I recall an evening of intense conversation with my PhD guide at his office, which was sparked by ‘evolution and creation’. My academic years of almost three decades, with all the studies directs to a designer, an inherent presence, a master lawgiver, a friend, a loving father, a brother and beyond. The fact that resurrection is inevitable, assures us as Christians about the faith that we are driven by and the abundant grace that envelops us day in, day out.
The conversation kicked off as a result of Carl Sagan’s “we are the sons and daughters of stars”, which I disagreed to, and hence the outcome. He was somehow drawn to this very paradigm and was of the view that our existence began because of certain explosions of stars and that ‘religion’ was an outcome of this very thing to keep us within certain limitsthat our belief is merely a manifestation of general human law and hence morality is just a word.
So the conversation started to boil. He was opined that, we, as Christians should come out of the Bible context and look from a worldview, the contents of the Bible. That it is easier to defend when we are within the Bible coordinate. So he asked me to change the coordinate and look from a different point of view into the Bible as an agreement to a debate. To which I abruptly replied,” if I come out of the Bible coordinate then I would be on the same side of the axis and hence we will not be having a debate. We would be on the same side and so will look at things the same way. So let me be on the Bible coordinate and let us have the debate.” And the conversation kicked off.
It was mostly about how we view things from a natural perspective. The thing that even Higgs Boson was ‘supposed’ to have ‘occurred’ at the Hadron collider is just a mere example on this particular juncture (which I still doubt!). For him evolution was de facto and that we are all by-productsof solar dusts. That religion is a ‘thing’ that we humans have discovered along the course of evolution as a form of discipline. By this time his wife calls, enquiring as to what happened. He always left the campus at 6 o’clock but that her punctual husband was unusually late. With coffee from the brewer to ease our grumbling stomach we continued on.
I was of the opinion that evolution has a lot of fallacy. Even stating the discoveries debunking Stanley Miller’s experiment about the discharge tube. I even asserted that there is a moral law giver. Because the question of morality, meaning and hope are meaningless questions in a purely deterministic material naturalistic world. Why do we talk of good and evil if we are remnants of solar dusts?. A computer does not spell pain with the moral ramification that we spell it. When we assume that there is evil, then there has to be good. If there is good then there has to be a moral law to differentiate good and evil. If there is a moral law then there has to be a moral law giver. The moral law giver therefore, is God. Past 8 o’clock and second call later, he was still adamant that we evolved. So I asked him, “what is evolution?” then he said that any change! Can be evolution. And that we are still by-products of solar dusts-a coincidence just because two celestial bodies collided. So I asked him “if that is the case then we are no different than a pebble or a stone lying on the ground”. To my astonishment his answer was “most probably!”. Then I asserted, if evolution is a change, then even our death is itself a change. But we do not write Mr or Miss So and So...evolved on this day on the epitaph. Then the third and final call came. As he stood up to leave, he turned back and told me, “this is not done yet, We will continue” to which I obliged happily and then, he left.
It has been many years since then. My guide passed away five years back and our conversation, well sadly, we never had the opportunity to continue which we left off. But I am glad that the following Sunday after our conversation I met my guide and his wife at the devotional service. I am hoping with the small conversation that we had,maybe, spoke to him or moved him because prior to that conversation we never used to meet up at the Sunday service.
The writer is Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry SJC (A)