Guest / Limited Access /
Where Did We Come From?

I've only been called by The Times UK once. It was late summer 2010, and they had Hawking: God Did Not Create Universe splashed across their front page. Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge physicist, had just written a book arguing that the cosmos had no designer, and the editors wanted a Christian response.

I had written a short book responding to Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, but that was it. So when their religion correspondent rang me up out of the blue, and asked for some apologetics for tomorrow's front page, I wasn't as prepared as I might have been. I don't even remember what I said.

In the end, the paper got a last-minute comment from the Archbishop of Canterbury. (I didn't take it personally.) But reading Hawking's comments, and trying to improvise a decent response to them, reminded me how common it is to think that science and belief are at war. For Hawking, the only reason to believe in a creator is to explain the existence of the universe; when you find an explanation, the need for a creator disappears. For Dawkins, Darwinian evolution makes it "almost certain" that there is no God. At the same time, I know lots of Christians who argue the opposite: Since the Bible is true, you shouldn't believe in evolution, or the Big Bang, or whatever. From what I can tell, the battle lines are just as clear in America as they are here in Britain.

Dining with the Greats

The key issues in the ongoing debate about Christianity, evolution, and human origins can be summed up by three academics who used to watch me have dinner.

I attended Christ's College Cambridge. There, we would eat in a dark, oak-paneled dining room with distinguished alumni peering down at us out ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Recommended
Subscriber Access Only Augustine's Origin of Species
How the great theologian might weigh in on the Darwin debate.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickOur Bodies Were Made for You, O Lord
Our Bodies Were Made for You, O Lord
We've been designed, right down to the DNA, to love and serve our maker.
Comments
Christianity Today
Where Did We Come From?
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.