Nuclear physicist defends personal faith
He is an associate professor of theoretical nuclear physics at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University but Dr Brandon van der Ventel is not afraid to refute the myth that science and God cannot coexist
Dr Brandon van der Ventel says evolution fails to agree with experimental results.
From a young age Brandon was fascinated with science. He loved comic book superheroes who could defeat powerful foes with scientific know-how, and he played at length with gadgets to figure out how they worked.
At university he launched into an in-depth study of how the world works. Today he specialises in relativistic descriptions of nuclear reactions and mathematical modelling of biological systems, computational physics and physics education. He has published 19 papers in scientific journals.
But Brandon says it has been difficult to be a Christian in his line of work.
"The work of creation scientists is ignored and rejected not because it is faulty, but because it rejects the evolutionary (or billions-of-years) paradigm," he told Creation.com.
So why continue to believe in the Christian account of Creation?
Brandon explains how his faith actually holds in the face of scientific discoveries.
"The Bible is unique in that it places itself firmly within human history and has withstood the intense scrutiny of generations of scholars – believers and sceptics alike," he says.
"One of the most well-known is that of Sir William Ramsay, who started out as a sceptic and yet, after years of studying archaeology as well as classical history and ancient literature came to the following conclusion: 'You may press the words of [Biblical writer] Luke in a degree beyond any other historian's and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment.'"
Brandon told Challenge he grew up in Christian home but made a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour during a church meeting at age 12.
"I knew that to be a true Christian meant I had to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation and that apart from Him there is no other way," he shares.
"It also means that we must do as he commands us by loving God and by loving one another. Everyday we must strive to be more like Him."
In 2008, Brandon followed many in academia in believing God must have used evolution when he created the world.
He held to this belief until a church speaker from Creation Ministries International challenged the premise of this thinking.
“There is really no scientific proof for evolution”"I was challenged to ask the question: do I place the Bible as the complete authority over everything, including theories in science?" he explains.
"Doubting the Bible in Genesis can often lead to a slippery slide to unbelief, where we can end up questioning the inerrancy and infallibility of the entire Bible."
After thinking through the implications of his mixed beliefs Brandon realised that God did not create death in the beginning (as evolution implies), but it was instead a consequence of Adam and Eve's original disobedience toward Him (see 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45 and Romans 5:12-19).
"If the story of the fall of Man is 'mythology' then there is no need for a plan of salvation," Brandon continues.
"This is ultimately an attack on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and His redeeming work on the cross. This is the fundamental reason why I oppose the theory of evolution."
After this talk, Brandon was motivated to search deeper into the creation-evolution controversy.
"As I studied the various articles on CMI's website I began to realise that there really is no scientific proof for the theory of evolution. Many other experts in the field of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, medicine and other disciplines have abandoned this false theory."
Today Brandon is confident that science can not only prove the existence of God but that it actually supports this and contradicts the theory of evolution.
"The final judge of any theory (or model) is if it is in accordance with experimental results, and this is precisely where evolution fails dismally," he concludes. "Thus Christians should not see physical theories such as quantum mechanics and special (or general) relativity as being a threat to the Bible."?
Visit Creation.com. for more information on Dr Brandon van der Ventel's research and that of other Creation scientists.