If you enjoy everything British you will like this book, like Prof Alister McGrath he is originally from Northern Ireland and like McGrath holds two doctorates, one in Mathematics and second in as a philosopher of science. He is well spoken measured in his statements and full of references to support his statements. It is written as a short but to the point book on number of issues facing modern anti theists and atheists when dealing with major arguments when confronting Theism. He is clear and stern in his criticism of many modern scientist who are also evangelists of atheism ideology. His points that in order for one to claim atheistic position will necessitate reasonable evidence based on facts rather than faith they place in their presuppositions that have never been tested.
I highly recommend this book it covers number of subjects things like the fact that today we are facing a war of the worldviews in our debates and it is not scientific data that is supposedly dominating much of the debates by many atheists (note that not all atheists are like this) this is often not taken into account when analysing issues at hand.
Dr Lennox is looking at the issue of information and being qualified in mathematics this places him well in assessing the theory of design. He point out that even though most people will go cold as soon as you mention word Intelligent Design, when properly addressed this issue could and should help us understand better complexity we find in nature. He deals with number of issues raised by the famous Scottish philosopher David Hume and tackles him head on showing that frequently much of what he said has been taken out of context. He gives credit to Hume and accepts that lack of scientific data could reasonably justify his position stated so long ago. But he also points out that not only the universe but nature itself still proclaims the glory of God.
I would only add one word of caution, it will require some thinking and will demand your full attention. Many points could easily be missed if you are not paying attention. Don’t approach this book with preconceptions, try to read it in the way that you would listen to any new idea and you will find that much of what is said is not contradictory to what we find in scientific world today but expanded and explained in the way that could explain many reasonable faiths that exist amongst Christian intellectuals in this country.
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Reviews by other people from Amazon.co.uk
In this very readable and well-researched book John Lennox does a brilliant job of exposing the real issues involved in any discussion of the relationship between science and religion. The fundamental point, which he makes so well, is that the debate is NOT about science VERSUS religion, but has to do with different world views (namely naturalism – the view that there is nothing but nature and the material world – contrasted with theism – the view that there is a God ) and the relationship of each with science. Dr Lennox then asks the all-important question: Which world view sits most comfortably with science? …
Professor of Pure Mathematics
University of York, UK
…Anyway, there are many good general qualities about this book already addressed by other reviewers. For me the most notable and pressing points of value that Lennox makes are the following:
1) There isn’t a necessary tension between science and religion – rather between competing worldviews – most notably (for the purposes of this book) – naturalism and theism. Either one of these basic outlooks can use science legitimately to expand material knowledge, but either one can also quite easily end up using it selectively to fit in with it’s ultimate assumptions and aims. So, prescriptive worldviews are the problem. (It was the Aristotelian worldview that Galileo had to overcome – held by secular academics as well as church authorities – not Christianity as such.)
2) ‘God of the gaps’ can actually be a tag given to naturalists in some cases (‘evolution’ of the gaps), where gaps in our knowledge are assumed to be obviously fillable by evolutionary processes, ahead of the necessary evidence. However, it can also be applied to areas where science has reached its distant shores and has been left with a logical impasse which it is impotent to cross using experimentation and naturalistic concepts. In other words, it is possible for science and reason to identify and demarkate areas that are inexplicable by scientific investigation itself (- in other words it’s not merely a matter of time before they are fixed). There is one area (possibly among others) below where Lennox clearly seems to think that this has happened.
3) DNA – still unexplained in terms of origins, and according to the mathematical prowess of Lennox (using information theory) inexplicable unless you accept that there must be a more fundamental source of information within the universe, from which DNA can have been ‘programmed’ (my quote marks). Essentially, Lennox draws upon various information theorists to tentatively posit a ‘law of conservation of information’ which would mean that information (and hence ‘intelligence’) cannot be built-up from unintelligent inputs, and is hence more fundamental to the design of the universe than previously thought (it is accepted in the case of energy, why not intelligence?). In making this point, Lennox appears to give a damning critique of the explanations used by Richard Dawkins in his book ‘Climbing Mount Improbable’ where he tries to make the evolution of DNA seem more credible according to Darwinist mechanisms. Possibly I have overly simplified this central proposition of Lennox, but the details are there to be read (should you feel compelled to argue with it), and I’ll be damned if I can find, on the internet, any decent responses to the point Lennox is making. It is as if nobody wants to notice, or engage with, such a point. Perhaps some generous and enthusiastic Naturalist can put me straight in the comments section to this review, regarding where Lennox has gone wrong with this proposal, because it seems pretty convincing to me. (and please don’t quibble about where ‘God’ must have got the intelligence from etc – the issue is WHETHER IT IS FUNDAMENTAL OR NOT – we follow the evidence first – then worry about the consequences – right?)…
By Chris P
… Lennox then sails in to the stormy waters of Biology and Biochemistry to see what the unfolding world of DNA and chemical microstructures has to say to us. He draws on his vast knowledge of mathematics and information theory to shows the incredible implausibility of the first mutating self-replicator arising by purely by chance. He shows that whilst random mutation and natural selection can certainly carry some weight, they crumble under the full force of atheism which demands they be the full explanation for all the specified complexity in the world….
By S Wilde
… The Guardian gave this book a brilliant review and that interested me. They were right – whatever you believe or don’t believe this one is a must in the religion and science debate. Lennox might be a Christian but forget any fuzzy warm feely stuff. This mind is razor sharp.
The whole God debate just got a lot more interesting – and I have to say – a lot more academic.
By Rob Mackintosh
… The second half of the book provides a careful evaluation of Darwinian evolution. Darwinists like to perpetrate the notion that sceptics of their theory are ignorant, stupid or worse. This tarnishes the reputation of dissenters (sling enough mud and some of it is bound to stick), and intimidates potential critics from coming out into the open. You have to admire the author’s courage. These days, it takes a brave academic to openly criticise Darwinian evolution. The Darwinist establishment is not known for its tolerance of dissent, although the situation in the UK is not (yet) as bad as in the USA (see “Slaughter of the Dissidents” by Jerry Bergman – available at amazon com). But the author is prepared for his intellectual demise, and has even composed his own epitaph!
Here lies the body of John Lennox.
You ask me why he’s in the box?
He died of something worse than pox,
On Darwinism – heterodox.
Critical reviewers of this book are welcome to analyse its arguments and data carefully, and demonstrate with reasoned argument what they think are flaws in them. This is the proper way to conduct scientific debate. Dismissing it with rhetoric instead of reasoning will not do.
By Lloyd To
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