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The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design


Winner of a Christianity Today 2005 Book Award!

A 2005 Gold Medallion finalist.

Is it science? Is it religion? What exactly is the Design Revolution?

Today scientists, mathematicians and philosophers in the intelligent design movement are challenging a certain view of science--one that limits its investigations and procedures to purely law-like and mechanical explanations. They charge that there is no ...

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Winner of a Christianity Today 2005 Book Award!

A 2005 Gold Medallion finalist.

Is it science? Is it religion? What exactly is the Design Revolution?

Today scientists, mathematicians and philosophers in the intelligent design movement are challenging a certain view of science--one that limits its investigations and procedures to purely law-like and mechanical explanations. They charge that there is no scientific reason to exclude the consideration of intelligence, agency and purpose from truly scientific research. In fact, they say, the practice of science often does already include these factors!

As the intelligent design movement has gained momentum, questions have naturally arisen to challenge its provocative claims. In this book William A. Dembski rises to the occasion clearly and concisely answering the most vexing questions posed to the intelligent design program. Writing with nonexperts in mind, Dembski responds to more than sixty questions asked by experts and nonexperts alike who have attended his many public lectures, as well as objections raised in written reviews.

The Design Revolution has begun. Its success depends on how well it answers the questions of its detractors. Read this book and you'll have a good idea of the prospects and challenges facing this revolution in scientific thinking.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dembski, a philosopher/mathematician who has been an important theorist for the intelligent design movement, handles a wide range of questions and objections that should give both fans and detractors of ID plenty to chew on. The book's timing is appropriate; it is only in the past few years that ID, initially dismissed by some scientists as "creationism in a cheap tuxedo," has also begun to attract a more sophisticated brand of criticism. These critiques come not only from evolutionary biologists and philosophers of biology, but also from Christian theologians who have made peace with Darwinian evolution. While most of the core arguments of this book will be familiar to readers of the ID literature, they are presented here in (if one may say so) more highly evolved form: explanations are clearer, objections are borne more patiently, distinctions and concessions are artfully made. Without denying the theological and cultural implications of ID, Dembski is more concerned with ID's future as a scientific enterprise: a point where despite some successes the movement continues to struggle. The book's format-responding to individual questions in 44 short chapters-makes for a clear, if repetitive, read. Chapters can focus on a single issue and adopt an appropriate tone: basic questions get basic replies, pointed objections get forceful rejoinders, and technical questions allow Dembski to unleash a faculty for technical detail that can only be called impressive. The latter may leave some general-interest readers in the dark, but readers with the requisite background will appreciate the subtlety, insight, and occasional quirkiness of Dembski's theoretical work. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830832163
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 1/13/2004
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William Dembski (Ph.D., mathematics, University of Chicago; Ph.D., philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago) is senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.

He has previously taught at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University, and he has been a National Science Foundation doctoral and postdoctoral fellow. Dembski has written numerous scholarly articles and is the author of the critically acclaimed The Design Inference (Cambridge), Intelligent Design (InterVarsity Press) and No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence (Rowman and Littlefield).

Colson, formerly special counsel to President Nixon, is founder and chairman of Prison Fellowship and the Wilberforce Forum. He also chairs the Council for Biotechnology Policy. Colson's Breakpoint daily radio commentaries are heard by more than one million listeners.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Charles W. Colson
AcknowledgmentsPart 1: Basic Distinctions
1. Intelligent Design
2. Creation
3. Scientific Creationism
4. Disguised Theology
5. Religious Motivation
6. Optimal Design
7. The Design ArgumentPart 2: Detecting Design
8. The Design Inference
9. Chance and Necessity
10. Specified Complexity
11. The Explanatory Filter
12. Reliability of the Criterion
13. Objectivity and Subjectivity
14. Assertibility
15. The Chance of the GapsPart 3: Information
16. Information and Matter
17. Information Theory
18. Biology's Information Problem
19. Information ex Nihilo
20. Nature's Receptivity to Information
21. The Law of Conservation of InformationPart 4: Issues Arising from Naturalism
22. Varieties of Naturalism
23. Interventionism
24. Miracles and Counterfactual Substitution
25. The Supernatural
26. Embodied and Unembodied Designers
27. The Designer Regress
28. Selective Skepticism
29. The Progress of SciencePart 5: Theoretical Challenges to Intelligent Design
30. Argument from Ignorance
31. Eliminative Induction
32. Hume, Reid and Signs of Intelligence
33. Design by Elimination vs. Design by Comparison
34. The Demand for Details: Darwinism's Tu Quoque
35. Displacement and the No Free Lunch Principle
36. The Only Games in TownPart 6: A New Kind of Science
37. Aspirations
38. Mechanism
39. Testability
40. The Significance of Michael Behe
41. Peer Review
42. The "Wedge"
43. Research Themes
44. Making Intelligent Design a Disciplined Science
Select Bibliography
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2006

    A Difficult but Brilliant Book

    Dembski shows how the theory of evolution is contradicted by modern information theory (complex, ordered information is produced by intelligence rather than by chance), mathematics (events less likely than the universal probability bound do not occur¿the random coalescence of just one amino acid would be such an event), and physics (according to the second law of thermodynamics, systems increase in entropy [disorder] over time rather than increasing in order, as is posited by the theory of evolution).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2006

    Belief Me

    This book is great if you need to justify your belief in the almighty. If you buy this book and you believe it, great. If you are a skeptic, then this book is not for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2005

    A true lightening rod

    Dembski waxes eloquently on the distictions between Darwinism, Scientific Creationism and Intelligent Design. Arguments are compelling and thoroughly thought-out. Takes quite a bit of time to follow some of the logical constructs, but it is worth the effort. It is not a stretch to think that intelligence can be identified. If not, the whole concept behind Mensa is a joke. How do they know that their members are truly smart, and haven't accidentally scored high on the so-called tests? It could be randomness that just happened to coalesce in their favor. Only those bent on intellectual suicide, for their own purposes, could patently dismiss Dembski's arguments. But then again, their whole line of reasoning could be random noise, who knows?

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