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on 10 July 2015
A non religious scientific theory that cannot be ignored.
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on 30 December 2011
So a bit of background here, Intelligent Design arose from the desire of theists to see creationism taught in schools. They sought to get around court decisions stating that this was illegal by re-branding it as Intelligent Design (for proof - google "cdesign proponentsists"). Thus ID has no basis in facts or discoveries but only in the desire of creationists to insert their dogma into science classes and be seen as the equal of evolution. In a recent literature search reported by Lawrence Krauss of 20 million research articles, 115,000 were on evolution and only 88 where on Intelligent Design. Of these 88, all but 11 were from engineering journals where one would hope that bridges and hospitals were intelligently designed. Of the 11 papers, 8 were critical of ID and the remaining 3 were not from peer reviewed research articles. Hardly the stuff to overthrown current thinking.

The book claims that the appearance of design is the evidence of design but this is only a subjective claim. Irreducible complexity has never been demonstrated and previous claims of IC about the clotting cascade and the bacterial flagellum have been refuted as even their fragments have functional utility. This book cherry picks its evidence to fit its hypothesis and does a bad job of even doing that.

ID is not science, it is simply marketing PR and this book is just more of the same fluff emitted by the discover institute..
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on 30 March 2011
This book was a disappointment to me. I am a career scientist but am not an evolutionary biologist. I was encouraged to read this book as a philosophical exercise in evaluting scientific evidence. It does a poor job. This is not to say that ID is poor science in particular; there is a great deal of poor science out there, but this is in no way a proof of any kind of creator. The book makes several strange connections and glosses over points of well established scientific theory. I would very much recommend reading it as an intellectual exercise but evidence for anything this is not. As a scientist I take the evidence of my observations and attempt to prove, disprove and rationalise it. What this fellow has done is decide what the evidence is going to show and then arrange the observations to fit. Shocking, not in the sense that it challenges science (I have read some of the other reviews) but that it is calling itself science. As I say, there is a lot of bad science out there, but this is really bad science.
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on 28 November 2010
This book is well written and easy to read given the complexity of the subject. It is highly informative and thought provoking. It challenges popular fallacies and prejudices and presents a compelling argument. I would paraphrase some key points in the argument as follows: Darwin attempted to explain the evolution of complex life from simple life by random mutations acted on by natural selection. However, very little was known about living cells in Darwin's time and almost nothing was known about biochemistry. Scientific discoveries about cells, genes, proteins, heredity, etc over the last 60 years or so have revolutionised our understanding of life. We now know that even the simplest living cells, such as bacteria, are extremely complex. In all living organisms, cell development, structure and reproduction is controlled by the genetic instructions contained within DNA. These instructions are closely analogous to a computer programme and the information content of both genes and computer programmes can be calculated and compared. Moreover our knowledge of genetic mutation rates and cell populations set limits on the rate at which random processes can generate genetic permutations (genomes). Combining all of this data it can be demonstrated that the odds against generating the genetic code of even the simplest organism are overwhelming, even over many billions of years in a universe containing many trillions of earth-like planets. If an astronaut landing on a remote planet found a colony of robots, which were programmed to manufacture more robots, he or she would surely conclude that these robots had been designed by one or more intelligent beings. In terms of their information content and functions the simplest living cells are remarkably similar to such robots and we must surely conclude that they were the product of intelligent design.
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on 18 October 2014
Although I'm a christian I don't agree with intelligent design simply because I dont think you can just say Intelligent Design did it as a theory but how it did it. None the less my word this is an awe inspiring book beautifully laid out giving you a wonderful grasp of the beauty of our 3.7 billion letter long genetic code. I'm 15 at the moment, but this book brakes down and simplifies a complex issue and then rebuilds it back up in a way I can understand. The wonderful writing style of this book and the wonders of our world so elegantly displayed here got me to love science - I used to strongly dislike it but now am hoping to take science further and then possibly study Geology at uni. Thank you very much Steven Meyer!
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on 4 December 2010
It is a carefully crafted and presented review of the available evidence that is so often not mentioned when the subject of intelligent design is brought up in the media. Regardless of what view one takes it at least shows that ID is not just the realm of the uniformed, prejudiced or delusional.
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on 24 December 2009
I wish I had the funds to get a copy of this book to all the atheists of this world. The evidence for an intelligent designer is so overwhelming in this consideration of the cell.As always Stephen presents a complicated subject so simply. A must read. Paul
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on 9 September 2009
Signature in the Cell is a first class book. It is a particularly timely contribution and brings the major issues relating to the origin of the complex and specified digital code evident in all forms of life into sharp relief. The Darwinian view has no where to hide. Steve Meyer has laid out his position with skill and elegance and while this is a sizeable volume it is accessible whether or not the reader has any formal training in one of the biological sciences.

The author has woven an account of his own intellectual journey into the fabric of the argument here and even those who might be inclined to adopt the default position of scientific naturalism simply have to stop and take stock of the evidence for design which is assembled, marshalled and presented so clearly in this book.

This book will be a classic and is a "must read" for any who are interested in the origin of life debate. It covers the various angles of alternative and even opposing views with a careful and even-handed analysis. The conclusions are persuasive and compelling. It may still be a commonly held view that "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist" but Steve Meyer has demonstrated that the evidence has driven the discussion forward. In the face of the material presented in this book it is no longer possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Darwininst!
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on 14 December 2009
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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on 30 January 2013
Very readable and goes like a history book. It's the story of science and the people behind the science of DNA.
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