A biochemist attempts to map the discoveries of his discipline onto traditional beliefs of Christianity.
This slim nonfiction debut splits the study of human existence into two parallel narratives: the physical and the spiritual. Chalmers (Biochemistry/Flinders Univ.) hews closely to his pedagogical roots for much of his book’s length, instructing readers fairly and clearly on the basics of human physiology and biochemistry—from the structure and function of DNA to the composition and mutation of genetic material. These explanatory segments accompany the author’s passionate readings of Scripture and his emotionally generous interpretation of the Christian worldview: “There will never be anyone like you,” he writes in a typically stirring passage. “God loves and values you to the extent that He gave his life for you at Calvary, so that you could be freed from your sins and spend an eternity of happiness with him.” These and similar passages effectively appeal to the spiritual side of the Christian experience. However, they’re offset by other moments of biblical literalism, such as references to the Creation story or the Great Flood as “historical events,” an assertion that “rock strata indicate a massive worldwide flood, because the strata indicate they were laid down at about the same time,” and the idea that Earth, the galaxy, and the universe are all 6,500 years old. Looking at the complexity of living biology, the author writes that “Only God could design anything so beautiful yet complex,” and he calls any scientific argument to the contrary “a terrible insult to God, our Creator.” This perspective will limit the appeal of the book to Christians who already share the author’s views.
An uneven rhetorical melding of the biochemical and the miraculous.