Saturday, June 05, 2010

Review: The Selfless Gene, Living With God and Darwin

If the title of Charles Foster's new book "The Selfless Gene: Living With God and Darwin" makes you cringe or feel immediately defensive that it is impossible to reconcile God & Darwin...this book is probably not for you. 

But if there is something in you that believes all truth MUST be part of God's truth, and you just can't throw away modern science as some sort of "devil's handiwork," then you are really going to appreciate this book.

The book is quite obviously a reconciliatory approach at the two seemingly opposite factions of religion and's like it's right there in the subtitle...


But when you delve deeper into the book, you find these aren't really the two factions he's dealing with here. Instead it's the extremes of young earth creationists, and neo-Darwinists of the Dawkins/Hitchens persuasion. And how, as extremes, they're mostly rejected by a majority of their peers in either of their respective camps (Christians & scientists).

Foster takes great detail to explain each extremist position in a very understandable fashion. He's able to point out flaws in both arguments, without belittling the character of the person who adheres to it...which is rare. He then goes on attempt to reconcile moderate beliefs from both the natural selection camp & the Christian camp with each other.

Frankly, I think he does a great job.

I most enjoyed this book because I identified with the author's preface:

"I wrote this book because I was angry and worried. I was angry at the fundamentalist reductionism of Richard Dawkins and his enemies (yet crucial allies), the creationists"......."writing this book has not made me less angry. But I can now go for a walk without feeling dirty."

This type of humor and relatability permeates this book, and really helped put me at ease. Because frankly, fundamentalism makes me angry too. Christian or neo-Darwinism. If it makes you angry as well, you should really give this book a shot. It may not help your anger, but it may make you feel less dirty.


You can pick up "The Selfless Gene: Living With God & Darwin" at Amazon.