‘Caving in’ to Creation
CMI-Canada hires world-class geologist Dr Emil Silvestru
Published: 3 February 2006 (GMT+10)
20 April 2002
Dr Emil Silvestru has an amazing story of how God converted him from a staunch evolutionist to a Bible-defending creationist:
I was born in communist Romania in 1954. My parents had absolutely no Christian background. My grandparents, who lived before communism had crushed my native country, died before I was born, so I had no idea about the devastating influence of that ideology. Consequently, I grew up as an atheist and convinced evolutionist. Socially, I was a rebel.
Rebel hippie meets godly wife
God had a loving and gentle way to deal with this rebel: He chose to send a special person who would change my life: my wife Flory. The first time she saw me I was a longhaired, post-hippie, shaggily dressed, 27-year-old cave dweller. Yet (she later confessed) a voice inside her said: ‘He is going to be your husband!’
Geology research reveals a Creator
Before Flory’s vision became reality, I had to change my worldview. I began to realize through my research that there was a God. I was able to see a world full of beauty, harmony and humour—especially deep down in the pitch darkness of the caves. (Cave research became one of my areas of specialization.) It was obvious to me that the things I was studying could not come into being by mere chance. I felt comfortable with my views, and thought that God was simply watching me and every now and then patting my shoulder to say ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘try again’. Yet, as I started going to Flory’s church it became clear to me that I had to have a personal, ongoing relationship with God. It was then that I knew I had to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.
Science meets the Bible
After years of asking Flory why she never finished reading ‘that book’ (the Bible, which she faithfully read every evening), I started to read it too! It immediately became clear to me that there was something I had to do: put my scientific knowledge in concordance with the Scripture. Initially, many things sounded nonscientific. However, I knew there was no way the Bible was erroneous because it was inspired by a supreme, omnipotent Being, God the Creator, whose intelligence and power are infinite. As a matter of fact, I recognized the logical absurdity of claiming that human intelligence (which is limited by definition) can identify errors in the work of an infinite and omnipotent intelligence—it is like saying that a flea could tell Bach he played a false note just because the flea can jump to the rhythm of Bach’s music!
Thinking about causes and effects
Then it dawned on me that everything I was taught in geology actually began with assumptions: If it was so initially … then this is why it is so now. But what if it wasn’t so in the beginning? What if ‘in the beginning God created …’? You see, for a geologist, this view raised a number of important questions:
- Is it possible that the rock-building, rock-eroding processes normally associated with millions of years could be compressed into a time frame of about 6,000 years?
- Is it possible for the mountains to rise very quickly?
- Can tectonic plates move much, much faster than the inches/year we measure today?
- Is there a problem with the radiometric dating methods that suggest millions or billions of years of geologic history?
Freeing my mind of all the dogmatic aspects of my education, I came to realize that the answer for those questions could be ‘yes’ without violating reason and my scientific training. Just one example: I have dated stalagmites (those spikey things on the floors of caves—Ed.) to over 100,000 years, according to the standard 234U/232Th dating method. But I had never considered an important consequence of such an age: the tiny water droplet, which built that stalagmite, had to arrive at precisely the same spot on the floor of the cave for 100,000 years!
Well, I knew—and all karstologists1 know—that the surface of limestone terrains above caves changes dramatically in short periods of time. And any change at the surface also changes the location of the water droplets inside the cave. However, the stalagmites do not indicate any changes. So the conclusion is simple: they cannot be that old. And that fact indicates that the dating method is fallacious.
Discovering the answers in Genesis
At that time I contacted [CMI] via the Internet and was quickly exposed to the incredible wealth of creationist literature and solid biblical arguments associated with the ministry. My way of thinking began to reshape quickly. I had to ponder a fundamental problem: if fossils existed before Adam and Eve, than death existed before the sin—and that would nullify the very message of the Gospel. When I accepted God, I also accepted His infinite intelligence and the perfection of His Word. So obviously something was wrong with the ‘science’ I was taught. In His infinite goodness and kindness, God opened the opportunity for me to use the rest of my life to find out what is wrong with the evolution-based interpretation of science.
He has helped my family cross the wide ocean to live and serve with CMI–Canada. I now trust completely in Him, and I know that my adopted country—with its vast lands and large population—offers untold opportunities for research and teaching.
- Karstology—the interdisciplinary study of karst geosystems, i.e. limestone and other soluble rock terrains generated mostly by chemical solution and characterized by caves, sinkholes, sinking streams and rivers, etc. Return to text.