Book Review – Finding Darwin’s God

There is no lack of controversy and debate surrounding the hot topics of evolution and creation. Evolutionists will often paint creationists as religious nutcases who deny every shred of scientific evidence given to them and go so far as to want not even a hint of creationist teaching in public schools since they claim it is a violation of church and state. On the other side, creationists often consider evolution as a view held only by militant atheists bent on attacking God Himself and thus view any scientific evidence with a great deal of skepticism, if not outright denial.

In Finding Darwin’s God, Kenneth Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, attempts to show how evolution is compatible with Christian theology. He argues against the main creationist theories including Young Earth Creationism (YEC) and Intelligent Design (ID), showing the supposed logical and scientific flaws in each. He also argues against Michael Behe’s theory of irreducible complexity – the idea that all of life seems to hint at design to some degree or another. While much of the book is aimed at dispelling creation as held to by most Christians, he also takes atheistic evolutionists to task for assuming that a belief in evolution automatically rules out a belief in God. He argues very strongly for a belief in God while at the same time arguing very strongly for a belief in the “fact” of evolution.

As an “Old Earth Creationist,” I was admittedly biased before reading the book. I did not expect any concrete, scientific evidence to support evolution (in the macro sense) and did not come away having a changed mind. However, I was very surprised at how well Miller wrote and presented his arguments. For a scientific book and especially one written by a biology professor, I did not expect it to be so readable. I found his arguments regarding dating methods and support of an old universe especially compelling. His questions pertaining to Young Earth Creationism and the “appearance of age” theory were well formed and certainly demand some sort of coherent answer. While he presents quite a bit of scientific evidence in support of evolution itself, I found it a bit lacking and not really supporting evolution in the bigger picture.

Although Miller is perhaps an astounding biology professor, his theology leaves much to be desired. It seems his science has dictated his theology and the result is very akin to Open Theism. He seems to sacrifice the sovereignty of God in order to keep the “independence of nature” – two concepts that certainly aren’t mutually exclusive, but Miller appears to have trouble reconciling.

Perhaps the greatest takeaway from this book is that Miller does achieve his main purpose – showing that beliefs in God and evolution are certainly compatible. In one of the later chapters, he discusses a very plausible interpretation of the Genesis creation account as seen from the perspective of an evolutionist, yet does not take away from the Biblical account. Though I was not convinced that evolution is fact, reading the book helped me to grasp that while the scientific evidence may not be there (yet!), my theological beliefs certainly wouldn’t suffer should the evidence ever be proven.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: