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God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? [Paperback]

John Lennox
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2007
Evaluates the evidence of modern science in relation to the debate between the atheistic and theistic interpretations of the universe, and provides a fresh basis for discussion. The book has grown out of the author's lengthy experience of lecturing and debating on this subject in the UK, USA, Germany and Russia, and has been written in response to endless requests for the argumentation in written form. Chapters: *War of the worldviews *The scope and limits of science *Gods, gaps and goblins *Designer universe *Designer biosphere *The nature and scope of evolution *The origin of life *The genetic code and its origin *Matters of information *Taming chance without intelligence *The origin of information

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God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? + Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target: A Critique of the New Atheism + God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway?
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Hudson Plc; First Paperback Edition edition (1 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745953034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745953038
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 425,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College.

Product Description


This short book is more than just a critical analysis of the deep question posed in the title. It is a scientific detective story, which keeps the reader on his toes as the evidence is put in place bit by bit. John Lennox reaches his final conclusion in grand Hercule Poirot style, revealing the answer that he sees as the only possible solution to the pieces of evidence he has amassed along the way. If you begin this book thinking the answer to the question in the title is 'No', you will enjoy this masterful collecting of the evidence. If you begin it thinking it is 'Yes', maybe you won't in the end be persuaded to change your view, but you will certainly be faced with a lot of challenging and thought-provoking ideas that will certainly tax your powers of reasoning. Whatever your final conclusion, it is impossible not to find this a stimulating read. --Keith Frayn, Professor of Human Metabolism, University of Oxford

As an agnostic in the true sense of the word as 'not knowing', I found John Lennox's book intriguing and providing much food for thought. The relationship between science, both biological and cosmological, and Christian beliefs is closely examined and evidence carefully marshalled to dispel the idea that the two approaches are incompatible. The author is a committed Christian and an internationally recognised mathematician. Will the reader be convinced by his arguments? I must leave this to others to judge. But whatever the conclusion, one must agree that this is a well-written and thought-provoking book and will contribute to reasoned discussion on a fundamental question: Has Science Buried God? --Alan Emery, Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics, University of Edinburgh

God s Undertaker: Has Science buried God; by John Lennox is an important and topical contribution to the debate and questions about the origin of the universe and its physical laws, the origin of complex biological design and the purpose (if any) of mankind. There are some (both religious and materialists) who would like to give the impression that we have answers to these most fundamental questions, and, most disturbingly, even attempt to stifle and censor debate. However, it is my opinion that rather than inhibit further discussion we should encourage further intelligent debate about mankind's origins and that is why I believe it is essential that manuscripts such as God s Undertaker; be published and made available to the public so that they can judge for themselves. --Chris Paraskeva, Professor of Experimental Oncology, University of Bristol

About the Author

John Lennox is Raeder in Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green College. He has lectured in many universities around the world and is particularly interested in the interface of Science, Philosophy and Theology.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
201 of 217 people found the following review helpful
In this very readable and well-researched book John Lennox does a brilliant job of exposing the real issues involved in any discussion of the relationship between science and religion. The fundamental point, which he makes so well, is that the debate is NOT about science VERSUS religion, but has to do with different world views (namely naturalism - the view that there is nothing but nature and the material world - contrasted with theism - the view that there is a God ) and the relationship of each with science. Dr Lennox then asks the all-important question: Which world view sits most comfortably with science?

What is so important about this book is that it does not counter the popular rhetoric and sloganeering (characteristic of many of those who believe that naturalism is the world view that is the logical consequence of science) with more of the same. In his careful and systematic examination of the scientific evidence Dr Lennox shows that science is not only highly consistent with a theistic world view, but even points towards it. To this end he takes us on a journey that considers the history and limits of science, as well as many of its most up-to-date findings including modern evolutionary theory, design theory, irreducible complexity and information theory. Bringing to bear his analytical and logical skills as a research mathematician, he also exposes many fallacious arguments that are often used to "prove" that science has buried God.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who seriously wishes both to understand the real nature of the debate that is currently receiving much exposure in the media, and to come to a conclusion based on evidence and reason rather than prejudice and emotion.

Nigel Cutland
Professor of Pure Mathematics
University of York, UK
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88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get to the important bits... 8 Aug 2008
By ChrisP
Curious how the most negative reviewers of this book don't seem to engage with it's central points and hence don't seem to have read it properly?

Anyway, there are many good general qualities about this book already addressed by other reviewers. For me the most notable and pressing points of value that Lennox makes are the following:

1) There isn't a necessary tension between science and religion - rather between competing worldviews - most notably (for the purposes of this book) - naturalism and theism. Either one of these basic outlooks can use science legitimately to expand material knowledge, but either one can also quite easily end up using it selectively to fit in with it's ultimate assumptions and aims. So, prescriptive worldviews are the problem. (It was the Aristotelian worldview that Galileo had to overcome - held by secular academics as well as church authorities - not Christianity as such.)

2) 'God of the gaps' can actually be a tag given to naturalists in some cases ('evolution' of the gaps), where gaps in our knowledge are assumed to be obviously fillable by evolutionary processes, ahead of the necessary evidence. However, it can also be applied to areas where science has reached its distant shores and has been left with a logical impasse which it is impotent to cross using experimentation and naturalistic concepts. In other words, it is possible for science and reason to identify and demarkate areas that are inexplicable by scientific investigation itself (- in other words it's not merely a matter of time before they are fixed). There is one area (possibly among others) below where Lennox clearly seems to think that this has happened.
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73 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumph of a polymath mathematician 24 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very important book, as witness the glowing review of it in the Guardian - not known for its praise for God-botherers. Not only is it both concise and clear, it packs an enormous amount of information in. Lennox, though a mathematician, clearly has a wide knowledge of cosmology, physics, philosophy and biology to name just a few of the disciplines he discusses. I have a first degree in microbiology and genetics and yet learned a lot of new genetics from reading this.

He also has a great writing style which is witty, charming and remarkably free from rhetoric and rant which so often mar such books on both sides of the debate. Whether you agree with Lennox's conclusion or not, he will take you on a fascinating journey of discovery, on which very few readers will have visited all the varied stopping-off points.

Dr Trevor Stammers, Lecturer in Healthcare Ethics, St Mary's University College, Surrey
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, whatever your current stance 5 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a bad book at all, and it is written (on the whole) in an accessable style. It stands out from other similar books by attempting to clarrify what the author considers to be the real issues. It also scores by just focussing on one aspect of the theism/atheism/agnosticism debate, and obviously this is the aspect about which the author is most informed. There was also some discussion of the philosophy of science, which is all too often omitted or taken for granted. However, one of things that occurred to me, whilst reading this book, is that rarely do we get any discussion of the more fundamental point of what constitutes evidence. This is not as obvious as it first sounds. For example, in medical research, there are clear criteria for what constitutes strong or weak evidence for a particular treatment. In some areas of science, experimental data is considered the gold standard, whereas in others, correlational data is favoured. Outside the scientific arena, there are again very different criteria for what would constitute legal evidence. By the end of the book, the author clearly believes he has presented evidence in favour of intelligent design. If you read the range of reviews here, it is clear that some people agree with him, whereas others consider that he does not present any evidence at all. Possibly a philosphical question, but one which is very relevant to this debate.

On p. 166, he states "Is the scientific method not applicable everywhere?", as a criticism of biological sciences not accepting an arguement which he believes would be considered watertight in the physical sciences. Well, the answer is no, the method, or paradigm to use Kuhn's terminology, is not always the same accross different sciences.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book for the inquisitive mind
Published 15 days ago by mk hussain
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 1 month ago by Hugo Sobreira
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by DPA
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done John.
John Lennox provides us with this side of the argument. Here he takes us step by step along a path of logic and knowledge to not only an apologetic reply but a considered and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Iah5
5.0 out of 5 stars You might have to rethink your ideas.
Biased as I am with a daily encounter with the loving heavenly Father this book stretches the mind, and challenges us to examine our presumptions, and those of Dawkins'. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Jeremy Gibson
1.0 out of 5 stars I was gifted it by a very religious and intelligent friend, and was...
This is a nonsense Creationism book. I was gifted it by a very religious and intelligent friend, and was highly disappointed by the academic weakness of the argument. Read more
Published 1 month ago by daniel legg
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book very highly
Having grown up in a claustrophobically Catholic milieu (son of a former mother superior, nephew of a missionary nun, brother of a novice nun, cousin of a missionary priest, pupil... Read more
Published 5 months ago by rezonville
5.0 out of 5 stars An uncompromising and Devastating attack on Scientism and the New...
John Lennox succeeds masterfully in demolishing the arguments for scientism - which is based on the dogmatic belief in reductionist materialism. Read more
Published 5 months ago by hypnosis health and happiness!
4.0 out of 5 stars a comprehensive outlay and victory in Christ
Sometimes the writing was a little too deep and analytical for me but overall a most enjoyable and reassuring read.
Published 6 months ago by l
4.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective on mindless matter or design
A balanced and useful book that sets out some of the things we don't know - as well as the things we do know. Read more
Published 7 months ago by markb
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