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Creation and Evolution

Creation and Evolution

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Francis C. Collins headed the Human Genome Project, which produced a description of the entire sequence of DNA in the human cell. In his book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Simon & Schuster, 2006), he confesses his faith in God, not in spite of science, but because of it, and attempts a synthesis of science and faith.
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Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (The Free Press, 1996). 
As a trained biologist, I am not too happy with most of what Christians have written on the creation-evolution controversy. This book, together with Johnson’s book below, is one of those I don’t find embarrassing. Behe looks at the complexity of biological processes and structures. He argues they could not have developed by small steps of improvement, as Darwin claimed, since they are “irreducibly complex”. 
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Henry Blocher, In the Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis(InterVarsity, 1984). 
Blocher, a French biblical scholar, searches for the true nature and meaning of the first three chapters of Genesis. In my opinion, with great success. His interpretation is not directed by the natural sciences, nor by the literalistic, pseudo-scientific reading popular among evangelicals. Since the latter is really a phenomenon of the twentieth century, it is unlikely Genesis was written to be read in this way. Unfortunately, this excellent book is out of print. 
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Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (InterVarsity, 1993). 
Johnson is a lawyer who takes Darwin’s theory to court and finds the evidence wanting. Whether the evidence for evolution is really as weak as Johnson argues is, of course, debatable. The real strength of the book is that it shows how the controversy, as it is presently conducted, is in reality a philosophical and not a scientific debate; the underlying assumption and dogma of many evolutionists is naturalism (scientific materialism). Which means, the possibility of divine or supernatural influence is excluded from the very beginning. Now, is that scientific? Johnson thinks not. 
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Mark A. Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Eerdmans/InterVarsity, 1994). 
This book isn’t about the creation-evolution controversy, but deals more broadly with the way evangelicals and fundamentalists think and how they read Scripture. Since their approach to evolution is a clear illustration (and consequence) of this, the book is listed under this heading. Noll shows how many Christians are stuck in nineteenth-century thought patterns, interpreting the Bible by methods derived from the physical sciences. 
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Ronald L. Numbers, The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism(University of California Press, 1993). 
Numbers documents the origin of creationism in its narrow sense, that is, the belief in a literal reading of Genesis, in a young earth and in the biblical flood as the cause of most geological deposits (flood geology). This makes for yet another highly embarrassing tale for evangelicals. Our ancestors were wiser and more diverse in their responses to scientific evidence. After publication of the Genesis Flood, however, young-earth creationism (which before was mostly limited to seventh-day Adventist circles) quickly marginalized other views. Which was not an improvement. 
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