I am a Christian scholar who for the past year has been trying to figure out whether biology provides evidence for God. I like Ross and Rana because, unlike some critics (see below) they show a real love of science, and speak of those with whom they disagree with respect. Augustine noted that if Christians give bad evidence to defend the Gospel, educated non-believers will assume Christianity lacks evidence. Reviewers who insist that the world must be a few thousand years old fall into this trap, in my opinion. Evidence for an ancient universe is overwhelming; if that destroys your faith, I find that both surprising and sad.
But while I was rooting for Ross and Rana, I did not find their primary argument, against the common descent of man with hominids and chimps, as convincing as their previous book, Origin of Life. (Which was a series of sharp, knock-out blows to materialistic explanations for the origin of first life.) Sometimes they were so honest in explaining the facts, and the evolutionary interpretation, that the opposing argument seemed to win.
Some really bad arguments sneak in here, too. Isn't it nice (they say) that earth has more land in the northern hemisphere than the south, since life is easier in upper latitudes? (But is life really so intolerable in Tahiti or Sydney?) People in Genesis lived longer, because they don't live near cancer-causing igneous rocks! (Then why do Japanese, in their volcanic islands, have among the world's longest lifespans? And why do Hawaiians live longest among Americans?) "The geographical distribution of these first hominids was also quite extensive (Chad, Kenya, and Ethiopia." (Why should it surprise us if ape-men traveled a few hundred miles in a million years?) Rana and Ross offer an interesting discussion of anatomical changes needed for the first creatures to walk on two legs. But then they make the bare assertion that bipedalism appeared suddenly -- without a word about whether the first two-leggers met all the criteria they laid out. (Probably no one knows, since they point out that most hominid finds consist of only a few bones.)
Many sections of the book are great. R&R give a good description of various hominids. What they say about early human migrations is fascinating; I have notices similarities between peoples in some of the areas they trace. The chapter on "junk DNA" is highly informative. (But for how much of the "junk" has a use been found? It would be helpful to put the research they discuss in clearer context.) The origin of man does appears somewhat mysterious, as they argue. I am not sure mutations and selection have the powers ascribed to them, to create new orgins, assemble living systems, and induce specified complexity.
For me, the question is not, "Was God involved?" The evidence for miracles (modern and ancient) is strong. The Gospels have withstood the most determined attempts to explain them away. (As I show in my new book, Why the Jesus Seminar can't find Jesus, and Grandma Marshall Could.)
But while R & R do show interesting differences between men and munks, in the end their argument against common descent fails to focus on the big picture. Modern man follows Neanderthal, who looked a lot more like us than a koala or a kettlefish. That overall ascending pattern of hominids, with increasing cranial capacity and shared anatomy, is hard to gainsay. God, presumably, could have made man right after the first camel -- was He trying to fool us? After a talk by Rana, I heard a Christian biologist challenge Dr. Rana at precisely this point -- "Show us a fossil radically out of order in the evolutionary order, and you'll have a case." I didn't hear an answer. So while their arguments on cosmology and first origins seem strong, this one, I think, needs work.
I am not sure Rana and Ross prove their case. They do, however, give an excellent education on paleontology, human biology, DNA, and the enigmatic origin of man. Some arguments seem fairly convincing. Just as importantly, they model a fairness, honesty and charity that are refreshing and rare on this topic, that one would wish for from all apologists.