Dr. Ronald Numbers died on July 23, 2023, at 81. Numbers had an interesting journey from being a Seventh-Day Adventist to an agnostic and supporter of Darwinism. He is best known for his studies and books on Adventism, Creationism, and the history of science.
In 1976, Dr. Numbers wrote an excellent expose’ of Adventism titled Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White. His study of the topic led to his leaving the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. This book remains an excellent source for those wanting to know the weaknesses of that denomination.
In 1992, Ronald Numbers wrote The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism, a scholarly study of the history of the creationist movement. He revised it in 2006 with the subtitle changed from “Scientific Creationism” to “Intelligent Design.”
Although Ronald Numbers disagreed with the faith of the creationists he wrote about, he showed respect for them and presented factual history. Dr. Numbers was Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin from 1974 to 2013. Among other writings, he co-edited the eight-volume Cambridge History of Science.
In our exchanges with Dr. Numbers, he was always polite, interested, fair, and understanding. He had his own beliefs, some of which I disagreed with, but he strived for accuracy and fairness and set a model that the evolutionist and creationist camps should emulate.
— John N. Clayton © 2023