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Mere Creation; Science, Faith & Intelligent Design Paperback – September 28, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 475 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; Print On Demand edition (September 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830815155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830815159
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #774,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Dembski (Ph.D., mathematics, University of Chicago; Ph.D., philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago) is senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He has previously taught at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University, and he has been a National Science Foundation doctoral and postdoctoral fellow. Dembski has written numerous scholarly articles and is the author of the critically acclaimed The Design Inference (Cambridge), Intelligent Design (InterVarsity Press) and No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence (Rowman and Littlefield).

More About the Author

A mathematician and philosopher, William A. Dembski is Research Professor in Philosophy at Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, where he directs its Center for Cultural Engagement. He is also a senior fellow with Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. Previously he was the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Theology and Science at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, where he founded its Center for Theology and Science. Before that he was Associate Research Professor in the Conceptual Foundations of Science at Baylor University, where he headed the first intelligent design think-tank at a major research university: The Michael Polanyi Center.

Dr. Dembski has taught at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago where he earned a B.A. in psychology, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in philosophy, he also received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1988 and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1996. He has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships.

Dr. Dembski has published articles in mathematics, engineering, philosophy, and theology journals and is the author/editor of more than a dozen books. In The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities (Cambridge University Press, 1998), he examines the design argument in a post-Darwinian context and analyzes the connections linking chance, probability, and intelligent causation. The sequel to The Design Inference appeared with Rowman & Littlefield in 2002 and critiques Darwinian and other naturalistic accounts of evolution. It is titled No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence. Dr. Dembski has edited several influential anthologies, including Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing (ISI, 2004) and Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA (Cambridge University Press, 2004, co-edited with Michael Ruse). His newest book, The End of Christianity, differs markedly from his others, attempting to understand how the Fall of humanity can be real in light of modern science.

As interest in intelligent design has grown in the wider culture, Dr. Dembski has assumed the role of public intellectual. In addition to lecturing around the world at colleges and universities, he is frequently interviewed on the radio and television. His work has been cited in numerous newspaper and magazine articles, including three front page stories in the New York Times as well as the August 15, 2005 Time magazine cover story on intelligent design. He has appeared on the BBC, NPR (Diane Rehm, etc.), PBS (Inside the Law with Jack Ford; Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson), CSPAN2, CNN, Fox News, ABC Nightline, and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

[Photo by Laszlo Bencze]

Customer Reviews

The essays cover a wide range of topics.
Discovery Reviewer
Now if we can evaluate this hypothesis on it's own merits rather than as the current best guess (and therefore only acceptable solution)...
Randy Miller Jr
Should any of these governing principles be altered in the slightest (a bit less gravity, for example), life could not exist.
Jeffrey A. Veyera

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Phil Whitney on November 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
_Mere Creation_ (MC) is an advanced-level volume that should only be approached by serious readers who have previously been introduced to Intelligent Design (ID); one should at least read _Darwin's Black Box_ (DBB) before tackling MC. I think that the best way to explain what this book is about is to explain what it is not about, and I therefore think it is necessary to first correct misrepresentations created by some other reviewers. (So read the other reviews first to make more sense of mine.)
Most of the contributors are Old Earth (OE) or Progressive creationists, but none of the contributors are deists (i.e., they don't reject the notion that God might break the laws governing the universe). This does not mean that it is assumed in the book that evolution and intelligent design are mutually exclusive concepts. Ratzsch's contribution, "Design, Chance & Theistic Evolution," is a study of whether chance could be a method of design. He concludes, "Theistic evolutionists can even take specific features of the cosmos, of organisms, as empirical evidence of design - design built into the founding of the cosmos" (p.309). This does not mean that any of the contributors (not even Ratzsch) believe in theistic evolution. Rather, he concludes, "although the gap between design theory and theistic evolution is thus not as broad as generally believed, ... design theory has available to it resources beyond the reach of theistic evolution" (p.309) (i.e., ID involves arguments of postcreation design and intervention).
At first glance, once might come away with the impression that ID is essentially the same as the OE view.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mere Creation is an excellent collection of current thoughts on the weaknesses of evolutionary theory. This book has been put together with the specific objective of addressing just one question, "Is nature a result of design or not?" What a breath of fresh air to not have to wade through all the theological assumptions of an author to get to the meat of their argument. The fact that a group of scientists and thinkers like those in this book, coming from divergent philosophical and religious traditions can still look at the data and logically reason to the conclusion that design was involved in the origin of life is remarkable. That they could do it without invoking their theology is amazing. No, this book will not make the most conservative creationists happy and the most extreme evolutionists will smart at the conclusions. The people who will be made happy reading a book like this are those who appreciate logic, value data and want to understand the thinking on both sides of the creation evolution debate.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
A stout collection of essays by an eclectic array of scientists -- Dembski (PhD Chicago in Math, Ph.D. Illinois in Phil. of Science), Berlinski (PhD Princeton), Walter Bradley (Ph>D. Texas, prof. Texas A & M), etc. High powered sharp guys who are all willing to stand up against the Darwinian establishment and ask the questions everyone is afraid of -- why are so many folks eager to defend Darwinism dogmatically and fideistically? Why is scientific evidence for an Intelligent Designer of the Universe dismissed?
Dembski et al have firmly planted this wedge of truth into the side of a scientific establishment dogmatically committed to error. Pray that this crowd of Intelligent Design theorists will have the courage to continue pressing for real science in the face of stiff opposition.
I'd highly recommend other books by these contributors -- especially Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Hugh Ross, and WIlliam Dembski.
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50 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Veyera VINE VOICE on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
...A number of specialists laboring in different fields beganto come to the conclusion that the universe they perceived couldhardly have arisen by chance, but seemed at every turn to be guided by intelligent design. William A. Dembski, who managed to obtain advanced degrees in both mathematics and philosophy, brought together a number of these persecuted souls for a conference on the singularly unhip topic of creationism.
The ensuing essays in "Mere Creation" are guaranteed to change the way you view the world. To glean some highlights from the numerous arguments favoring intelligent design of the universe:
The Universe began with the Big Bang, the instant of time when all matter and energy came into existence in an enormous explosion. Despite the Universe's seeming complexity, it is governed by only a tiny handful of physical laws. Should any of these governing principles be altered in the slightest (a bit less gravity, for example), life could not exist. The odds of life arising naturally are infinitesimally small. Genetic mutation, the means for transferring traits so crucial to the theory of evolution, always results in the loss of information, making beneficial mutation much less likely. There is no evidence of interspecies evolution extant.
If you have the slightest interest in how our Universe came about, or pondered the existence of God, or even simply distrust the dogma constantly shoveled around by tweed-jacketed academics who haven't had a new idea since Che Guevara's book came out, you'll thoroughly enjoy "Mere Creation."
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