"David Myers will present a timely message on positive psychology, a topic that is well-suited to the integration of faith and learning that Whitworth cares so much about," says Noelle Wiersma, Whitworth professor of psychology and department chair.
Myers says these consistent findings likely owe to factors such as religion-related healthier lifestyles and the help-giving mandates found in all major religions. While there are certainly examples of cruelties committed in the name of religion, he says, the worst examples of anything, whether it’s politics, science, religion or atheism, can make that institution look evil.
Myers cautions that these data don't validate theism, because the benefits of faith are irrelevant to its truth claims, but, he says, they do challenge the anecdote-fueled new atheist argument that religion is a force for evil.
Myers, who has been a Whitworth trustee since 1995, is a Seattle native whose writings have examined topics such as happiness, intuition, sexual orientation, social psychology, assistive listening, and ESP. He has penned 17 books, including foundational textbooks on psychology that are used by roughly 1,000 colleges and universities and have been translated into 12 languages.
Myers’ scientific writings, supported by National Science Foundation grants, have appeared in academic periodicals including Science, the American Scientist, the American Psychologist, and Psychological Science. He also has interpreted psychological research for the public through articles in publications such as Scientific American, Christian Century, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and on the Newsweek/Washington Post religion blog.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.