Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism / Edition 1

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"This book is a readable and devastating scientific analysis of intelligent design creationism. . . .unlike ID's proponents, these authors have done the real science that deflates the claims of intelligent design. Their work deserves the respect of everyone with a say in what is taught in public school science classes." --Barbara Forrest, co-author of Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design

"A terrific book that explores, fairly and openly, whether proponents of ID have any scientifically valid gadgets in their toolbox at all. . . .accessibly written throughout and an invaluable aid to teachers and scientists." --Kevin Padian, Professor and Curator, University of California, Berkeley and President, National Center for Science Education

"'Intelligent-design theory' makes extravagant claims, but refuses to come up with even a small fraction of the evidence needed to sustain them. Why Intelligent Design Fails brings together clear and devastating arguments by true scientists, which will convince perceptive and fair-minded readers that 'intelligent design' belongs to the history of propaganda, not to the achievements of science."-Norman Levitt, Author of Prometheus Bedeviled: Science and the Contradictions of Contemporary Culture (Rutgers University Press)

Is Darwinian evolution established fact, or a dogma ready to be overtaken by the next scientific revolution? The intelligent design movement argues the latter.

Why Intelligent Design Fails assembles a team of physicists, biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, and archaeologists to examine intelligent design from a scientific perspective. They consistently find grandiose claims without merit.

Contributors take intelligent design's two most famous claims--irreducible complexity and information-based arguments--and show that neither challenges Darwinian evolution. They also discuss thermodynamics and self-organization; the ways human design is actually identified in fields such as forensic archaeology; how research in machine intelligence indicates that intelligence itself is the product of chance and necessity; and cosmological fine-tuning arguments.

Intelligent design turns out to be a scientific mistake, but also a useful contrast highlighting the amazing power of Darwinian thinking and the wonders of a complex world without design.

Matt Young is the author of No Sense of Obligation: Science and Religion in an Impersonal Universe. He is a retired physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and now teaches physics at the Colorado School of Mines. Taner Edis is an assistant professor of physics at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and the author of The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813534336
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Grand themes, narrow constituency 9
Ch. 2 Grand designs and facile analogies : exposing Behe's mousetrap and Dembski's arrow 20
Ch. 3 Common descent : it's all or nothing 32
Ch. 4 Darwin's transparent box : the biochemical evidence for evolution 48
Ch. 5 Evolutionary paths to irreducible systems : the avian flight apparatus 58
Ch. 6 Evolution of the bacterial flagellum 72
Ch. 7 Self-organization and the origin of complexity 85
Ch. 8 The explanatory filter, archaeology, and forensics 107
Ch. 9 Playing games with probability : Dembski's complex specified information 121
Ch. 10 Chance and necessity - and intelligent design? 139
Ch. 11 There is a free lunch after all : William Dembski's wrong answers to irrelevant questions 153
Ch. 12 Is the universe fine-tuned for us? 172
Ch. 13 Is intelligent design science? 185
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    The Person above has no idea whats going on

    This book is well written and follows through the failures in logic used by IDists. Plain and simple, the person above needs to read something about how circular arguments don't work with religious texts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2004

    A straight forward critique of ID

    Just finished ¿WIDF¿-- Two thumbs up! This is an excellent book for people who want to know what all the rukus is about. Though I'm a biology major, I still think this book would be wonderful for not-so-scientifically minded individuals who want straight forward answers to why ID fails. That's not to say these are surface-level critiques¿citations are provided for EVERYTHING if you want to dig deeper into a specific topic. ID is addressed from every angle. Edis's chapter on Eastern/Western ID and liberal/conservative philosophy was an unexpected treat! Being from a rural, mid-western town, the Islamic view of ID was totally new to me. The analyses of Dembski's math were very helpful as well, but my favorite chapters were on biologically related topics. These guys really covered their bases. Frankly, my least favorite chapter was the last one, by Perakh and Young, through no fault of their own. Its just depressing what ID is attempting to do. But Perakh and Young address 'Why ID is not science' with patience that I can't honestly say I could muster myself. My only complaint is the price! Definitely worth the $$, but I'm a student, so that's always my complaint :) So in summary-- If you want a straight forward, comprehensive, and BS free explanation for why intelligent design is not science, this is THE book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2004

    Fails to demonstrate ID failure

    Overall some good points about ID micro-lapses that need to be shored up in the refinement process, but nothing particularly new that seriously challenges ID inherent macro-truth value. 'In the beginning God created the heavens and earth..' still stands. Our universe appears designed because it is a product of design. There's no 'science' that can get around that fundamental factuality.

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