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How to be an Intellectually Fulfilled Atheist (Or Not) Paperback – October 28, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 2 edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933859849
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933859842
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 radio and television broadcasts, including ABC’s Nightline and Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Bill and his wife, Jana, live in Central Texas with their daughter and twin boys.



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 numerous articles and several books including Icons of Evolution, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.


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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Darwin Researcher on November 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
How to be an Intellectually Fulfilled Atheist (Or Not) is an excellent readable review of the many lethal problems with the theory of abiogenesis and the evolution of the first cell. We have come a long way since Stanley Miller's research and what seemed plausible then has been shown by science research since then to be impossible. The authors cover all aspects of the abiogenesis theory from the oxygen problem (free oxygen is a major problem for abiogenesis and good evidence now exists that free oxygen existed on the early earth) to the enormous leap from simple organic molecules to a so-called simple cell. This excellent work documents that the very first link required for naturalistic evolution to work is missing. Some, such as S. J. Gould, claim that evolution refers only to evolution from the single cell stage to humans, a definition that attempts to avoid the serious problems with the first step. If molecules to cell evolution cannot be explained by naturalistic means and, one then appeals to intelligent design, the battle is lost by the evolutionists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pedro Lopez on January 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is not a theory or a personal point of view. It is a deep approach to think about not only the origin of life, but also of what Dembsky calls "intelligent design". Crearly makes a deep analysis showing that there is not scientific support for atheism or evolution, at least from the intellectual point of view. Allows us to be free of modern superstition ideas and to take a look on complexity of everything that surrounds us. Focuses mainly on the problems of life origins and the complexity of life. Not recomended for atheists, because can damage their beliefts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rom832 on April 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book. It was highly informative of the many problems encountered with the classical theories of natural evolution. I'm sure it won't change many minds set against ID and steadfast in natural evolution in light of serious questions that need answers. But it does a good job at raising issue in conventional thought.

I work at a government research facility and had the book on my shelve. A colleague saw it but didn't see the little (Or Not) in the title and was all giddy about it. When I told him what it was, he was disgusted. We talked about one thing this book has a chapter on that he was familiar with and said he'd read it. He came back and said it was trash and misinformed. "How's that?" I asked, and he proceeded to rant against the ID movement and why this book is trash. I asked again, and he just said it was trash and went on why there is no science to ID. The usual mantra. Never said what was wrong. I have also used a few things to stop someone cold in their tracks when expounding on the "science" of evolution. In each case they come back with the anti-evolutionist mantra. Never addressing the scientific questions for missing links there exists. That is glossed over in their quickness to start rhetoric.

This won't give all the answers, but it does open up a lot of gaps that need addressing in a well written format.
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Format: Paperback
Wells and Dembski are smart, clear, thinkers and their writing reflects their no nonsense style of providing the essential arguments that have been tried, and failed, by science to describe and replicate the emergence of life from non-life. Describing how life came to exist on the planet in the first place is one of the key issues of our existence. Did a couple of rocks bounce together during a volcanic eruption 4.9 billion years ago and create a complex cell complete with DNA and interacting molecules and a genetic code? That is one tough problem to determine how that could have happened. No experiment, no hypothesis, no accident comes close to explaining how intelligent information was created in a self replicating cell in the first place. Wells and Dembski give a quick, readable overview of all the failed hypothesis and then make a good case for intelligent design of life! This is and interesting, quick, and comprehensions explanation of the status and problems of the science, and a defense of intelligent design that is accessable to the layman.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mike Robinson on November 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
It's often easy to portray science as a rigid atheistic enterprise. Dembski and Wells introduce you to a different side of atheism! Revealing the unsettling reality that Darwinian evolution conjoined with atheism is based on philosophical blindness and logical fallacies.

William A. Dembski, Senior Fellow with the Discovery Institute, has authored numerous books and is one of the leaders of the Intelligent Design movement (ID). Jonathan Wells is also a senior fellow at the DIC. He holds dual Ph.D.'s in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and in Religious Studies from Yale.

The authors engage the notion Dawkins proclaimed: "Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, but Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."

This readable work demonstrates that atheism:

- Fails to furnish philosophical, intellectual, and emotional fulfillment
- Cannot explain life's origin
- Lacks the explanatory capacity to account for the micro-engineering inside the living cell
- Is not possible inasmuch as the design and information within all life requires theism.

This volume provides evidence that atheists must employ faith in attempting to explain life and the origin of organic matter.

This is a pleasure to read and may assist the rational awakening of nonbelievers. Nonetheless I prefer arguments with certainty that attack the underlying misconstruction of atheism's epistemology and the absence of its grounding of rational pre-essentials provided only by theism (Laws of Logic, universals, immutables, etc.).

"Atheism is a belief with scientific pretension but no scientific backing" (p. 115).
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