(1910-1985), Canadian anthropologist and author on science and Christianity
Arthur C. Custance (1910–1985) was a Canadian anthropologist, scientist and author specializing on science and Christianity.
Arthur C. Custance was educated at Private School in England and came to Canada in 1928 at the age of 19 After three years on a farm and two winters in the Canadian bush, he received a scholarship to attend the University of Toronto. In his second year he was converted to Christ, arid the experience so changed his thinking that he switched courses and five years later obtained an honours M.A. in Hebrew and Greek.
When World War II broke out, he was appointed to the position of materials control in a crown corporation manufacturing firing control instruments in connection with Canada's war effort. Soon after the war ended his continuing biblical studies led to a keen interest in biblical archaeology and then in anthropology, especially as related to human origins. He thus returned to the University of Toronto to obtain a Ph.D., believing that the Word of God could sustain the keenest scrutiny.
However, just before this was completed, he was invited to become head of the human engineering laboratories of the Defence Research Board in Ottawa, and in 1959 he completed his Ph.D. at Ottawa University. Until retirement in 1970 he pursued a very active program of research into thermal regulation in the human body during heat stress under combat conditions. His laboratory work led to the development of some entirely new techniques for the measurement of heat stress in active subjects.
It concerned Arthur Custance that scientists know little or nothing about theology, and that theologians know little or nothing about science. Since he believed that an established fact is as sacred as a revealed truth, his books form a bridge between science and theology. The hallmark of Christian scholarship is not that it states the Truth (which it certainly ought to do) but rather that it faces up to the Christian implications of the truths presented. His writings are characterized by a rare combination of scholarly thoroughness and biblical orthodoxy.
Custance was a Member of the Evangelical Theological Society, a Member Emeritus of the Canadian Physiological Society, a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, arid an elected Member of the New York Academy of Sciences. He is listed in the 1971 edition of American Men of Science.
He published some 30 articles in Christian magazines, has contributed articles to 11 scientific journals, and has authored some 30 government reports and papers. During 1957 to 1972 he wrote and published the Doorway Papers--60 monographs covering a broad spectrum of scientific and biblical studies. In retirement he wrote 6 major books. On October 22, 1985, in his 75th year, Arthur Custance made the journey out of time into eternity, and is now in the presence of his Lord and Saviour with whom he walked by faith for over fifty years.