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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difference between old and new versions, February 6, 2010
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This review is from: God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (Paperback)
I think "God's Undertaker" is a solid introduction to Intelligent Design. It's especially helpful from an evangelical Christian apologetics standpoint in conversation with the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" i.e. Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. As I recall, John Lennox is a member of the Plymouth Brethren.

Of course, there are more detailed books available - for e.g., "Signature in the Cell" by Stephen Meyer. But, again, "God's Undertaker" is a solid introduction which especially packs quite a punch for its small size (about 200 pages). I don't know if this is necessarily the best way to look at it but the way I look at it is, if we place "Signature in the Cell" in the heavyweight division and "God's Undertaker" in the lightweight division, each is arguably the best book in its respective class.

In any case, others have already done finer reviews of "God's Undertaker" than I can manage. So I just wanted to make a quick note for those who might have the older version of the book (ISBN: 082546188X) and are considering purchasing the newer version (ISBN: 0745953719). Or who are considering one over the other. I own both.

What's the difference between the older (2007) version and the updated (2009) version? Not much, but there is a difference. The main difference is that, while both versions have the same 11 chapters in the 2007 version, the updated version contains an additional 12th chapter titled "Violating nature? The legacy of David Hume". In this chapter, Lennox interacts with Hume's argument against rationally believing in miracles.

My opinion is, if you already own the first version, and you own a book like C.S. Lewis' "Miracles" or even better Victor Reppert's "C.S. Lewis' Dangerous Idea" (which, as Paul Manata said, is like Lewis' "Miracles" on steroids) or another philosophical book which deals with the alleged problem of miracles, then it's probably not worth purchasing the updated version.

However, if you don't own other books on the topic, or are unfamiliar with the philosophical issues over miracles, and are looking for a brief, non-book length treatment (otherwise you'd just buy Reppert's book), then it'd be worth purchasing the updated version. Although even still I think I'd recommend looking at a free online article on miracles such as one on Stanford's Encyclopedia of Philosophy rather than spending the extra money. But the problem is philosophical resources can tend to be a bit technical so you might have to work your way through the article whereas Lennox's chapter is written with the layperson in mind.

And for those who own neither the older version or the updated version, it'd be best to get the updated version of course.
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Showing 11-20 of 42 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2010 8:47:22 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 14, 2010 1:16:51 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2010 9:13:21 PM PST
pbrane says:
Welcome back, sillysillysilly! Up to your old tricks again, eh (e.g. assertions without argument)? Lovely!

"Hilarious. I merely reflect the accepted viewpoint of the scientific consensus. Go read Panda's Thumb or Pharyngula or Why Evolution is True. Perhaps you will note their 'intolerance' for nonsense."

A hilarious argument from authority when the authorities themselves are in disagreement over the very issue.

"I find it hard to believe that very many creationists have actually taken any time to read what scientists have to say about creationist intelligent design nonsense."

I find it hard to believe that sillysillysilly has actually taken any time to read.

"That's just ignorant and stupid."

You know, at this point, sillysillysilly, I'm feeling a bit sorry for your poor assertions orphaned from any semblance of sense or reason or logic. Poor things must feel so alone - especially in such a dark, empty mind! On the plus side, at least they can stay close together since your mind is rather small and narrow.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2010 9:42:18 PM PST
pbrane says:
"Hilarious. I merely reflect the accepted viewpoint of the scientific consensus."

Ah, yes, straight from the horse's mouth: sillysillysilly "merely" "reflect[s]" the "accepted" viewpoints of the scientific "consensus" rather than, say, trying to think for himself. By his line of reasoning, if the "consensus" told sillysillysilly the earth was flat, he'd accept it! If the "consensus" told sillysillysilly the moon was made of cheese, he'd accept it! If the "consensus" told sillysillysilly the Flying Spaghetti Monster was his dad, he'd accept it! If the "consensus" told sillysillysilly it'd be safe to jump off of a cliff with a sheer 1000-foot drop, he'd accept it! Does sillysillysilly also reflect how future scientists are made these days? Let's hope not! Hilarious.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2010 7:25:55 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 14, 2010 1:16:49 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2010 2:09:09 PM PST
pbrane says:
"What a stupid thing to say! So-called 'intelligent design' is rejected by the scientific consensus for very good reasons."

And those reasons would be...? Oh, that's right, I nearly forgot: your modus operandi is "assertion without argument." Silly, silly, silly me, I'd almost forgotten that's how you roll!

"Individual 'authorities' are meaningless."

I suppose you can tell that to scientists like Charles Darwin who individually saw natural selection as the mechanism which explains adaptation in local environments. Or Isaac Newton who individually developed infinitesimal calculus (independently of Gottfried Leibniz). Or Albert Einstein who individually discovered the special and general theories of relativity.

"This from someone who has no evidence or reason or logic to support his opinion. Hilarious."

Yay! What a surprise! Another assertion in lieu of an argument. Hilarious.

You know, sillysillysilly, you're not really much fun anymore. (Well, assuming you ever were much fun in the first place, which I realize is quite a stretch, but I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.)

I mean, here I thought it was ID proponents like me who were supposed to be the drab ones. I thought we were supposed to be the straight-laced, backward, backwoods fundy hicks who wear clothing last seen on the set of Little House on the Prairie, who don't drink or dance, and who stare back blankly as the crickets chirp in the distance when asked a question about science. But for the first time you've actually proven me quite wrong.

It turns out you're the one living life in black and white and not in living color. Although at least in the beginning your remarks had the quality of novelty if they lacked other qualities such as intelligence and imagination. But now your comments aren't even new any more. You just keep repeating yourself. Just saying the same old, stale stuff we're used to hearing from you time and time again - yesterday's news. It's like you've gone from being a one-hit wonder with your signature "hilarious" to a washed-up, overweight, alcoholic leisure suit fitted lounge singer performing in a third-rate, off-the-strip Las Vegas casino. Hilarious! If it weren't so sad.

"Yes, I agree. I assert 'it's not science - it's rejected by the scientific consensus'. And you assert 'it is too science because it's falsifiable and it makes predictions and it will be accepted one day by scientific consensus when the appropriate theocracy has killed or banished all the real scientists'."

Yes, I can likewise put words into other people's mouths. You assert "I only make snide remarks." I assert "What's the point of making snide remarks if only to be a nuisance?" You assert "Can't you tell from my name, sillysillysilly, that I think and act like a child?" And round and round we go. But I do admit it is rather silly how long I've managed to put up with a child, how long I've kept responding to him. Well, I suppose I keep hoping he'll grow up. But, alas! Like a child whose only response is "I know you are but what am I," you're failing to think for yourself.

"So we do have simply conflicting assertions. There can never be any 'debate'. So we each call the other an ignorant fool. Hilarious."

Hey, wouldn't you know it? For once I agree with you, sillysillysilly! Although, given all you've said here, at least I have *evidence* and not mere unsubstantiated assertions that you're an ignorant fool. Hilarious!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2010 2:30:20 PM PST
pbrane says:
"This from someone who has no evidence or reason or logic to support his opinion. Hilarious."

Of course, let's not forget the context here. I wrote a positive book review of John Lennox's God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God. sillysillysilly comes by and makes sarcastic remarks on my book review and ID in general (e.g. ID is stupid). I've asked him and continue to ask him to defend his sarcastic remarks and to argue for his assertions. And, in an apparent attempt to imitate me (which is flattering!), sillysillysilly now claims I'm the one without "evidence or reason or logic to support his opinion."

sillysillysilly: "You're dumb! And everything you believe is dumb!"

Me: "Why do you think so?"

sillysillysilly: "You're just dumb! I don't have to tell you why because you're just dumb!"

Me: "Don't just make assertions without evidence or reason."

sillysillysilly: "You're the one making assertions without evidence or reason!"

And so it goes . . . ad nauseum.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2010 7:24:10 PM PST
Paul Manata says:
Sillysillysilly is obviously a troll. He's obviously uninterested in rational debate. He's also obviously unaware that detecting intelligent design is vital to such disciplines as forensic scientists, or to those paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to find card or gambling cheats in Las Vegas casinos. He also seems to think that operations science is the only kind of science, something scientists would laugh at. Would that the "defenders" of science familiarize themselves with the field they "defend" as much as the "anti" science crowd does.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2010 8:44:17 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 14, 2010 1:16:00 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2010 2:05:36 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2010 4:43:00 AM PST
pbrane says:
1. On the one hand, sillysillysilly says:
* "No, no, no. It would be best to ignore creationist nonsense."
* "So-called 'intelligent design' is not scientific. So it's ignored by scientists."
* "There can never be any 'debate'."

2. But on the other hand, sillysillysilly says:
* "If you want a rational debate, we need to discuss these questions."
* "It would seem that you have ignored my argument. My claim is that 'intelligent design' is not falsifiable and that it makes no serious predictions. Therefore it cannot be called scientific."

3. In short, sillysillysilly is backpedaling from his original position (#1) given that he's now open to debating ID (#2)! Hilarious.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2010 2:08:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2010 4:44:11 AM PST
pbrane says:
"My claim is that 'intelligent design' is not falsifiable and that it makes no serious predictions. Therefore it cannot be called scientific."

As you yourself noted, much turns on the definition of terms such as "science". So define "science" for starters.

Moreover your current "definition" of "science" here includes "falsifiability" and "predictability". Are "falsifiability" and "predictability" sufficient to resolve the demarcation problem?

Like you said: "If you want a rational debate, we need to discuss these questions."

Although given your astounding proclivity for contradicting yourself in your own statements, it wouldn't surprise me if you once again contradict yourself in the future. Of course, it'll be a surprise to see just *how* you'll do it. But I'm sure given your in-born (in-bred?) talent as well as lengthy experience in hilarious idiocy, it won't be too hard for you to find a way to contradict yourself. At this rate, you're a shoe-in for a Darwin Award, sillysillysilly!

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