Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA

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William Dembski, Michael Ruse, and other prominent philosophers provide here a comprehensive, balanced overview of the debate concerning biological origins - a controversial dialectic since Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. Invariably, the source of controversy has been "design." Is the appearance of design in organisms (as exhibited in their functional complexity) the result of purely natural forces acting without prevision or teleology? Or, does the appearance of design signify genuine prevision and teleology, and, if so, that design empirically detectable and thus open to scientific inquiry? Four main positions have emerged in response to these questions: Darwinism, self-organization, theistic evolution, and intelligent design. The contributors to this volume define their respective positions in an accessible style, inviting readers to draw their own conclusions. Two introduction essays furnish a historical overview of the debate.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"No other collection offers a comprehensive, balanced, accessible overview like this."

"[A] stimulating collection of essays..." The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Brendan Sweetman

"The book is highly recommended." Philosophy in Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521709903
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

William A. Dembski is an associate research professor in the conceptual foundations of science at Baylor University as well as a senior fellow with Seattle's Discovery Institute. His most important books are The Design Inference (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and No Free Lunch (2002).

Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Wekmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is the author of many books, including Darwinism and its Discontents (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
1 General Introduction 3
2 The Argument from Design: A Brief History 13
3 Who's Afraid of ID? A Survey of the Intelligent Design Movement 32
Part I Darwinism
4 Design without Designer: Darwin's Greatest Discovery 55
5 The Flagellum Unspun: The Collapse of "Irreducible Complexity" 81
6 The Design Argument 98
7 DNA by Design? Stephen Meyer and the Return of the God Hypothesis 130
Part II Complex Self-Organization
8 Prolegomenon to a General Biology 151
9 Darwinism, Design, and Complex Systems Dynamics 173
10 Emergent Complexity, Teleology, and the Arrow of Time 191
11 The Emergence of Biological Value 210
Part III Theistic Evolution
12 Darwin, Design, and Divine Providence 229
13 The Inbuilt Potentiality of Creation 246
14 Theistic Evolution 261
15 Intelligent Design: Some Geological, Historical, and Theological Questions 275
16 The Argument from Laws of Nature Reassessed 294
Part IV Intelligent Design
17 The Logical Underpinnings of Intelligent Design 311
18 Information, Entropy, and the Origin of Life 331
19 Irreducible Complexity: Obstacle to Darwinian Evolution 352
20 The Cambrian Information Explosion: Evidence for Intelligent Design 371
Index 393
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