Finding Darwin’s God is a book that appears to be directed more toward Christians than to any other target here. I at first found the book to be quite interesting and in chapter 4, Miller comes out quite humorous about the elephant.
The scientific portions of this book were really great. I was reading it and was saying to myself, “Finally! A Christian who doesn’t lie about the facts of nature!” I was refreshed to see someone with such strong religious beliefs for once taking a stand on behalf of science.
Then, after his refutations of the bad science behind the intelligent design movement, he moves his book in a more philosophical direction. He attempts to state that religious faith and science are compatible which I strongly disagree with and how religion is not being moved by scientific discoveries which is something that comes crashing down on him when he insists upon a non-literal reading of Genesis.
He only goes into detail about Genesis 1 and never gives hint as to whether he believes in a literal Adam and Eve or whether Genesis 1-11 is history so I have no clue as to what he believes about the flood. You would have to ask him yourself. Nevertheless, this part also irritated me. He starts talking about people having immaterial souls inside of them as if its a proven fact. Actually, neuroscientific discoveries have found no such thing.
Kenneth Miller’s book is self-contradicting and self-refuting. He insists he denies intelligent design while at the same time becoming a closet creationist by putting an immaterial soul into people. He insists that religion is not being guided by scientific discoveries but then insists that Genesis 1 not be read literally which would mean that the meaning of Genesis 1 is being guided by scientific discoveries.
Positives in this book:
Good science, good definitions of what science is, and good refutations of atheists proclaiming that evolution demonstrates that materialism is the absolute truth.
Negatives in this book:
Bad philosophy, self-contradictory, and he comes out too annoyed at some of the atheists’ arguments in this book.
I think for a radical fundamentalist Christian, this book will be extraordinarily difficult to read and an nonbeliever is going to have a similar amount of difficulties reading it. It frustrated me just about as much as it informed me.
To his credit, he never argues “god of gaps” arguments especially when he insists that we have not learned enough about quantum physics to make a statement about whether this actually provides a place for a god in the universe and so I applaud him for making accurate conclusions about the data that we have. But he never actually solves the “god” issue nor does he ever demonstrate that science and religion have a common ground. Maybe because there is no common ground between the two?
Religion observes the supernatural, science observes the natural. How is there any common ground between the two? Miller does not demonstrate this. He never even shows natural evidence to support his claims about people having an immaterial soul. With that said, I would recommend Finding Darwin’s God to a theist who thinks evolution is a joke or to someone who wants to see how to defend evolution but I would not recommend this book to a Christian apologist trying to make a case for the existence of a god nor to an atheist/agnostic seeker who is trying to investigate arguments for and against the existence of a god. This book won’t help you find god. It will only help you to see how Miller creates and reshapes his own religious views based on science. So much for science not actually guiding religion.