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Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution (P.S.) Paperback – April 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: P.S.
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061233501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061233500
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though he takes a different tack than Wyller (above), Miller tries to draw a straight line between two apparently opposing ideas: the theory of evolution and belief in a creator. In a more humanistic account than Wyller's, Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, explains the difference between evolution as validated scientific fact and as an evolving theory. He illustrates his contentions with examples from astronomy, geology, physics and molecular biology, confronting the illogic of creationists with persuasive reasons based on the known physical properties of the universe and the demonstrable effects of time on the radioactivity of various elements. Then standing firmly on Darwinian ground, he turns to take on, with equal vigor, his outspoken colleagues in science who espouse a materialistic, agnostic or atheistic vision of reality. Along the way, he addresses such important questions as free will in a planned universe. Miller is particularly incisive when he discusses the emotional reasons why many people oppose evolution and the scientific community's befuddled, often hostile, reaction to sincere religious belief. Throughout, he displays an impressive fairness, which he communicates in friendly, conversational prose. This is a book that will stir readers of both science and theology, perhaps satisfying neither, but challenging both to open their minds. Illustrations. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Scientific American

Miller, professor of biology at Brown University, believes firmly in evolution. He also believes in God-a belief not widely shared among scientists. Here he sets out to offer thoughts on how to reconcile the conflict many people see between the two positions. Evolution, he says, is a story of origins; so too is the Judeo-Christian creation story. "The conflict between these two versions of our history is real, and I do not doubt for a second that it needs to be addressed. What I do not believe is that the conflict is unresolvable." Laying out the positions with care and clarity, he offers his resolution: "As more than one scientist has said, the truly remarkable thing about the world is that it actually does make sense. The parts fit, the molecules interact, the darn thing works. To people of faith, what evolution says is that nature is complete. God fashioned a material world in which truly free, truly independent beings could evolve."

EDITORS OF SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

This book is very well written.
Sarah
Kenneth Miller is a fine authority on Darwinian evolution, and this book successfully refutes many of the critics of evolution.
Will Jerom
I would recommend this book to anyone who is confused about God and evolution.
Dru DiFrancesco

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

195 of 210 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a "must read" for anyone interested in a thoughtful analysis both of the most popular approaches for defending a belief in creation and also for those that oppose a belief in creation in light of the findings of modern science. Kenneth Miller is a professor of biology at Brown University and a committed Christian (although the book stresses the shared convictions of the major Western religions, rather than adopting a sectarian approach).
Miller considers first the arguments of young-earth creationists (Whitcome and Morris, Duane Gish, et al.) and answers these with an avalanche of scientific evidence. He then examines in two chapters the claims of old-earth creationists, especially Philip Johnson (who stresses a lack of transitional forms in the fossil record) and Michael Behe (who identifies what he considers are "irreducably complex" biochemical machines in the cell). In his careful analysis of these views, Miller helps the reader appreciate how both approaches are, in effect, misguided attempts to defend creation with a "God of the gaps." Each offers examples which, the authors hope, defy explanation by modern science. This (temporary) inability of modern science is then taken as evidence in support of the work of the Creator at that point. Miller shows the consistent failure of this mode of argumentation in the past and cites evidence published since the appearance of Johnson's and Behe's writings, which, unfortunately for them, fills in their hoped-for gaps.
One of the greatest dangers of a God of the gaps argument, Miller notes, is that each time science succeeds in filling one of these alleged gaps its success is misconstrued by atheistic scientists as proof that God must not exist.
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244 of 268 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a person with an interest in evolutionary sciences, I was looking forward to see how Kenneth Miller tackled the question of rectifying the existence of God with the overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution. Overall, he does an excellent job in summarizing the basic views of evolutionary theory and refutes in concise and convincing fashion, the viewpoints of young-earth creationists and intelligent design theory. Unlike most other books that deal with this topic, I could find no faults with his explanation of Darwinism, nor with the ample evidence from paleontology and biochemistry that he uses to support his views. He also addresses Michael Behe's arguments in "Darwin's Black Box" with a great deal of clarity. For his accurate analysis of evolutionary theory at work, his book deserves a special mention.
Kenneth Miller's philosophical arguments about why evolution is consistent with the existence of God is not quite as well argued, however. His opinion, in a nutshell, is that God provided the universe with the properties that made the eventual formation of intelligent life extremely likely. The mechanism of evolution made it probable that at least one species would become advanced enough to be able to recognize and have a relationship with a creator, and that evolution was essential in the development of "free will" that would make individuals have a choice in choosing or rejecting the creator. Of course there is no scientific evidence to support this, but Mr. Miller does raise some interesting points with this argument. However, it seems to me that this would be an unsatisfactory argument to someone who wishes to have an "active" God in their individual lives who can intervene on their behalf. In addition, Mr.
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86 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Paul Rowland on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In his book Finding Darwin's God, Kenneth R. Miller states that the reason most theists feel such animosity toward science is because scientists and naturalists continually attack them, claiming their "faith is a cop out" (to quote one reviewer below who seems to think that he somehow has access into my head and can make an objective judgement as to the state of my faith) and that theists shouldn't be hired for certain jobs because of their belief in God. If the negative attacks on Miller and his book here are to be taken seriously then it would seem that he hit the nail on the head. Having said this, I will admit that if you are atheist and cannot or will not consider the possibility that God exists, then you will not appreciate the closing chapters of this book. But that doesn't mean that you can't get somethingthing out of it, because I truly believe this is the best defense of Darwinism I have ever read. However, if you are theist and also appreciate the value of good science, then I believe you will find this book quite enlightening. Personally, I find it refreshing to know that there are scientists out there like Miller who understand that evolution, like physics, mathematics and the other sciences, is merely a tool that can be used to help us understand our world and the universe around us, and not an end all answer in of itself. In fact, I believe that anybody who honestly thinks that science is more than just a tool and is in itself the ultimate answer has turned it into nothing more than a religion. Evolution, though it may tell us how we got here, does little to cast light upon the human condition.Read more ›
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