This story is a shocker, no matter how you look at it.
It has all the ingredients to get people going. One of the UK's top young research scientists, an evolutionary biologist from Oxford University, whose main area of research is in the evolution of sight and the eye. A well-received book on that subject, In the Blink of an Eye. A mild atheist. His name is Andrew Parker.
Then he comes out and blows everyone away by writing a book called "the Genesis Enigma: the Hidden Science of Creation". In the US the title appears to be "The Genesis Enigma: Why the Bible is scientifically accurate".
Of course the atheists are incensed. This interview in The Metro is hardly sympathetic, and the internet discussion boards are full of statements like: "It's sad that some people have this time bomb in their heads that, when presented with enough complexity, explodes and makes them think all sorts of craziness" and "It sounds as though Professor Parker found himself a pair of Bible goggles. Everything looks different when you look at the world through your Bible goggles." Angry disbelievers drew comparisons with Antony Flew, a recent high profile defection from atheism.
But hard-core creationist christians can't rejoice too much, because Parker is still a strong evolutionist, and said in the interview: "Creationism is totally unfounded. It is as dangerous as fundamentalism in other religions." And more moderate christians who believe in theistic evolution look a little askance because he seems to have no understanding of their carefully worked out rules for interpreting Genesis.
so what's the book all about?
I haven't read it, but it appears that Parker has started from orthodox evolutionary science (not something creationists do) and then found some interesting parallels in the Genesis account of creation, which he has interpreted rather liberally. But he concludes that:
"It appears that the author of the creation account had predicted precisely the true history of the earth and life. The Genesis Enigma will explain that no human could have constructed a creation story in this way, particularly in Biblical times."
So Parker, once "leaned toward being an atheist" but "that’s changed during the writing of this book" - "it’s the strongest evidence for the existence of God I’ve come across." But exactly what he believes isn't clear just yet - perhaps not even to him, as he seems to be still working out his conclusions.
Whatever you think of this conclusion, he is clearly a brave man who is driven by what he believes is the evidence. He won't be popular among his scientific colleagues.
The MailOnline has a sympathetic and constructively critical review of the book, which credits Parker's intelligence and credentials in evolutionary biology, but questions his finding such detailed evidence for evolution in Genesis.
I think we can learn a lot when established patterns are challenged. We can watch with interest, and perhaps a little trepidation, how this turns out.