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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by what looks like a complex subject, this is a good read!
Once, at school (a long long time ago) when we were discussing evolution as a process, I asked my biology teacher that if Darwin was right how could a Gannet develop such a beautiful, artistic head and beak, which looked to all intents and purposes as though it had been painted and shaded by an artist.
I was unpolitely told not to bother with 'that type of thinking'...
Published 7 months ago by notimetoulouse

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book for everyone
I suggest this is essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution/intelligent design debate.

For the evolutionist, who claims the theory of evolution is 'science', since any scientific theory must show it is the best of all possible explanations and it cannot possibly be known any theory is the best until a fair look is taken at all the alternatives,...
Published 8 months ago by Musotuner


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by what looks like a complex subject, this is a good read!, 12 Sep 2013
By 
notimetoulouse "Safe never starts - Perfect ... (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
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Once, at school (a long long time ago) when we were discussing evolution as a process, I asked my biology teacher that if Darwin was right how could a Gannet develop such a beautiful, artistic head and beak, which looked to all intents and purposes as though it had been painted and shaded by an artist.
I was unpolitely told not to bother with 'that type of thinking' which was tantamount to pseudoscience. The class laughed, and we moved on.
I've been deeply interested in intelligent design ever since.

What makes this book so interesting is the way the author drills right down into the complexities of the building blocks of life, and goes to great lengths to explain just how impossible it would be for DNA to develop randomly, as Darwin, and current science would have us believe.

The numbers involved to allow the random development of DNA defy description, and this short review just couldn't do his work justice.
Rather than focussing me on say, the complexities of the human eye, as other authors have done, the author showed me, page by page, number by number how much design at a molecular level just can't be a random act, it reeks of intelligence. And he did it by involving me all the way. At no stage did I feel lost in a sea of sciencespeak whilst I read this book, his writing style is not only exacting and precise, but also totally involving.
A great read if you are a seeker of information on ID.
Hope this helped.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, 11 Sep 2013
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Exactly what I expected and more. Full of facts and knowledge which is what I want. I didn't even have to wait long for it to arrive as it came the next day. Great
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book for everyone, 14 Aug 2013
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I suggest this is essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution/intelligent design debate.

For the evolutionist, who claims the theory of evolution is 'science', since any scientific theory must show it is the best of all possible explanations and it cannot possibly be known any theory is the best until a fair look is taken at all the alternatives, here is the perfect book to examine 'the other side'. This book is a thorough explanation of the biggest problem for evolution - the appearance of the first living cell and the complex information within it that enables its existence (without which the process of evolution could never take place).

For those who accept intelligent design, it is a comprehensive explanation of the scientific evidence for this, from a University professor who has spent many years researching and discussing the origin of life with many of the top names from both sides of the debate, in the UK and USA.

For someone unused to reading the technicalities of how a cell is made up and functions, some of it may be heavy going - but most of the explanations are accessible to anyone of average intelligence and the technical sections can be skipped over.

Stephen Meyer gives an interesting insight into the history of how the makeup of the living cell was gradually discovered, and quotes from the latest research in showing the falacies that evolutionists have used in order to prop up this theory, which he shows, step by logical step, to be unscientific and impossible.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the book.

However, there is a big minus! As with many books of this type, there are very many end-notes; and while most of them are simple references to the source of the quotations in the main text, there are many that are explanatory notes, amplifying the text to which the notes are affixed. Usually in a Kindle book, these notes can be accessed by pressing on the note number, which jumps you to the note. Then, by pressing on 'BACK' you are returned to the text. However, in this book the note numbers do not have any built-in function. So the only way to access the notes is by putting a bookmark in them, and when you want to read one, putting a bookmark in the text where you are, getting the drop-down menu to access the bookmarks, go to the one you want, put in a new bookmark for the next note after removing the old bookmark, getting the drop-down menu to go back to the text, remove the bookmark you put there, and continue reading. It is a real hassle, and at the price asked for this book, one I would not expect to come across.

However, there's another snag: sometimes (perhaps about 1 in 10 times) after returning to the text, when trying to go to the next page, it would either be blank or have skipped one or two pages. Pressing to go back a page takes me back to where I've just come from. Trying to get it to go to the next page is a real struggle once this has happened. There is clearly something wrong in the software either of the book itself, in the Kindle reader for an Android tablet, or in my tablet. However this has never happened in any other Kindle book I've read: on the other hand I've never had to skip between bookmarks in this way before either!

So these two problems make reading the book on my Tablet pretty hopeless. In the laptop version of Kindle it is possible to have the bookmarks permanently on display down the side, so is much easier to navigate backwards and forwards, and the problem of missing pages does not occur. But it's a real pain to have to use the laptop to read the book when it would be so much easier to use my Android tablet.

Finally, the illustrations are not in the correct place in the text. So, depending on the size of font one has chosen, it can be several pages after the illustration has been mentioned that it appears: by which time the text is talking about something else!

I think it is a very poor job on the part of whoever put the text of this book into Kindle format that they didn't bother to provide proper end-note navigation and didn't put the illustrations where they should be; and the first problem is a real set-back to anyone wanting to read it using a tablet or Kindle reader, and the second is there whatever the platform one uses.

So to sum up, it's definitely five stars for the contents of this book, but only one star out of five for the presentation: hence the three stars I have given to it. However, I still say, absolutely, that this book is well worth buying and reading, in spite of the end-note and illustration problems - it's such a shame that they are there!
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42 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, 22 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. J. Hardy (UK) - See all my reviews
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I have really enjoyed reading this book.

It is an account of Meyers intellectual journey and why he is convinced of ID.
Sometimes books like this can be difficult to read. This one is not. I found it very enjoyable and his insights facinating.

I have to say that I find his arguments for ID pretty convincing.
I am assuming the one star reviewers either read a different book or maybe (but this couldn't be true could it) have an agenda and a difficult position to defend.

Look out for more so called "junk DNA" turning out to do important things as we learn more...

If you are interested in ID this is a great read.
If you are still making your mind up this is one of the better books on ID.
If you are against ID - then maybe don't bother it will just annoy you, as it's a good well argued reason to accept ID.
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61 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Intelligent Design Book A Landmark Assault On Scientific Naturalism, 14 Dec 2009
By 
Robert Deyes (Madison, WI USA) - See all my reviews
In his recent book Signature In The Cell, Meyer presents a fresh outlook on one of the most compelling facets of the Intelligent Design case- that of biological information in DNA. Meyer provides a lucid and personal account of his own experiences as a scientist and philosopher revealing to the reader the watershed events that led to his move towards the intelligent design alternative.

Meyer's historical overview of the key events that shaped origin-of-life biology is extremely readable and well illustrated. Both the style and the content of his discourse keep the reader focused on the ID thread of reasoning that he gradually develops throughout his book.

Meyer does a marvelous job in conveying the personal tensions that so characterized the DNA story. His extensive coverage of 'turning point' historical moments reveals an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. Like few other scientific discoveries, that of the structure of DNA brought fundamental changes to our understanding of the chemistry of life since life itself could no longer be considered to be a mere product of matter and energy. As Meyer elaborates, information in the form of a DNA code had emerged as the critical player in defining the hereditary makeup of nature.

Meyer fleshes out a cohesive argument for intelligent design garnering support from an extensive body of molecular evidence and expert commentaries. His review of the `chicken and egg' paradox, as relates to the integral interdependencies of molecular systems such as transcription and translation, highlights once more why it is that evolutionary `pie in the sky' assumptions are powerless to explain the origins of critical life processes. Meyer then goes on to boldly entertain the idea that intelligent design presents us with the only causally adequate explanation for the origin of biological information and spends much of the remainder of his book tying together substantial evidence in support of his position.

Following in the footsteps of fellow ID advocate William Dembski, Meyer has done us all a great service by showing how the chance assembly of a 150 amino-acid protein pales in front of the available probabilistic resources of our universe. In other words, we are stopped dead in our tracks by a probabilistic impasse of the highest order before we have even begun assessing the geological plausibility of competing origin of life scenarios.

The scientific method commits us to finding the best explanation for the phenomena we observe. Drawing from the opinions of NIH biologist Peter Mora, Meyer shows us how the chance hypothesis- that purports to explain how life arose without recourse to design or necessity- has been found wanting particularly in light of the ever-growing picture of the complexity of the cell. A debate-clincher in Meyer's expose comes from his comprehensive summarization of the bellyaches associated with chemist Stanley Miller's controversial spark discharge apparatus.

In Signature In The Cell Meyer builds on Dembski's cornerstone case and uses a seemingly non-ending supply of illustrations to firm up his own supportive arguments. One can only imagine how Darwin might have felt coming back to find intelligent design legitimized through his own Vera Causa criterion. My hunch is that he would have applauded the current state of debate.
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34 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for Dawkins fans, 28 May 2010
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For anyone with doubts over Darwin's theory of evolution, and those wanting an in-depth read on DNA coding - this is the book for you. Starting with an excellent history of the discovery of DNA, Meyers then takes the reader through various evolutionary theories that attempt and fail to account for the complexity and specificity of DNA. The book describes in detail the various theories surrounding the origins of life and their inherent failings. Finally, Meyers describes the logic behind 'Intelligent Design' and why it should be considered a scientific theory as equal to if not superior to Darwins solely materialistic evolutionary theories.

I found the tone of voice of the book to be refreshingly clear, cool and logical. The controversial subject of evolution often creates rather heated and malicious attacks from those for and against, while Meyers is wise enough to stay clear of such negative sweeping statements.

A must read for anyone interested in the complexities of the origins of life, DNA and the fundamental flaws of darwinian evolution theory.

Be warned, if you're a fan of Richard Dawkins then you probably won't like this book.
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19 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The obvious common sense answer, 1 Mar 2010
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Stephen Meyer has produced a superb book which traces the history of the research into DNA and the unravelling of some of its mysteries. He also gives some personal history and the processes that led him ultimately to the writing of this book. There have been a good number of reviews giving the detail and main contents of the book and so I will not go over that ground again.

It is clear that this book is the result of much painstaking effort to find out what scientists' research has unearthed regarding the astonishing information and coding found in DNA. To date however there has been no satisfactory answer as to where the information originated from. In the end Stephen Meyer suggests what is really the most sensible and obvious answer, which is that there was an intelligence behind this. It is this Occam's Razor suggestion that has stirred up the hornets' nest of anti -ID abuse and rage. I suspect this review will generate some more.

It seems strange to me that the oft recited cries of "It's not science" and similar dismissive phrases completely miss the main point which is, "Is it true?" I have never heard of any scientific tests, or requirements of falsifiabilty applied to the Rosetta stone. Common sense is enough to instantly recognise that information of this sort can only be the product of an intelligent mind. Why the blindness and blinkered attitude when it comes to recognising the information in DNA as also being of intelligent origin? The answer I suspect is all down to the implications that this might have. Perhaps indeed it would be doing the unthinkable viz. letting a Divine foot in the door.

I have read many of the reviews of this book including the negative ones, but I have yet to come across any argument that negates the concept that intelligent agency was involved in DNA. There has been plenty of obfuscation in addition to the unfortunate rantings, but a good solid argument countering what Stephen Meyer has written and showing that DNA was not the product of an intelligent agency is nowhere to be found.

An excellent book which I strongly recommend.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing, paradigm-shifting read., 20 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (Paperback)
I read Stephen Meyer's book with mounting astonishment. For me it was a true page-turner since every stage in the argument constituted an illuminating discovery that I had not expected to make. I found it impossible to put it down, despite the complexity of the argument and the uncompromisingly scientific style of the prose. The book is, for all its measured, rational tone, a real sensation. It is also refreshingly free of polemic and propaganda.
I was acquainted with the central argument of the book - that the digital information encoded in DNA is so complex, specific and finely-tuned that the only explanation for its origin that we possess has to be the action of a creative intelligence - before I began to read. I was also profoundly skeptical of this argument since I believed it to be a variant of the stock creationist case with regard to living systems, i.e. that the products of life are so exquisite and effective that they just have to be the result of intelligent design. I have never been convinced by these Paley-style arguments from analogy and was fully prepared to find no more than this in Stephen Meyer's book.
I was wrong, completely and gloriously wrong!
Meyer's book is an exploration of the nature of the information content of the genome and it argues with relentless logic that this information could never have arisen from mere random chemical mixing since there is nothing chemical at all involved in the arbitrary sequence of bases that constitutes the essential information-storing capacity of DNA. The author also explores - with mathematical arguments designed by William Dembski - the probability that such information could have arisen from purely random shuffling and finds that, even on the most conservative of calculations, the entire probabilistic resources of very many universes could not have accomplished the feat. The interweaving of these two eminently rational threads of argument convinced me that the old materialist tale of the neo-Darwinist synthesis had to be wrong. After reading this book, the neo-Darwinist synthesis is for me dead science. R.I.P Darwin.
I have discovered that Richard Dawkins has resolutely and steadfastly refused to debate these issues with Meyer either publicly or privately and I must say, I'm not surprised. A cool consideration of Meyer's purely scientific argument has converted me away from the neo-Darwinian beliefs I grew up with and I can't imagine Dawkins wanting to go through the same experience. More open minds will, however, gain a great deal from this work. Reading this book has been a great liberation for me. I no longer have a tidy sewn-up theory of how life came to be and evolved, but this is exhilarating. Without realising it, I was tired of the materialist account of life and of the meaningless, pointless character of existence it entails. Meyer's book is a breath of fresh air precisely because it presents a wholly new case without abandoning the rigor of science.
This is an indispensable read for anyone who wants a new take on life without abandoning rationality.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self-Deluding, 24 Mar 2014
By 
Tom Rose (Utrecht, Netherland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (Paperback)
Lots of interesting information, but nothing new to scientists, who are well aware that although we are as near certain as can be that the diversity of life is the result of evolution by natural selection coupled with chance events, we have no idea how it got started.

But cannot the supporters of ID see that it explains nothing. Instead of being unable to explain the origin of DNA it leaves us with an inexplicable being that must have huge intelligence, and whose origin is even more inexplicable, yet whose existence for all eternity is an idea even harder to swallow

I happen to believe that there are some things we shall never understand, but that is no reason to delude ourselves, so as to retain a comforting belief for which there is no reliable direct evidence (i.e. that there exists a God that created life)
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the coin, 3 Oct 2011
This review is from: Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (Paperback)
There is a plethora of Atheistic Evolutionary force in print these days, and it was quite refreshing to take a look at someone who doesn't just say.. because "God did it", Stephen Meyer presents the historicity for many of the commonly accepted theories attempting to squash a possibility of intelligent design - Hawkins, Dawkings and Darwin, and counters this by presenting a logical progression of his and others counter theories. The book is intriguing fun read and very informative.
If you are looking for the deeper philosophical issues - Why does god allow suffering etc. best stick to the Watchtower and Awake. This is a pure look at the scientific evidence allowing you the reader to make an informed decision for either or for neither.
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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 (Paperback - 1 July 2010)
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