My First Year In University.
Call it an excerpt from my anthropological time scale. My life at the University of the West Indies had just begun - my Cambrian experience! It was all new to me... a new environment with different people everywhere I turned. And where better to begin than in a place that seemed to be most concerned with new beginnings and hopeful, promising futures? The answer: The Department of Petroleum Geoscience. However, unlike the geological time scale which proceeded through life with an uncertain grasp of future events, I had a timetable to follow. In the upcoming weeks I began to appreciate the purpose of the discipline which I had found myself pursuing. My predisposition and love for Information Technology, Technical Drawing and the Earth never failed to keep me enthused; though that liar the Devil would try to come against me with Engineering Mathematics, Mechanics of Fluids, Statistics and Applied Chemistry. So I did not hesitate to put on the full armour of God, which would enable me to stand firm against the schemes of the Devil. While making provision to guard my heart, I proceeded to open my mind to the wonders of Geology in mapping and through the investigation of rocks. Most interesting to me was the observation of micro-fossil foraminiferans which existed in a grain sized state, yet contained extreme amounts of detail in their creation. All was well for me, until certain ideologies began to present themselves in my instruction, ideologies which were contrary to my faith in Jesus Christ as God. Ideas stating that the concept of the Earth as created by God in seven days was merely a fanciful fairytale. "Science", according to them, does not line up with the bible's teaching and research has replaced fiction with observable fact, through the rock record. I was approaching a Permian period at the end of my Palaeozoic and the love I once held for my studies began to go extinct. My hope was on the opposite end of the spectrum where my will dwelt. I asked myself, "Should I be here?" and considered dropping out of the programme.
But all was not lost. Natural Selection? I doubt. Purpose stood at the door knocking and I answered. The Mesozoic came to my rescue... around the corner the Triassic lay waiting for me and what more to do than charge in like a hungry dinosaur? So I did. I was reminded that, “…all scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.” “What if some were faithless? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? Not at all! Let God be true though every man a liar.”
Man's conventional understanding of science always changes with time and as grass withers and the flower fades, so too will their understanding, but the word of God will stand forever. His word is fixed in the heavens. I found comfort in the fact that I was not being tested on what I believe, but instead on what I was taught. And to my amazement I began to see God in the little details. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God and He is the Creator of the ends of the Earth. He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom.” I would begin to listen to my lecturers speak and believe most of what they said. The evidences they presented for macro-evolution would, in my mind, begin to affirm scripture. Then it occurred to me that the evidence is not the problem, but instead the interpretation of the evidence. I kept grounded through prayer, devotions and the relationships that I began to form with my classmates and like-minded individuals who love God from the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship group. My faith increased and my love for people followed suit. Just like in the Cretaceous, I felt my life began to blossom like beautiful flowers (and it's not because of all the food at the GSTT seminars).
So I liken my first year of tertiary education to the Tertiary Period of the Cenozoic - A new beginning. I am a new man growing to maturity and I hope to achieve it in the Quaternary time to come. My motivation: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." For me, that means giving 100% in all I do to achieve my God-given purpose and to live at peace with all men.
Paul Singh. (University of the West Indies. Petroleum GeoScience.)
Figure 1. The structure of my essay follows the Geological Time Scale. (I do not agree with the conventional dating interpretation methods due to assumptions made in the rock dating process.)