David S. T.'s Reviews > Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution

Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller
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's review
Mar 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: science, religion
Read from March 07 to 20, 2011

In the past 700 years science has had a way of humbling humans more and more, once we were the center of everything, created on day 6 in the image of God. First we learn that everything doesn't revolve around the Earth, instead we circle the sun. The sun isn't anything more than just one of billions of stars in the Milky Way, which itself is just one of billions of galaxies. The earth wasn't created created in 1 day, its billions of years old and humans aren't the first dominant species but instead just the latest in a large series. We weren't even created in one day but instead we've evolved over billions of years from a multitude of species. In this book Miller sets out to present the evidence for evolution and then later to shows that you can still believe in God and evolution.

The first half of the book presents the evidence for evolution while at the same time taking on the arguments from young earth creationists, intelligent design and theistic evolution. This is the first book on evolution I've read so I don't know how it compares to others, but its pretty convincing (well I think, I already accepted it). I liked how Miller presented the other sides arguments and then showed how they are mistaken, but doing so in a civil manner. The second half of the book deals with naturalism and the view that evolution has removed the need for God. He goes on to argue why God and evolution can coexists. Truthfully, in my opinion it almost seemed at times like the God he presents is one that I picture with open theology much more than the common one presented in Milers Catholic background. In a way I think I can accept this view of God sometimes more than the one presented in Calvinism which is so sovereign that he even controls or predestines our belief in Jesus. With evolution and a less active God, harder things to accept like disease or things like bedbugs become more tolerable, although sometimes it did seem that Miller was taking a deist approach even though several times he spoke against it. Overall I loved this book and it got me interested in reading more on evolution and especially interested in reading about genomes and DNA.

From my perspective having an evangelical background, I think the biggest hurdle to getting evolution or even an old earth model accepted, is getting the evangelical community to start to accept that Genesis isn't a scientific account of the early creation of the earth and man. Miller briefly mentioned this and showed how even early church fathers like Augustine didn't take the literal 6 day approach, but this is still going to be a battle. From my point of view to accept that the earth wasn't created in 6 days is to at least have to partially start to question inerrancy. Sadly there are many people who would rather put their head in the sand than confront these pressing issues.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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David Fantastic review (much better than mine)! I got the chance to meet Miller and hear him speak on some of these same themes. In terms of your last paragraph, I would recommend John Walton's book on Genesis 1. I have also enjoyed the work of John Polkinghorne, John Haught and Alister McGrath on these topics.

message 2: by David S. T. (last edited Mar 21, 2011 08:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David S. T. I've read the Walton book and it does a pretty good job of showing how the Genesis account describes functional origins more than material ones, but I think the implications go much further. For example what about the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2, if science is correct then humans have been around for 100,000 years or so, much longer than the 6,000 you get from adding genealogies (of course they could be incomplete), so where does that leave Adam? Did God take existing "humanoids" and place his image in them and therefore Adam was a real man, the first "son of God", or is the story just a myth to explain our sin nature, obviously Paul thought he was real.

Furthermore what about the Nephilim in Genesis 6, maybe Adam's line with the non spirit Humans might explain them (or it could be the Cain line with the Seth line). What about other things in the earliest chapters of Genesis such as the Flood the tower of babel, ect. So that's kind of what I meant by my last paragraph, to accept the view that Evolution is true and that the Genesis creation account is functional does in my opinion open a whole new list of theological questions. I think its going to be an interesting time for apologetics.

David Good stuff man. I should have said "in terms of the first half of your last paragraph" because Miller definitely comes at it more as a scientist while we need people (like Walton and others) who come at it more as theologians and bible scholars.

You raise a lot of good questions that do need to be answered by (evangelical) Christians. The implications do go farther and I agree that the questions of Genesis 2 are more directly related to faith then those of Genesis 1.

message 4: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy Hey David! Glad to see you back and reading... maybe even watching some experimental films?

David S. T. I manged to read about 40 books this year! Sadly my experimental film watching is non-existent these days. As for this review its two years old, I just removed this book from my favorites list (just doesn't seem like a favorite anymore). One of these days I need to start reviewing what I read, but it takes me a couple of hours to write a review like this one and with time being a premium these days, getting around to writing reviews never happens.

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