Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How science takes the Bible to bits

 

Where does the idea of a single soul at conception leave twins? (Image: Gideon Mendel/Corbis)
 
THE Bible has been called "the greatest story ever told". Steve Jones begs to differ. In The Serpent's Promise, Jones, a British geneticist and outspoken anti-religionist, sets out to retell the Bible from the point of view of science.

Well, not exactly. Instead of a point-by-point fact-checking of the Christian holy book, Jones has opted to pick some of its main themes. From big topics such as the origins of the world and of humans, Noah's flood and other epic disasters, and the ultimate fate of Earth, he sketches out our scientific knowledge for each.

Sometimes this works well. The chapter on origins, for example, takes a quick tour through the big bang, the formation of Earth, the history of the continents, the origin of life, its evolutionary history, plus human evolution – and all in less than 40 pages.

Needless to say, Jones is aiming to hit the high points, not provide a comprehensive lesson. But it all hangs together, and it gives a fair overview of science's alternative to the first chapters of Genesis.

For the rest of the story: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829162.500-how-science-takes-the-bible-to-bits.html

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