The full title for this book should have been “God’s Undertaker: Has science stopped Lennox invoking god of the gaps?” for that is what these last two chapters have been. Chapter 6 asks if “evolution can carry all the weight put upon it” (96: italics Lennox) because if it can’t then the answer is god. Rinse and repeat for chapter 7 which is about the origin of life and how god did that, too.
He even asks on page 119 if this is god of the gaps, and decides in a flash of logic reminiscent of the last time he decided his ideas weren’t god of the gaps, that it isn’t because if the evidence demands a supernatural explanation then that is what it must be. If at first you don’t know the answer, blame god. Now, I’m not going to pretend to know the answers to the questions that Lennox asks about evolution, but he doesn’t pretend to even give a balanced account of the possible answers. “God’s Undertaker” is not a cutting-edge book about evolution, and as such the answers to the questions he’s asked must have had some treatment by others, but Lennox presents no other case except for god. Not such a problem if you never intended to inform the reader of any opinion that differed from your own, but not a good way to write a book purporting to examine the issue from the perspective of science.
Another worry is that the same scientists’ names keep popping up in both chapters. Foremost among them is Michael Behe whom Lennox obviously puts a lot of faith in. Behe is known as a proponent of Intelligent Design and for his theory of Irreducible Complexity, both of which Lennox swallows wholeheartedly, and for his own goal in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. If you don’t know the case then there’s a wikipedia article on it and there’s also an excellent site here that has a documentary about the case and interviews with people from both sides. Lennox mentioned the Dover case long ago on page 12, and his opinion is that the judge made a mistake in ruling that ID was not science. The case concluded in 2005 and the edition of “God’s Undertaker” that I am using is the 2009, so it seems that even after having at least 3 years to consider Judge Jones’s ruling, Lennox remains adamant in his support for Behe. I’ll leave the reader to make up their own mind about ID and Irreducible Complexity. As for myself, I think Judge Jones had an excellent understanding of the issues, and obviously made the right decision.
My opinion of the book just hit a new low.