The “rigorously exclude the belief in God” (Miller

The question of whether or not evolutionary theory and religious belief can work together has been at hand ever since the theory of evolution was formed, and it remains a hot subject to this day. This question, along with many other ideas, is discussed in Kenneth Miller’s book titled “Finding Darwin’s God.” To begin, I will attempt to summarize Miller’s book in order to establish his viewpoint and then later on in the essay I will go on to critical interactions of the book and questions that remain after reading the book. In the early chapters of the book, the main focus was on going over Darwin’s arguments and how people originally reacted to the ideas. Miller described the impact of the idea of evolution to be frightening to some people, and that it challenged their core foundation of what they thought to be reality, which was that God created life (Miller 10). This frightening and dangerous aspect of Darwin’s book is what attracted Miller to the idea of evolution (Miller 11). Miller explained some important perspectives of his about the impact of Darwinism. These perspectives include that Darwinism does not make the spiritual world irrelevant and it does not “rigorously exclude the belief in God” (Miller 17). Miller then goes on to talk about whether not it is right to base a theory off of historical data, such as fossils. This type of study is referred to as “scientific materialism” (Miller 31) by Miller and he explains in chapter 2 that it is perfectly fine to use this type of study for a theory. Miller also brings up another controversial idea in chapter 2, which is that the theory of evolution is “a story of origins” and that it takes the place of the religious creation story (Miller 54-55). Miller states that there is conflict between these two creation stories, and that he does not believe that the conflict is unresolvable (Miller 55). Throughout the rest of the book, Miller goes over other important ideas that are relevant to the theory of evolution and religion. One of these matters is intelligent design, and whether or not it is a good scientific theory. In chapter 4, Miller goes over how intelligent design is not a good theory because it basically shows that the creator to be “a magician” that had to “create” multiple times throughout history, and this does “a terrible disservice to God” (Miller 126-128). Miller then goes on to talk about Behe’s claims about irreducible complexity and points out that “the notion of irreducible complexity is nonsense” (Miller 150). Then Miller goes on to talk about the viewpoints of other anti-evolutionists and their motives. Miller mentions how some religious people don’t accept evolution because it challenges their worldview as explained through the bible, and since these types of people grew up learning this and becoming comfortable with it, the idea of evolution is threatening (Miller 165-167). Miller then goes on to say that the materialistic understanding of the world that science provides should only allow religious people to “strengthen” their beliefs (Miller 169). The last and most important point made in chapter 6 of Miller’s book is that the biggest threat evolution makes to religion is that life can prove to have no purpose (187). After expressing these concerns that religious people hold, Miller goes on to explain how “God is compatible with evolution”, and that often times the only people that have a problem with this are religious people (Miller 220). Then in the final chapter, Miller talks about the god of the gaps theory. Miller explains how the gaps that this theory relies on are quickly being filled up by science, and how the dependence of the lack of information is a real problem for the theory (Miller 263-267). To conclude the book, Miller explains how science and religion can coexist peacefully and mentions how  “God is active in the present world, where He works in concert with the naturalism of physics and chemistry” (Miller 276-277). Overall, Miller believes that there is no need for religious people to be against evolution, and that the freedom that our universe has is proof of a God.