Denis Alexander

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Denis Alexander in Eden Baptist Church, Cambridge, January 2012

Denis Alexander (born 1945) is the Emeritus Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, a molecular biologist and an author on science and religion.[1] He is also an editor of Science and Christian Belief.[2] He is an evangelical Christian.[3]

Scientific work[edit]

Alexander was an Open Scholar at Oxford, where he studied Biochemistry. He studied for a PhD in Neurochemistry at the Institute of Psychiatry.[1]

He spent 15 years in various university departments and laboratories outside the United Kingdom, establishing the National Unit of Human Genetics while an Associate Professor of Biochemistry American University of Beirut, Lebanon.[1]

He worked at the Imperial Cancer Research Laboratories in London and subsequently headed the Molecular Immunology Programme and the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge.[1]

Science and religion[edit]

Alexander has written on the subject of religion and science since at least 1972, when his book 'Beyond Science' was reviewed by Hugh Montefiore, then Bishop of Kingston upon Thames in the New Scientist, in which Montefiore noted that Alexander never came out in that book explicitly in support of evolution.[4]

Alexander has stated that he believes "that the Bible is the inspired Word of God from cover to cover"[5] and that this position is consistent with his support for evolution. A renowned critic of intelligent design, Alexander has written that is not science and should not be taught as such.[6] He gives an overview of his position in his article, "Creation and Evolution" in The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity.

He says the idea that evolution is an atheistic theory is misguided and has arisen "because the ideas and scope of evolutionary theory are frequently misunderstood by Christian non-biologists, whereas atheists on their part often have little knowledge of the biblical doctrine of creation" while "many people have tried to hijack the theory of evolution to support all kinds of ideologies. Evolution has been used to support racism, communism, capitalism and other ideologies, many of them mutually incompatible" He argues that "attacks by well-meaning Christians on evolution cause a serious hindrance to evangelism within the scientific community and, as a matter of fact, promote rather than counteract atheism."[7]

Alexander responded to Stephen Hawking's The Grand Design by stating that "the 'god' that Stephen Hawking is trying to debunk is not the creator God of the Abrahamic faiths who really is the ultimate explanation for why there is something rather than nothing", adding that "Hawking's god is a god-of-the-gaps used to plug present gaps in our scientific knowledge." "Science provides us with a wonderful narrative as to how [existence] may happen, but theology addresses the meaning of the narrative".[8]

Alexander has been quoted in such books as Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life by biochemist and theologian Alister McGrath.[9] He also makes an appearance in the documentary film The Trouble with Atheism, where he discusses his views on science and religion.[10]

He has debated atheist philosophers and scientists such as P. Z. Myers[11] and Stephen Law[12] on whether belief in God is compatible with modern science.

Alexander has contributed to and written articles for the Biologos foundation.[13] He also given numerous lectures at the Veritas Forum where he contends that modern science is compatible with Christian belief.[14]



  1. ^ a b c d Dr Denis Alexander, Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.
  2. ^ Bowder, Bill, "Cambridge science don ticks off the teen rebels," Church Times, 7 March 2008, accessed 3 November 2009
  3. ^ "Why some evangelicals believe in evolution (Bulldog for October) | Denis Alexander". Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b New Scientist – Google Books. 19 October 1972. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? p. 11
  6. ^ Logged in as click here to log out (3 December 2009). "Intelligent design is not science | Denis Alexander | Comment is free |". London: Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Alexander, Denis | Participants | Profile". Closer to Truth. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  8. ^ Richard Allen Greene, CNN (2 September 2010). "Stephen Hawking: God didn't create universe". Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life – Alister McGrath
  10. ^ "The Trouble with Atheism". Bede. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "News | The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion". Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 

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