Denis Alexander

From Peaceful Science

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. 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. 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. Alexander is a critic of intelligent design, arguing 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.

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".[7]

Alexander has been quoted in such books as Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life by biochemist and theologian Alister McGrath.[8] He also makes an appearance in the documentary film The Trouble with Atheism, where he discusses his views on science and religion.[9]

Views on Adam and Eve[edit]

Alexander believes in a historical Adam and Eve chosen by God from a previously existing biologically human population. “I am happy to use it (Model C) as a working model...According to model C, God in his grace chose a couple of Neolithic farmers in the Near East, or maybe a community of farmers, to whom he chose to reveal himself in a special way, calling them into fellowship with himself—so that they might know him as a personal God”.[10]


  • Beyond Science (1972), Lion Publishing[4]
  • Rebuilding the Matrix – Science and Faith in the 21st Century (2001), Lion Publishing, Oxford, UK, ISBN 978-0-7459-1244-8.
  • Protein phosphatases – Topics in Current Genetics 5 (2003), Springer, ISBN 978-3-540-20560-9 – Joaquin Arino and Denis Alexander (editors)
  • Beyond Belief: Science, Faith and Ethical Challenges with Bob White (2004), Lion Publishing, Oxford, UK, ISBN 978-0-7459-5141-6.
  • Can We Be Sure About Anything?: Science, Faith and Postmodernism (2005), Apollos, Nottingham, UK, ISBN 978-1-84474-076-5.
  • Science, Faith, and Ethics: Grid or Gridlock (2006), Denis Alexander & Robert S. White, Hendrickson, ISBN 978-1-59856-018-3
  • Creation and Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? (2008), Monarch, Oxford, UK, ISBN 978-1-85424-746-9.
  • Rescuing Darwin – God and Evolution in Britain Today (2009), Theos Nick Spencer and Denis Alexander ISBN 978-0-9554453-5-4
  • Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins (2010), University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-60841-9 – Denis R. Alexander and Ronald L. Numbers (editors)
  • The Language of Genetics – an Introduction (2011), Templeton Foundation Press[11]
  • Creation and Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? (2nd edition, revised and expanded) (2014), Monarch, Oxford, UK, ISBN 978-0857215789.
  • Genes, Determinism, and God (2017), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1316506387.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Denis Alexander, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dr Denis Alexander Archived 3 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine, 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. 4.0 4.1 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. Richard Allen Greene, CNN (2 September 2010). "Stephen Hawking: God didn't create universe". Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  8. Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life – Alister McGrath
  9. "The Trouble with Atheism". Bede. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  10. Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? p. 236
  11. "News | The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion". Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2010.

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