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On the Road with Our Supporters

Tom Winkler
Photo credit: Yeshi Kangrang via Unsplash.

In most of my work representing Discovery Institute as a Regional Ambassador, based in Texas, I meet with men or couples of my age or older. As enjoyable as these meetings are, I was recently fortunate to have two interactions that were a welcome variation.

The first took place because a long-time supporter of Discovery introduced me to a young lady who was discouraged by her experience with the graduate program at a church-related university. She was working on a master’s degree in divinity and was disillusioned at the way the authenticity of her faith was questioned by her professors, and at how materialism and Darwinism were the default worldview for explaining both the origin and development of life on Earth. 

She was discouraged, because this viewpoint was diametrically opposed to what she had learned from her parents and community growing up. The young lady was very bright and articulate. She was extremely attentive as we discussed the history and mission of Discovery Institute, especially the Center for Science & Culture. She was very interested in the information and materials I shared with her. She planned to order Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical and Theological Critique. We continued exchanging emails and met face to face. It was easy to sense the hope in her responses as she became aware that there is indeed a scholarly rationale to support a theistic worldview. 

Encounter at a Coffee Shop

A second, seemingly providential encounter came as I was in a coffee shop. Again, I was meeting with a new supporter, in a different city from the first. As we talked, I could not help but note that a young woman nearby was eavesdropping. I noticed a smile on her face. After our donor had to leave and we were both rising to say goodbye, this lady seemed to want to talk with me.

She told me she was grateful to have overheard some of our discussion. She had recently earned a PhD in English from one church-related school and was currently serving as an adjunct instructor at the same university the first lady was attending. She was not in the theology school, but was in the English undergraduate department teaching critical thinking and composition. She too was disillusioned about the worldview at both institutions. She described her experience at these schools,, and told me she was fearful she would lose her job if her theistic view became known to her colleagues.

She too was both encouraged to learn about Discovery and was glad to receive some materials and perhaps make connections with Fellows who come from similar backgrounds.

Both young ladies were interested in the CSC’s Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design, where they could potentially spend time with women and men with similar stories from a range of academic disciplines, and from all corners of the world.

To our current friends and supporters, and to others interested in contributing to our mission: please know that these two young ladies are representative of many others who are desperately seeking our message of purpose and hope. Thank you for helping us make that possible.

Thomas Winkler

Thomas “Tom” Winkler is the Regional Ambassador, primarily for the South Midwest and parts of the Northeast. Tom came to Discovery in 2017, after being a friend and supporter of Discovery Institute for several years. He is a semi-retired family physician from the Dallas area. A native of Fort Worth, Texas he did his undergraduate pre-med studies at Oklahoma Christian University. He received his M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Alabama and has over 34 years of experience in the field of medicine. Tom serves as a board member of Arms of Hope, a member of the Chancellor’s Council at the University of Texas, and as an elder at Saturn Road Church of Christ. Tom is passionate about our work and enjoys getting to know our donors and network of enthusiasts, wherever they may live in the US. He has been married to his wife Sharon for 30 years and they have three children and 1 granddaughter. In whatever spare time he can find, he is an avid reader, loves to golf and attend sporting events.

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academiaCenter for Science & Culturechurchescoffee shopDarwinismDiscovery InstitutedivinityEnglishevolutionhopematerialismorigin of lifeprofessorspurposeRegional AmbassadorSummer SeminarsTexastheismtheistic evolutionuniversitiesworldview