 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546 

Detailed weekly schedule

Educational background

  • BS physics and mathematics, Calvin College, 1985
  • MS physics, University of Washington, 1987
  • PhD physics, Harvard University, 1994

Professional history

  • Associate professor, Calvin College, 1999–present
  • Post-doctoral research in neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, 1997–1999
  • Post-doctoral researcher in neuroscience, Tufts University, 1994–1997.

Research interests

I use a technique called electrophysiology to attach tiny electrodes to cells and measure the flow of electrically charged ions through the membranes of living cells.  Working with collaborators in the Biology and Psychology departments, I have several ongoing projects.  One project studies proteins which are important for new nerve cells to develop electrical excitability.  Another second project studies how nerve cells in the corpus callosum make functional synapses onto other brain cells.  A third project studies how high levels of potassium ions in tear fluid helps project cells on the surface of the eye from UV damage, and investigates how tear ducts help create the high level of potassium in tears.   

I also study issues at the intersection of science and Christian faith

Recent publications

Loren Haarsma, Serita Nelesen, Ethan VanAndel*, James Lamine*, Peter VandeHaar*, "Simulating evolution of protein complexes through gene duplication and co-option" Journal of Theoretical Biology  (2016), pp. 22-32 DOI information: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2016.03.028

Ubels, John L., VanDyken, Rachel*, Louters, Julienne R.*, Schotanus, Mark P., Haarsma, Loren D. "Potassium Ion Fluxes in Corneal Epithelial Cells Exposed To UVB." Experimental Eye Research, 92:425-431, 2011.

John L. Ubels, Mark P. Schotanus, *Susan L. Bardolph, Loren D. Haarsma, *Leah R. Koetje, *Julienne R. Louters, 2010. "Inhibition of UV-B induced apoptosis in corneal epithelial cells by potassium channel modulators." Experimental Eye Research 90, 216-222.

Loren D. Haarsma "Scientific Knowledge Does Not Replace Religious Knowledge"; "God, Evolution, and Design"; and "Human Evolution and Objective Morality." Science and Religion in Dialogue Vol. 1, ed. Melville Y. Stewart (Wiley-Blackwell) 2010, p.151-201.

*Katherine R Singleton, *David S Will, Mark P Schotanus, Loren D Haarsma, *Leah R Koetje; *Susan L Bardolph; John L Ubels, 2009. "Elevated Extracellular Potassium Inhibits Apoptosis of Corneal Epithelial Cells Exposed to UV-B Radiation".  Experimental Eye Research 89, 140-151

Loren D. Haarsma "Scientific Knowledge Does Not Replace Religious Knowledge", "God, Evolution, and Design", and "Human Evolution and Objective Morality." Science and Religion in Dialogue, ed. Melville Y. Stewart (Peking University Press), 2008, in Chinese translation.

Loren Haarsma, 2007. "Is Intelligent Design 'Scientific'?" Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith: Journal of the ASA 59, 55-62. 

Deborah B. Haarsma and Loren D. Haarsma, A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, and Evolution (Faith Alive Christian Resources: Grand Rapids), 2007.

L. Haarsma, "Physics: What are Matter and Energy at the Most Fundamental Level?", in Not Just Science: Questions where Christian Faith and Natural Science Intersect, ed. Dorothy F. Chappell and E. David Cook (Grand Rapids: Zondervan) 2005.

L. Haarsma, "Evolution and Divine Revelations: Synergy, Not Conflict, in Understanding Morality" in Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective, ed. P. Clayton and J. Schloss (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans) 2004.


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Science and Christian Faith

Loren Haarsma speaks and writes about the relationships between science and Christian faith. See his website for more information.

Featured publication


Read about the first edition of Origins.