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32 Reviews
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Religion versus Science debate: the End?
Steve Jones is a non-believer, and has made clear in other books where he stands in the religion versus science debate. But not for him the no-holds-barred, all-out assault on religion favoured by Richard Dawkins and others. Jones' approach is calmer, sometimes ironic, but just as effective, and often even more devastating. In this book he revisits the Bible and...
Published 15 months ago by Brian R. Martin

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rambling and not really what it says on the tin
There are broadly two ways to write a popular science book. One is to pick a specific aspect of science and really dig into it. The other is to use a theme that allows you to explore a whole range of different scientific topics. But there has to be a reason for choosing the framework - and I find Steve Jones' hook in this particular book - the Bible - a little odd...
Published 14 months ago by B. M. Clegg


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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want insights from science on the big questions this is for you, 2 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Serpent's Promise: The Bible Retold as Science (Hardcover)
Steve Jones has a way with words that makes his material grip your imagination. The insights he reveals from science are powerful and extensive. Yet he carries you through complex material quickly and eloquently, often striking the point home with a dry wit and personal anecdotes. This is a long book crammed with humanity yet, and for those with a deep curiosity about life and how science can shed light on its problems, this is superb.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pomise fulfilled?, 29 May 2013
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I chose this rating because it is well written, knowledgeable, with the right balance of seriousness and humour. I liked the examples used to illustrate the points being made. I would recommend this book for its balanced approach to science and the religious examples used. Religionists and non-religious people could both learn about the World and evolution, perhaps even new insights, from this book.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There was promise but, 7 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Serpent's Promise: The Bible Retold as Science (Hardcover)
Not what I expected after reading the reviews. It became boring and "bogged down". I haven't yet finished it and don't think I will do so.
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Biblical Interpretation, 5 May 2013
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ACB (swansea) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Serpent's Promise: The Bible Retold as Science (Hardcover)
Steve Jones has not only released the serpent with it's venom but has thrown it out of the 'Garden of Eden' into an environment of controversy. Approaching the bible on a scientific discussional basis is both novel and a challenge to the faith and dictates of the believers, atheists and sceptics.

Jones's credentials as a geneticist are indisputable. How he hangs his scientific hat on theories to explain the Old Testament are another matter. His final chapter attempts to flatten religious doctrine. The 'Big Bang'of Genesis is unsustainable by any scientific explanation. The book cover tells us this is 'the greatest scientific story ever told'. The author's expertise on genetics is exemplified in the early passages of the book. The smoothness of interpretation of the evolution from the Virgin Mary, where he tells us that 'cleanliness is not as close to Godliness as the Good Book makes out' suggests the tutelage and historical foundations, to some, may have trembled but not crumbled.

What I find difficult in Jones's treatise, is where do the myth's fit into his scientific bent? Darwin was more than an astute observer, a convincing scientist to me. Richard Knight is mentioned. His views on life's philosophy (based on the penis) would have been a Freudian's delight.. Noah's flight throws up a lively discussion on the consequences of natural selection and disasters. Mutual exclusivity of the theory of science and religious beliefs are unlikely to be resolved in this book having been debated for centuries, plus.

The emphasis of the author's approach takes an admirable conviction and balanced review of available facts. DNA or be damned! I am still to be converted to all of his premises, perhaps personal. The scientific blast questions biblical beliefs. Whether they are changed by the devotees is another matter. I am foremost a scientist. Fact and evidence are in my education. I cannot explain events (including personal experiences) of life with an always convincing scientific interpretation. With psychology and medical degrees and a career embracing both, I am aware of conflicting claims of rational explanation. Chance, fate or ignorance, maybe. Science or silence? Make up your minds. This book will evoke claims and debate. Who you choose to side-with is the basis of this brave and thought-provoking book that is a worthwhile and thoughtful read. Science is fact, beliefs are part of questioning. How much has science derived from religion is another matter.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 28 May 2014
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Lorna Vince - See all my reviews
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Excellent book - so informative and interesting - extended my understanding and world view enormously - couldn't put it down - wanted more - would recommend to all seekers of truth and understanding.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars informative and fascinating to the end, 2 May 2014
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Read this if you are interested as to how genetics has influenced everything, from our need for a deity to what we can eat to our likelihood to commit crime. Marvelous
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly readable, 8 Feb 2014
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I bought this book because I have tickets to see Steve Jones at Words on Water in March. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, felt that I learned a lot, and would recommend it highly.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stimulating read, 23 July 2013
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Professor Jones has an engaging style and the book is an easy read. He covers a wide range of topics and succeeds in linking them together in a cohesive whole. This isn't a rant or a polemic, but a well structured and persuasive argument showing how science has come to eclipse religion in the minds of rational people.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 25 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Serpent's Promise: The Bible Retold as Science (Hardcover)
Having heard the author speak about this on radio I was keen to read the bbok, especially in view of the subtitle. Sadly he does not address much of the Bible at all - Creation, Adam (&genealogies), Eden, Ageing (linked to Methuselah) and the Flood get long chapters, and the Virgin birth gives a chance to explore sex and cloning, Leviticus enables him to look at health, and food issues are dicussed with reference to a mishmash of texts. A quotation from Job finally provides a peg for a discussion of origins of religious belief. A quick (and as expected well-written) summary of various areas in genetics & biological science it is, at times he strays into other scientific areas from sociology to palaeontology and shows his wide reading. The cover says he is stepping back from the noisy debate between believers and non-believers, but he insists he wants to argue that "reason is a better way to understand the physical universe than faith". However he seems to wish to steer clear of examining the most important part of the Bible - the life death and resurrection of a man called Jesus. whose name does not even appear in the index!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 30 July 2013
By 
Mr. J. R. King "johnk42" (Cleethorpes, N Lincs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Serpent's Promise: The Bible Retold as Science (Hardcover)
The only criticism is that he's a bit soft on fundamentalist morons. You need to give those cretins both barrels so they can get past the 14th Century
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The Serpent's Promise: The Bible Retold as Science
The Serpent's Promise: The Bible Retold as Science by Professor Steve Jones (Hardcover - 2 May 2013)
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