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ss triple helix - spring 2003,  Rebuilding the Matrix - Science and Faith in the 21st Century (Book Review)

Rebuilding the Matrix - Science and Faith in the 21st Century (Book Review)

Rebuilding the Matrix - Science and Faith in the 21st Century - Denis Alexander - Lion 2001 - £12.99 Pb pp510 - ISBN 0 7459 5116 3

This book on the interface of science and faith is a real work of scholarship that should be in the library of all serious readers. It is written by Denis Alexander, a Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge and current Chairman of the Molecular Immunology Programme at the Babraham Institute. The early chapters show how easily false paradigms with no foundation of truth can be insidiously assimilated into our worldview. Scientific discoveries have by no means 'disproved' the existence of God but are continually used by secularists to promote their view that this is so. The following chapters trace the development of scientific enterprise from its medieval roots to today's post modernism.

A central chapter, 'Reweaving the Rainbow' makes a powerful case for Christian theism. The later chapters cover three aspects of evolutionary theory, firstly showing that it is by no means incompatible with belief in a creator God. Then follows an excellent critique of the claims of those who see evolution superseding belief in God as either creator-sustainer of the universe or the source of moral behaviour. The author thirdly suggests that care for our neighbour depends on our often-unacknowledged belief that he or she is made in God's image.

There are descriptions of a huge number of historical figures (the index of names occupies seven pages) who demonstrate the consistency of the link between the study of natural science and the Christian faith. We see the origins of conflict 150 years ago when 'scientists' were first so labeled and had to fight to wrest their terrain from the powerbrokers who were often clerics. The battle was more one of professional rivalry than God versus Science. The penultimate chapter focuses the miracles and resurrection of Jesus. The length of the book is daunting but the chapters are complete in themselves and the author has a light, sometimes humorous touch, making it easy to read. It is thoroughly recommended.

Reviewed by
Caroline Berry

retired Clinical Geneticist and Secretary of Christians in Science

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