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Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? Paperback – 18 Jul 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Monarch Books (18 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854247468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854247469
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Dr Denis Alexander is joint editor of the journal Science and Christian Belief and heads The Faraday Institute in Cambridge. He is also author of 'Rebuilding the Matrix' (Lion).

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Morton on 30 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I have finally been able to pout this book down, now that I have finished it. Although the Evolution/Creationism debate is nothing like as hotly debated on the UK side of the Atlantic, Alexander (a British biochemist) sees the damage that it is doing both to Science and to Religion and here nails the fact that it ought not to be doing anything of the sort.
The very existence of people like Alexander, who have a deep and thorough grasp of evolution while also having deep religious faith ought to put the lie to the idea that these two are mutually inimical. What Alexander does, however, is to explain it. His explanation of evolution is lucid and thorough and avoids the misleading metaphors and simplifications of, say, Richard Dawkins. The discussion of genetics is not always easy to follow, but that's simply because it's a difficult subject. His demonstration that the Bible - especially Genesis - can be perfectly well understood in the light of evolution is also clear and lucid. Moreover his tone is never less than respectful for those who hold a different position from his own.
The central core of his argument - that those who cannot see that evolution and Christianity work perfectly well together springs from a misconception regarding the idea of "naturalism" - is clearly made and, from this Christian science-teacher's perspective, pretty watertight.
At this point I feel I ought to put in some negatives to make this a balanced review. It's hard to find any. It is a little hard-going at times, but the effort required in reading it carefully pays dividends. In short, I would recommend this book without hesitation to any pastor or scientist interested in evolution and/or religious faith.
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Peter Davies TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. Its great merit is that it affirms both great science and great faith. The one can, and does, benefit the other. Alexander takes us back to the idea of the scientist as one who explores the workings of God's universe. This book gets us away from the sterile either/or thinking of the evangelical atheists and the militant creationists.

The book echoes echoes thoughts from Michael Ruse (Can a Darwinian be a Christian?) who from a philosophical background shows that Christian faith and evolutionary biology are compatible, and Francis Collins (The Mind of God) who also has no problem reconciling his biological knowledge and his belief in God.

Alexander is particularly good at showing how DNA changes can generate genetic diversity which is the substrate for evolution. He also shows how natural selection is likely to be a conservative force on most occasions.

Alexander takes evolution back to its original role as a biological theory that explained the formation of new species from existing ones. As such evolution is a powerful theory, with great explanatory power. His account of species formation, and the examples provided are excellent.

Alexander is also good at showing how the idea of evolution has been exteneded to ends far beyond its biological use. The right with its belief in survival of the fittest businesses and individuals, the left with its idea of human perfectibility and inevitable historical progress, the Nazis with their idea of "lives not fit to be lived", the atheist materialist who must deny any idea of design or purpose all use evolution far beyond its intended, or valid, remit.
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By Zandor Trout on 14 May 2012
Format: Paperback
A beautifully written account of the latest genetic research and how this informs current evolutionary theory. Dr Denis Alexander illustrates in very clear language how Christians can be passionate about science, their faith in Christ and the inspired writings found in scripture. He explains how both scientific truth and spiritual truth should not be set at odds with each other but embraced whole-heartedly; they are complementary and each helps to build a deeper appreciation of the creator.
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62 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Green on 13 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In honesty, I marked this book down, not becasue it was poorly written or researched, but because I disagreed with so much of the 'naturalistic' emphasis that comes across in the overall story - even though this would be denied.

From the outset, the writer states that all Christians are by defintion 'creationists' - I agree. But I couldn't find much in the book that would differ from "The Blind Watchmaker" and a host of other similar books - albeit that DA believes that God brought the universe into existence and sustains it. Everything else differs little from 'almost' deistic beliefs (even though this too would be denied). I'm itching to know "What exactly did God do then?" Not an unreasonable question (to which I searched in vain for a coherent theistic answer), bearing in mind that biblically He raised people from the dead - which can have no naturalistic/scientific explanation!

DA doesn't deny miracles (even though the scientific community generally does) and is cautious to point out that the Genesis account does not indicate that miracles actually occured. This is quite true, but it's almost illogical. If He is capable of miracles at all (and He is) I would expect God to have acted miraculously in the Created order at certain key stages, perhaps in his direct creation of information to produce man (without common ancestry), thereby demonstrating His power, so that we are without excuse in providing fully naturalistic Just-So stories that exclude any acknowledgement of His Being.

In the Postscript, DA implies that scientists "investigate and seek to understand the works of God." That may be true of some, but not the majority, that are either atheistic or agnostic. They do what they do because they love the science and get paid for it.
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