Confronted by the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Warren Nunn chats with engineer Colin Gibson on his journey from evolution to creation
Published: 24 August 2017 (GMT+10)
Professional engineer Colin Gibson was raised in a church where he was taught six-day creation in Sunday school but that grounding was challenged at high school when evolution and millions of years were presented as fact in his science class.
That left him confused and thinking that he must have been taught fairytales at Sunday school. Thereafter he began a slippery slide away from church but, through a remarkable chain of events, including attending an address from Creation magazine founder Carl Wieland, Colin’s thinking was turned on its head.
Colin says he well remembers how evolutionary indoctrination impacted his young mind:
“I didn’t even suspect the State school I attended would have lied and therefore I believed the evolution story taught there was true. There was no point attending church, so I stopped attending and led a very secular lifestyle. Throughout the remainder of my schooling, including two years at a ‘Christian’ private school, I was taught plenty of evolution but zero creation.”
He enjoyed watching scientific TV documentaries but was puzzled by statements about species that referred to changes within animals as ‘adapting to their environment’.
While studying engineering and computer programming at university he continued to have ‘nagging doubts’ about creatures ‘adapting’ from one kind to another.
“I could never really understand what the mechanism was that actually made the animals ‘adapt’,” Colin said.
He wrestled with why documentaries glossed over the ‘how’ of the adaptation as if it didn’t need any justification.
“What magic mechanism re-wrote the DNA software to make the animal ‘adapt’ and change it to another kind of animal, especially before the change in environment killed it? Writing my own software at uni was hard enough and took a lot of thought, so how did DNA get re-written with no effort? What was the mechanism?”
Colin knew how much intelligence was required in engineering design and, even then, any prototype machine typically didn’t function as intended and needed to be modified.
“Programming computers and designing machines are difficult tasks requiring a lot of brain power. Random guessing and mistakes simply don’t produce the desired results. So exactly how did animals just magically ‘adapt’ without any intelligence input? How did they re-design themselves and accurately re-program their own DNA software error free? Wouldn’t it be nice to have that same magic which would make programming and designing things easy?”
As he continued in his engineering studies, he came to understand the Second Law of Thermodynamics which led to some interesting discussions.
“In our mechanical engineering class we would argue amongst ourselves about this. How can things evolve at all when the Second Law of Thermodynamics says everything will ultimately degrade? Our lecturer at the time simply dismissed our questioning and said ‘the Second Law doesn’t apply to living things’. To us, this meant evolution could still occur and therefore there was no God to worry about. His statement was completely false of course, but we didn’t know any better at the time, so we all continued on with our somewhat degenerate lifestyles, thinking there was no God to fear.”
Long after university in 1991, Colin decided to attend a creation/evolution talk by Dr Carl Wieland fully expecting to hear how evolution fits in with the Bible.
Instead, when Dr Wieland pointed out that evolution was scientifically at odds with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the ‘lights went on’ for Colin.
“I knew nothing can violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics and I knew that designing things takes a lot of intelligence, not random chance. I knew the Second Law meant things go downhill and get worse, not uphill and better.”
Colin said at that point he understood why TV documentaries and university lecturers never gave satisfactory explanations but continued to advocate evolution regardless.
Now, for Colin, evolution was the fairytale and his Sunday school teachers were right.
He thereafter developed a thirst for knowledge about God and was convinced that only the Bible had accurate prophecy and a true history of the world.
“This meant that the all-knowing Creator was the God of the Bible and the gods of the other religions were false since they did not know everything. So I became a six-day creationist, Bible-believing Christian.”
When he began to live out his faith and talk with people about Christ, he soon realised the depth of sin and man’s rebellion against God.
“I remember thinking that it would now be easy for me to lead people to Christ. I thought all they needed to hear was the scientific evidence they had never heard before which points to a Creator, plus the accuracy of Bible prophecy which points to that Creator being the God of the Bible. What I didn’t realise at the time was that most people don’t want to know this and are not really truth seekers, but are in rebellion against God.”
He then understood he was in a spiritual battle, not an intellectual one and recognised the crucial need for prayer. “Prayer is required for the lost as well as evidence for creation, prophetic accuracy and who Christ is. The Gospel can then be preached and received,” he said.
For Colin, the transformation was complete. That young man who for a time believed in the lie that is evolution returned to his foundational Sunday school teaching. God did what He said He did in the beginning: “created the heavens and the earth” in six, 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago.