Hugh Norman Ross (born July 24, 1945) is a Canadian-born Old Earth creationist and Christian apologist. An astronomer and astrophysicist, he has established his own ministry called Reasons To Believe, that promotes forms of Old Earth creationism known as progressive creationism and day-age creationism. Ross believes that science teaches an old age of the earth and an old age of the universe, though he rejects evolution and abiogenesis as explanations for the history and origin of life.
Ross was born in Montreal and raised in Vancouver, Canada. He earned a BSc in physics from the University of British Columbia and an MSc and PhD in astronomy from the University of Toronto; and he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Caltech, studying quasars and galaxies. Ross was the youngest person ever to serve as director of observations for Vancouver’s Royal Astronomical Society, and before starting Reasons to Believe, he was on the staff of Sierra Madre Congregational Church. In addition to apologetics writing, Ross speaks regularly in academic venues and churches, as well as regular podcasts "I Didn't Know That" (formerly Creation Update), and "Science News Flash." He spoke at the 2008 Skeptics Society' "Origins Conference" at California Institute of Technology alongside Nancey Murphy, Victor Stenger, and Leonard Susskind.
Ross adopts the view that there are two "records" of revelation from God – the Bible and nature – which both offer accurate knowledge and each of which can clarify understanding of the other. Moreover, he argues that the Bible is the only scientifically accurate religious text when interpreted contextually.
Ross and his associates are formally engaged in proposing what they state is an alternate, scientifically testable model for the formation of the universe, earth, and life itself that accounts for both scientific and religious (particularly Christian) explanations for each. He states that the model he proposes makes certain predictions about the shape of future discoveries in cosmology, biology, and related sciences, and Ross wants his model to be judged alongside other models in its predictive success. He has not published this model in peer-reviewed scientific literature, but he outlines the basic components of the model and provides associated predictions for future scientific research in his book Creation as Science (Navpress, 2006) and its sequel More than a Theory (2009). Some of his other books include Origins of Life (2005, coauthored with Fazale Rana). His theories are expanded in the book The Cells Design (2008, by Fazale Rana). Concerning Creation as Science, Richard Smalley, 1996 Nobel prize winner in chemistry, said, "Evolution has just been dealt its deathblow."
The primary apologetical method used by Ross and Reasons to Believe is evidentialist in nature. His primary line of reasoning is that every theory will be incomplete and have some gaps. As the gaps in the theories get filled in, the evidence will grow for a creator outside spacetime who purposefully controlled and directed the creation of the universe and created life. (Cosmology has traditionally dealt with the idea that the universe has finely tuned parameters which cannot be significantly altered without destroying the possibility of life under the rubric of the anthropic principle.)
Ross believes in progressive creationism, which posits that while the earth is billions of years old, life did not appear by natural forces alone but that a supernatural agent formed different lifeforms in incremental (progressive) stages, and day-age creationism which is an effort to reconcile a literal Genesis account of Creation with modern scientific theories on the age of the Universe, the Earth, life, and humans. He rejects the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) position that the earth is younger than 10,000 years, or that the creation "days" of Genesis 1 represent literal 24-hour periods. Ross instead asserts that these days (translated from the Hebrew word yom) are historic, distinct, and sequential, but not 24 hours in length nor equal in length. He agrees with the scientific community at large that the vast majority of YEC arguments are pseudoscience, and finds any version of intelligent design inadequate that doesn't provide a testable hypothesis which can make verifiable and falsifiable predictions.
Ross is criticized by YECs for his acceptance of uniformitarian geology and astronomy over what they see as a plain reading of Genesis. YECs use speciation to explain how present biodiversity could have arisen from the small number of "kinds" after Noah's Flood. Ross holds that Noah's Flood was local yet believes it killed all humans except for those on the ark, whereas YECs generally hold that Noah's Flood was global. He and his team have also said that intelligent design is not science and agree that it should not be taught in the classroom as science without being testable.
Ross is a critic of young Earth creationist attempts, in particular Russell Humphreys, to argue against the Starlight problem.
Biographical information provided courtesy of Wikipedia