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The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith

Exploring the Ultimate Questions About Life and the CosmosWilliam A. Dembski, Casey Luskin and Joseph M. Holden

Science and faith are often presented as mutually exclusive, when in reality the scientific evidence provides powerful evidence that life and the universe were designed. Featuring more than 40 entries authored by over 30 qualified experts, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions About Life and the Cosmos will help explain:

  • How intelligent design is a scientific theory backed by evidence from the top to bottom of nature, with design found in the complexity of the tiniest biomolecules to the macro-architecture of the universe and the laws of physics
  • How the history of science shows that religion has encouraged scientific discovery, and has not been a hindrance
  • That humans are special and unique, and do not share common ancestors with animal species

Each chapter is written by an expert who gives a comprehensive yet concise and readable briefing of key questions related to science, faith, and intelligent design (ID). With contributions from leading theorists and thinkers, such as William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, Douglas Axe, Jonathan Wells, Walter Bradley, Casey Luskin, Brian Miller, Paul Nelson, Günter Bechly, Guillermo Gonzalez, John West, Robert Marks, Michael Keas, Jay Richards, Richard Weikart, Bruce Gordon, Michael Egnor, Cornelius Hunter, John Bloom, and others, few books go this broad and deep on ID in such a “tight” way.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Stephen C. Meyer 15

Part I: Science and Faith

  1. What Are Science and Faith — and Are They Compatible? by William A. Dembski 21
  2. How Do We Understand the Relationship Between Faith and Reason? by Joseph M. Holden and Christopher T Haun 33
  3. Has Science Refuted Miracles and the Supernatural? by Richard G. Howe 45
  4. Is Christianity at War with Science? by Michael N. Keas 55
  5. Does Science Conflict with Biblical Faith? by David Haines 67
  6. Did Christianity Help Give Rise to Science? by John A. Bloom 81
  7. Can a Christian Be a Scientist (and Vice Versa)? by David Haines and Frank Correa 87
  8. What Is the Biblical and Scientific Case for a Historical Adam and Eve? by Fazale Rana 97
  9. On Science and Scientism: What Insights Does CS Lewis Offer? by Terry Glaspey 111
  10. How Has Evil Been Done in the Name of Science? by Richard Weikart 115
  11. How Can We Use Science in Apologetics? by Jay W Richards 123
  12. What About the Historical Relationship Between Christianity and Science? by H. Wayne House 131

Part II: Science and Design

  1. What Is the Evidence for Intelligent Design and What Are Its Theological Implications? by Stephen C. Meyer 143
  2. Is Our Intuition of Design in Nature Correct? by Douglas Axe 151
  3. What is Intelligent Design and How Should We Defend It? by Casey Luskin 161
  4. What Is the Positive Case for Design? by Casey Luskin 175
  5. Why Does Intelligent Design Matter? by William A. Dembski 191
  6. Have Science and Philosophy Refuted Free Will? by Michael Egnor 197
  7. Can Materialism Explain Human Consciousness? by Michael Egnor 211
  8. Does the Big Bang Support Cosmic Design? by Brian Miller 223
  9. How Does Fine-Tuning Make the Case for Nature’s Designer? by Hugh Ross 229
  10. Do We Live on a Privileged Planet? by Guillermo Gonzalez 239
  11. How Do Solar Eclipses Point to Intelligent Design? by Guillermo Gonzalez 247
  12. How Does the Intelligibility of Nature Point to Design? by Bruce L. Gordon 253

Part III: Science and Evolution

  1. Did Life First Arise by Purely Natural Means (Abiogenesis)? 267 by Walter L. Bradley and Casey Luskin
  2. What Are the Top Scientific Problems with Evolution? by Jonathan Wells 285
  3. How Does Irreducible Complexity Challenge Darwinism? by Michael Behe 295
  4. Can New Proteins Evolve? by Douglas Axe 303
  5. Does the Evidence Support Universal Common Ancestry? by Casey Luskin 313
  6. Can Universal Common Descent Be Tested? by Paul Nelson 331
  7. Does the Fossil Record Demonstrate Darwinian Evolution? by Günter Bechly 345
  8. Do Fossils Demonstrate Human Evolution? by Casey Luskin 357
  9. Is Evolutionary Psychology a Legitimate Way to Understand Our Humanity? by Denyse O’Leary 371
  10. Does Darwinism Make Theological Assumptions? by Cornelius Hunter 381
  11. How Has Darwinism Negatively Impacted Society? by John G. West 389
  12. Do Scientists Have the Intellectual Freedom to Challenge Darwinism? by John G. West 399
  13. Is Darwinism a Theory in Crisis? by Jonathan Wells 407

Part IV: Hard Questions on Science and Faith

  1. Is Science the Only Means for Acquiring Truth? by David R.C. Deane 417
  2. Is Theistic Evolution a Viable Option for Christians? 429 by Jay W. Richards
  3. Will Intelligent Machines Rise Up and Overtake Humanity? 439 by Robert J. Marks II
  4. Can Panspermia Explain the Origin of Life? by Guillermo Gonzalez 449
  5. Does the Multiverse Refute Cosmic Design? by Bruce L. Gordon 457
  6. What About Human Exceptionalism and Genetic Engineering? by Wesley J. Smith 471
  7. How Should Christians Think About Origins? by Richard G. Howe 481
  8. How Should We Think About the Age of the Earth? by David Haines 491
  9. How Have Christians Helped to Advance Science? by Henry “Fritz” Schaefer III 507
  10. How Can We Make Sense of Natural Evil? by William A. Dembski 527
  11. Should Christians Embrace Human Enhancement Science and Technology That Extends Mental and Physical Limitations? by Miguel Angel Endara 535

§

  • Appendix: List of Important Thinkers in the History of the Natural Sciences Who Were Religious 545 by David Haines
  • Bibliography and Resources 555
  • Notes 563

Endorsements

The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith is a rigorous and thorough defense of intelligent design, offering both scientific and philosophical discussions. Well-known scientists provide scientific arguments on the big bang, the origin of life, fine-tuning, fossils, and more. A large part of the book is also devoted to philosophy: why making inferences to a nonmaterial cause is justifiable within science, the relationship between science and faith, overturning historical myths about the church’s attitude toward science, and why a purely materialistic scientific position is self-defeating. Many subjects are covered by multiple authors, each with a different focus. The result is an overwhelming barrage aimed squarely at those who deny that intelligent design is science.

Ann Gauger, PhD (Zoology), Senior Fellow Discovery Institute

This is a heroic encyclopedic work by some of the world’s top thinkers on the topics of science, faith, and the cosmos, and the God who created them all. If anyone thinks that the study of science and faith should be disparate disciplines, here are more than 656 reasons why they’re wrong. What is clear from this massive volume is that the alignment of science and faith is far closer to parallel than orthogonal, and it spans as far as from east to west across the tangents of science, life, and eternity.

James Tour, Professor of Chemistry, Computer Science, Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Rice University

The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith is, quite simply, a tour de force whose publication is an event we must understand. The release of this book is a symbol of the decades-old growth, maturity, and rigor of the intelligent design (ID) movement. No longer can people employ dismissive slogans, handwaving, and ad-hominem attacks in response to ID claims. This book demands serious engagement. Filled with highly qualified scholars, detailed and first-rate argumentation, and solid engagement with virtually all the major issues, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith throws down the gauntlet. If the reader does not agree with the points made within its pages, then let the reader bring forth his or her case. However, if someone ignores this book or simply brushes it aside, that person does so at the price of being intellectually irresponsible.

JP Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University

This is a fascinating book. Christians who read it—or even a few chapters—will find themselves rejoicing in the amazing consistency between God’s words in the Bible and the most recent scientific discoveries. And any non-Christians who read it will likely be surprised to learn of the remarkable congruence between the Christian faith and numerous scientific findings. I am glad to recommend this book to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Wayne Grudem, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith is precisely the type of resource I recommend frequently to students, fellow educators, ministry leaders, and inquisitive laypersons. It has a fantastic breadth of scope, incorporating rigorous philosophical, theological, and scientific knowledge related to the major questions sparked by the intersection of science and faith. The depth of content offered by the contributing scholars is intellectually satisfying yet wonderfully accessible. This versatile book is a welcome addition to my academic and ministry tool kits.

Melissa Cain Travis, PhD, author of Science and the Mind of the Maker

The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith is an essential reference for your personal library. The most valuable sections are those dealing with intelligent design, with contributions by the stellar specialists in this area- William A Dembski and Stephen C. Meyer at the head of the list. The issues discussed cover a very wide range and the scholarship is impeccable.

John Warwick Montgomery, PhD (Chicago), DTheol (Strasbourg, France), LLD (Cardiff, Wales, UK); Professor Emeritus of Law and Humanities, University of Bedfordshire, England; Director, International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights (Strasbourg, France)

This book is a wonderful guide to the range of important issues at the heart of the intersection of science and faith. From artificial intelligence to theistic evolution, the editors have put together a top-rate team who explore the biggest issues being discussed today. If you’re looking for an introductory book that also has some depth, then The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith is for you.

Sean McDowell, PhD, professor of apologetics, at Biola University; author, coauthor, or editor of 20+ books, including Understanding Intelligent Design

Anyone who desires to make sense of the world around them should read this book and follow the reasoning of these serious thinkers who have grappled with major questions about meaning and life. The existence of objective truth demands that there will be a coherence between the empirical and the theoretical, between facts and meaning. This compilation of essays provides an opportunity to view the world from a Judeo-Christian viewpoint that is both rational and empirically coherent.

Donald Ewert, PhD in Microbiology at the University of Georgia

I have always felt that people of faith need to learn more science, nor less. Sadly, the reaching of modern science often undermines rather than strengthens faith. The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith will help turn doubt into delight at the works of the Designer. Whether your questions are about me origin of life, or the fossil record, or the authority of science, or any of 44 other topics, you will find thoughtful, well-written articles that will answer your questions and strengthen your faith. I would highly recommend this volume for any pastor, or anyone with an ongoing interest in how understanding the works of God support our understanding of the Word of God.

Ralph Seelke, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Superior

William A. Dembski

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
A mathematician and philosopher, Bill Dembski is the author/editor of more than 20 books as well as the writer of peer-reviewed articles spanning mathematics, engineering, philosophy, and theology. A past philosophy professor, he retired in 2014 from active research and teaching in intelligent design (ID) to focus on the connections between freedom, technology, and education — specifically, how education helps to advance human freedom with the aid of technology. Bill Dembski is presently an entrepreneur who builds educational software and websites. He lives near Denton, Texas.

Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.

Joseph M. Holden

In addition to being an author and speaker, Joe currently serves as the President and Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Veritas International University in Santa Ana, California, and Senior Pastor at Calvary Chapel of Temecula Valley.