FINDING DARWIN'S GOD: A SCIENTIST'S SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND
BETWEEN GOD AND EVOLUTION
By Kenneth Miller Cliff Street Books
When rumors of Charles Darwin's theory about the origin of
species first began to circulate in British society during the mid-
19th century, one aghast gentleman pronounced: "Let us hope that it
is not true. But if it is, let us hope that it does not become
Evolution frightened the Victorians because of its apparent
threat to religion - and it continues to trouble society to this
day. Although Darwin's theory is accepted as fact by virtually all
respected scientists, fewer than half of all Americans today believe
that humans evolved from an earlier species.
If anything, recent events indicate that opposition to evolution
may be on the rise: Last August, the Kansas School Board voted to
remove evolution from the state's science curriculum. Oklahoman
officials recently ordered that all state biology textbooks bear a
disclaimer calling evolution "a controversial theory." And
Kentucky's state education officials decided last month to eliminate
the word "evolution" from the school curriculum, replacing it with
the phrase "change over time."
Kenneth Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University in
Providence, R.I., takes these attacks on evolution seriously and
believes they call for a serious rebuttal. The first half of
"Finding Darwin's God" addresses the various claims of the
creationists, demonstrating why they are, in Miller's words, "bad
The second half of the book, however, is far more ambitious.
After carefully establishing that evolution is scientifically true,
Miller, a practicing Roman Catholic, attempts to demonstrate that it
is also compatible with a belief in God - and that, in fact, it is
"the key to understanding our relationship with God."
Miller's scientific arguments are compelling, presented in terms
that any layman could understand. He's never condescending or dull.
Particularly entertaining is his response to the creationists' view
that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old.
One reason these early chapters are so convincing is that Miller
actually has a certain amount of sympathy for his opponents. In a
wonderful anecdote, he relates how several years ago he debated
Henry Morris, the founder of the Institute for Creation Research, in
Tampa, Fla. The following morning, he ran into Mr. …