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Customer Review

on April 30, 2010
"Should Christians Embrace Evolution?" is intended to be an argument against theistic evolution in general and a rebuttal to Denis Alexander's "Creation or Evolution: Do we have to choose?" in particular. Accordingly, I strongly recommend reading Alexander's book before this one.

Unfortunately, this book is cobbled together from a collection of articles that, in the main, address apologetics for Bible literalism and challenges to "Darwinism", rather than focusing on theistic evolution. The resulting product pales in comparison to Alexander's tour de force. It gets off to an inauspicious start with the blatant falsehood that "Evolution is secular culture's grand explanation, the overriding `meta-narrative' that sinners accept with joy because it allows them to explain life without reference to God ..." (p 10). This echoes Phillip Johnson's definition of what he termed "Darwinism": a metaphysical naturalist worldview in which nothing exists but the physical world: that would be more appropriately called "Dawkinism".

The actuality is that the current, neo-Darwinian (NDE) theory of biological evolution is a scientific theory that identifies and explains the mechanism by which the diversity of life on earth arose (origin of species). It does not address origin of first life (abiogenesis). It is theistically neutral. It is not, however, denominationally neutral, and that is what the Bible literalist authors try to rebut here.

NDE is not a metaphysic. It is not a philosophy. Accordingly, it does not, nor is it required to, explain the "why" of anything. This effectively demolishes the many challenges in this book for NDE to explain such things as why there is death, decay, pain, and suffering. And that is why this book fails: its challenges are to "Darwinism" as defined by Phillip Johnson, not to NDE.

Additionally, this book's authors display lack of understanding and/or disregard for the basics of Darwin's writings, evolution theory, and science. For example:

Contributing author Andrew Sibley claims: "Science cannot be done independently of theology and Scripture," (p 101), which is patently absurd. Science has been and will continue to be conducted by scientists from a full spectrum of religious and nonreligious belief.

Contributing author R. T. Kendall says: "... empirical knowledge has failed to make their [evolution] theory today more than a theory." (p 113) It's common knowledge, except among Creationists, that no scientific theory ever becomes MORE than a theory.

Contributing author Andy McIntosh declares: "... natural selection has no power to create new functional structures." (p 162) No evolutionist would ever claim that it does. Mutation is the mechanism that provides new functional structures for natural selection to act upon.

There's a whole "treasure trove" of such gems throughout this book. The authors should heed the words of philosopher Bob Dylan, who said:

"And don't criticize what you can't understand
Your old road is rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'."
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