- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted May 27, 2010
During the last decades several books supporting Intelligent Design have appeared. Their basic argument usually has been basically a negative argument: there is no way to explain the complexity of nature apart from some divine intervention. Critics call this the "God-of-the-gaps" argument. The obvious problem with this argument is that similar gaps in the past often have shrunk and then disappeared as scientific knowledge has increased.
Microbiologist Fazale Rana, an openly Christian scientific apologist, is keenly aware of this weakness in the traditional ID argument. He seeks a positive argument from the data to design.
Recent science in cellular biology and chemistry has made astounding discoveries about the inner working of the living cell. All cells of plants and animals are basically the same in their components and method of operation, yet allow for the different kinds of organisms and the different tasks the cells must perform.
Rana starts from actual examples and types of human design. The cell's processes are mechanical and electrical, as the various proteins interact with each other within the cell. This is biochemistry at its most basic level. Humans design technology using these same forces on a larger scale.
Rana builds a positive argument, using "abductive reasoning." Wikipedia defines it as follows: "Abduction means determining the precondition. It is using the conclusion and the rule to assume that the precondition could explain the conclusion. Example: 'When it rains, the grass gets wet. The grass is wet, it must have rained.' Diagnosticians and detectives are commonly associated with this style of reasoning." Abduction is most useful when explaining how living things got the way they are.
Rana's argument is thus positive rather than negative. We see humans designing mechanical and electrical items all the time. The products they make are the actual fruits of design. Rana describes many of these features of design in the main part of the book. He introduces the chapters with paintings by famous artists, each making a pointed illustration of the particular design feature. Rana sees artistic expression as well in the cell's workings.
The heart of the book takes these design features and shows how they are employed in the makeup and workings of every individual cell. Cells show even more exquisite design and precision than the best human engineering and technology. Rana writes for a mature reader who can will take effort to learn some details of microbiology. There are many well drawn illustrations. An introductory chapter helps a lot by explaining the basic parts and workings of the cell, and a glossary in the back is helpful. Many of the processes Rana describes are complicated, but Rana's explanations are as clear as can be expected in view of the complexity of the subject.
It will be interesting to see how The Cell's Design will be received. Will it simply be disregarded as a disguised ID or creationist work, or will evolutionary scholars interact with the actual positive examples of design? Many think that the very idea of allowing the possibility of God's design in creation denies the scientific method. However, if God really exists, how can such a presupposed position lead to the truth about the cell's design? To follow the evidence, using sound logic, is the best way to reach the right conclusion. Rana provides an excellent case for an intelligent, skilled, and artistic Creator.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2012
A great book, easy to understand, yet technical enough to satisfy the
scientist in all of us. Reading this book will help anybody engaged in
the discussion on intelligent design, to make a reasonable,
scientifically based argument for the existence of a creator.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.