University professors discuss God, ‘Big Bang Theory’

Chalice Keith/The News
Josh Ridley, assistant professor of physics, speaks to the crowd.Chalice Keith/The News Josh Ridley, assistant professor of physics, speaks to the crowd.

Story by Brianna Willis, Staff writer

Chalice Keith/The News Josh Ridley, assistant professor of physics, speaks to the crowd.

Chalice Keith/The News
Josh Ridley, assistant professor of physics, speaks to the crowd.

The theater on the third floor of Curris Center was bustling and cheerful Monday Aug. 31, all to hear about the scientific evidence of God’s existence.

Students, faculty, staff and community members began to fill up the room, leaving standing room only as laughter and excited chatter energized the air.

The Christian Faculty Network hosted God’s Blueprint: Scientific Evidence for a God Designed Universe.

Josh Ridley, assistant professor of physics and Murphy Smith, distinguished professor of accounting were the two guest speakers who took turns presenting scientific data for their beliefs.

The presentation was informative, yet laid-back. Occasionally a joke would be made to really emphasize the points being presented.

“Now it’s time to get serious, and of course, I’m talking Star Wars,” Smith said, and proceeded with a story about Obi-Wan Kanobi.

Quoting Kanobi, he said there was no such thing as mere luck, tying the story into his point that nothing – including the universe – is by chance.

However, it wasn’t all jokes and pop culture references.

Smith and Ridley used math, astronomy and physics to support their claims of a God-designed world and cited several scientists and philosophers, such as Albert Einstein and Cicero.

Smith and Ridley’s presentation centered around the notion that God invented the universe through the “Big Bang,” a theory that suggests that approximately 13.8 billion years ago stars and galaxies began to form through scientific processes.

Smith and Ridley moved through the presentation making scientific concepts absorbable to the audience and relating everything back to biblical text.

They left the presentation open ended, admitting that different conclusions may be drawn from the same data; however they personally don’t believe in random coincidental happenings.

They believe in God, but said everyone is allowed to make their own opinions.

“Everyone” consisted of the large crowd of the theater, and Ridley said he was shocked by the turn out.

“When I looked out there wasn’t an empty seat and people were standing up,” Ridley said.

He said this was a pleasant surprise, but also an indicator that people want to hear other opinions.

“A lot of college students think ‘I have my religion I can’t have science,’ or, ‘I have my science I can’t have religion,” Ridley said.

He doesn’t want students to be afraid because they’ve only known one thing. He said that it is OK to hear a variety of opinions.

Tyler Covington, freshman from Murray echoed that sentiment.

Covington said he is a religious person and is involved in Christ Ambassadors on campus.

He said a family friend recommended the event to him, but that it was more than a recommendation that made him attend the event.

“I’ve heard arguments against God’s existence, so I’d like to hear views for God’s existence to help strengthen my faith,” Covington said.