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Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design Paperback – July 20, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1551118635 ISBN-10: 1551118637 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Broadview Press (July 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551118637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551118635
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Seeking God in Science is a refreshing and fair-minded exploration of intelligent design arguments. Unlike the many ideologically-driven detractors of intelligent design, Monton refuses to set up a straw man, poison the well, or dismiss it as unscientific. Bradley Monton writes as "a friendly atheist"—one who seriously and honestly considers claims that challenge atheism. As such, this book is a welcome breakthrough." (Douglas Groothuis)

"This is a brave and important book. Monton does not defend 'intelligent design' as true – he thinks it is most likely false. Instead, he defends it as a hypothesis worth taking seriously. He argues convincingly that it can be formulated as a scientifically testable hypothesis, and that there is some important empirical evidence for it – not as much evidence as its supporters claim there is, but some evidence. Virtually all voices in this debate insist either that ID is not even worth taking seriously or else that it is manifestly the truth. It is refreshing to see a talented philosopher give the thesis its due and make a serious attempt to weigh the evidence for and against it, without the weight of the ‘culture wars' hanging over every sentence." (John T. Roberts)

"It's about time that a competent analytic philosopher took a look at design-theoretic arguments in the sciences – and this because analytic philosophers have until now responded to serious challenges to prevailing orthodoxy by squirting out ink and indignation in equal measure. Bradley Monton's book should be read by philosophers, biologists and physicists willing to keep their minds open long enough to let out the stale air and let in a few arguments." (David Berlinski, Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute, Center for Science and Culture)

"Bradley Monton has done the intellectual community an enormous service in writing this defense of intelligent design. As an atheist, he defends ID not because he thinks it is true. Rather, he shows how it raises important questions and how many critics, in their enthusiasm to kill the baby in the cradle, are short-circuiting a discussion that needs to happen. Monton understands that important questions are never resolved by ignoring or marginalizing them. By employing his considerable skills as an analytic philosopher, he brings clarity to this much controverted question of intelligent design." (William A. Dembski, author of The End of Christianity)

From the Back Cover

The doctrine of intelligent design is often the subject of acrimonious debate. Seeking God in Science cuts through the rhetoric that distorts the debates between religious and secular camps. Bradley Monton, a philosopher of science and an atheist, carefully considers the arguments for intelligent design and argues that intelligent design deserves serious consideration as a scientific theory. Monton also gives a lucid account of the debate surrounding the inclusion of intelligent design in public schools and presents reason why students' science education could benefit from a careful consideration of the arguments for and against it.

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Customer Reviews

Dr. Monton does a very good job of splitting this touchy topic right down the middle.
E. Huber
Especially in contrast to the marginalization that one usually encounters from ID opponents in such debates.
D. G. Frank
Monton does a good job at carefully defining ID and then examining the arguments for and against it.
Ryan Mullins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 55 people found the following review helpful By D. G. Frank on September 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Congratulations to Dr. Monton for an intellectually honest and refreshingly objective analysis of the Intelligent Design (ID) argument! Though in the end he is not 'convinced' by the ID argument, some of the key arguments do make him 'doubt his atheism.' How delightful! Especially in contrast to the marginalization that one usually encounters from ID opponents in such debates. If an argument has merit, Dr. Monton concedes it...even supports it. I envy his students at the University of Colorado, and would bet that his philosophy classes are quite invigorating. I only hope that his university administration does him the courtesy of reading what he actually wrote, rather than accepting the characatures of this work certain to emerge by those 'religiously' and aggressively opposed to ID. The academic community is generally caustic to anyone giving credence to arguments that even hint of creationism. And although many proponents of ID have religious backgrounds (even religious motivations), ID is not creationism. (Note for philosophy students: genetic fallacy alert!)

Dr. Monton is especially qualified to discuss the ID arguments, and brings his academic training in philosophy and physics to the table in a fairly rigorous fashion, yet remaining accessible to a more general readership. There are some sections which are reminiscent of an academic philosophy paper (which may put off the more casual readers), but Dr. Monton is careful to stay on point, so the overall flow of his analysis is preserved.

Dr. Monton pulls no punches, objectively evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of several key notions in the debate. He critiques the standard definitions of ID, even offering definitions he finds more compelling.
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43 of 56 people found the following review helpful By John Ferrer on September 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a genuine defense of intelligent design as scientific, yet the author is an atheist. He points out in the book how hes not convinced of any gods existence and hes not even zure if id theories will stand the test of time and be vindicated as a correct assessment of nature. What he argues therefore is modest. ID satisfies all the expectations one can rightly have for a scientic theory. He affirms that ID is testable, fruitful, and scientifically interesting. This book is short and i disagreed with it at points(being a theist myself). So i see room for improvement if he were to better anticipate some of my own objections. But those aren't major flaws. Also, Monton does a good job of qualifying his statements and speaking with the caution and care that are rare in this debate. For example he admits what ID folks have often said, that ID does not specify any god. It could be aliens, or angels, or panpsychism, etc. The admission shows how he really is trying to represent the ID camp fairly.

I heard Monton speak at an event in Fort Worth last year. The event was about intelligent design and it had a theist and atheist who were both pro-ID and a theist and atheist who were anti-ID. It was an intriguing formula that proved very insightful. Monton was of course the atheist who advocated ID. Most of the audience did not seem to understand his position because they were not very familiar with the philosophy of science. And frankly, most people I hear speaking strongly for or against ID don't really understand it that much either. Monton was very gratifying to my sensibilities because he saw the gaps in scientific theory that many of its players ignore.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Groothuis on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Seeking God in Science is a refreshing and fair-minded exploration of intelligent design (ID) arguments. Unlike the many ideologically-driven detractors of intelligent design, Monton refuses to set up a straw man, poison the well, or dismiss ID as unscientific. In the noble tradition of William Rowe, Bradley Monton writes as "a friendly atheist"--one who seriously and honestly considers claims that challenge atheism. As such, this book is a welcome breakthrough.

However, I take ID arguments in cosmology and biology to be, in fact, intellectually successful, not just worth considering seriously. That is, they establish the existence of a non-material designer. On this, see, for example, "The Design Revolution" by William Dembski and "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bilbo on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Reading Bradley Monton's book, Seeking God in Science; an Atheist Defends Intelligent Design, was a fascinating, thought-provoking experience. A professor of the philosophy of science, Monton's goal is to help people get past the usual objections that prevent them for considering the arguments and evidence for intelligent design, such as, "ID isn't science;" or "ID is just a God-of-the-gaps argument." Once he clears the path, Monton then considers some of the arguments for intelligent design. He concludes that they might have some strength, but not enough to persuade him that Atheism isn't more likely to be true. I recommend it highly for ID proponents and critics alike. There's much you'll like and dislike, regardless of which side of the debate you're on.
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