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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the topic
This book is an excellent, balanced, well documented summary of the contemporary creation evolution conflict. The editor, Dr Jay Richards, holds a Ph.D. with honors in philosophy from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has selected excellent authors to explore the many attempts to form some kind of marriage between evolution and theism. The essays show that this goal has...
Published on November 17, 2010 by Darwin Researcher

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3.0 out of 5 stars God and Evolution, Book
I guess it was kind of hard to follow, but I just looked at the summary at the back, and it made more sense. It was very detailed, and I had to sift through all the "office jargon" and got a little frustrated, so I just went to the summary. That was very helpful.
Published 3 months ago by Margaret Peggy Driggs


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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the topic, November 17, 2010
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This review is from: God and Evolution (Paperback)
This book is an excellent, balanced, well documented summary of the contemporary creation evolution conflict. The editor, Dr Jay Richards, holds a Ph.D. with honors in philosophy from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has selected excellent authors to explore the many attempts to form some kind of marriage between evolution and theism. The essays show that this goal has a long history, dating back at least to the beginning of the Christian church. The 388 page work, documented by almost 50 pages of endnotes, conclusively argues that the evolution of Darwin, and most all leading evolutionists today, excluded design or any intervention by God. In Darwin's words, there is "no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows" (p. 39). Evolution as defined by leading evolutionists is a theory designed to explain the natural world without recourse to God or any intelligent designer. It is atheistic to its core and any attempt to fuse the two worldviews is futile. As Richard Dawkins says the universe "has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference." Christian theism teaches the exact opposite on all of these points, and to marry the two requires mental gymnastics worthy of a true believer. One focus is to respond to Karl Giberson's book Saving Darwin, Francis Collins's The Language of God, and Francisco Ayala's book. As was clear to me when I read these three books, none of the authors have read much Intelligent Design literature, but relied on their critics for their information.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight talk on God and Darwin's apologists, December 30, 2010
This review is from: God and Evolution (Paperback)
If the ordinary understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition is given it must be said that whether we are talking about it in its natural or revealed aspects, it is foremost rooted in history. The fifteen essays compiled and edited by Jay Richards masterfully analyze Darwinian evolution within the context of Judeo-Christian beliefs eminently rooted in real history. Understood in this way, God and Evolution demonstrates that resistance to tenets that expressly take God out of that history and away from that creation through processes dictated by chance and necessity is both logical and consistent with a faith tradition that has always seen God as intimately involved in the physical world. This isn't a question of a particular rendering of Genesis, or the age of the earth, or even common descent (Denyse O'Leary points out in her essay, "Everything Old is New Again," that there have been some truly compatible theistic, demonstrably non-Darwinian, evolutionists), but whether the particular version of evolution espoused by Darwin and taken up by the neo-Darwinists is reconcilable with orthodoxy.

The eleven contributors to this anthology address every aspect of so-called "theistic" evolution, which are really efforts to reconcile Judeo-Christian theology with Darwinism, an explanation of biological life that effectively renders the operations of deity superfluous. Given this disconnect it shouldn't be surprising that such efforts as those by Karl Giberson, Francis Collins, or Kenneth Miller to create Darwin-friendly scenarios wind up becoming problematic to say the least.

There are important insights here for a wide-ranging audience. The book is divided into five sections: the first, a thorough introduction by Richards sets out the key historical, philosophical, and scientific issues involved; second, a section on "Some Problems with 'Theistic Evolution'"; third, "Protestants and Evolution"; fourth, "Catholics and Evolution" (I found the Thomist essays by Logan Gage and Jay Richards particularly enlightening); fifth, "Jews and Evolution" (by David Klinghoffer, the most thorough analysis from this perspective that I have yet seen).

This book should be read by everyone who holds the Judeo-Christian religious traditions dear; it should especially be read by their clergy! Too often we hear nonsensical claims that religion must bow to "science" when, in fact, what is being bowed to isn't science at all but a materialistic philosophy underpinned by the belief that only naturalistic explanations can be given for any and all phenomena expressed in nonteleological ways. It is high time that we cease using Darwinian evolution as a synecdoche for science and ask it to given an accounting of its own philosophical premises and biases. This book does precisely that, and in every case the answers that Darwinists and their apologists give are found wanting. For everyone interested in the intersections of modern evolutionary theory and religion, this book is essential.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT LITTLE BOOK, AND EASY READING TOO!, February 3, 2011
This review is from: God and Evolution (Paperback)
In this eminently readable little book of essays, ten scholars discuss the relationship of Darwinian evolution (understood to be the result of an unguided, unplanned, and impersonal process of random variation and natural selection) with a theistic faith emphasizing Divine creation, (an evolution based on a Creator, who is also, one way or another, engaged in the world).

Not surprisingly, the critical focus of the book is to investigate the alleged compatibility of Darwin and God, a stance held by a somewhat amorphous group of scholars lumped together under the heading "Theistic Evolution". Among others they include Francis Collins, Stephen Jay Gould, Francisco Ayala, Ken Miller, as well as the lesser known Denis Lamoureux, Michael Ruse and Chris Mooney. Some champion Gould's vision of two separate domains, -"NOMA" standing for `non-overlapping magisteria`-, others, articulate the view of the National Center for Science Education, still others speak for the BioLogos Foundation or the Faraday Institute in England. Not a few embrace an expedient compromise between Darwin and God on pragmatic grounds. But, whatever their specific views and motives, all of them are strongly opposed by outspoken atheistic Darwinists like Jerry Coyne, E.O. Wilson, Dan Dennett, Richard Lewontin, P.Z. Meyers, Steven Pinker, and, above all, Richard Dawkins. The book does an excellent job in also rendering a clear picture of the inner debate between the two hostile Darwinist camps.

On the other hand, the intellectual weakness of Theistic Evolution is also the target of scholars representing the Faith Community, whether Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or the new paradigm of Intelligent Design. In the process, the book treads on the very core
of Western culture, and in the end it does shed much badly needed light. For example, two puzzles have long bugged me: "how can a clergy, Unitarian, Episcopal, or otherwise, feel intellectually comfortable in combining Darwinian evolution with their professed faith?" or "how can a Catholic social scientist adhering to an underlying Thomist worldview endorse a Darwin inspired `evolutionary economics`?" Readers with similar puzzles will greatly appreciate this little book.

Besides covering so much ground discussing the implications of fully accepting Darwin's naturalism on various religions and spiritual orientations, it is worth pointing out, that a Biblical creationist faith is not included: needless to say its conflict with Darwinian evolution is too obvious to necessitate any discussion. .
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating, June 21, 2011
By 
Paul Montognese (Cary, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God and Evolution (Paperback)
We live in an amazing time where the rate of scientific discovery exceeds our ability to stay current. What are these discoveries and what are the metaphysical implications? Is what we are learning about life, nature and the cosmos sufficient to explain everything, including ourselves? Alternatively, does the sheer implausibility and elegance of the material universe and of nature point to a designer?

Mr. Richards provides an expansive description of the science and describes the meaning given to the science by various influential thinkers, from strict materialists to those who argue for design. He covers the bases very well, including the nuanced views of those who believe in a designer who set things in motion but did not invervene as primeval ooze evolved into sentient beings who buy books from Amazon.

Mr. Richards is a protaganist on the side of an intelligent designer but does a good job describing the views of his scientific and philosophical opponents. There are no straw men in this book.

I think that anyone reading this book will gain a clear understanding of the issues, worldviews and unstated presumptions of the divergent worldviews that play out in the culture. Bottom line, I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand this foundational issue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it Science or Copiculation, October 1, 2013
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This review is from: God and Evolution (Kindle Edition)
If I were a already biased supporter of material naturalism I would not read this book. There would be no value in its content. If you are not going to believe in a supernatural being why waste your time with what is presented here. That being said I find that most western Christians who eventually become apostate in their view of the faith will eventually accept the cultural paradigm of material naturalism. These apostate Christians in fact have lost their acceptance of scriptural viability.

Of course these apostate Christians will be exhibited as Christians, by a biased media, because of the deception of those who are constantly push into culture an overall acceptance of materialistic naturalism. On behalf of Francis Collins there is more than just scientific expertise involved in a presidential appointment. A presidential appointment is usually made in reference to the values of that president.

If you cannot win an argument by public approval the next step is subterfuge. However vague or elusive an idea such as Darwinism or materialist naturalism is it has become the faith of skeptics, atheists, and apostates. In fact Darwinism by a lack of concrete definition shows how little science and imagination there is in its content. Darwinism has been used to explain every aspect of science and culture.

Darwinism is the acid that eats away morality, faith, and reason. Its promoters are intent in introducing doubt into sound reason, and logic. If you were to ask any Christian in the Asian part of the world who truly considers scripture as valid if the universe were the product of purpose you would find with unanimity consent to that reasoned thought. Because a rational and reasoned observer has no problem with the implication of a creative process in nature. Christian or otherwise it is logical to assume that existence itself implies intent. It takes surrender to doubt and pressure to become capitulated to the anti-faith acceptance of materialistic dogma supported by a doubter named Charles Darwin.

This book is based on sound philosophy regarding what most Christians who regard the scriptures valid need to consider when they are confronted by a skeptical media, compromised education system, and the apostate church. ID is a valid theory of examining life origins. If the explanatory power of a theory fails then it should be rejected. I have found the theory of Darwinian evolution to be a poor explanatory tool for the basis of the existence of what is known of basic life producing biological chemistry. Use reason and logic to determine what is a valid point of view. Use critical thinking when faced with media pressure, vacuous arguments, and impressive academic credentials.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God and Evolution, March 25, 2012
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This is an excellent collection of essays critiquing theist evolution from historically orthodox Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish perspectives. These insightful writings link the present demonstrably materialistic naturalism of theistic evolution to early gnostic philosophy as well as answering the alleged purely mechanistic assumptions of early modern scientists and philosophers like Aquinas, Maimonides, Descartes, Bacon etc. By reading this book one can get an excellent grasp of the philosophical, scientific, theological and sociological problems inherent in the theistic evolutionary position.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laudable defense of Intelligent Design, August 9, 2011
By 
Paul Vjecsner (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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As a Jewish theist but not an adherent of a formal religion I am not entirely in conformity with the assurances that the very reasonable arguments in this book are in harmony with Christian or Jewish beliefs. I prefer the philosophical and logical approach by which one seeks the truth as one can find it. But today these religions are not posing the threat of an Inquisition or the Crusades, and therefore their inclusion, with their positive teachings, may be of value in this discourse.

Speaking of a threat, on the other hand, I was struck by a mentioned (p.88) letter sent in 2005 by thirty-eight Nobel Laureates to the Kansas State Board of Education, urging them "to maintain Darwinian evolution as the sole curriculum and science standard [how open to ideas] in the State of Kansas". They wrote they are "troubled that Darwinism was described as 'dangerous dogma' [the threat I am referring to]" at a Board hearing. The letter was also signed by Elie Wiesel (whose foundation underwrote it), Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner. I am likewise a Holocaust survivor, and it disappoints me that Elie is unaware of the fundamental responsibility of Darwinism for Nazism, as the authors of the present book variously point out. Darwinism is not merely a "dangerous dogma" but an immeasurably destructive one.

It is a dogma, although the Laureates' letter says: "Logically derived from confirmable evidence, evolution is understood to be the result of an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection". The present book's authors make the very good arguments of Intelligent Design that there is no such evolution "[l]ogically derived from confirmable evidence". And it is of course this "unguided...random" process, purported to result in fitness of some organisms and not others, or the "survival of the fittest", which convinced many that some "races" should propagate while others should be "exterminated" (language that Darwin himself used). As it happens, the adaptation alleged of the "fittest" as a result of an "unguided" process occurs in every live organism as a result of processes that are "guided", but are failed to be taken into account.

The book relates (p.302) the trivial examples of "antibiotic resistance in bacteria, fluctuating beak size in finches, and so forth" offered by Darwinian theory. These are offered as demonstrations of Darwinian adaptation at work, as showing how by descent with random variations nature aimlessly "selects" those lines of descendents that accidentally happen to be better adapted. But we know quite well that resistance, spoken of in bacteria, develops in each of us individually when inoculated against a disease, this resulting from the body's actions "guided" toward self-preservation. Similarly, we know that suitable changes in organs, cited in beaks of finches, occur to every person, as in strengthening of muscle used, because of the same aim of adaptation.

In short, the organism's adaptation occurs as a "guided" life-preserving action in every individual, rather than as an "unguided" accidental result of Darwinian evolution with the monstrous consequences of making some organisms fit and some unfit.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God and Evolution, July 20, 2011
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D. Bartol (Okinawa, Japan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God and Evolution (Paperback)
How do you gain purpose from a purposeless structure? How does intelligence come from an unintelligent source? If you unpack these questions in the numerous arenas of evolution, you will wind up finding a vast number of holes in the arguments that those propagating both theistic evolution and neo-Darwinian evolution affirm. In this book, Jay Richards, of The Discovery Institute, compiles a series of articles by various authors from three major Judeo-Christian religions to clear up the fog that many tend to create when caught up in a discussion about this subject.

In my opinion, the Protestant section handled the best evidence for Intelligent design, while the Catholics and Jews seemed to focus more on their religious tradition's views on the subject, at the same time trying to show their people how intelligent design makes more sense to their own system of beliefs (which it does). That was probably my only complaint with the book (The Pope's ideas hold little weight to Biblical Christianity, let alone the scientific community).
Otherwise it was a well thought out and very thorough representation and defense of Intelligent Design to both the neo-Darwninian and theistic evolutionists.

The deeper we dive into molecular biology and the more we gain information concerning this world within the world, the harder it is becoming to defend the concept that we simply evolved over the course of billions of years from the spontaneous generation of a single cell. The idea of "Junk DNA" is quickly becoming obsolete and the bacterial flagellum (look it up, it's fascinating!) demands a look at the idea of a designer. The question of how complexity and information came from non-complexity and non-information for the formation of the first cell is one of the giant holes in the evolutionary argument, which is, in this case, a matter of science fiction rather than real science, since there is no evidence to substantiate such a claim.

The other major problem lies with those who seek to reconcile theistic evolution with God. Usually an attempt to reconcile all of the corruption in the world (though some to just remain neutral and passive in ignorance), theistic evolutionist's will attempt to pass it off from God to leaving it up to evolution to build His creation for Him. This offers no fix to the problem of evil, as that simply "passes the buck", and makes it look like God is a Charles Manson figure who never killed anyone, but let evolution do his dirty work, as it is a brutal system built upon death to achieve a greater species (at least that's how the theory goes, though each successful mutation is a loss of genetic information).

"If God has delegated his creative activity to the functional equivalent of the Gnostic Demiurge, then he has merely passed the buck. There is no payoff in this scenario unless God fails to know or control the future. In that case, God may be less implicated in the natural evil described in the Darwinian narrative, but he is no longer providentially guiding his creation in any rational sense." (pg 303)

This subject is not something that can just be passed aside as non-issue, since it affects the way we see God, ourselves, and how we live. In the midst of all the supposed chaos in the media and in our schools, this is one subject that will not be a luxury to remain neutral on in our coming future.
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3.0 out of 5 stars God and Evolution, Book, March 17, 2014
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Margaret Peggy Driggs (Bossier City, LA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God and Evolution (Paperback)
I guess it was kind of hard to follow, but I just looked at the summary at the back, and it made more sense. It was very detailed, and I had to sift through all the "office jargon" and got a little frustrated, so I just went to the summary. That was very helpful.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent book about intelligent design, May 12, 2012
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This review is from: God and Evolution (Kindle Edition)
Well written and comprehensible book that seriously deals with the theological and philosophical implications of compromising the Bible with darwinian evolution.
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God and Evolution
God and Evolution by Jay Wesley Richards (Paperback - October 15, 2010)
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