In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins says he expects the origin of life to be an exceedingly unlikely event that only happened because the universe is so big and old. (He then hedges his bets by saying he would not be disheartened if life actually turned out to be very common which tells us a lot about the intellectual rigor of his arguments).
On the other hand, I expect that under the right conditions, life is going to be a dead cert. Why? Because we know God created this universe precisely so that it should have sentient life in it. So life is built into the very fabric of the cosmos - it is the very thing that the laws of physics were designed to produce.
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© James Hannam 2003
In summary, I would say that Christians need to stop getting so worried about evolution. Some of our opponents are happy to encourage us to reject science but they cannot be allowed to set the agenda. One thinker who has taken part in many debates with both Dawkins and Atkins is Keith Ward, Oxford University's Professor of Divinity. His book God, Chance and Necessity is an academic counter argument to the triumphalism of scientific materialism and shows how evolution is not only compatible with theism but also further enlightens us about the divine plan. It is just a pity that it is not better written.
We theists also have a duty to ensure that scientific enquiry does not take place in the moral vacuum some would like. Just because we can do something never means that we should. But science has been of enormous help to mankind and now even to religion. The evidence for the design of the universe that science has given us has reinvented teleology in a way that we could not have dreamed of a few years ago. Indeed, my the intellectual underpinning of my own conversion came directly from what I learned doing a physics degree.
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
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