Synopses & Reviews
Click here to visit evolutionandchristianfaith.org "I'm an evolutionary biologist and a Christian," states Stanford professor Joan Roughgarden at the outset of her groundbreaking new book, Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist. From that perspective, she offers an elegant, deeply satisfying reconciliation of the theory of evolution and the wisdom of the Bible. Perhaps only someone with Roughgarden's unique academic standing could examine so well controversial issues such as the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, or the potential flaws in Darwin's theory of evolution. Certainly Roughgarden is uniquely suited to reference both the minutiae of scientific processes and the implication of Biblical verses. Whether the topic is mutation rates and lizards or the hidden meanings behind St. Paul's letters, Evolution and Christian Faith distils complex arguments into everyday understanding. Roughgarden has scoured the Bible and scanned the natural world, finding examples time and again, not of conflict, but of harmony. The result is an accessible and intelligent context for a Christian vision of the world that embraces science. In the ongoing debates over creationism and evolution, Evolution and Christian Faith will be seen as a work of major significance, written for contemporary readers who wonder how-or if-they can embrace scientific advances while maintaining their traditional values.
"Roughgarden, a Stanford biology professor and author of Evolution's Rainbow, is impatient with the current tone of creation/evolution debates, but takes them seriously as an expression of a 'pent-up urge for talking about God' in American public life. Attentive to 'the spiritual yearning of people that compels them to overlook the evidence' if evolution is portrayed as an enemy of faith, Roughgarden urges science educators to show 'more sympathy and willingness to accommodate people of faith, to offer space for seeing a Christian vision of the world within evolutionary biology.' The book's main argument is that a suitably flexible reading of the Bible and Darwin bears out common, or at least compatible, themes, and that evolution can be read within a broader perspective of divine design. Roughgarden sees room in the biblical account for the common ancestry of all life on Earth, as well as the possibility that evolution is 'guided by the hand of God, even if the mutation process is random' as described by Darwinian theory. While the book occasionally overreaches in attempts to have things both ways or so it will seem to controversialists on either side readers who see a role for both evolution and divine creation will appreciate Roughgarden's attempt to stake out a common ground that does not feel like a compromise." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Clear and brilliantly concise, Dr. Roughgarden's thoughtful analysis sheds much-needed light on the contemporary debate over the compatibility of Christian belief and evolutionary biology. Eschewing polarizing rhetoric and antithetical claims, she demonstrates that there is no contradiction between Christian faith and the facts of evolution and that it is false to suggest such dichotomous thinking is required by either faithfulness to the Bible or scientific evidence. Roughgarden's fresh approach suggests that much in the Bible invites Christians to recognize God's good creation precisely as a universe in evolution."
"Joan Roughgarden is more than an accomplished evolutionary biologist; she is also brave. Combining lucid evolutionary reasoning with personal Christian faith, she builds a remarkable bridge across the cultural chasm between science and faith in America today. Roughgarden rejects both junk science based on spurious metaphors and junk religion based on spurious theology. In their place, she offers an inspiring accommodation between thoughtful science and compassionate religion."
"I'm an evolutionary biologist and a Christian," states Stanford professor Joan Roughgarden at the outset of her groundbreaking new book, Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist. From that perspective, she offers an elegant
." . . Roughgarden rejects both junk science based on spurious metaphors and junk religion based on spurious theology. In their place, she offers an inspiring accommodation between thoughtful science and compassionate religion.S--Michael Rose, professor of evolutionary biology, University of California, Irvine.
Evolution and Christian Faith
distills complex arguments into everyday understanding. The result is an accessible and intelligent context for a Christian vision of the world that embraces science.
About the Author
Joan Roughgarden is professor of biological sciences and of geophysics at Stanford University. Her many books include Evolution's Rainbow (University of California Press, 2004), Primer of Ecological Theory (Prentice Hall, 1995), and Theory of Population Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology (Macmillan, 1979). She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Table of Contents
1. Science with Religion
2. Single Tree of Life
3. Species Change
4. Taking the Bible Literally
5. How Change Happens
6. Random Mutation
7. Evolution's Direction
8. Roman Catholic Position
9. To-Do List for Theorists
10. Intelligent Design
11. Gender and Sexuality
12. Future Directions 102