Press Releases

Seeking Understanding: John Walton

A new episode of the Seeking Understanding series discusses Dr. John Walton’s internationally recognized research on “free radicals,” and how his research has influenced his beliefs about the origin of life.

John Walton discusses origins of life

Dr. John Walton of St. Andrews University in Scotland reveals how his scientific research has informed his understanding of how life came into being

In preparation for Creation Sabbath in October, a new episode of the Seeking Understanding series discusses Dr. John Walton’s internationally recognized research on “free radicals,” and how his research has influenced his beliefs about the origin of life.

If you have ever heard of “free radicals,” then you know something about Walton’s work as a professor of chemistry at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Walton’s research concentrates not only on the destructive chemical reactions that come to mind when most people think of free radicals, but also on their positive effects. He also studies the potential of free radicals in industrial and environmental chemistry.

What we know about free radicals because of the research of Walton and other chemists can also inform our understanding of how life came into being. Based on his life as a scientist and the research he has done, what does Walton believe to be the most reasonable explanation of life’s origin? Watch a new 22 minute episode of the Seeking Understanding series, which is available to stream from the Geoscience Research Institute webpage.

Victor Hulbert, Communication director of the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventists Church, is the producer of Reformation Journey, a series of nine videos bringing themes of the Reformation to life for today’s audience. He hosted a recent preview of this Seeking Understanding episode at Newbold College, England. Afterwards, he noted that, “We had a challenging, inquisitive audience present. Christian youth today want to understand faith and origins, and need to hear how top scientists like Dr. Walton have developed their sense of wonder in God’s creation.” He went further, adding, “In today’s modern world, where the pressures of secularism are immense—both in education and across the media—films like this one are essential to faith development for our young people.” Hulbert also pointed out that this is the second of the Seeking Understanding films to feature a top scientist in the UK. An earlier episode featured Dr. Isabel de Moraes, a structural biologist who studies membrane proteins.

“I can’t think of a better film to mark three months until Creation Sabbath,” says Dr. Timothy Standish, Senior Scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California. Standish is the producer of the Seeking Understanding series. “I am constantly asked, ‘what resources do we have for Creation Sabbath?’ and the answer is that there is an astonishing variety of resources for all ages. The GRI website has many, more are available at and The John 10:10 Project has fantastic films, but the most important resource is local church pastors.”

Standish says that Seventh-day Adventist pastors should have extensive university training studying the biblical doctrine of creation. “In the hands of highly trained and dedicated Adventist pastors and lay people, films about Bible-believing scientists constitute a formidable tool supporting the mission of the Adventist Church to spread the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14:6,7 in the communities where Our Creator has placed us as His witnesses. Films like this one about Walton are powerfully faith-affirming.”

Seeking Understanding is a series of short films featuring scientists who embrace the documentation of history and view of reality found in Scripture. What is it that has led these scientists in different disciplines and from diverse backgrounds to embrace the historical record of the Bible? What is it about the research to which they have dedicated their lives that gives them confidence in what the Bible chronicles rather than alternative theories about the past? Each scientist brings their personal story and compelling discoveries that explain why they and so many other scientists do not deny, but rather embrace, the reality recorded in God’s Word.