Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Signature in the Cell - new book from Dr Stephen C. Meyer
Look out for Dr Stephen C. Meyer's new book Signature in the Cell, due out at the end of July 2009. Stephen C. Meyer is director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC) and a founder both of the intelligent design movement and of the CSC, intelligent design’s primary intellectual and scientific headquarters. Dr. Meyer is a Cambridge University-trained philosopher of science, the author of peer-reviewed publications in technical, scientific, philosophical and other books and journals.
Watch this recent Signature in the Cell book-tour lecture by Meyer:
'Unlike previous arguments for intelligent design, Signature in the Cell presents a radical and comprehensive new case, revealing the evidence not merely of individual features of biological complexity but rather of a fundamental constituent of the universe: information. That evidence has been mounting exponentially in recent years, known to scientists in specialized fields but largely hidden from public view. A Cambridge University-trained theorist and researcher, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, Dr. Meyer is the first to bring the relevant data together into a powerful demonstration of the intelligence that stands outside nature and directs the path life has taken.'
The book carries some impressive endorsements:
'In this engaging narrative, Meyer demonstrates what I as a chemist have long suspected: undirected chemical processes cannot produce the exquisite complexity of the living cell. Meyer also shows something else: there is compelling positive evidence for intelligent design in the digital code stored in the cell’s DNA. A decisive case based upon breathtaking and cutting-edge science.' — Dr. Philip S. Skell, National Academy of Sciences and Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, emeritus
'This is a ‘must read’ for all serious students of the origin-of-life debate. Not only is it a comprehensive defense of the theory of intelligent design, it is a lucid and rigorous exposition of the various dimensions of the scientific method. Students of chemistry and biology at all levels—high school, undergraduate, or postgraduate—will find much to challenge their thinking in this book.' — Alastair Noble, Ph.D. chemistry, former BBC Education Officer and Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools for Science, Scotland
'The origin of life remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of modern science. Looking beyond the biochemistry of the problem and focusing instead on the origin and information content of the ‘code of life,’ Meyer has written an eminently readable and engaging account of the quest to solve this mystery. Sharing both his personal history and a retelling of the key scientific discoveries of the last half century from this new and intriguing perspective, he has challenged us to consider an alternative to the standard story of abiogenesis and discover new meaning from our existence. I recommend this book to laypeople and accomplished professionals alike.' — Edward Peltzer, Ph.D., Ocean Chemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
'Signature in the Cell is at once a philosophical history of how information has come to be central to cutting-edge research in biology today and one man’s intellectual journey to the conclusion that intelligent design provides the best explanation for that fact. In his own modest and accessible way, Meyer has provided no less than a blueprint for twenty-first-century biological science—one that decisively shifts the discipline’s center of gravity from nineteenth-century Darwinian preoccupations with fossils and field studies to the computerized, lab-based molecular genetics that underwrites the increasingly technological turn in the life sciences. After this book, readers will wonder whether anything more than sentimentality lies behind the continued association of Darwin’s name with "modern biology."’— Dr. Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology of Science, University of Warwick, and author of Dissent from Descent
'This timely and important book is a landmark in the intelligent design debate and one which draws together all relevant research and information. It is elegantly written in a style that is accessible and laced with interesting historical and personal anecdotes. ‘Signature in the Cell’ will pay rich dividends to everyone who turns its pages.' —Dr. Norman C. Nevin, OBE, BSc, MD, FFPH, FRCPath, FRCP (Edin), FRCPEmeritus Professor in Medical Genetics, Queen’s University, Belfast
'Signature in the Cell delivers a superb overview of the surprising and exciting developments that led to our modern understanding of DNA, and its role in cells. Meyer tells the story in a most engaging way. He retained my interest through many areas that would normally have turned me off. He is careful to credit new ideas and discoveries to their originators, even when he disagrees with the uses to which they have been put. The central idea of the book is that the best explanation of the information coded in DNA is that it resulted from intelligent design. Meyer has marshaled a formidable array of evidence from fields as diverse as biochemistry, philosophy and information theory. He deals fairly and thoroughly with even the most controversial aspects and has made a compelling case for his conclusion. The book is a delightful read which will bring enlightenment and enjoyment to every open minded reader.' —Dr. John C. Walton, School of Chemistry, University of St. Andrews
View Meyer's excellent and engaging 2006 debate on ID with Peter C. Ward:
Another complement about 'A Sceptic's Guide to Atheism'
'if you're looking for a philosophical book that specifically, directly and convincingly rebuts and refute all the main SPECIFIC arguments of the New Atheists... I'd strongly recommend you "A Sceptic's Guide to Atheism" by philosopher Peter Williams, a book that you can order from damaris website (http://www.damaris.org/cm/shop/product/60/). Williams' book is probably the best SPECIFIC and DETAILED philosophical response in print to each of the New Atheists (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, Harris, Grayling, etc.).'
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Angus Menuge Endorses 'A Sceptic's Guide to Atheism'
'Finally, on the apologetics front, a definite thumbs-up for Peter Williams' A Sceptic's Guide to Atheism, which contains a lot of helpful material for responding to the new atheists' attempts to dismiss religious belief and experience as an illusion (which helped me considerably in presentations I gave at UCLA and Fort Wayne). See his interview here.'