Alexander, Denis

Denis is Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge. He is Senior Affiliated Scientist at The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, where he supervises a research group in cancer and immunology. Denis writes widely in science and religion and is editor of the journal Science & Christian Belief. Denis writes: “How has the notion arisen that Darwinian theory is intrinsically atheistic? The answer, I would suggest, is because the ideas and scope of evolutionary theory are frequently misunderstood by Christian non-biologists, whereas atheists on their part often have little knowledge of the biblical doctrine of creation…Unfortunately, however, many people have tried to hijack the theory of evolution to support all kinds of ideologies. Evolution has been used to support racism, communism, capitalism and other ideologies, many of them mutually incompatible. But evolution is simply a biological theory, quite incapable of such Herculean ideological tasks….Some Christians invoke miracles to explain the origin of life, the origin of each species etc. But whereas the Bible sees God's creative actions as wonderful and inspiring worship, it does not generally paint them in miraculous terms. Biblical miracles are those interventions of God's grace that stand out from a backcloth of .is 'normal' creative actions. Were it not for that consistency and faithfulness of God in creation we would be less able to recognise his miraculous interventions in the lives of his people. The medieval church multiplied 'miracles' (in the sacraments and by the saints) but the Reformers pointed out that it was not glorifying to God to call something miraculous that God himself did not….Evolution itself is not inherently atheistic. A robust Christian theism readily encompasses evolution as an expression of God's creative actions. But, sadly, there are prominent scientists, like the Harvard sociobiologist, E.O. Wilson, who left their earlier Christian experience to become atheists because they faced hostility to evolution. Attacks by well-meaning Christians on evolution cause a serious hindrance to evangelism within the scientific community and, as a matter of fact, promote rather than counteract atheism.


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Can Religion Be Explained Without God?

Most people believe that God exists and religion is God’™s revelation. But some claim that religion needs nothing supernatural; that religion, without God, can flourish because personal psychology and group sociology drive religion.

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