Is There Purpose in Biology?

Is There Purpose in Biology? : The cost of existence and the God of love

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Description

Atheists assert that the natural world has no meaning or purpose. Dr Denis Alexander, Emeritus Director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmunds College, Cambridge, draws a different conclusion. Not only do recent evolutionary biological data appear inconsistent with the claim that the world is purposeless, but the Christian doctrine of creation has provided and continues to provide both context and stimulus for the study of the natural world. Christians started biology! However, is a belief in an omnipotent, benign Creator consistent with a world of pain and suffering? From a lifetime's study in the biological sciences, Denis Alexander believes that whilst the cost of existence is extremely high, it can nonetheless be squared with the idea of a God of love whose ultimate purposes for humankind render that cost more comprehensible.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 22.86mm | 240.4g
  • MONARCH BOOKS
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0857217143
  • 9780857217141
  • 474,422

Flap copy

Atheists assert that the natural world has no meaning or purpose, but in this thought-provoking book Denis Alexander offers a different perspective. He argues that evolutionary biological data are inconsistent with a necessarily purposeless world, and that Christian creation doctrine provides context and stimulus for the study of the natural world. The author goes on to question whether a belief in an omnipotent, loving Creator is consistent with a world of pain and suffering. From a lifetime's study of the biological sciences, he suggests that while the cost of existence is extremely high, perhaps carbon-based life is the only way in which intelligent beings can exist who can freely respond to God's love. This book is a fascinating, nuanced study that will challenge your preconceptions as it explores whether there is any ultimate purpose to be found in the world of biology.
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Back cover copy

Atheists assert that the natural world has no meaning or purpose, but in this thought-provoking book Denis Alexander offers a different perspective. He argues that evolutionary biological data are inconsistent with a necessarily purposeless world, and that Christian creation doctrine provides context and stimulus for the study of the natural world. The author goes on to question whether a belief in an omnipotent, loving Creator is consistent with a world of pain and suffering. From a lifetime's study of the biological sciences, he suggests that while the cost of existence is extremely high, perhaps carbon-based life is the only way in which intelligent beings can exist who can freely respond to God's love. This book is a fascinating, nuanced study that will challenge your preconceptions as it explores whether there is any ultimate purpose to be found in the world of biology.
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Table of contents

Contents
Figures 10
Preface 11
Introduction 12
1 The Historical Roots of Purpose in Biology 18
2 Biology's Grand Narrative 58
3 Biology's Molecular Constraints 104
4 Biology, Randomness, Chance, and Purpose 140
5 The Christian Matrix Within Which Biology 179
Flourishes
6 Death, Pain, Suffering, and the God of Love 218
Postscript 248
Notes 250
Bibliography 257
Index 271
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Review quote

"A much-needed book on a crucial topic." Jeff Hardin, Professor of Zoology, University of Wisconsin "This book corrects the popular bleak view of a pitiless, indifferent universe and instead presents a most welcome view of a world of purpose." Cees Dekker, Professor of Nanobiology, Delft University of Technology "An ideal starting point for those who believe evolution is incompatible with God yet are open to explore further." Andrew Halestrap, Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry, University of Bristol "Alexander's book breathes wonder for God's creation, and love for the science that studies it." Rene van Woudenberg, Professor of Epistemology and Metaphysics, Free University of Amsterdam "The author makes a careful and convincing case that modern biology is consistent with belief in a world imbued with divine meaning." Peter Harrison, Director, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland
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About Dr Denis Alexander

Denis Alexander is the Emeritus Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion,St Edmund's College, Cambridge, where he is a Fellow. Dr Alexander was previously Chairman of the Molecular Immunology Programme and Head of the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development at The Babraham Institute, Cambridge. Prior to that he was at the Imperial Cancer Research Laboratories in London (now Cancer Research UK), and spent 15 years developing university departments and laboratories overseas, latterly as Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the Medical Faculty of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. There he helped to establish the National Unit of Human Genetics. He was initially an Open Scholar at Oxford reading Biochemistry, before obtaining a PhD in Neurochemistry at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Dr Alexander writes, lectures and broadcasts widely in the field of science and religion. His Monarch titles include: Creation or Evolution and Is There Purpose in Biology?.
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Rating details

12 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 17% (2)
4 75% (9)
3 0% (0)
2 8% (1)
1 0% (0)
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