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God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried…
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God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?

by John Lennox

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After assuring me that his dog is not a "god of the gaps", Lennox proceeds to uncover gaps in which I might be persuaded that his imaginary fiend is lurking. Whatever "happened" "before" "the big bang" is however surely the biggest gap that remains to science. And if science can't tell us why it is that the world is explainable to us by science, then that is what is known as a ...gap... in our scientific understanding. (Such surely isn't that hard to grasp?) Abiogenesis too strikes me as being the biggest ...gap in our understanding of how life came to be the way it manifests itself on our planet.

Lennox is capable of quoting a lot of people. A lot of people. He finds the very strangest bits of writing by a variety of people which he can proceed to use to his own ends. His argument seems to run along the following lines: "Some random scientist held/holds some view or other (taken out of context more likely than not), therefore it is respectable for you to hold the view I (ab)use his view to support." For myself, however, I am far more interested in the actual science than I am in these various citations I have very little opportunity to verify for myself (due to the vast number cited). And Lennox, or certainly his readers, would do well to heed the motto of the Royal Society: "Nullius in verba".

If only I could be convinced that he has spent more effort trying to understand the science behind those various citations than on working out alternative meanings to the English words used in said citations. One bit of science he does not, in my opinion, understand, is evolution. He doesn't realise that Berlinski's "Head Monkey" is in fact the ever-changing environment in which a genome evolves. That harsh environment does indeed give the effect of impressive intelligence and yet it remains both blind and dumb (dumb as in non-intelligent).

Part of Lennox's reasoning is dependant on a) his interpretation of the bible, b) a traditionally held biblical chronology. What happens to those of Lennox's arguments when modern archaeology contradicts the biblical account and chronology? He doesn't seem to grasp even the fundamental issue that there is a difference between Deism and Theism.

Finally Lennox admits that his is in fact a god of the gaps, but claims his gaps are... wait for it... good gaps! What does he take me for?

The reason why we look for an Aunt Matilda when we see a cake is because most of the time we see cakes, we know who made them. We have never seen Lennox's proposed "god". One day science may jolly well be able to read Matilda's mind to reveal her purpose for the cake. That day science may also be able to read Lennox's mind to reveal his purpose for cooking his books.

Lennox is correct about one thing though: Science can bury Yahweh no more than it can bury Superman.
1 vote zangasta | Mar 27, 2012 |
A little too turgid and ranty - much like the author if you've seen him present. ( )
  jontseng | Jan 5, 2011 |
Strong on the physical evidence for the anthropic principle but basically opposed to the theory of what he calls macroevolution. He is very good on the philosophical background to modern thought and says it is inclined to materialism and thus against theism. He shows that natural selection can hardly to be used to account for the developments of anything before reproduction began so proteins and DNA are hard to account for. He does not face the evidence for evolution from more primitive species in the detail of the genome, something that other writers accept as proof of macroevolution. Likes quoting other scientists who are sceptical of evolution but explains their views thoroughly. I hope they are as significant as he says, certainly it was interesting to see that quite a lot of experts don't take evolution as the easy answer for everything that has happened. ( )
  othurtle | May 30, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0745953719, Paperback)

Intended to provide a basis for discussion, this captivating study evaluates the evidence of modern science in relation to the debate between the atheistic and theistic resource addresses such topics as the origin of life; the genetic code and its origin; the nature and scope of evolution; and the scope and limits of science. Gripping and thoroughly argued, it is an illuminating look at one of man's greatest debates. This updated edition features 10 percent new content and a brand new forward from the author.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

If we believe many modern commentators, science has squeezed God into a corner and atheism is the only intellectually tenable position. In this thought-provoking book, John C. Lennox re-evaluates the relationship between science and religion, casting new light on many of today's major debates.… (more)

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