Interview with a Nuclear Physicist

Jonathan McRae photo TRIUMF

Dr. Vernon Cupps

by Brian Thomas

Dr. Vernon Cupps earned his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Indiana University and has 73 publications in secular scientific journals. In addition to working at Fermilab for 23 years, Dr. Cupps worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Canada’s TRIUMF Accelerator.

Those who scoff at biblical creation often claim creation scientists “aren’t really scientists,” saying they don’t perform actual research or publish in scientific journals. Brian Thomas’ recent interview with Dr. Cupps covered his reasons for becoming a creationist, as well as scientific evidence supporting the Genesis account.

Vernon Cupps became fascinated with science in seventh grade and knew then he wanted to be a scientist. His specific interest in nuclear physics came during a physics class at the University of Missouri as he studied the nucleus. Since childhood, he has believed the Bible is infallible, but there were steps involved in his becoming a creationist.

Brian: What do you mean by “creationist”?

Dr. Cupps: Creationism, the belief that Genesis is absolutely correct in its assertion that everything was created ex nihilo in six days by God, is something that I had never specifically concentrated on—I just simply believed the Bible. I spent most of my career in physics and mathematics, and I didn’t think much about the consequences and implications of that particular part of the Bible. But I began to in the 1990s when I read books by Dr. Henry Morris, Hugh Ross, George Pember, and many others. I tried to get a vast range of opinions on the subject, and it became crystal clear to me that the only reasonable point of view was that Genesis is absolutely correct in all that it asserts to be true.

Brian: So, you started with “I’m a Christian, I believe the Bible in general,” and then you spent most of your career as a physicist focusing on how the world operates, not how it originated. But you spent years studying the origins subject. Was there a moment as you studied that really resonated with you, where you said, “This makes sense”?

Dr. Cupps: One thing that most resonated with me was that the day-age theory and the Bible couldn’t both be true. The day-age theory is expounded upon by Hugh Ross and his contemporaries, and that theory—or that hypothesis, rather—says that they believe the days set forth in Genesis chapter one are really ages. But the translation of the Hebrew doesn’t allow that to be the case. That’s not proper exegesis of the Bible.

Brian: Why can’t we insert vast ages for days?

Dr. Cupps: The Bible doesn’t allow it. If you go that direction, where do you stop? Because now men are interpreting God’s Word in a way they want to interpret it…

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image credit: Jonathan McRae Photo TRIUMF