Shortly before Christmas I received an email from Edgar Andrews, Emeritus professor from the University of London. He asked if I would be willing to review his book Who Made God?Searching for a Theory of Everything. While I’ve read many books presenting the scientific evidence for God, I thought it may be interesting to get the perspective of someone outside the traditional apologetics community. I was right!
If you enjoy the contemporary debate about the existence of God, then Who Made God? is a book you will want to have in your library. Andrews provides fresh and strong critiques of Dawkins, Victor Stenger, and other prominent atheists. He even debated Dawkins a few years ago.
Probably the most controversial thing Andrews claims is that there are four scientifically inexplicable things: (1) the origin of the universe; (2) the origin of the laws of nature; (3) the origin of life; and (4) the origin of mind and thought. Not only is there no present explanation, he says there never will be a natural explanation. The main claim of his book is that any “theory of everything” must include mind. Purely material causes will never be able to explain certain features of the world. The God-hypothesis, says Andrews, explains the world much more thoroughly.
One of the most fascinating sections of the book is his defense of the reality of the human mind. He argues that thinking can change the activity and structure of the brain, which shows that human thinking is not simply an inconsequential by-product of brain activity. He points to a study from the Stanford Business School where a group of people were given the same wine on two different occasions. One time they were told it was a $45 bottle, and the other time they were told it was $5. Unsurprisingly, the group declared that the $45 wine tasted better. They even scanned the brains during consumption and found the pleasure centers of the brain lit up more for the expensive wine. Andrews concludes:
“[N]on physical mental expectations translate into bodily responses via real physical changes in the brain. If non-physical mind can affect the physical brain in this way, then mind can hardly be the mere by-product of brain activity…” (p. 259).
This is just one helpful illustration from Who Made God? Andrews also critiques theistic evolution, the power of natural selection and mutation, and other common atheistic arguments. Even if you disagree with Andrews (as I do at points), he provides a thoughtful scientific and philosophical defense of Christianity.