I became interested in Christian Apologetics when I was a college student. Actually I had lost my faith by the time I reached school senior years, and wanted to know the truth. That is the time when someone gave me a copy of Bible and Modern Science by Dr. Henry M. Morris.
From there it was almost 14 years of study — of Bible, history, archeology, the mathematics of probability, chemistry, and physics — before I came to the final conclusion. The conclusion was that a rational person needs to make a choice between evolution or creation based upon which of these models best fits the available evidence. I decided in favor of creation.
Dr. KG Bansigir, one of India’s most prominent physicist was the Professor and Department Head. The School of Advanced Studies and Research in Physics at the Jiwaji University was a centre of excellence at that time. Dr. Bansigir had seen to it that an atmosphere highly conducive for open discussion was created and maintained.
What the department called “Seminars” were a frequent event. In it a student or faculty member would speak for about an hour on a selected topic from Physics, and then the audience made up of MSc. students, PhD researchers, the professors, and (at times) specially invited subject specialists would grill this person for 3 to 4 hours on that topic.
Picture: A Michelson interferometer for use on an optical table
The seminar was never easy for the speaker, but it forced him to think through the subject and present it in the most accurate way. I still remember when I was speaking about the Michelson’s Interferometer. A couple of professors from the Engineering College and the nearby Science College were present. As the questions proceeded, they finally came to a question where I was supposed to get a white band of light. On being asked the theory, I explained it with surgical precision, and then dropped a bombshell that the band I got was dark instead of white. You should have seen the commotion, because what I got in the laboratory was just opposite to what the textbooks had been saying for around four decades before me.
I was only into the second month of my MSc., but instead of brushing aside the anomaly I reported, my professor made it a point to spend several hours with me in the darkroom studying the anomaly. He then presented a “Seminar” in which he explained how textbooks and researchers tend to neglect anomalies — though anomalies often help one to perfect the theory. He then went on to present the mathematical justification for this anomaly. That was back in 1976. But many things happened after that.
The most important development was the academic bonding that developed between me and my professor. We made it a point to challenge each other’s assertions in a spirit of research and were not content till the other person offered a satisfactory answer to the challenge.
Once when I mentioned the evolution of life as the result of random processes, he immediately challenged me in the classroom. That was a bit embarrassing, because he was known to be a non-creationist. But that challenge worked wonders. He was the most outstanding teacher of the mathematics or Probability. Thus with his help I started to explore the depths of probability and molecular evolution. This was an eye opener.
He, to the best of my knowledge, never became a creationist. But by challenging my leaning towards evolution he questioned me on mathematical-scientific grounds. Eventually he helped me to see the impossibility of molecular evolution through blind chance.
Objectivity, whenever it is directed to science, has to result in the conclusion that blind chance is a destroyer and not creator of order. [Picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson_interferometer]
[Dr. Johnson C. Philip is a physicist, with expertise in Quantum-nuclear Physics, and has worked extensively on the inner quark-structre of Protons and Neutrons. He has also specialized in Christian Apologetics, Biblical Archeology, and several other fields]