Geniuses for Genesis


Interview with the Ho family

by Mark Looy

This is an amazing family: four siblings who all entered university by the age of 14 or younger (one at the age of 10!).

From left: Susanna, William, Esther, Samuel, Adina and Sean.

In the eyes of the secular world, what makes them even more amazing is that these exceptionally gifted children (now adults) believe in the Bible from the very first verse, including the historic and scientific reliability of the book of Genesis.

The Ho children–Samuel, Adina, Susanna and Sean–are the four remarkable children of Dr William Ho (M.D.) and his wife, Dr Esther Su (Ph.D., biochemistry). Fleeing the Communist Revolution in China of the late 1940s, Dr Ho settled in Hong Kong, where he received his medical qualification, and then emigrated to the United States in 1964.

His fiancÈe, (later, Dr) Esther Su, had already moved to the US from Hong Kong and was finishing her Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Michigan (they had grown up together in Hong Kong). Their life stories and Christian testimonies (to follow later) are fascinating in and of themselves, but when interviewed, these parents concentrated on their four exceptional children and how the Lord was equipping and using them for ministry:

Son, Samuel–entered the University of Washington (Seattle) at age 10! He completed his mathematics degree at 13, and earned a Ph.D. in computer science at the age of 22. He is currently working in computer research in Massachusetts.

Daughter, Adina–enrolled in the University of Washington at age 14 and received two bachelor’s degrees by the age of 19 (in chemistry and music). She then obtained graduate degrees in genetics and psychology (four different degrees in all), and is currently a school psychologist in Massachusetts.

Daughter, Susanna–entered the University of Washington at age 14, and earned two bachelor’s degrees by the age of 18 (in chemistry and biochemistry). By age 26, she had earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. (in molecular genetics) from Harvard Medical School.

Son, Sean–enrolled in the University of Washington at age 13, and by the age of 20, had earned both a B.S. and M.S. in mathematics. He is currently finishing his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of North Carolina.

In an interview conducted with Dr Su in North Carolina (with son Sean at her side), she revealed that what makes her most happy about her four children is not their incredible scholastic accomplishments, but that they are believers in Jesus Christ–and that they actively share their faith in one-on-one evangelism and through public lectures. Each one gives illustrated presentations on Bible/science topics to a wide range of audiences.

The children’s father, Dr Ho, gives credit to his wife in raising their four “unusual children” as he termed them. “In my family, God has given me a loving and saintly wife who has all but sacrificed her career in biochemistry to care for our children, who now serve actively at church.”

Now that Dr Ho has given up his medical practice, he devotes most of his time to speaking on a wide range of issues, including creation vs evolution (which is one of the most-requested topics he receives).

At dinner, Sean (at age 23, the youngest sibling) made a mock apology for being the “slackard” in the family because he had not yet finished his Ph.D.! He does not know where the Lord will eventually use him and his ability in computer science, but he informed me that he would definitely use his future job as a platform for sharing his faith.

Susanna told me that she “came to know Christ at age three, under the guidance of my parents”. As a 26-year-old biochemist, her years of study on the complexity of living things have shown her that “only He, the Creator, could have called life into being. Having realized firsthand the amount of research it takes to even begin to understand one small function of a single-celled organism,” she continued, “I appreciate the designing wisdom of the One who created all of life.”

Adina, now 30, shared with us that she “grew up in an environment saturated with Scripture. The Bible was read to us before we were out of the womb!” She received the Lord at age four, and from that point she was encouraged by her parents to use her “God-given reason to explore the objective reasons for accepting the Bible as literal and scientific truth”.

At age nine, Adina was already taking university classes, but her parents decided not to enrol her full-time when they discovered that she would be saturated in strong anti-Christian, evolution-based teaching, and so they placed her instead in a solid Christian high school…


image credit: Ho family photo from Answers in Genesis
image credit: Geometry Gerd Altmann