Zoologist and Royal Society University Research Fellow at Oxford University, Andrew Parker has written a new book arguing that there are significant parallels between the Genesis account of creation and discoveries in contemporary science. Parker specializes in the evolution of vision and is one of the eight “Scientists for a New Century” selected by the Royal Institution. His previous book, In the Blink Of An Eye: How Vision Sparked the Big Bang Of Evolution, defended the idea that the Cambrian explosion was triggered by the evolution of vision in simple organisms. Parker is no friend of either special creationism or intelligent design but has come to recognise the limits of science and even reject agnosticism. In his latest book, The Genesis Enigma, Parker grapples with the dilemma that the Genesis account has no right to be correct. Because the author or authors could not have known the sequence of evolutionary stages that science has come to recognize, Parker argues that Genesis must be the product of divine inspiration.
Here is what Ray Olson, reviewer at Booklist, says of The Genesis Enigma:
“Raised without religion, biologist Parker had his curiosity piqued by responses to his book, In the Blink of an Eye, about his major scientific contribution, the light-switch theory, which contends that the evolution of vision spurred the explosion of life-forms in the Cambrian period, 520 million years ago. His correspondents suggested that his theory put the final link in place between the account contemporary science gives of the world’s development and that related by the first chapter of Genesis. This book is considered his response to that suggestion. Chapter by chapter, he relates the stages of cosmological development and evolution to the seven stages of Creation in Genesis 1, from “Let there be light” – the concretion of the sun – to the debut of birds, which defied the rule (i.e., the reign) of vision over the cycle of predation on which all life depends (birds are uniquely able to flee predators). Read metaphorically, Genesis 1 is a scientifically sound outline. Each of Parker’s chapters, though sprung from a biblical statement, proceeds to chronicle two processes, that of how science thinks the earth and life developed and that of the scientists who forged the theories and obtained the facts that enable and confirm science’s account of creation and evolution. Parker, a popular science writer second to none in clarity and congeniality, has given us the single Darwinian bicentenary publication most liable to reconcile religion and science.”