Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
A good book but not without its flaws
on 17 June 2011
I enjoyed reading this book as I like to see the arguments of Dawkins, Hawkin, Stenger and their fellow travellers given a run for their money, and at times thoroughly skewered. In this book, Professor Andrews does both admirably.
However, I have reservations too. I cannot fault Andrews for his dissection of their arguments, or for the science he presents. Some of the latter was new to me, and I found it thought provoking. Where I think this book falls short is in the theology and Biblical analysis Andrews presents. I think it is a fundamental error - I would say categorical, but my philosophy is rusty - to try and harmonise stories and writing from a culture that drew its understanding of the world from myth and poetry with the scientific understanding of the world that has grown up from the time of the Enlightenment.
For example, I think one simply cannot make a causal connection between the Fall and what we see in the natural world (pp244 and following). In addition, I do not think he can simply dismiss the Fall as mythological (reasons please) and assert, against most current Biblical scholarship, that one can view it as a simply historical narrative (once more, reasons please).
However, this and some other minor Biblical quibbles aside, I think this book is well worth reading, and a welcome addition to the ongoing debates.
Edited 17 June 2011 for a minor mistake in names cited at beginning of the review.