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God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? Paperback – 20 Mar 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Books; New Updated ed. edition (20 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745953719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745953717
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

...Lennox is measured, careful and full of sweet reason. --Unknown

About the Author

John Lennox is Reader 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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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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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