Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design  -     By: Stephen C. Meyer
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Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

HarperOne / 2014 / Paperback

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When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue, but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the "Cambrian explosion,"many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock.

In Darwin's Doubt, Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life - a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information - stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells - to building animal forms.

Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than purely undirected evolutionary processes.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: HarperOne
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8 X 5.3 X .9 (inches)
ISBN: 0062071483
ISBN-13: 9780062071484
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The Evidence That Darwin Could Not Explain

Charles Darwin knew there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. In what is known today as the "Cambrian explosion," many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record 530 million years ago without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock. In Darwin's Doubt, Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life and makes a compelling case for the theory of intelligent design as the best explanation for the origin of the Cambrian animals and the biological information necessary to produce them.

With a new epilogue responding to critics

Author Bio

Stephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the philosophy of science after working as an oil industry geophysicist. He now directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington. He authored Signature in the Cell, a (London) Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year.

Endorsements

[W]hat may be the weirdest book the twenty-first century has so far produced. . . . [T]his is a considerable and entertaining book, full of odd words beautifully, at times owlishly, annotated.
-Adam Gopnik,
New Yorker

Praise for the French edition: This dictionary's great idea is to address European philosophy from the point of view of translation. . . [It] attains its goal by putting this principle to work: one cannot always translate a foreign concept in one word, but one can always explain it. And when one has grasped the explanation, one has acquired the concept.
-Le Figaro Litteraire

Praise from the French edition: A dictionary cannot be summarized. One great lesson, nevertheless, which can be distilled from this one (it can be gathered in the masterworks of the entries 'Traduire' ['Translate'] and 'Langues et traditions' ['Languages and traditions']), is that no language is born a philosophical one. It becomes philosophical, as it engages in exchanges with other languages. Philosophical language is impure language, and a national philosophy cannot, therefore, exist. This conviction can perhaps be one of the meanings of the unity of Europe, to which the Vocabulaire renders homage, and service.
-Vincent Aubin,
Le Figaro

[I]nteresting reading. The Dictionary of Untranslatables is a wonderful addition to my language library. . . . [A] book to savor and think about and to learn in the broader sense of learning. For anyone interested in language, in words, and the scope of meaning that a word can encompass, I recommend the Dictionary of Untranslatables.
-Rich Adin,
American Editor

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  1. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    revealing the troubled state of neo-Darwinism
    November 1, 2013
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Meyer centers his book on the "Cambrian explosion," an event Darwin himself viewed as a "troubling anomaly" and one he hoped future fossil discoveries would eliminate." (xii)

    Meyer has divided his book into three parts. First he looks at the "missing fossils," the absent ancestors of the Cambrian animals. Next he explores the importance of information to living systems and how that relates to the Cambrian explosion mystery. Meyer then evaluates the current evolutionary theories, assessing their inability to explain the origin of form and information. He also presents intelligent design as a possible solution to the Cambrian mystery.

    Meyer notes, "Many evolutionary biologists now grudgingly acknowledge that no chemical evolutional theory has offered an adequate explanation of the origin of life or the ultimate origin of the information necessary to produce it." (vii-ix)

    But the public gets a different story. "Rarely has there been such a great disparity between the popular perception of a theory and its actual standing in the relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature." (x) Meyer notes that the scientific community wants to ignore, at best, or hide, at worst, the significant problems with Darwinism.

    Meyer covers the dating of strata, the impact of the Burgess Shale and the Cambrian fossil record, the Maotianshan Shale, the Ediacaran fauna, the genetic evidence regarding a possible ancestor of the Cambrian animals, variations of the tree of life, punctuated equilibrium, the information required for new forms of life, Shannon information and the possibility of mutations producing new genetic information, Axe's calculations and the improbability of building a Cambrian animal, evaluation of attempts to show how new genetic information arises, calculating "waiting times", the complexities of building new animal body plans, epigenetic factors, self-organization and other neo-Darwin models.

    He ends his book with a look at the current post-Darwinian world. He explores the philosophy of intelligent design, the signs indicating it, and why it is opposed so strongly by the scientific community, noting that in the world of academic freedom scientists advocating intelligent design are unwelcome.

    Meyer's conclusion: "The neo-Darwinian mechanism does not account for either the origin of the genetic or epigenetic information necessary to produce new forms of life. Consequently, the problems posed to the theory by the Cambrian explosion remain unsolved." (286) And, "Neither neo-Darwinism nor a host of more recent proposals (punctuated equilibrium, self-organization, evolutionary developmental biology, neutral evolution, epigenetic inheritance, natural genetic engineering) have succeeded in explaining the origin of the novel animal forms that arose in the Cambrian period." (337) That, writes Meyer, is reason to consider intelligent design.

    This may be a daunting book for the general reader (over 400 pages of text with 40 pages of notes and lots of biology language). Nonetheless, I would encourage every Christian interested in origins to read it. I would think that every science teacher and school board member would want to know what is in this book. It helps take off the peaceful facade of neo-Darwinism and bring to light the troubled state of the theory.
  2. Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazing!
    September 19, 2013
    Jeff
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    Read it! Proclaim it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Whittier, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Very comprehensive
    August 31, 2013
    Yote
    Whittier, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book is very comprehensive in presenting up-to-date information regarding discoveries in both the fossil evidence and molecular biology that do not fit the Neo-Darwinian theory of macroevolution. It is the best book I have read on this subject to date.
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