Should Christians embrace evotultion?

Last Friday I had a really interesting conversation with one of Caroline's cousins about such things as the relationship of science and Christianity, the reliability of the gospels and the Bible's attitude towards homosexuality.  Obviously these are delicate issues and I was grateful that he was so gracious and open in his conversation.  I have since sent him some books to read.

Myself, I have just finished 'Should Christians believe evolution?' (edited by Norman C. Nevan, Emeritus Professor of Medical Genetics at Queen's University, Belfast)  I must admit that almost all of it was above my head.  The book comes from the Intelligent Design side of the argument.  I'll try to pick out some things that might be of interest.

Alistair Donald explains that, 'In the 1990s the Intelligent Design movement emerged, from roots in the previous decade.  It is often incorrectly maintained that ID was an offshoot of biblical creationism, but in fact the movement originated among scientists who were formerly Darwinists but had become sceptical of the theory because recent advances in science, particularly biochemistry and information science, seemed to be incompatible with Darwinism.'

R. T. Kendall makes the claim that 'the world is largely unaware of a rising number of competent, brilliant scientists (some Christian, some non-Christian) who do not believe in evolution at all.'

Neven cites David Rupp of the Natural History Museum, Chicago who summarizes the current understanding, 'Most people assume that fossils provide important [evidence] in favour of the Darwinian interpretation of the history of life.  Unfortunately this is not strictly true.  Rather than gradual unfolding of life . . . species appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their existence in the record, then abruptly [disappear]'

Geoff Barnard (formerly Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge) highlights that 'the wide variety of chromosomal variations that clearly exist between the human and the chimpanzee, dictate against the thesis that these species have a common ancestry.'

Andy McIntosh (Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds) writes that to 'suggest, as some are saying, the raised free-energy state would be maintained while natural selection favoured, over many generations, single random mutations, one by one, to finally bring together the full complement of necessary amino acids is, frankly, thermodynamically absurd.'

John Walton (Research Professor of Chemistry at the University of Saint Andrews) says, It is virtually certain .. that life did not originate by random chemical reactions in a prebiotic soup.  Actually, this conclusion is not controversial.  All reputable scientists who have studied the problem, whatever their ideology, concur with this view . . . The existence of some many theories [as to the origin of life] is itself evidence that they are all beset with serious problems and none of them is all persuasive.' 
See _of_life.

I am not declaring myself to be a fully signed up member of the Intelligent Design movement.  As I said most of the scientific arguments went over my head.  My bottom line is that I believe Genesis to be divinely inspired, and that Christians with a respect for Scripture have come to differing conclusions as to what sort of genre it is written in (from Stott's view that Genesis 1 is a 'highly stylised theological statement' to those 6-day creationists who see it as recording history in literal time).