Jitse M. van der Meer was born in 1947 in The Netherlands. His interest in the engagement of religion and science was triggered in highschool by Nicolaas Rupke, now a professor in the history of science. Rupke introduced him to the controversies surrounding creation and evolution. This interest expanded into the philosophy of science during his undergraduate study in biology at the State University of Groningen (1966-69). Reading Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s Die Philosophie des Lebendigen was another pivotal experience. It confirmed a suspicion that he was a philosopher-biologist.
Yet the mysteries of embryonic development so aptly described by von Bertallanffy compelled him into graduate studies at the State University of Utrecht under Christiaan Raven and at The Hubrecht Laboratory under Pieter Nieuwkoop who was then performing the experiments that led to the discovery of an embryonic control centre known as the Nieuwkoop Centre. In that tradition he completed his Ph.D. (1978) in embryonic pattern formation at the Catholic University of Nijmegen under Klaus Sander (Freiburg i. Br.) and J. M. Denucé. This was followed by postdoctoral work in developmental biology at the University of Heidelberg (1978-79) and Purdue University (1979-82). Unable to shed his interest in the ways science and religion get entangled, he switched to research in that area. Since 1982 he has been a professor in the Department of Biology at Redeemer University College where he taught biology, history of science and philosophy of science, founded the Pascal Centre for Advanced Studies in Faith and Science (1988), directed the Pascal Centre from 1988-2000, and received an M.A. in history and philosophy of science from the University of Guelph (1993). He retired in 2013 and was appointed a fellow of the Pascal Centre in 2014. His professional writings include journal articles in developmental biology, philosophy of biology and religion and science as well as nine edited books on religious belief and the natural sciences.