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Should Christians Embrace Evolution: Biblical & Scientific Responses Paperback – May 30, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"Helpful to [anyone] who wants to expose their thinking to top-quality, cutting-edge arguments." --Richard A. Carhart, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Illinois, Chicago

"The experts in science and theology who have contributed [these] chapters . . . will be very helpful to Christians who are struggling to sort out conflicting claims and arrive at the truth." --Phillip E. Johnson, Author of Darwin on Trial, Cofounder of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (May 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596382309
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596382305
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This book is a concerted multi-author attack on a well known book, by Denis Alexander: "Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose". Despite the unity provided by the single enemy, the book is very diverse, covering a broad span of theological and scientific subjects, and with chapters of unequal merit. I here focus on just the two chapters on molecular genetics, by Geoff Barnard. I would have preferred not to give a star-rating, because I do not feel competent to review all aspects of the book, but the Amazon website requires one. Therefore, in view of the faults of Barnard's chapters, and some other weaknesses that I notice at a more superficial level, I give it only two stars.

The two chapters by Geoff Barnard have a common aim: to refute the claim that man and higher apes have a common ancestry. In my opinion both chapters are seriously inadequate, for the reasons that follow.

Chapter 9C ("Chromosome Fusion and Common Ancestry"), the first of Barnard's two chapters, deals with the claim of Alexander (and virtually all evolutionary biologists) that DNA sequences provide strong evidence that chromosome 2 of humans was formed by the fusion of two ancestral chromosomes that persist in chimpanzees and other modern apes (designated 12 and 13, or in modern papers 2p and 2q). Alexander's argument is that chimpanzee chromosome 2p is strongly homologous with one part of human chromosome 2, that chromosome 2q is strongly homologous with the other part, and that the joining region in humans contains telomere sequences that would normally be at the end of a chromosome but are found in the middle of human chromosome 2, exactly as one would predict from the chromosome fusion hypothesis. Barnard accepts all of this!
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Format: Paperback
This grabbed my attention because the numerous authors include a reliable evangelical `big name' (the much-loved RT Kendal) and a Professor of Genetics from a top university who all argue against Evolutionary Creation. Given that I have a negative gut reaction to being `related' to chimps and I don't want to compromise my orthodoxy, I had to read it!

But I only give 2 stars for this book - primarily because it fails in its intended purpose of providing rebuttal to the ideas in another book (Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? by Denis Alexander) - in fact several of the authors appear to have not read the book they oppose properly.

For example, in chapter 1 Alistair Donald writes about the `utter randomness' (p16), the `purely chance element that is arguably intrinsic to [evolutionary] theory' (p17). Several of the other authors also condemn evolution because of its randomness. I am very surprised because on p322 of DA's book he says, `evolution is far from being a chance process. It is tightly organised and highly constrained.' In fact DA makes the point about evolution not being random many times in the book and even develops interesting insights from recent research suggesting that evolution might be predictable! DA also argues that Christians think of God as being sovereign over apparently random events in any case (eg. the weather). So I don't understand why these authors would publish a counter argument which so explicitly fails to register DA's views, but instead just propagates tired, old and unjustified complaints about evolution.

RT Kendal refers to Heb 11:3 `...things which are seen were not made of things that do appear' from which he concludes, `one cannot hold to evolution and creation ex nihilo at the same time' (p112). I don't understand.
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Format: Paperback
Should Christians embrace evolution? It is an increasingly urgent question and one that seems increasingly difficult to answer. Like you, I have grown accustomed to hearing Christians declare that, in the end, it doesn't really matter a whole lot what you believe about creation, whether you embrace a literal six-day creation or a version that allows for some kind of evolution. If only it was that simple. The fact is that there are many other doctrines that lean heavily upon the doctrine of creation. As this one topples and falls, many other crumble along side it.

Just a couple of weeks ago WORLD magazine declared Should Christians Embrace Evolution? their book of the year for 2011. I received the book just days after and eagerly opened it up to see what the fuss was all about. What I found is a book that offers a series of biblical and scientific responses to the question of evolution. Edited by Norman Nevin, the chapters are written by a list of distinguished scientists and theologians.

What the book demonstrates above all, and what it demonstrates especially in the first half, is that there is far more to the issue of creation than merely whether the world was created in six days or six billion years. This doctrine of creation provides a foundation for many others. As we let go of a literal six-day creation, we find many other critical doctrines are in danger of falling with it. For example:

Was Adam truly a historical person who truly fathered the entire human race?
Did death exist before man's fall into sin? What kind of death came with the Fall?
Did God create a world in which death was, in fact, a necessary (and good!) part of the created order?
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