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Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? Paperback – July 18, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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About the Author

Dr. Denis R. Alexander was previously Chair of the Molecular Immunology Programme at The Babraham Institute in Cambridge. In 2006 he became founding Director of The Faraday Institute for Science & Religion at St. Edmund's College, Cambridge, where he is a Fellow, a position he held until 2012. Dr Alexander was Editor of the journal Science and Christian Belief from 1993-2012.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Monarch Books (July 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854247468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854247469
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,612,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This book is primarily for Christians who are seeking a better understanding of the current creation-evolution debate. The author, who is the Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St. Edmund's College, Cambridge, begins by assuming that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God.

Dr. Alexander then tackles his subject systematically, starting with biblical interpretation, then the biblical doctrine of creation, then three chapters on "What do we mean by evolution?" His discussion of the supporting evidence for evolution is the best and most up-to-date that I've yet seen in the popular press. He then spends a chapter defending evolution against common objections, such as:
* Evolution is a chance process and this is incompatible with the God of the Bible bringing about his purposeful plan of creation.
* The theory of evolution is not truly scientific because it does not involve repeatable experiments in the laboratory.
* Evolution runs counter to the second law of thermodynamics.
* Perhaps God makes things took old, although in reality they are much younger, in order to test our faith.
* What use is half an eye?
* Surely if evolution were true, God would have simply told us so in his Word so that we don't need to have all this discussion.
* Perhaps God made the original kinds by special acts of creation which then underwent rapid evolution to generate the species diversity that we see today.

In bringing together Adam & Eve and evolution, he presents the same five models (A-E) that he described in his paper at the joint meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation and Christians-in-Science in Edinburgh in 2007.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book. Its great merit is that it affirms both great science and great faith. The one can, and does, benefit the other. Alexander takes us back to the idea of the scientist as one who explores the workings of God's universe. This book gets us away from the sterile either/or thinking of the evangelical atheists and the militant creationists.

The book echoes echoes thoughts from Michael Ruse (Can a Darwinian be a Christian?) who from a philosophical background shows that Christian faith and evolutionary biology are compatible, and Francis Collins (The Mind of God) who also has no problem reconciling his biological knowledge and his belief in God.

Alexander is particularly good at showing how DNA changes can generate genetic diversity which is the substrate for evolution. He also shows how natural selection is likely to be a conservative force on most occasions.

Alexander takes evolution back to its original role as a biological theory that explained the formation of new species from existing ones. As such evolution is a powerful theory, with great explanatory power. His account of species formation, and the examples provided are excellent.

Alexander is also good at showing how the idea of evolution has been exteneded to ends far beyond its biological use. The right with its belief in survival of the fittest businesses and individuals, the left with its idea of human perfectibility and inevitable historical progress, the Nazis with their idea of "lives not fit to be lived", the atheist materialist who must deny any idea of design or purpose all use evolution far beyond its intended, or valid, remit.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dr. Alexander, an evangelical Christian, is the Emeritus Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. He is also a molecular biologist. In this book, Dr. Alexander covers the Biblical doctrine of creation, Adam and Eve, and the Fall with great care, drawing from numerous sections of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. He examines the history of Christian thought on creation, salvation, and how God acts within the world. Turning to science, he examines the evidence for evolution of life over time, and of the common ancestry of life, including the fossil record and DNA evidence, and makes an excellent case for God having used evolution. He also makes a compelling argument why the Intelligent Design movement is making a serious error of category. Throughout this entire book, Dr. Alexander gives heartfelt glory to God for what He reveals in the Bible and within the universe He created.
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Format: Paperback
Maybe I could give this fine book a five except I'm not smart enough to process a lot of the science that is related here! Anyway, I'll attempt a humble review. In his thought-provoking work "Proper Confidence", the late Lesslie Newbigin draws some conclusions which I think also relate to Denis Alexander's excellent book: (1) "To look outside of the gospel for a starting point for the demonstration of the reasonableness of the gospel is itself a contradiction of the gospel, for it implies that we look for the logos elsewhere than in Jesus" (p. 94); (2) "Our lives are shaped not by the confidence that we know enough of the laws of nature to chart our course with certainty, but by a faith (which can always be questioned) in the one whose story it is" (p. 73); (3) "As a Christian, my understanding of the truth must be constantly open to revision and correction, but--and this is the crucial point--only and always within the irreversible commitment to Jesus Christ. If that commitment is questioned, then I am once again a clueless wanderer in the darkness, bamboozled by the products of my own imagination." (p. 70)

In the spirit of Newbigin's conclusions above, Alexander approaches the scientific task with a firm faith in God as the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. He speaks passionately throughout this book of "God's patience and his power in bringing the present created order into being through the evolutionary process." (p. 190) "There is nothing in the created order without exception that is not created and sustained by God." (p.
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