Dr. John Ashton of Newcastle, Australia, is a compelling example of a serious research scientist who bases his beliefs regarding the origins of the universe and life on the Bible.
Dr. Ashton believes that this is a field that expands beyond the area in which science can express itself using its own methods. Moreover, as a prolific author, Dr. Ashton has published, among other things, extensive testimonies from more than a hundred scientists with great scientific recognition and integrity, in which they unequivocally declare themselves believers and supporters of the biblical account of Creation.
AB: Dr. Ashton, how did you become interested in science and religion?
JA: I’ve always been interested in science, ever since I was a student at school. That’s why I went to a technical college in Newcastle. I worked in the field of steelworks, at the largest steelmaker in the Southern Hemisphere, in the research laboratory, as an assistant to one of the principal researchers. He was a practicing Christian. We talked about Jesus and Christianity, and that’s how I became interested in the topic.
AB: Did you have Christian beliefs at the time?
JA: No, I was not a practicing Christian although, through my family, I belonged to the Methodist church. However, when my father died, I decided that it would not be good for me to drink or smoke. I was 13 years old. Yes, I realised that I need to cherish and protect my brain. I was a very good student…
AB: You came to a very serious conclusion at just 13 years of age. Did you have the strength to keep your promise?
JA: Yes. When I was in college, most of my colleagues drank alcohol, and when we went to a restaurant together, the other boys would make fun of me. I had also decided not to have sex before I got married.
AB: Had anyone cautioned you against pre-marital sex?
JA: No, I was told the exact opposite. I was told it was okay if you had sex, as long as you protected your partner. When I heard that, there was something inside me that was telling me it wasn’t right, so I made that decision and I’m very happy I did that.
At the age of 20 or so, I finished my chemistry studies at the local university and wondered what my purpose in life would be. I could see what was happening to the great professors of the world, because I had very important professors, doctors at Cambridge, at Oxford, at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology], but they seemed empty inside. Plus, they drank, they smoked, so they weren’t an example to me.
I talked to my mother because I wanted to know more about God, and she told me to go to church. So, one Sunday, I decided to go to the Methodist church in my home town. It was not a large church. I think the preacher saw me coming in because he pointed out that we need to believe in Jesus. When I got home, I told my mother that I wanted to know more about the Bible and I didn’t know how to get around that. She told me to go to an Adventist church because they have Bible studies every Saturday morning. She had been there several times after my father died. I went there. I had no problem accepting the Sabbath because I remembered that my father used to say, when I was little, that anyone who says they respect the Bible and doesn’t go to church on Saturday is a hypocrite. That was amazing. I don’t know where he got this idea from because he didn’t go to church; he wasn’t a religious person.
There were little things that came into my life and shaped my faith as a Christian. I was wondering what I was going to do, I wanted a fresh start, so I found out about a postgraduate scholarship in Tasmania. It was a chemistry research scholarship, and I did something I wouldn’t do today. I was an immature Christian. I prayed to God and told Him that if I received that scholarship, I would buy a Bible, start going to church, and start keeping the Sabbath. I received a postgraduate scholarship in chemistry, with Tasmania having the best chemistry program. When I got there, the first thing I did was buy a Bible and go to the local Adventist church.
AB: Have you always been the kind of person who makes a promise or makes a decision and keeps it?
JA: Yes, I’m like that, but it’s not easy for me. I don’t make decisions very quickly, I think about many things, but when I make a decision, I do my best to keep it.
I had many sexual temptations, as this is the age when the body reaches the peak of its reproductive function. But if we ask him, God helps us. We must make a decision before Him, what we want to do and what we do not want to do in our lives. This can be an important point.
But I must say that in those Bible classes, I fell in love with a young Christian woman whom I married; that was 38 years ago. We have four children together.
I feel very good to say that becoming a Christian is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I think I would have become a Christian anyway, but being an Adventist is even better, given the Adventist health program, which is so valuable. I became a vegetarian. My wife had been raised a vegetarian.
AB: So you went to study in Tasmania, with the scholarship…
JA: Yes, I went to study, but I also went to church, studied the Bible and was baptised in my second year of doctoral studies. I got married and got a job as a physics teacher at a technical college in the country, where we bought a house. At that time, I spent a lot of hours studying the Bible. My doctorate was rejected and I went through a very interesting situation, because I had taken an award from the Institute of Metallurgy for the research I had done for my doctorate, another award for the oral presentation. But, when I defended my doctoral dissertation, the board objected that I had not presented sufficient evidence for my conclusions. I had, but in the appendix. I considered that the evaluation of my work had been wrong. The dean of the science faculty agreed with me and told me to showcase my objections.
However, I was convinced that God was telling me that I have to give up my doctoral track and move on. So I put aside the research and began to study the Bible even more, the evidence of the historicity of the Bible, the prophecies, Creation. Many people had asked me questions about the latter, so I began to gather research material on what science says on this subject.
This is how my intense desire to start my doctorate came about, but this time in another field, in the field of Creation. Due to a number of circumstances, I was able to study with a philosopher who had studied at Oxford, Harvard and Cambridge. He also believed in Creation. I did my doctorate with him in a philosophy branch: epistemology, the study of the theory of knowledge. I also did research in the medical field, in environment studies, so I looked for evidence in the field of bio-medicine. My first doctoral research was very useful to me in the doctoral project I am carrying out now about Evolution and Creation.
AB: That’s how you started writing and publishing, first in the field of environment and health…
JA: My first book was called Perils of Progress: The Health and Environment Hazards of Modern Technology. This book was published by Bantam.
AB: That’s an important publishing house.
JA: Sure. More importantly, the past twenty years have confirmed my interpretations of the positive and negative effects of technology.
Then I wrote a book called 101 Important Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle. It focused more on nutrition and exercise. This book was published by HarperCollins. The next book was The Life Enhancement Handbook, published by Simon & Schuster.
AB: You have big publishing houses in your portfolio.
JA: Yes, I published at the best publishing houses. The next book was The Dangers of Progress and was published by New South Wales University Publishing House. In this book we dealt with the impact of human interventions on the environment and how they influence the environment. Then I published the book The Seventh Millennium: Proof that We Can Know the Future. It is a very interesting book. We followed the data presented in the non-religious literature about situations in which people foresaw the future, people who had dreams, or premonitions, who warned others of a disaster or other danger. This book was published by New Holland in 1998.
In 1999, with the same publishing house, I published the book In Six Days. I had begun to write rather for myself, about my studies of Creation. I thought about approaching the discussion differently, writing to some scholars, and asking them why they chose to believe in Creation. That’s all I asked.
I have met wonderful people, people with extraordinary experiences, because many of these people are very good Christians and great intellectuals, many are famous scientists, such as Professor David B. Gower, Professor Emeritus, still active, from the department of Biochemistry at the University of London; Professor Ker C. Thomson, former director of the U.S. Air Force Geological Laboratory, who holds a doctorate in geology from the Colorado School of Mines. This book contains fifty testimonies. And I have many more testimonies of this kind. Some said that there are fifty of them in all, but this is not the case, because I received many more answers.
Scholars who contributed to the book In Six Days :
Dr. Colin W. Mitchell, who studied at Oxford and Liverpool, received his doctorate in desert geography from Cambridge University. Dr. Mitchell has been a scientific consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for many years.
Dr. John R. Baumgardner, studying at the Technical University of Texas, holds a master’s degree from Princeton and a doctorate in space physics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Baumgardner is the head of the TERRA Code project, a 3D program for the study of the Earth’s mantle and lithosphere, and works in the theoretical division of the National Laboratories at Los Alamos.
Dr. Werner Gitt was awarded the Magna Cum Laude for his doctoral dissertation at the Technical University of Aachen and is director of the German Institute for Physics and Technology.
Andrew McIntosh, with a PhD in combustion theory from the Cranfield Institute of Technology and a PhD in mathematics from the University of Wales, is a professor of Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds and has chapters written in ten textbooks published in the field, as well as over 80 articles in specialised journals.
AB: There are many scientists, theologians and Christians who accept that God created the world, but do not limit themselves to the idea that it was made in six days. Did all these scientists in your book agree with the title, In Six Days?
JA: Yes, that was the condition, and they all agreed that the world was created recently, in six literal, 24-hour-long days, which is very interesting! All the scientists in this book believe that and have very strong arguments.
AB: What kind of reactions and reviews did the publication of this book trigger?
JA: The book was cited at scientific conferences, it aroused great interest on the Internet, being often cited. New testimonies were given. Then, the Australian press reviewed the book, too.
AB: What was the book that followed?
JA: The next book was The God Factor, which was published by HarperCollins. It contains the statements of 50 scientists and academics about their faith in God. Richard Dawkins had stated in a review of the book In Six Days that some of the scholars who had written there were in church-sponsored universities, so it was understandable that they believed in Creation. So all fifty scientists invited to contribute to this new book took their doctorates from secular universities and teach in secular universities. They also gave similar testimonies. They reveal why they believe in the historical accuracy of the Bible, why they believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and why they believe that prayers are answered.
Evolution: Impossible, by Dr. John Ashton
“This book, with information so clearly expressed, will certainly contribute to changing the views of those who are carried away by the current, this being the consequence of an education system that insists that evolution is a proven thing, despite the fact that the validity of the evidence brought in support of that theory is in a continuous and significant decline.” – Dr. James A. Allen, geneticist, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Dr. Allen holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is an international consultant in cattle breeding.
“If one accepts that explaining the process of evolution is difficult, then one must pay attention to other perspectives, and Dr. Ashton proposes alternative interpretations of the evidence.” – Prof. Dr. Warren Grubb, Professor Emeritus, School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University, Australia
AB: You have written another book with a very brave title…
JA: Yes, my latest book is called Evolution: Impossible, and I’m very excited about this book, because I think we now have enough scientific evidence to believe, in absolute terms, that evolution is impossible. Not only mechanically, but if we examine the fossils that have been found, we find that they do not attest to evolutionism; there is no evidence for gradual evolutionary changes. Something either appears suddenly on earth, fully formed, or disappears completely, or remains as it is, at the stage it is at. There is no real evidence for evolutionary change. Second, if we examine erosion and other natural processes, we find that the continents cannot be nearly as old as they would be required to be for evolution to take place.
There is no known mechanism by which new genetic information appears by chance, and this is very important. For example, the evolution of a fish into an amphibian requires the formation of legs and arms, and some people think that this can only happen through gradual changes. But this means that the fish embryo should contain new information, new codes for the legs, which come with the adjacent muscles and blood vessels, tendons, nerves and skin. All at once. Not all of a sudden, let’s say there are gradual changes, but it’s a huge mass of new codes that need to be generated probabilistically.
When we talk about random genetic mutations, we must understand that they destroy some existing structures, they do not develop new ones. If we think only of this small change, it involves the generation of a huge mass of new DNA codes, and today no mechanism is known to produce new genetic codes. Environmental changes do not lead to the production of new codes. They can activate or deactivate existing ones, but they do not create new codes, new structures in the genetic information contained in the embryo.
AB: Do you have positive signals? Are there people who have written to you and wanted to meet with you and discuss this topic?
JA: Yes, after the book In Six Days came out, a lot of people told me that this book convinced them. If we think about ecosystems, we see that everything had to be created in a very short period of time. We also find if we think about the synergy by which the ecosystem operates, the interdependence of all components of the system, the nitrogen cycle requires that animals, bacteria, and plants coexist to ensure the level of protein. Such life cycles are everywhere in nature, so everything makes sense, in terms of what we know today about science. We are in a position to say that evolutionism is impossible.
AB: Do you find that writing comes easily for you? You have published many books; is writing something natural for you?
JA: No, it’s hard for me to write. It’s like taking college exams every time. Because every book I write has to be very well researched, I have to be careful with every word, because those who don’t agree with me will always look for mistakes. They will try to prove that what I wrote is not correct and to discredit my work. I have to be very careful, and this work is very meticulous. I have to check my references very well. I always try to use the best data and references, and my books have very good reviews.
I am very thankful, I think God has blessed me, and this last book I wrote, Evolution: Impossible, was conceived as praise to God, as a testimony to Him and to Jesus. I believe that God gave me this gift, gave me a very good mind, gave me the ability to gather and synthesize information and also gave me the ability to explain these phenomena so that people can understand them. I think this is my gift and that is why I have to use it. God has blessed me so much.
AB: Thank you, Dr. Ashton, and I wish you all the best as you continue working with the same passion.