One hundred fifty years ago, Charles Darwin revolutionized biology, but did he refute intelligent design (ID)? In Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer argues that he did not.

Much confusion surrounds the theory of intelligent design. Frequently misrepresented by the media, politicians, and local school boards, intelligent design can be defended on purely scientific grounds in accordance with the same rigorous methods that apply to every proposed origin-of-life theory. Signature in the Cell is the first book to make a comprehensive case for intelligent design based upon DNA.

Medical Books: Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design - 2009
Medical Books: Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design – 2009

Meyer embarks on an odyssey of discovery as he investigates current evolutionary theories and the evidence that ultimately led him to affirm intelligent design. Clearly defining what ID is and is not, Meyer shows that the argument for intelligent design is not based on ignorance or “giving up on science,” but instead upon our growing scientific knowledge of the information stored in the cell. A leading proponent of intelligent design in the scientific community, Meyer presents a compelling case that will generate heated debate, command attention, and find new adherents from leading scientists around the world

“Dad, that’s you!” my fourteen-year-old son exclaimed as he looked at the newspaper
while we stood waiting to check out at the tiny general store. His shock at seeing my face
in the front section of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, when he just went to look for
baseball scores, was no doubt compounded by his awareness of our location.1 The
general store on Shaw Island, one of the most remote in the San Juan chain north of Puget
Sound, was the only commercial establishment on the island. This irony was not lost on
my wife, whose raised eyebrow said it all. “I thought we were coming here to get away
from all of this.” We were. But then how was I to know that the local Seattle paper would
rerun the previous day’s front-page story from the New York Times about the program of
scientists I directed and the controversy surrounding our work?2

The controversy about the origin of life and whether it arose from an undirected material
process or from some kind of designing intelligence is not new. It goes back in Western
civilization at least as far as the ancient Greeks, who produced philosophers representing
both schools of thought. But the controversy over the contemporary theory of intelligent
design (ID) and its implied challenge to orthodox evolutionary theory became big news
beginning in 2004 and 2005. And, for better or worse, I found myself right in the middle
of it.

Three events sparked intense media interest in the subject. First, in August 2004, a
technical journal housed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., called the
Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington published the first peer-reviewed
article explicitly advancing the theory of intelligent design in a mainstream scientific
periodical. After the publication of the article, the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural
History erupted in internal controversy, as scientists angry with the editor—an
evolutionary biologist with two earned Ph.D.’s—questioned his editorial judgment and
demanded his censure. Soon the controversy spilled over into the scientific press as news
stories about the article and editor’s decision appeared in Science, Nature, The Scientist,
and the Chronicle of Higher Education.3

The media exposure fueled further embarrassment at the Smithsonian, resulting in a
second wave of recriminations. The editor, Richard Sternberg, lost his office and his
access to scientific samples and was later transferred to a hostile supervisor. After
Sternberg’s case was investigated by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a government
watchdog organization, and by the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, a
congressional committee, other questionable actions came to light.4 Both investigations
found that senior administrators at the museum had interrogated Sternberg’s colleagues
about Sternberg’s religious and political beliefs and fomented a misinformation campaign
designed to damage his scientific reputation and encourage his resignation

Medical Books: Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design – 2009



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