Sy Garte, PhD in biochemistry, has been a tenured professor at New York University, Rutgers University, and the University of Pittsburgh, division director at the Center for Scientific Review of the National Institutes of Health, and interim Vice President for research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is currently visiting professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University and has published more than two hundred peer-reviewed scientific papers and four books.
Dr. Sy Garte, the author of ‘The Works of His Hands”, graciously provided me with a copy of his recently published book, a couple of months ago and since receiving it, I’ve looked forward to completing a Book Review on it. I have not personally met Dr. Garte but we have exchanged some dialogue on multimedia social apps with regard to Christian related topics and I found him very easy to speak with and a constant source of enthusiasm for the grace that is to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I should state at the onset that I am just an ordinary Christian layman with no scientific credentials whatsoever. Any limited understanding that I have acquired with regard to evolution and the various forms of creationism that Dr. Garte discusses in his book, have been obtained by myself, over the years, via self study. That being said, this Book Review will be from the perspective of a non-scientific Christian layman, who happens to lean towards Old Age Creationism, but this difference in opinions has no bearing on our standings as brothers in Christ. It is also noteworthy, that after reading Sy’s book, I have a greater appreciation for Evolutionary Creationism.
Do I highly recommend this book? Yes I do! If you have a healthy interest in general science, plus you seek a broader understanding of how things began, as it pertains to the scope and limitations of the laws of physics and the laws of biology and you would like to hear first hand how a highly trained scientific mind could be persuaded to turn from being an atheist and embrace Christianity through the person of Jesus Christ, this book is for you!
I actually read through the book twice. I highlighted important paragraphs and phrases initially as I read through it the first time and then reread it again, paying particular attention to what I had highlighted. The book has a total of 255 pages, which is not really a large book but there is a lot of really important factual information packed between the two covers. I did not find the book difficult to follow but I did have to focus intently, at times, on what I was reading.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part has nine chapters and these nine chapters deal with how Sy got to where he was to where he is now. It’s actually quite the journey. The second part (five additional chapters for total of 14 chapters) deals with the various issues and questions that arose during his search for truth. I’m not going to go through each chapter but I will mention “some” of what I considered, important benchmarks.
Sy identifies why questions are important, questions that are answered and questions that remain unanswered. The association of consciousness with regard to Quantum Mechanics is briefly covered and the conflict it causes with maintaining philosophical materialism. That may sound a little heavy for the unscientific mind but he does it quite well. The complexity of biochemistry associated within the different genetic systems is explained. Darwin’s evolution, what it is and what it isn’t, is clarified. Sy explains how he came to accept a theological worldview that has been called theistic evolution or evolutionary creationism. The evolution of humans is reviewed as is the origins of the universe and life itself. The limits within science are noted and the steps that Sy took that brought him to a call to faith. Common accusations levelled at Christianity and religion in general are responded to including Sy’s personal response to some admittedly hard questions. Some differences between the various creation models are discussed, including Intelligent Design (ID) and Sy provides a more rounded overview of Evolutionary Creation. Historical context is provided with regard to science and faith coming together including the origins of Biology as a Science. Sy’s final chapter includes insights into his own commitment to Christ, his baptism and affiliation with the United Methodist Church.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS: I can’t help but be appreciative of Sy Garte’s unassuming demeanour and prevalent disposition of humility. His book “The Works of His Hands” is a testimony to the reasoned road of honest discovery he has travelled and his concluding confession of faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
I’m going to also include the links to four additional Book Reviews for Sy’s book that, when combined, provide a more rounded Book Review than mine alone, should you desire additional recommendations.
You can find Dr. Sy Garte online here:
Information from the Publisher of “The Works of His Hands” is here: