A book from which one might expect a lot is "The Dawkins Delusion" by Alister McGrath (SPCK, 2007).

McGrath is a former atheist who gained a doctorate in molecular biophysics before going on to become a leading Christian theologian. The book was specifically written to intellectually critique Dawkins' best-seller.

Although Francis Collins says of this book that "Alister McGrath dismantles the argument that science should lead to atheism, and demonstrates instead that Dawkins has abandoned his much-cherished rationality to embrace an embittered manifesto of dogmatic atheist fundamentalism", the book lacks the clarity and power to convincingly deliver the goods. Personal criticism of Dawkins is unhelpful, and while the arguments gathered here are reasonable, they are far from compellingly put together. The reader will not miss much by giving "The Dawkins Delusion" a miss.

One very good point made on page 12 of the book is a reference to Richard Swinburne's argument that the intelligibility of the universe requires explanation. "It is therefore not the gaps ìn our understanding of the world which point to God, but rather the very comprehensibility of scientific and other forms of understanding that requires an explanation. In brief, the argument is that explicability itself requires explanation."

One other observation is worthy of attention. On page 16, McGrath –referring to the (philosophical) work of Bennett and Hacker – writes that "Scientific theories cannot be said to ‘explain the world' – only to explain the phenomena which are observed within the world". Some questions simply lie beyond the scope of the scientific method.

While it may be commented that this viewpoint provides a conveniently safe refuge for the God hypothesis, one could equally well observe that it protects the scientific method from becoming discredited. If science claims more than it can deliver, the very potency of the scientific method (theory, hypothesis, verifiable repeatable experiments) will lose cultural influence.