Scientist and Apologist Hugh Ross
In His Own Words
by Hugh Ross Ph.D.
I was born in Montreal and raised in Vancouver, Canada. My parents were morally upright but non-religious. Our neighbors could also be described as non-religious. I did not know any Christians or serious followers of any other religion while I was growing up.
Though my neighborhood was poor, its public schools were outstanding and its libraries well equipped By age seven I was reading physics books as fast as I could check them out. By eight I had decided to make astronomy my career. In the next several years my study of the big bang convinced me that the universe had a beginning, and thus a Beginner. But, like the astronomers whose books I read, I imagined that the Beginner must be distant and non-communicative.
My high school history studies disturbed me, for it was obvious that the peoples of the world tended to take their religions very seriously. Knowing that the European philosophers of the Enlightenment largely discounted religion, my initial response was to study their works. What I discovered, however, were inconsistencies, contradictions, evasions, and circular reasoning.
The obvious next step was to turn to the "holy" books themselves. If God the Creator had spoken through any of these books (and I thought He probably had not) his authorship would be obvious: the communication would be perfectly true. I reasoned that if men invent a religion, their teachings will reflect human error. But, if the Creator communicates, His message will be error free and just as consistent as the facts of nature. So, I used the facts of history and science to test each of the "holy" books.
Initially my task was easy. After only a few hours (in some cases less) of reading, I could find one or more statements clearly at odds with the facts of history and science. I also noted a writing style best described as esoteric and mysterious; it seemed inconsistent with the character of the Creator as implied by the facts of nature. My task was easy until I dusted off the Bible that the Gideons had given me several years earlier as part of their distribution program in the public schools.
I found the Bible noticeably different. It was simple, direct, and specific. I was amazed at the quantity of historical and scientific (i.e., testable) material it included and at the detail of this material. The first page of the Bible caught my attention. Not only did its author correctly describe the major events in the creation of life on earth, but he placed those events in the scientifically correct order and properly identified the earth's initial conditions.
For the next year and a half I spent about an hour a day searching the Bible for scientific and historical inaccuracies…
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