Dr. Jake Hebert: My Creation Journey

I joined the science team at ICR in the fall of 2011 as a Research Associate after receiving my Ph.D. in physics. Most of my ICR research focuses on deep-ice cores and seafloor sediments, as well as cosmological and general apologetics research.

My journey to taking part in a creation research ministry started early in life. I became a born-again Christian at the age of seven, but in middle school I started having intellectual doubts about the validity of the Christian faith. Although my doubts were more of a general nature and did not center exclusively on the creation-evolution issue, it’s striking that surveys show nearly 40% of young people who no longer completely trust the Bible’s account of history had their first doubts in middle school, likely due to their first systematic exposure to evolutionary and old-earth doctrine.1

By the Lord’s providence, a close family friend loaned me the book Scientific Creationism, written by ICR’s founder Dr. Henry M. Morris. This book answered many of my questions and ignited a lifelong passion for Christian apologetics, inspiring a dream to one day enter creation ministry. I have since learned that this book also greatly influenced a number of my ICR colleagues.

Because I enjoy science, I decided to major in physics in college. I received my B.S. in physics from Lamar University and then entered the graduate program at Texas A&M University. I intended to get my Ph.D. there, but I struggled and had to settle for my master’s degree in 1999. At the time, I was very disappointed and asked the Lord why He had not granted me success in this endeavor when He knew I wanted to use my education for His glory. I even tried switching majors in a desperate attempt to kick open the door the Lord had closed—not a good idea! In retrospect, I think one reason the Lord denied me success at that time was I’d made an idol out of a Ph.D., seeing in it a source of identity and self-worth, a common trap for many academics, even Christians.

Even while teaching (college level and some high school), I was still unwilling to let it go and often found myself scheming to somehow get back into graduate school. But I finally gave up and told the Lord I could accept it if obtaining a Ph.D. were not His will for my life. Interestingly, once I did this, I started receiving hints and suggestions that I should go back to school!

After entering the physics graduate program at the University of Texas at Dallas in 2007, I chose to work with a professor doing cutting-edge research on a possible connection between fair-weather atmospheric electricity, cosmic rays, and weather and climate. Because I had long been interested in climates before and after the Flood, this was a good way to get experience in climate-related subjects.

Not long after graduation, ICR hired me. I can personally testify to the truthfulness of Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” I feel that I have the best job in the world, and I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to show people that God’s Word can be completely trusted in all matters, including science and history.

But this opportunity required a great deal of work. I would urge young people not to settle for less than God’s best for their lives—His best may require much effort and sacrifice, but it is definitely worth it.

Reference

  1. Ham, K. et al. 2009. Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do to Stop It. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 32.

* Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

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