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The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems Hardcover – 1 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Foundation for Thought & Ethics; Har/Cdr edition (1 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980021308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980021301
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 18.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,225,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

William A. Dembski is a Senior Fellow with the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including the first book on intelligent design to be published by a major university press, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge University Press, 1998). He has seven earned degrees, including two doctorates, one in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, the other in mathematics from University of Chicago. His work has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and he has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts, including ABC's Nightline and Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. Jonathan Wells is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD. in Religious Studies from Yale University. He has worked as a postdoctoral research biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and the supervisor of a medical laboratory in Fairfield, California, and he has taught biology at California State University in Hayward. He is the author of numerous articles and several books including, Icons of Evolution, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 18 people found the following review helpful By I. T. Turner on 23 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
By claiming it took only 3 hours to read this book, N.A. Rajwade betrays the fact that he couldn't have read it. He confirms this suspicion by failing to address a single issue raised in it. What a plonker!

I have just finished reading the book, although I still have to study the general notes in the included CD. In the book proper the authors present a well-researched, persuasively written argument for intelligent design of biological organisms. Perhaps the nub of their argument lies in the treatment of Oparin's hypothesis, which proposes a purely materialistic approach to life's origin. Seven assumptions underlying this hypothesis were fairly presented, then devastatingly critiqued. The authors ask readers to follow Darwin's plea that "the facts and arguments on both sides of each question" be fully stated and balanced. Clearly, the ability of N.A. Rajwade and others like him/her to heed Darwin's advice is lacking.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Green on 21 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
Contrary to a previous reviewer, it is not possible to read this book in three hours - and actually take in the content!

This particular book is written in text-book style and is well worth reading. In terms of its broad sweep of subject matter, it provides a very good overall summary of the mainstream position currently held about biological evolution - and in relatively plain language. It is therefore suitably accessible to most educated people. There are some technical terms used, but most are well explained - and when they are not, the meaning can easily be inferred from the surrounding text.

I've now read nearly all the books so far produced by ID theorists, but this one is possibly the most excellent for the general reader. It's also well illustrated.

The book covers topics on human origins, genetics and macroevolution, the fossil record, the origin of species, similar features (found in living things), types of complexity (the main arguments of the ID position) and the origin of life.

Regardless of your personal view, if you read this with any seriousness and evaluation, you will come away from it appropriately challenged by some of the assumptions made in biology - and the blatant a priori rejection of intelligent causation.

Just to quote from the book in conclusion (from page 264) "the burden of proof has now shifted to the materialistic origin-of-life researcher, who can no longer merely assert that cellular life arose by purely materialistic processes but must now demonstrate in detail how this could have happened."

I heartily recommend it!
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Gareth Sherwood on 25 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
All arguments need their fair portrayal of both sides. This is an excellent evidence based approach to the argument for design. It is quite obviously going to upset all those that do not see an intelligent force behind the universe so I would expect this book to get reviews of 4 to 5 stars and 1 star which reflects the commenters position rather than the content of the book.

As far as the intelligent design argument from scientific position is concerned this book is an opus.
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Format: Hardcover
On December 20, 2005 Federal Judge John E. Jones, a Republican jurist appointed by President George W. Bush rendered this decision:

"The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board's ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."

"Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock
assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs' scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator."

"To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact
that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions."

"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the
Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.
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7 of 22 people found the following review helpful By N. A. Rajwade on 25 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Got this as a Crimbo prezzie from a Catholic colleague (who gave me a bible last year). It took about 3 hours to read... and what a waste of time. I would pick several holes in the argument but many others have beat me to it. So I will spare myself the trouble and do my bit to help you save some time by writing this review. I have NEVER thrown out a book before, but this book will find the bin on the sameday that I got it. I wont even bother recycling it.

Stupidity at its best!
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