October 1, 2014

Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

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Darwins doubt book cover Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

 

Darwin’s Doubt
Stephen C. Meyer

“In the origin of species, Darwin openly acknowledges important weaknesses in his theory and professed his own doubts about key aspects of it. Yet today’s public defenders of a Darwin-only science curriculum apparently do not want these, or any other scientific doubts about contemporary Darwinian theory, reported to students. This book addresses Darwin’s most significant doubt . . . and how a seemingly isolated anomaly that Darwin acknowledged almost in passing has grown to become illustrative of a fundamental problem for all of evolutionary biology.” —FROM THE PROLOGUE

Charles Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. In what is known today as the “Cambrian explosion,” 530 million years ago many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock. In Darwin’s Doubt Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life—a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but also because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal.

Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the theory of intelligent design—which holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection—is ultimately the best explanation for the origin of the Cambrian animals.

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Dr. Meyer makes it clear that these well-documented facts of paleontology pose a serious challenge to Darwin’s theory, the view that has held sway in biology (and well beyond) for nearly 150 years.  The issue on the table is not now, nor has it ever been, the fact of evolution (change over time); the issue has always been the mechanism of evolution – is it blind and undirected or is it under the control of an intelligence that had a goal in mind? That’s the nub of the question, and in Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen Meyer has masterfully laid out one of the most compelling lines of evidence for the latter.
-William S. Harris
PhD, Professor, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Stephen Meyer’s new book Darwin’s Doubt represents an opportunity for bridge-building, rather than dismissive polarization — bridges across cultural divides in great need of professional, respectful dialog — and bridges to span evolutionary gaps.
-Dr. George Church
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, and author of Regenesis

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Darwin’s Doubt is an intriguing exploration of one of the most remarkable periods in the evolutionary history of life—the rapid efflorescence of complex body plans written in the fossils of the Burgess Shale . . . No matter what convictions one holds about evolution, Darwinism, or intelligent design, Darwin’s Doubt is a book that should be read, engaged, and discussed.
-Dr. Scott Turner
Professor of Biology, State University of New York, author of The Tinkerer’s Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Stephen Meyer elegantly explains why the sudden appearance of animal forms in the Cambrian period gave Darwin pause.  He also demonstrates, based on cutting-edge molecular biology, why explaining the origin of animals is now not just a problem of missing fossils, but an even greater engineering problem at the molecular level. With mathematical precision, he shows why the neo-Darwinian mechanism cannot produce the genetic information and novel proteins—or systems for regulating their expression—that are required to build new animals.

An excellent book and a must read for anyone who wants to gain understanding of the very real—though often unreported—scientific challenges facing neo-Darwinism.
-Dr. Russell Carlson
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Darwin’s Doubt is by far the most up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive review of the evidence from all relevant scientific fields that I have encountered in more than forty years of studying the Cambrian explosion. An engaging investigation of the origin of animal life and a compelling case for intelligent design.
-Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig
Senior Scientist Emeritus (Biologist) at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

It is hard for us paleontologists, steeped as we are in a tradition of Darwinian analysis, to admit that neo-Darwinian explanations for the Cambrian explosion have failed miserably. New data acquired in recent years, instead of solving Darwin’s dilemma, have rather made it worse. Meyer describes the dimensions of the problem with clarity and precision. His book is a game changer for the study of evolution and points us in the right direction as we seek a new theory for the origin of animals.
-Dr. Mark McMenamin
Paleontologist at Mt. Holyoke College and author of The Emergence of Animals

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Darwin’s Doubt is another excellent book by Stephen Meyer. I particularly like his refutation of the concept of self-assembly of biological systems. The book explains the difference between specified complexity and order and shows that natural forces cannot generate the kind of complexity we see in living systems. I know from my personal work in the Systems Centre at Bristol University that complex systems do not create themselves but require an intelligent designer. Stephen Meyer has clearly listened to the arguments of those who are sceptical about intelligent design and has addressed them thoroughly. It is really important that Darwinists read this book carefully and give a response.
-Professor Stuart Burgess
Professor of Design and Nature, Head of Mechanical Engineering at Bristol University

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

I spend my life reading science books. I’ve ready many hundreds of them over the years, and in my judgment Darwin’s Doubt is the best science book ever written.  It is a magnificent work, a true masterpiece that will be read for hundreds of years.

-George Gilder
Writer, techno-utopian economist, and New York Times bestselling author

quo trans Darwins Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

Meyer writes beautifully. He marshals complex information as well as any writer I’ve read . . . This book—and his body of work—challenges scientism with real science and excites in me the hope that the origins-of-life debate will soon be largely free of the ideology that has long colored it . . . a wonderful, most compelling read.
-Dean Koontz
New York Times bestselling author

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“When the Almighty was yet with me, and my children were around me; When my steps were bathed in butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!” (Job 29:5-6)
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Evolution and News brings a good commentary on the journal Nature’s June cover issue regarding lipids, showing how they are the building blocks of membranes, and pointing to a master designer rather than a result of pure chance via evolution.

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