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A Professor’s Lecture Protested By Technology Students, Terming It Was An ‘Attempt At Conversion’

By James Varghese
1/26/08 MUMBAI, INDIA (ANS) — Students of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) have protested against a lecture delivered by a world-renowned American Professor who quoted a few words from the Bible during a lecture on “Big Bang and God” on Friday in Mumbai, India.

This news was released by http://epaper.timesofindia.com and further carried by www.hindujagruti.org.

The website said, the name of the Professor was H. F. Schaefer, who is the director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia and he was to deliver a lecture on “Stephen Hawking, the Big Bang and God.”

The news site reported that Professor in his lecture stated Christianity is true and Jesus is the way to God as he drew parallels between the Bible and the Big Bang theory. It said, that “if he makes this kind of statement about Jesus it would sound like Benny Hinn speaking on God TV.”

It even reported that, the lecture did not go down well with the secular students, who termed the talk as an “attempt at conversion.”

The site said that the five-time Nobel award nominee Schaefer quoted numerous scientists and Nobel laureates who spoke about science and God. But towards the lecture’s close, his comments started getting “religious undertones.”

It stated that the professor said, “The Big Bang is more consistent with Christianity than other religions. The Big Bang ripples are clearly pointing to an ex-nihilo creation consistent with the first few verses of the book of Genesis.”

After these few lines above, the Editor of hindujagruti.org made a note to the readers saying, “Beware Hindus! Christians are using all means for converting Hindus. This stresses the need of Dharma (Religious) Education to Hindus.”

The website said that in his lecture, Professor Schaefer quoting George Smoot, a Nobel laureate and his classmate as saying, “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the Big Bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”

Later Professor Schaefer, quoted Arno Penzias, co-discoverer of the microwave background radiation and 1978 Nobel Prize recipient in physics, as saying: “The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

The story went on to say that with those words mentioned in the lecture by the Professor, the students of the Institute got “very upset” and some students distributed a handbill protesting the lecture among the audience.

“They use impressive words to confuse [the] masses and deliver ideas that normally would not be accepted at a science and technology institute like ours,” the handbill read.

“Though Prof Schaefer is a famous chemist, his opinions beyond the domain of academic credibility shouldn’t be considered to be scientifically authoritative,” the handbill added.

The editor of www.hindujagruti.org congratulated the Technology students by stating it in his website “Congratulations to alert IITians (students) understanding [the] ploy of conversion.”

According to the website http://zopyros.ccqc.uga.edu/group/Dr.Schaefer.html, during the comprehensive period 1981 – 1997 Professor Schaefer was the sixth most highly cited chemist in the world; out of a total of 628,000 chemists whose research was cited. The Science Citation Index reports that by December 31, 2004 his research had been cited more than 35,000 times. His research involves the use of state-of-the-art computational hardware and theoretical methods to solve important problems in molecular quantum mechanics.

Despite these attacks, Dr. Schaefer is a man who certainly knows what he is talking about.