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Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? [Paperback]

Denis Alexander
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: 10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 July 2008
Dr Denis Alexander is a neuroscientist who believes passionately in both the biblical doctrine of creation and the coherence of evolutionary theory. His book draws on the latest genetic research. What do we mean by creation and evolution? What are the common scientific objections to evolution? Is evolution atheistic? Who were Adam and Eve? Can the concept of the Fall be reconciled with evolutionary theory? How could a God of love create a world where animals kill each other? What about intelligent design? The author concludes that the question in the title is a false dichotomy: we do not need to choose, since both are true. 'Nature is what God does' - Augustine

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Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? + Beyond Belief: Science, Faith and Ethical Challenges
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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: 21.6 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read For Anyone Interested In This Debate 30 Dec 2009
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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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A neat "both/and" solution 6 Jan 2009
By Dr. Nicholas P. G. Davies TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant exposition 2 Feb 2009
This book is a rare bringing-together of sound biblical and outstanding biological scholarship. The result is a very readable exposition of the unassailable claim of Darwinian Evolution to be fact rather than some sort of fanciful theory, whilst maintaining that the biblical accounts of the Creation in no way contradict the science. Quite brilliant; a MUST READ for anyone interested in this question.
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61 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alexander "de-bate" 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Well reasoned and probably correct although the author believes in a more absolute 'word of God '
bible than I do. ( I go for inspired by God , Written by error strewn man)
Published 3 months ago by dr.john
3.0 out of 5 stars Science and religion in stark contrast, but not as the author intended
Whilst disagreeing with the author on many points (more later) I did respect both the scientific and biblical learning that he brought to this book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Euclidean Norm
5.0 out of 5 stars Dealing with a divisive question
This helpful book is written by a well qualified author and forms an excellent basis for discussion amongst those interested.
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. M. L. Mather
2.0 out of 5 stars The basic argument is our spiritual fathers weren't as smart as us
This isn't a review but the reason I returned the book. The author starts off well with that oh so reasonable tone characteristic of the educated and then proceeds to insist that... Read more
Published 14 months ago by platosdunce
5.0 out of 5 stars We choose both!
This is probably the best of the works which commend both creation and evolution together as the best explanation for the world we see around us. Read more
Published 16 months ago by I. Jarvis
4.0 out of 5 stars Very sensible, thorough and interesting
Really level-headed and interesting.
I learned a great deal about what genetics can tell us, which is amazing. Read more
Published 16 months ago by althea wilkinson
2.0 out of 5 stars Strong on Science, Dismal Theologically
A number of reviewers have noted that the level of scientific content in this book is perhaps a little beyond the needs of the general reader and I would probably agree with them... Read more
Published 24 months ago by D. J. Favager
4.0 out of 5 stars Very clear and helpful
I only read this book because I started to read the counter-argument (Should Christians Embrace Evolution? Read more
Published on 18 July 2012 by Mr. T Holton
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
A beautifully written account of the latest genetic research and how this informs current evolutionary theory. Read more
Published on 14 May 2012 by Zandor Trout
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and well reasoned
The book gives a good balance of detailed evidence for evolution, scholarly assessment of biblical texts and a sound demonstration of the consistency of both. Read more
Published on 24 April 2012 by P. D. Hemsley
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