Professor Edgar H. Andrews (BSc, PhD, DSc, FInstP, FIMMM, CEng, CPhys) is smarter than you… and me… and everyone who will read this blog combined. Nonetheless, his book, “Who Made God: Searching for a Theory of Everything” is written in an accessible and engaging manner. Though Andrews deals with some very weighty scientific, philosophical, and theological issues, he works hard to clarify and explain his points, while using humor and witty analogies.
This book is an apologetics book, which does a masterful job of countering the claims of the new atheists such as Richard Dawkins, as well as putting forth a robust argument for the reality of the God of the Bible.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book – every chapter of it. With most books, you can pretty much get the gist of the author’s main point within the first few chapter, while the remainder of the book sometimes feels like the author is just beating a dead horse. This was not the case with Who Made God.
Let me briefly summarize the most intriguing aspect of Andrews apologetic that made this book one of the best books on apologetics that I’ve read. As a scientist first and foremost, Andrews is very familiar with the scientific community, various scientific theories (Big bang cosmology, string theory, evolution, quantum physics, and the new atheism). As a scientist he sees the value (and potential pitfalls) of forming hypothesis and testing those hypothesis with data.
Edgar points out that many classical apologetic arguments such as the cosmological argument and teleological arguments may do something to prove the existence of a transcendent being, but they do nothing to show who or what that being is really like. Andrews proposes in his book a different solution. He starts with a hypothesis that there is a God, and He is the God of the Bible…
From there on out he tests his hypothesis in a variety of scientific and philosophic fields showing that, unlike the arguments of the new atheists, his God hypothesis does a much better job of matching the data…
For more insight on the book and the author, check out these links:
and an interview Professor Andrews did last year with Tim Challies:
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone wanting a critical overview and analysis of some of the favourite pillars of scientific materialism. I’m a scientist, so at times wished for some fuller treatment of aspects of the discussion but I think the author gives enough detail to address the key arguments on either side that will satisfy the non-scientist and in the process demolishes the materialist viewpoint with elegance and gentle wit. I will be interested to see how critics of the book will frame their arguments, because Andrews appears to have got to the heart of the inadequacies of the accepted materialist stance.
It isn’t really a weakness in this type of book; but my principle criticism is that the God hypothesis that Andrews advances is as meaningful for all followers of the Abrahamic tradition, so whilst I found myself pursing my lips at specifically Christian arguments, as a Muslim I could easily translate his ideas into my own understanding of God. With that said, my biggest critique would be for chapter 6 (Defining God) which generated an initial “harumph” on my part, but on reflection I take on board many of the author’s comments and quickly warmed to his theme in later chapters. My concern is that that chapter opens up the opportunity for counter-argument on a religious rather than a scientific basis. That would be a shame, since this is perhaps the best book in this genre that I have read.
John Gardner of Cookeville, TN, wrote the following review on www.amazon.com
One of the best entries in the Creation/Evolution debate, May 5, 2010
In this book, Andrews addresses what he calls “the sceptic’s favourite question”: If God made everything, then who made God? Richard Dawkins and many other “new atheists” seem to think this is a trump card that destroys any argument in favor of a Creator God. Rather than simply refuting the arguments of these atheists, though, Andrews instead asserts that this is an “unanswerable question” not because Christians do not have an answer, but because the question leaves the word “God” undefined. The question “Who made God?” begs the question “Who is God?”
With that in mind, Andrews seeks to come up with a scientific “theory of everything”, which he says is every scientist’s dream. Whereas many Christian apologists have devoted themselves to refuting the assertions of atheists (primarily in regards to Darwinian evolution), the author’s goal is to promote a positive thesis (that God exists and reveals Himself in the Bible) rather than a negative antithesis (that Darwinian evolution is false). His book’s purpose then, is “to explore how the biblical hypothesis of God provides a comprehensible, intellectually consistent and spiritually satisfying view of being that encompasses man’s experience of life, the universe and everything.”
Andrews explores the origin of life using what in science is called the “hypothetical approach”. This involves investigating two (or more) mutually exclusive hypotheses, and observing which hypothesis accounts most plausibly for what we observe in every area of life. He reasons that this is the approach seen in the Bible itself. Nowhere in God’s Word do we find any argument that seeks to prove God’s existence. It is assumed from the very beginning: “In the beginning God…”
The book goes through all of the most recent scientific theories regarding the origin of life, as well as the history of how those theories developed. He covers everything from molecular biology to astrophysics to natural selection to string theory. This branches out into discussions of philosophy and psychology. At every point, though, these complex scientific theories are presented in layman’s terms, making heavy use of analogy. At each point of discussion, Andrews explains how “natural science” (which assumes there is no God) accounts for what is observed, and then compares it with his hypothesis of God (which assumes that He exists and that the Bible offers explanation for all that is observed). It is truly fascinating.
If you are a fan of books dealing with the “Creation vs. Evolution” debate, this is a must-read. If you are skeptical of God’s existence or the authority of his Word, this will address your questions better than just about anything else out there. If you’ve never read a book in this genre, this is a great place to start!
Themelios, the on-line journal of the Gospel Coaltion (general editor Don Carson) carries the following review by Joe Fleener (search book reviews):
Within the world of physics there has been a movement to discover a ‘theory of everything’ (TOE) that will embrace every physical process and phenomenon in the cosmos. This effort, by and large, is driven by those who embrace an evolutionary worldview and, therefore, are expecting to find a theory that will disprove the existence of God or at best make God ‘redundant’. As Richard Dawkins claims Darwinian Evolution has done in biology, many physicists (and Dawkins) have high hopes that this yet-to-be-discovered TOE will do the same in physics.
In this wonderfully written book, Professor Andrews doesn’t seek simply to expose the weakness of the ‘new atheistic’ arguments (which he does). He desires to present a logically consistent and sufficiently more satisfying alternative to anything the Evolutionary Biologist or Atheistic Physicist will ‘discover’. Professor Andrews demonstrates that there is more to the cosmos than matter, and, therefore, as a result any TOE will have to explain not only the material cosmos, but also realms of the heart, mind, conscience, and spirit.
Throughout the book Professor Andrews seeks to test the various hypotheses offered over and against what he calls ‘the hypothesis of God’. If this were a technical apologetics book, Professor Andrew’s methodology would be generally referred to as ‘Presuppositional Apologetics’, a term he does not use. He skillfully avoids using parochial jargon as much as possible, and yet this is essentially the approach taken. By looking at the evidence offered and then analyzing the evidence, he asks, ‘Which hypothesis best explains reality?’ Only when one presumes the God of the Bible as he has revealed himself can one actually make sense of the world, humanity, science, etc. (See pp. 58–62 for the formal explanation of his ‘hypothesis’.) Professor Andrews’ qualifications to write a book such as this are quite substantial.
Professor Edgar H. Andrews (BSc, PhD, DSc, FInstP, FIMMM, CEng, CPhys) is Emeritus Professor of Materials at the University of London and an international expert on the science of large molecules. In 1967, he set up the Department of Materials at Queen Mary College, University of London, and served both as its Head and later as Dean of Engineering. He has published well over one hundred scientific research papers and books, together with two Bible commentaries and various works on science and religion and on theology. His book From Nothing to Nature has been translated into ten languages. At the Oxford Union ‘Huxley Memorial Debate’ in 1986, he debated Richard Dawkins on the motion ‘that the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution’. (More on professor Andrews and this book can be found at www.whomadegod.org.)
For rather obvious reasons, one would expect an author with the above qualifications to write a book that only an expert in science would be able to understand. This is far from the case. With chapter headings like ‘Sooty and the universe’, ‘Yogurt, cereal, and toast’, ‘Ferrets and fallacies’, and ‘Information, stupid!’, Professor Andrews combines gentle humour, pointed wit, and simple language with expert knowledge to accomplish his aim. However, in a book like this, it is inevitable that the author will need to use terms and concepts possibly unfamiliar to the average reader. In order to help in this area, each chapter begins with a brief summary of the main concept and a list of new terms with their definitions. As a result, the reader is equipped to follow the argument within each chapter and the overall thesis of the book.
This is a book I would happily give to Christians and non-Christians alike. Professor Andrews has managed to write what, I believe, will be one of the most important books published in 2009 and 2010. As the wave of literature produced by the new atheists continues to grow, the church has been further equipped with a tool to reach those who are confused. Professor Andrews more than adequately deals with the scientific arguments while simultaneously pointing the reader to the sufficiency of God, his Word, and (most important of all) the person and work of Christ.
In the final chapter, Professor Andrews concludes the book in a thoroughly theological manner. He capably addresses the moral argument for God while at the same time addressing the accusations of ‘new atheists’ against God himself as being immoral. In this, he demonstrates that although the moral argument for God is helpful, it is not adequate to convince a person of the truths of Christianity. He concludes the chapter and the book with the following:
The hypothesis of God predicts that man’s sinful heart can never be changed by mere instruction, no matter how good and noble that teaching may be. It can only be changed by a ‘new birth’ in which the Spirit of God himself takes up residence in the person’s heart and mind—‘writing’ there the moral law and empowering the recipient to love and obey God. This work of the new birth is accompanied by the forgiveness of man’s ‘sins and lawless deeds’ on the grounds of Jesus Christ’s atoning death and justifying resurrection. . . . I therefore end this book at the beginning of another story. Read more about it in ‘the Gospel according to St John.’ (p. 278)
The Shepherd’s Bible College
Hastings, New Zealand
E. K. Thomas writes (26 Mar 2010)
This is a book that really needed to be written. Too many ID proponents have allowed themselves to be driven into a corner where God is not mentioned and the “designer” is not specified. They believe (wrongly in my opinion) that they will receive greater credibility if they argue purely from a scientific standpoint and cannot be accused of religious belief or dogma. Such indeed was Dr. Stephen Meyer’s book “Signature in the Cell” – an otherwise excellent book that avoids naming God as the intelligence behind DNA and its genetic code. Professor Andrews uses a refreshing and straightforward hypothesis that God (the God of the Bible) exists and is the creator of the heavens and earth. From this unambiguous standpoint he examines the evidence from a scientific, philosophical and moral viewpoint and presents a satisfactory argument for the Creator, Redeemer God of the Bible.
I have always believed from my schoolboy days that if God is who the Bible says He is, then scientific investigation is simply an examination of God’s handiwork and will substantiate the Biblical text. Professor Andrews demonstrates that this indeed is the case. Other reviews give detail of the contents and obviate the need for me to do so. Let me say however that I found the science fascinating and very well presented as well as the issues of morality and dualism.
Particularly enjoyable was the way in which Edgar Andrews deals with the arguments of Richard Dawkins and Victor Stenger; with gentle but incisive wit he exposes and mocks their fallacies. As others have said the book combines seriousness with humour to produce an eminently readable style.
Well done Professor Andrews and I hope others will adopt your open and honourable approach.
Guy Davies writes:
Some Christian critiques of atheistic Darwinism resemble an unseemly scrap over some old dinosaur bones. The attitude is strident and ill tempered. Arguments in favour of the Christian position are often tired and unconvincing, amounting to little more than than variations on the theme of Paley’s well-designed watch. But, to coin a phrase, here is something completely different. For starters, Andrews does not propose to argue from the presence of design in nature up to a some kind of a divine Designer. He begins with the hypothesis that the God of the Bible is the true and living God who made all things. From that starting point the genial professor attempts to show that reality is exactly as we should expect if his underlying assumption is true.
The book is full of detailed scientific discussion on the origin of the universe and Darwinian evolution. With his multidisciplinary expertise Andrews ranges over many different fields in his quest for a ‘theory of everything’ – an all encompassing account of the material universe. He skilfully guides the reader through the complexities of the Big Bang account of the origin of time and space, Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the laws of nature, quantum mechanics, string theory and much more. The writer subjects evolution by natural selection to critical scrutiny, demonstrating that random genetic mutations cannot account for the evolution of all living things from a single cell “jelly pod”. Andrews concludes that no merely naturalistic ‘theory of everything’, even one that reconciled general relativity with quantum mechanics could explain why an ordered universe exists in the first place. If all that sounds a bit highfalutin and technical for those (like me) with a non-scientific background, then be not afraid. Sooty is on hand to help, as are countless other handy metaphors from a breakfast of cereal, yoghurt and toast, to ferrets and steam engines.
Here is an example of Christian apologetics at its best, appealing, well argued and based on the the biblical presupposition, “In the beginning God” (Genesis 1:1). While the book was not written simply as a rejoinder to Richard Dawkins and his neo-Darwinian fellow travellers, Andrews ably shows that atheism is ill equipped to explain the origin of the universe and the development of life on earth. The author concludes by telling us the good news that our Maker is also the Redeemer of fallen human beings through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Reading Who Made God? will strengthen Christians in their faith and better enable them to witness to their non-believing friends. Atheists who happen upon this book should be prepared to have their views challenged and undermined by the compelling force of professor Andrews’ arguments.
Reviewing “Who made God?”, Tim Challies writes:
Put it all together and you find that Andrews is one smart dude. He’s smarter than you and me and the rest of us put together. And in his new book Who Made God? he launches a full front assault on the new atheists. He does this not through a point-by-point refutation of their books, but by an insightful look at science and the existence of God. An excellent writer who mixes a subtle British sense of humor with a powerful intellect and a deep understanding of science, he very quickly picks apart the arguments we have for so long been hearing from the likes of Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking and even Francis Collins. Yet he still crafts a book that is readable and, best of all, understandable. Even the chapter dealing with string theory is comprehensible—no small feat for a smart guy writing about what lies at the very frontier of science. The topics Andrews covers range from the existence of God to the nature of hypotheses to the abilities of mutations to create. Through it all, he shows how the claims of atheism and naturalism fall short—how they rely on bad science, how they require bad logic or unfair hypotheses and how they are beneath the very minds that create them.
See the whole review of by clicking on the following link.
I was interviewed recently by Paul Butler of Moody Radio in USA about “Who made God?” and you can hear the interview using the following link:
An accessible, considered, and thoughtful book, November 24, 2009
|By||Greybeard “Greybeard” (New Jersey)|
As posted on Amazon.com
This is a really amazing little book.
I was expecting an apology for Christianity, however that is not what I got. Certainly the book makes no bones about Christianity, and it clearly and concisely repudiates (in places with gentle humor at their flawed reasoning) the so-called new atheists. However, that is not its purpose. It might almost be described as an expose, rather than a defense.
What it does is to offer overtly something that I have heard discussed quietly (and usually behind closed doors) by a number of noted scientists. It provides a concise, understandable explanation of modern science from a Christian perspective. Through the fundamental hypothesis of the book, it clearly reconciles modern science and Christianity. It also proves that, contrary to the dogma of Dawkins and company, the more scientist learn about the physical universe and about life, the more unavoidable the conclusion that God exists becomes.
I expect that Dawkins and company will ignore this book, or possibly address it with the kind of rage and bombast that characterized recent books by the “new atheists”. That seems to be how they have dealt with Professor Andrews in the past. Their reasons then, and the reason now is simple: They cannot answer his arguments from science and honest reason.
Professor Andrews is not just a man with high scientific and academic qualifications. He is also an excellent teacher, able to communicate complex and abstract concepts (including the nature of science, and many of the theories of modern science) in a way that is clear and understandable to ordinary readers, who don’t have the background or training that he himself brings to the table. Perhaps the best of the reviews on the back of the book in that regard was written by a housewife.
Note that even though it is readable and easily understood, it is accurate and precise in its handling of the scientific material it covers (unlike many of the “new atheists”). While its logic runs contrary to evolutionary dogma, it is careful to treat science itself with honesty and respect.
I recommend the book to anyone with an interest in science or technology. If you are open-minded enough to handle what it has to say, you will find it well worth your while. Be warned, that Professor Andrews goes where the science leads him, which may give doctrinaire Creationists heartburn (particularly in the US) as well as doctrinaire humanists. While the book is accessible, gentle, and easy to read it will make you think. I was forced to take my time going through it in order to think through some of the ideas and reasoning it presented.
Daniel L. Marler writes:
Scientists and philosophers speak of a concept that is called a “theory of everything”. A theory of everything–it is supposed–would provide a logically consistent explanation of the various forces of nature, including perplexing questions like, “where did it all come from?” And, “how does it all really work?” Our current scientific understanding of reality is incomplete…how’s that for an understatement? A theory of everything would comprehensively and consistently help complete this lack of understanding and, of course, a theory of everything would help explain a lot of the questions that we have about that most mysterious of species known as “man”.
Have you ever wondered, “Why did I do that same dumb thing…again!?!” A theory of everything would quite possibly help to explain that. But it probably won’t help you find your car keys. You’re still on your own, there.
That is the ambitious issue Edgar Andrews deals with in this book, “Who Made God?” In fact, the subtitle is: Searching For A Theory Of Everything.
Andrews addresses a range of subjects including cosmology, physics, philosophy, time, Darwinian evolution, the nature of science, mind studies, and morality. What is helpful is that he is able to do so in a way that is understandable to a simple layman like myself. And, he does so with a touch of humor and wit. Believe me, it’s impressive when a guy can explain how left-handed and right-handed isomers apply to amino acids with a touch of humor. (Maybe they ought to hire him to “punch up” Jimmy Fallon’s monologues …..Just a thought.)
Andrews maintains that, ultimately, it is the hypothesis of God that really offers the greatest explanatory power to the big questions of life and existence. Says Andrews, “A true `theory of everything’, therefore, must embrace both the material and non-material aspects of the universe, and my contention is that we already possess such a theory, namely, the hypothesis of God.” “The hypothesis of God”, according to Andrews is our best, most complete, most satisfactory theory of everything.
Who Made God?, Edgar Andrews
This has proven to be one of my favourite books of the year. It is written by a prominent scientist for people who object to Christianity on scientific grounds. The writing is clear and engaging, the arguments are soundly put across, the book is well-paced and well-structured, laced with occasional British humour, and comprehensively covers nearly every area of science I can think of. It certainly is a noteworthy accomplishment to be able to competently talk about quantum mechanics, string theory and information theory in a way that the untrained layperson (me) can also understand. I feel much more equipped now to talk about science and Christianity. It is my new go-to book for the scientific skeptic friend.
Another theologian’s rebuff to Dawkins? No, because for a start Edgar Andrews is a scientist, and states, quite clearly, that he did not write this book in response to anyone else’s book. However, that said, he is writing as a physicist, the breed which searches for a “theory of everything”. Seeing the word “scientist” must not put anyone off. The writing is very readable and accessible – even a total scientific numskull like me ended up having more understanding of quantum physics – and with chapter headings such as “Ferrets and Fallacies”, you sense the occasional wit and humour brought into play. Ultimately, as he debates, all theoretical explanations do not cover the important realities of humanity, such as love and beauty, and that, ultimately, we possess the theory of everything, namely the hypothesis of God.
Brian Auten writes as follows on the Apologetics 315 website (http://apologetics315.blogspot.com)
You might think that Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything by Edgar Andrews is a “just another” popular-level response to the new atheism. But you’d be wrong. While it is a popular-level book, it is anything but a typical response. British scientist Edgar Andrews (who himself debated Dawkins in 1986) takes a unique and extremely readable approach that not only critiques the likes of Richard Dawkins and Victor Stenger, but also makes a case for Christianity from a scientific perspective. He makes his case with reason and logic, all while weaving it together with clever wit, interesting analogies, and a unique style. The result is a book with a great deal of scientific depth, while remaining completely accessible to both the expert and the man on the street. This review will highlight some of the apologetic angles that Andrews takes.
The book is composed of seventeen chapters, each with an introductory page summarizing the idea that will be covered, along with explanations for any tricky words. Andrews tackles the tough question: “who made God?” early on in the book, but opens up the more important questions of “what do we mean by God?” as well as looking at the role of science in answering the big questions. Dawkins, Dennett and the new atheism make their brief appearances, but this is not a book spending all its time fighting back. Instead, Andrews has his own case to make.
Taking a scientific look at the God question, Andrews proposes that “…the ‘God hypothesis’ approach gives us much more freedom to explore the nature of God because we can make any assumptions we choose concerning the attributes of God and then see where these assumptions lead us.”(60) Andrews doesn’t want to begin from the ground up to see if he can arrive at God through a long process of philosophical acrobatics: “With the philosophical approach, God is the endpoint of our deliberations. With the hypothetical approach, he is the starting point.”(60) He takes this angle so God is the foundation – the hypothesis – that can be tested: “…the hypothesis of God is a foundation on which to build – an assumption that leads to a whole host of conclusions that can be tested against human experience including (but by no means limited to) scientific observations.”(62)
How does Andrews actually go about testing this hypothesis? He elaborates: “Our hypothesis, then, is that the God of the Bible exists, and I shall seek to demonstrate that this hypothesis explains human observation and experience far better than atheism or even science can ever do – and remember that I write as a scientist as well as a Christian.”(89) Anticipating detractors to his approach, the author clarifies that this angle is not fallacious: “Let me reiterate; I am not here assuming what I set out to prove. The hypothesis is not itself proof of anything. The proof will lie in the consistency of what is hypothesized with human experience and observation.”(91)
Andrews proceeds to test the God hypothesis as it compares to an atheistic hypothesis when it comes to cosmic origins, the origin of the laws of science, the moral law, and the origin of first life, and living organisms. He notes the limits of science to explain everything: “The claim that, given time, science will explain everything is simply the atheist’s version of the God of the gaps.”(96) Andrews also explores the issues of design found in DNA and the cell:
…I have problems with those who (1) admit that nature gives every evidences of being intelligently designed; (2) introduce an alternative materialistic explanation for the appearance of design; and then (3) without further discussion conclude that only their alternative explanation can be true. Meet the neo-duckians, whose logic demands that ‘If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is indubitably a chicken.’ Such are those who tell us that the cell’s molecular language is merely an accident of nature.(187)
Is Andrews an ID proponent? He doesn’t seem to jump on board completely: “My own view is that ID is an inference drawn from science rather than part of science itself.”(209) Andrews does look at design features and notes that an inference to design is fair enough. He explains his position:
ID as an inference from science is just as legitimate as the multiverse and, in my view, much more so. Of course, you are free to define science in such a way as to include its philosophical implications, but if you do you cannot be selective – you must admit ID alongside the multiverse and any other theory that can be neither proven nor falsified by scientific data. Or else you must exclude all such theories from your definition of science.(210)
Andrews is no friend of neo-Darwinism, to be sure. As he notes, “a theory that of origins that, with little imagination, can explain anything, actually explains nothing.”(213) Furthermore, “The problem I have is that evolution can always contrive an answer to these questions and can therefore never be falsified.”(215)
With his scientific “God hypothesis” angle and a completely accessible writing style, Andrews presents a book that is, in this reviewer’s opinion, a perfect gift to just about anyone – from layman to expert. Andrews adds wit and humor that is fresh and unique. The content is engaging, exploring the sciences from string theory and the multiverse to time, conscience, moral law, the origin of life, and miracles. Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything is entertaining, logical, scientific, fascinating, and fun. It was a pleasant surprise.
* Edgar Andrews, Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything (Darlington, England: EP Books, 2009).