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Arguments against atheism by John Lennox,
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This review is from: God's Undertaker (Paperback)
God's Undertaker: Has science buried God? By John C. Lennox, Lion Hudson, Oxford, UK, 2007, 192 ff
Arguments against atheism
By Howard Jones
This is one of several recent books to address the popularised atheistic views of Richard Dawkins, Peter Atkins, and others (see Poole, Markham; and Victor Stenger for a good summary of the atheist viewpoint). John Lennox is Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College of Oxford University. He explores some key philosophical questions, such as whether science has really replaced religion and accounted satisfactorily for the apparent design of the universe and the values of the natural constants that are so fortuitous for our existence. As in Poole's book, much is made of the `conversion' to theism of former passionately atheistic philosopher Anthony Flew.
Lennox claims, with some support, that science itself has its basis in monotheistic religion. The main thrust of the book is the conflict, not between science and religion but between naturalism and theism - did God make the universe or did it come into being through entirely natural processes? Lennox challenges the view of Atkins that all religious or mystical experience is outside the purview of science: for mystical experience is as much an activity of mind as solving Schrödinger's equation, and study of the mind is psychology, which is usually regarded as science. But Lennox dismisses Atkins' scientism (that science is the only way to truth) as unhelpful as a world-view. Science cannot by itself provide answers to questions of `Why events are such as they are'. However, `God of the Gaps' gets similar short shrift: for Lennox, as for Richard Swinburne, God is not an alternative to science as explanation when science doesn't have any answers; God is `the ground of all explanation'.
There is an extensive discussion of evolution here as this is the cornerstone of modern biology and is the source of much antagonism between scientists and fundamentalist creationists. It is also the basis of the Intelligent Design movement so deserves thorough philosophical investigation. Perhaps surprisingly, both theologists and biologists are generally against its precepts. Indeed, the discussion of all of the science, and especially biology, as well as of the theological issues is exemplary. It is immediately accessible to anyone interested in the science and religion discussion and this is a book I would unhesitatingly recommend for its erudition and reasoned debate. The book concludes with a Notes and References section, which includes some further reading, and a rather brief Index, though I have found all the entries I wanted on searching.
Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.
Against Atheism: Why Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris are Fundamentally WrongThe New Atheism: Ten Arguments That Don't Hold Water