The biologist Jan Lever (1922-2010) died at the age of 88 on 23 November 2010. He was the professor of zoology at the Free University (VU) of Amsterdam from 1952 until 1986. For most of his life he pondered how the biblical narratives and science could interact. It was fitting that the day after his death Een Bioloog Leest de Bijbel [A biologist reads the Bible] was published.
He was born on 20 July 1922 in Groningen, aged 2 he moved to Den Helder, where his father was the head of a school. He was always fascinated by creation. In 1939 he studied biology at Utrecht and studied evolution. He refused to sign the Nazi loyalty oath so in 1942 he had to go into hiding. It was during that time he studied Dooyeweerd's Wijsbegeerte der Wetside (philosophy of the law idea) and explored ways his faith and science could work together. He also continued to work on his thesis.
He obtained his doctorate in 1950. In 1952 he joined faculty of the VU. In his inaugural lecture he presented his belief in God's creation with the evolutionary process as the means by which God created. He developed this much more in his book Creation and Evolution (1956 - English translation 1958).
A series of radio talks were published as Where are we? A Christian Perspective on Evolution were published in Dutch in 1969 and in English in 1970. After his retirement in 1986 he wrote and published a book on trees.
Jan Lever, 2010. Een bioloog leest de bijbel. Transrivalis
Work on Jan Lever
Abraham C. Flipse, 2012. 'The Origins of Creationism in the Netherlands: The Evolution Debate Among Twentieth-Century Dutch Neo-Calvinists'; Church History, 81 (2012), 104-147 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S000964071100179X
Ab Flipse, 2016. 'Jan Lever: Bioloog, bruggenbouwer & boegbeeld van de VU', in Ab Flipse (red.), Verder kijken. Honderdvijfendertig jaar Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in de samenleving - zesentwintig portretten. Amsterdam: VU University Press, pp. 195-202.
Harry Cook and Abraham C. Flipse, 2017. ‘Jan Lever: Challenging the Role of Typological Thinking in Reformational Views of Biology’. Philosophia Reformata 82 (1): 3-25. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/23528230-08201002