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

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

by Stephen C. Meyer


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061472794
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/22/2010
Pages: 611
Sales rank: 67,228
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in the philosophy of science. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. In 2004, Meyer ignited a firestorm of media and scientific controversy when a biology journal at the Smithsonian Institution published his peer-reviewed scientific article advancing intelligent design. Meyer has been featured on national television and radio programs, including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CBS' Sunday Morning, NBC's Nightly News, ABC's World News, Good Morning America, Nightline, FOX News Live, and the Tavis Smiley show on PBS. He has also been featured in two New York Times front-page stories and has garnered attention in other top national media.

Derek Shetterly has worked extensively as an on-air radio talent, voice-over actor, and audiobook narrator. A graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a BA in radio and television, he lives in Oregon.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 DNA, Darwin, and the Appearance of Design 11

Chapter 2 The Evolution of a Mystery and Why It Matters 33

Chapter 3 The Double Helix 58

Chapter 4 Signature in the Cell 85

Chapter 5 The Molecular Labyrinth 112

Chapter 6 The Origin of Science and the Possibility of Design 136

Chapter 7 Of Clues to Causes 150

Chapter 8 Chance Elimination and Pattern Recognition 173

Chapter 9 Ends and Odds 194

Chapter 10 Beyond the Reach of Chance 215

Chapter 11 Self-Organization and Biochemical Predestination 229

Chapter 12 Thinking Outside the Bonds 253

Chapter 13 Chance and Necessity, or the Cat in the Hat Comes Back 271

Chapter 14 The RNA World 296

Chapter 15 The Best Explanation 324

Chapter 16 Another Road to Rome 349

Chapter 17 But Does It Explain? 373

Chapter 18 But Is It Science? 396

Chapter 19 Sauce for the Goose 416

Chapter 20 Why It Matters 439

Epilogue: A Living Science 453

Appendix A Some Predictions of Intelligent Design 481

Appendix B Multiverse Cosmology and the Origin of Life 499

Notes 509

Bibliography 563

Index 597

Acknowledgments 613

What People are Saying About This

Thomas Nagel

“A careful presentation of this fiendishly difficult problem.”

Philip S. Skell

“A decisive case based upon breathtaking and cutting-edge science.”

Scott Turner

“A fascinating exploration . . . Whether you believe intelligent design is true or false, Signature in the Cell is a must-read book.”

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Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
DougGroothuis More than 1 year ago
One could not ask for more in a philosophy of science treatise that what we find in The Signature in the Cell. The book is no less than magisterial, an adjective that curmudgeons such as myself seldom use. At every level-philosophical, scientific, historical and literary-it is a superb treatise. Reading every word of its 508 pages of text (not counting end notes)--as I did--repays the reader greatly. Meyer thoroughly examines a most significant topic--how life came about--and does so in an engaging, warm, and philosophically rigorous fashion. (Few books ever do such a thing.) In fact, I have never read a book that goes so deep while remaining so welcoming to the reader. It does do by using a minimal narrative structure--there is no obtrusive autobiography here--to guide us through the issues and arguments pertaining to the nature and origin life at the genetic level. The reader is lead step-by-step into the question of the origin of biological information, and so receives a hearty education in the history of science in general and the scientific question to understand life itself. Meyer doggedly pursues all the possible explanations for the informational nature in DNA and RNA. He carefully explores the philosophy of scientific explanations with respect to unrepeatable events in the past (such as the origin of life on earth). It is a search for clues in the present to explain the past. One needs a causally adequate explanation for past events relies on known features to produce the state of affairs in question. Having found all the materialistic explanations desperately wanting, he concludes that intelligence is the best explanation for the highly concentrated, amazingly complex, and carefully specified information in the DNA and RNA of the cell. Neither chance nor natural law nor a combination of both are remotely plausible explanations. Yet everyday we perceive that intelligence produces information (such as the words of this review). Nothing else can. Meyer argues convincingly that materialism cannot survive when biology enters "the information age," as it did in 1953 when the double helix structure of the DNA was discovered by two atheists, Crick and Watson. Critics who dismiss this book as merely religiously motivated should themselves be dismissed. Meyer appeals to no uniquely religious assumptions in his philosophy of science and uses principles broadly employed in the historical sciences. Moreover, while his conclusion--life is best explained by a designing intelligence of some kind--is friendly toward theism, he grants that it does not give us a full Christian account of existence. This short review cannot praise adequately all the philosophical, scientific, and (yes) literary values of this magnificent work. Its publication may prove to be a decisive moment for the Intelligent Design movement.
JTC1945 More than 1 year ago
Stephen Meyer's "Signature in the Cell" presents a detailed overview of the theories that have been proposed to account for the origin of life, and a clear explanation of the scientific research supporting them. Meyer shows convincingly that all attempts to base these theories on merely chemical and physical causes have failed. Meyer clarifies the issue of probabilities, eliminating chance as a possible explanation for the emergence of the complex information necessary for even the simplest cellular life. His inference of intelligent input, as from a "designer," is intellectually stimulating and persuasive.
EKC More than 1 year ago
This book deals with DNA, RNA, information transfer, proteins, amino acids, and much more. It explains very succinctly how DNA and RNA of the best explanations I've read. However, because it deals with such a complex subject, you cannot just charge through it. It must be read slowly and carefully to fully understand what the author is conveying. I'm 3/4 of the way through it so I can't provide you with the "punch line" but I hightly recommend it. So far, it has been eye-opening and very instructive. It is actually hard to put down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is evident that Dr. Meyer has set out to follow the evidence wherever it leads and has worked hard to share that journey with the readers of this book. His hard work has convinced me that the ID paradigm best explains the "apparent" design observed in the simplest of cells. His analysis of the DNA molecule leaves little doubt that chance, necessity, or a combination to the two fall short, indeed do not even begin, to explain the origin of the information found in DNA. I found the literature reviews located throughout the book to be thorough, insightful, and well written. More than an enjoyable read, Signature in the Cell is a refreshing study I looked forward to picking up nearly every day.
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I've only read the ebook sample so far, but it's very easy to follow and very fascinating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Book
ria bela More than 1 year ago
book wow nice book like
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well constructed argument for ID along with the interesting history of DNA's discovery
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Do not be daunted by the size of this book or by the criticisms from those who have not even read it. If you want to know the accurate definition of intelligent design, why ID is a scientific endeavor, and why this all matters, you must read this book. While a good portion of the book is aimed at those who are well versed in various scientific disciplines, there is still something in the book for those are just generally interested in science and Intelligent Design specifically. I found Chapters 1,2, 20, the Epilogue and Appendix A especially useful in addressing some of the issues raised by critics of ID.
chiefrosy More than 1 year ago
This book clearly proves that Stephen C. Meyer is a highly intelligent and thourough researcher. I have found it very hard to put this book down to do other things. I purchased this book just a few days ago and am already up to the 17th chapter. I highly recommend this book for everyone. It is an eye opener and for those who have had their doubts and questions concerning the theory of evolution and Darwinsim to explain the origin of life, your questions and concerns will be answered in this book.
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Wonderful and great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book ever written on Creation vs Evolution topic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book tells it like it is and blows the chance/evolution hypothesis out of the water; I do not have the faith to be a Darwinist.
WindRiverTom More than 1 year ago
Dr. Meyer takes the reader on a cell biology adventure that includes some useful history and philosophy in addition to copious amounts of cellular biology. His credentials, an earned PhD. in the Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University, serve him well to make the ID argument. Meticulous footnotes back up his premise, observations, conclusions and implications (this, perhaps, the most fascinating part of the book). Much quarreling, passing for arguments and debate, has been generated by critics who have personally acknowledged not reading this book. However, I found myself compelled to wade through the details to find a rich argument for the intelligent design theory. This book has become a go-to resource in my personal library.