By: Lindsey Coyne
Last week, the Christian Faculty and Staff Network, along with several student organizations, had Texas A&M's annual Veritas forum. The Veritas forum, a nationally headquartered team, presents forums at universities across the nation in order to instill the relevance of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. The forum took place on two evenings and featured two keynote speakers addressing the question and ultimate validity of God in the universe.
The first of these speakers, Walter Bradley, a professor of mechanical behavior of materials at Baylor University and former A&M professor of mechanical
Bradley said his research in this field is to highlight "what about the universe makes it a place for complex life forms." His findings run the gamut of formulas and figures across chemistry, physics and genetics. Ultimately, the whole of the evidence provided by Bradley demonstrated that if there were an absence of certain value-specific universal constants, this planet would be incapable of supporting human life. Specifically, the values associated to the amount of "dark energy" present at the Big Bang is precisely what is needed for the universe to form. Bradley equates his interest and research in this field to his own personal beliefs in Christian deism. Within the past 15 years, everything he has found has reinforced his beliefs.
"Nothing about our universe is random, chaotic or purposeless," Bradley said, even though the deductions of past scientists suggest otherwise. Bradley co-authored a book, The Mystery of Life's Origins, based on these findings, and has presented this information in forums on more than 100 college campuses to more than 40,000 students nationwide.
Sherri Verm, a senior political science major, found the information contained in Bradley's presentation quite remarkable.
"I decided to attend because I found it very interesting that science and math could potentially work together to prove some element of theology," Verm said. She said she identified with the simple analogy Bradley offered the crowd about the chances of rolling a die 100 times and getting a six to make the emphasis about how unique, diverse and deliberate the constants of the universe actually are.
"Dr. Bradley's explanations have solidified my beliefs even more with unquestionable proof that there is a higher being at work in the universe," Verm said.
The second of the two featured speakers at the Veritas forum was A&M's Stephen McDaniel, professor of marketing and assistant department head in the
The scrolls, discovered in 1946 in a cave in Qumran near the northwestern part of the
"[Manuscripts] show how accurate scribes were in making copies of the Bible through the years," McDaniel said. "The scrolls validate Old Testament prophecies."
Critics of the provable existence of Jesus Christ have argued that prophecies about Jesus were added more than 900 years after his death, insinuating that New Testament scribes rewrote history to serve their beliefs in God. Once these scrolls were found and the Dead Sea Scroll Committee translated the manuscripts, they found prophecies about the birth and life of Christ that predate his existence by more than 100 years.
McDaniel, a self-professed researcher by nature, began his quest for the truth of these scrolls based on his need for empirical proof of his religious beliefs. He traveled to Qumran and took tours of
In attendance of McDaniel's presentation was Kristen West, marketing graduate student.
"His summary of the significance of the findings of the scrolls was what I appreciated the most," West said.
Another point that impacted West was the fact that the scrolls show prophetic evidence of the life of Christ years before he was born.
"The presentation enhanced my beliefs and gave me an accurate point of reference when describing my faith to someone else," she said.
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