Book review: Atheist Universe

by David Mills

★★★★★

This is a well-written, concise, interesting overview of the argument against Christian fundamentalism … particularly Creationism.

How did the universe come into being? We don’t know. But new discoveries in quantum theory, as well as research done by Stephen Hawking and his colleagues, have demonstrated that matter can and does arise quite spontaneously from the vacuum fluctuation energy of “empty” space.

Intelligent Design? Mills states that “ID’s greatest triumph … has been in convincing the general public that there is a controversy raging among scientists over Intelligent Design. There is no scientific controversy whatever.”

So how did life begin? Well, we know God isn’t necessary. There is no need for spontaneous creation of complex cells; the first cells contained no nucleus at all, consisting mainly of an exterior membrane. Biological membranes form easily and spontaneously from a mixture of water and simple lipids. From there, the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, and Mills carefully refutes argument after argument posed by creationists.

Life after death? Forget having science on your side, here. For example, if the law of the conservation of mass/energy necessitates consciousness after death (because mass/energy can be neither destroyed nor created) then the same law requires consciousness before conception.

There just isn’t any real debate among scientists in these matters. A study in 1998 revealed that, of the membership of the National Academy of Sciences, only 7 percent believed in a personal God, and even fewer in Creation Science or Intelligent Design. The point I took away from the book is this: Religious beliefs must remain beliefs; no more or less. The Bible’s creationist claims are not and cannot be supported by science.

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2 Comments

  1. Whoa…God’s not necessary?????

    Who created the simple cells? Who created the water and simple lipids?

    I’m not at all surprised that only 7% of scientists believe in a personal God.

  2. :)

    I think the point is that divine intervention is not necessary. God may have somehow started the ball rolling 13.7 billion years ago, but since then, his direct participation is unnecessary to explain where we’re at today; the earth and its life could have formed on their own, without breaking the natural laws.

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