Posts Tagged ‘Intelligent Design’

Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer was released in June 2009 and has been viewed as “the first book to make a comprehensive case for intelligent design based upon DNA”. Meyer defines what ID is and is not and shows that the argument for intelligent design is not based on ignorance or ‘giving up on science’, but instead upon our growing scientific knowledge of the information stored in the cell.

The book has been well-received and made the list of “Top Ten Best Selling Science Books of 2009” at According to the Discovery Institute, by November 2009 the book had entered its fifth printing.

The book was endorsed by scientists such as Philip Skell, J. Scott Turner, Alistair Noble and Edward Peltzer, and received a favorable review from philosopher Thomas Nagel, in The Times, who wrote that “Signature in the Cell…is a detailed account of the problem of how life came into existence from lifeless matter – something that had to happen before the process of biological evolution could begin … Meyer is a Christian, but atheists, and theists who believe God never intervenes in the natural world, will be instructed by his careful presentation of this fiendishly difficult problem.” The book also received a favorable review in TELICOM, “The Journal of the International Society of Philosophical Enquiry.”

When Thomas Nagel submitted the book as his contribution to the “2009 Books of the Year” supplement for The Times, many in the philosophical and scientific community responded negatively to his recommendation. Specifically, Stephen Fletcher, chemist at Loughborough University, wrote in The Times Literary Supplement, Nagel is “promoting the book to the rest of us using statements that are factually incorrect.” Fletcher explained “Natural selection is in fact a chemical process as well as a biological process, and it was operating for about half a billion years before the earliest cellular life forms appear in the fossil record.” In another publication, Fletcher wrote that “I am afraid that reality has overtaken Meyer’s book and its flawed reasoning” in pointing out scientific problems with Meyer’s work by citing how RNA “survived and evolved into our own human protein-making factory, and continues to make our fingers and toes.”. Meyer responded to Fletcher’s criticisms of the book via an unpublished letter to The Times Literary Supplement that was posted on Meyer’s website, stating that “To support his claim that scientific developments have ‘overtaken Meyer’s book,’ Fletcher cites, first, a scientific study by chemists Matthew Powner, Beatrice Gerland and John Sutherland of the University of Manchester. This study does partially address one, though only one, of the many outstanding difficulties associated with the RNA world scenario, the most popular current theory of the undirected chemical evolution of life. Starting with several simple chemical compounds, Powner and colleagues successfully synthesized a pyrimidine ribonucleotide, one of the building blocks of the RNA molecule. Nevertheless, this work does nothing to address the much more acute problem of explaining how the nucleotide bases in DNA or RNA acquired their specific information-rich arrangements, which is the central topic of my book.”

In May 2010, the Discovery Institute, which is directed by Meyer, released a free 105 page eBook titled Signature of Controversy: Responses to Critics of Signature in the Cell with chapters by Discovery Institute fellows David Berlinski, David Klinghoffer, Casey Luskin, Stephen C. Meyer, Paul Nelson, Jay Richards and Richard Sternberg.

Debate with Michael Shermer dealing with objections to intelligent design, the existence of design in nature & “Who designed the designer?”

For more information about the book, further reviews & related debates go to

%d bloggers like this: