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Decoding the Language of God: Can a Scientist Really Be a Believer?: A Geneticist Responds to Francis Collins Paperback – December 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Original edition (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591027667
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591027669
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a wonderful book--sound, elegant, and readable. If you are looking for a common-sense explanation for matters generally taken on faith, this is it." --Barbara Oakley, author Evil Genes.

"The Language of God by Francis Collins is a good example of how a minority of scientists compartmentalize their thinking and blinker themselves to the contradictions between their faith and their science. This timely and complete analysis lays bare the many weaknesses in Collins thinking and the paucity of his knowledge of theology, philosophy, and any science outside of his own narrow speciality." ----Victor J. Stenger, author of the NY Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis

About the Author

George C. Cunningham, MD, MPH (Pacific Pallisades, CA) now retired, is the former chief of the Genetic Disease Branch of the California State Department of Health Services. He has published more than 150 articles in scientific publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, the American Journal of Human Genetics, and Pediatrics.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
71%
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0%
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1 star
29%
See all 14 customer reviews
Therefore God does not exist.
D. Lawrence
Cunningham strongly disagrees with this premise and devastatingly refutes all of Collins' arguments one by one.
Aaron
Although this is a serious book, Cunningham has an excellent sense of humor.
Paul Gehrman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Johnny London on September 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I truly enjoyed this book. Dr. Cunningham is a sharp thinker and an excellent writer. Although written as a rebuttal to Francis Collins' book "The Language of God", this book serves as a great survey of common arguments used by Christians to defend their faith. Dr. Cunningham is respectful, yet blunt when it is called for. He goes to great lengths to not construct a straw man, but rather it is clear that he truly wants to understand, and to articulate sincerely and accurately the positions which he argues against. This intellectual honesty, for those of us who find such things very edifying, is refreshing. Highly Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Decoding the Language of God: Can a Scientist Be a Believer? by George C. Cunningham

"Decoding the Language of God..." is a wonderful, well-written book by geneticist George C. Cunningham who rebuts Francis Collins' best-selling book, "The Language of God..." It's a book that cogently, and with lucid logic effectively destroys all of Mr. Collin's main points. The book is composed of the following nine chapters: 1. From Belief to Atheism, 2. Evidence and Rules of Engagement, 3. The War of Worldviews, 4. What's Wrong with The Moral Argument?, 5. Cosmology Origins of the Universe, 6. The Bible, 7. Naturalism (Atheism and Agnosticism), 8. Supernaturalism (Ethical, Monotheism, Spirituality) and 9.A Personal God?

Positives:
1. A gem of a book! Well written, researched, and reasoned book that was a treat to read.
2. Elegant conversational prose that uses a direct yet respectful tone in destroying Mr. Collin's main points.
3. This book is critical thinking at its best. Profound without being unintelligible.
4. More wisdom for your buck! I've learned so much from this book.
5. Great explanations for knowledge...worth the price of the book!
6. Great defense of science.
7. Reason versus faith, a one-sided battle.
8. Mr. Cunningham obliterates Mr. Collins' main defense of his religious beliefs. No contest!
9. How religious dogma do more harm than good.
10. Omnipotence and free will discussed.
11. The inconsistency of hell with "God's" infinite power of forgiveness. Compelling arguments throughout.
12. The problem of evil.
13. Unreliable biblical accounts and related matters. No evidence for the great Flood, the exodus or the existence of Abraham, Job, and Moses.
14. Miracles debunked...
15.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Lawrence on March 16, 2015
Format: Paperback
Though this small and short book is well written in terms of literary polish, Dr. Cunningham presents nothing new, nothing insightful and in truth, never actually answers the question he poses in the title about whether or not a scientist can believe in God. Supposedly a critique of Dr. Francis Collins, this book fails to explain why Dr. Collins does believe in God and instead is only a version of why he, George Cunningham, doesn't believe in God. His answer is identical in thought and theme that is constantly repeated by the materialists/anti-spiritualists which is:
"Evil exists. Therefore God does not exist. Because the definition of God is a perfect being able to create perfection and the world is not perfect there can't be a God. No perfection = no God."

If one wants to hear, or needs to hear, the atheist message, if one needs to stop their intellectual discourse at the limits of what science can correctly know and if one wants to go no further in thought about how and why the human being can and does experience the sensation of love, what propels man to quest after understanding the workings of the cosmos, what man's place in the system of life is, why does the human even concern himself with thinking beyond his physical body and why, indeed, there are people who act in evil ways toward others . . . why there are things such insects that eat man's crops, diseases and famine, floods and volcanic eruptions that destroy homes in places of paradise . . .
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Aaron on June 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, fellow geneticist George Cunningham takes on the major points former head of the Human Genome Project Francis Collins makes in his best-seller The Language of God. Collins attempts to demonstrate that belief in evangelical Christianity is compatible with a scientific worldview. Cunningham strongly disagrees with this premise and devastatingly refutes all of Collins' arguments one by one. For anyone who has read The Language of God, believers and skeptics alike should read Cunningham's book as well. I have read both books and I definitely feel Cunningham comes out on top.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Shirts on April 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought Collins did O.K., and found many things I disagreed with as I read his book, but this book return/review against Collins assumptions is very powerful and quite excellent at showing the short comings of scientists who want to have faith in some kind of Christian God. It *always* ends up as the defeated God of the gaps arguments for those defending God. The reason why is because, of course, God obviously isn't all that interested in much going on o this earth. READ this book by another geneticist every bit as well read and intelligent as Collins, and vastly more powerful with using real science to discuss the issues. I give this terrific read a HUGE 5 star rating. READ IT. The other thing that I so enjoyed is it is easy to read. Profound, but simple to understand. There is no intellectual clap trap and showing off with condescending language struttin his scientific prowess against a 3rd grader understanding. Nope, just straight forward, real analysis, and solid refutations. I just love informative books like this that keep the compass on true north for reality and truth.
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More About the Author

George C. Cunningham, MD, MPH (San Francisco, CA), now retired, is the former chief of the Genetic Disease Branch of the California State Department of Health Services. He has published more than 150 articles in scientific publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, the American Journal of Human Genetics, and Pediatrics. His education includes graduation with a B.S. from the Jesuit University of San Francisco, where he received training in theology and philosophy, and successive attendence at University of Southern California, University of California Berkeley and University of California Los Angeles where he received his M.D, As a member of the Committee on Ethics of the American College of Medical Genetics, he was one of the authors of the organizations' Ethical Code. He organized the Advisory Committee on Human Cloning for the state of California which issued the policy document "Cloning Californians" He is the receipent of many state and national awards for his statewide programs of screening pregnant women and newborns for preventable genetic and birth defects.

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