By James Bishop| Karma James Carrier, a former atheist, has a PhD in molecular biology and currently works in the biotech industry at Meso Scale Discovery that specializes in Biomarker detection and translational research. Some few years ago he studied and graduated in genetics and molecular virology at the University of British Columbia.
Karma also runs GC Science (GC stands for Grace Chapel) on Facebook and regularly dialogues about how science points towards God’s existence rather than from it. What’s even more Karma has his black belt in karate. More information can be accessed on the Grace Chapel website, and although Karma kindly provided me with his personal written testimony readers can also engage his video testimonial on YouTube.
People have asked Karma where he got his name. Comically he recalls that he received it after being “born to hippy parents.” Karma was an “honest to goodness hippy love child” whose mother was a Christian though in a “New Age-hippy sort of way.” She loved doing creative work in painting and making soap. On the other hand, however, his “father was not very spiritual and was closer to being agnostic.”
Karma’s passion for science and especially evolutionary science began when he was just a child and in this way he certainly differed from most other children his age, “when I was in grade four all the kids in my class had to write about a place that they would like to visit. Most kids, chose places like Disneyworld, or Hawaii.
I wrote that I wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands, which was the place where Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution… it was clear that I had a strong interest in science. Science in general and evolution in particular was very exciting to me. I tried to learn as much about science as I could.”
This interest was nurtured and developed at home too where his father would also make him watch science shows such as Nova and Cosmos. His mother would take him to church and encourage him to attend a church youth group which Karma found to be a lot of fun. However, Karma started falling into atheism when he left for university,
“By the time I reached university my love of science led me to a form of atheism called Marxism, which I readily embraced because I felt that it was the world view that was the most compatible with science.”
In fact, Karma even had a big soviet flag in his bedroom and would even quote Joseph Stalin! At this time his idea of “God” was simply that science was God. He was too particularly “fond of reading books by atheist authors such as Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins.”
However, when he got to graduate school things began to change in his own view of atheism, “The more I learned about science the more I realized how little I actually knew. This caused me to ask deeper questions about life. As I questioned things, I found that science did not necessarily point to atheism and in many ways actually made more sense in the light of a creator.”
Some of the thrust behind his conversion was due to reading a book penned by Richard Dawkins of which “led me down a path where I eventually came to reject atheism. You might say that, at some level, I came to reject atheism and pursue a path that led me to Christianity because of Richard Dawkins.” Other former atheists have a similar story in how it was actually Dawkins who led them to religion. Here are two other such testimonies.
However, Karma admits that
“scientific arguments played only very minor role in me becoming a Christian. What played a major role was how I was impacted by the lives of Christians.”
As a new graduate student who worked at an institution that did not have many other graduate students Karma found himself experiencing quite a bit of loneliness but “there was one group of people on campus,” he explains, that “wanted to spend time with me. Those people were Christians.”
But from a distance “they seemed like an odd group of people. They were always happy and saying nice things. They kept offering me food and always invited me to do things with them.
I wasn’t really sure what they were on but I knew I wanted some.”
Karma was disappointed when he discovered that the church they attended didn’t accept evolution but a young earth creationist view, “However, evolution never became an issue. In speaking with the minister he said that our position on evolution is not what saved us. What saved us was our faith in Jesus and that was all it took for me to become a Christian. It was not a big argument with all kinds of supporting evidence, but the fact that people loved me and listened to my views.”
What amazed Karma was the crucifixion of Jesus, “I think it really was the crucifixion of Jesus… when you see what he had gone through and suffered and realizing that someone loved me enough to sacrifice themself for me. That’s a thought that had never ever occurred to me.”
Karma subsequently went on to be baptized, “I just remember that night, that evening, there was all kinds of songs and singing and celebration. It was a campus ministry and I really had a good time, and I remember just thinking I was in so much at peace. Prior to that I was so anxious about everything.
I just remember just having a sense of peace with the world during that night.”