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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute in Seattle and a contributor to Evolution News & Views. He is the author of How Would God Vote?: Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative (Random House, 2008.), Shattered Tablets: What the Ten Commandments Reveal about American Culture and Its Discontents (Doubleday, 2006), Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History (Doubleday, 2005), The Discovery of God: Abraham and the Birth of Monotheism (Doubleday, 2003) and the spiritual memoir The Lord Will Gather Me In (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 1998), a National Jewish Book Award finalist.. A former literary editor of National Review magazine, Klinghoffer has written articles and reviews for the Los Angles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. He lives on Mercer Island, Washington, with his wife and children.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Discovery Institute Press; 1st Edition edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979014182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979014185
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
Reading is extremely pleasant.
Ricardo F. Oliveira
It will position you to look objectively at the communities of scientists that are discussing this theory.
K. W. Lowery
Signature of Controversy thoroughly responds to arguments against the content of Signature of the Cell.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 65 people found the following review helpful By K. W. Lowery on February 9, 2012
Signature in the Cell (SitC) details the history and premises of the intelligent design theory. Signature of Controversy details the reactions to SitC from a culture of science that seems to have no place for it. This book is a collection of articles that critique the reviewers of SitC and answers them clearly. Amazingly, some reviewers of SitC have clearly not even read the book, yet have felt compelled to review it (negatively). Some mischaracterize the argument completely. Some are just plain uncivil and even obnoxious. None are really able to refute the argument of the theory, though, which, simply put, is as follows:

1. There is no materialistic explanation for the origin of biological information (specified complexity) in DNA.
2. The only known cause of information is an intelligent agent.
3. Since there is no materialistic explanation for the origin of biological information, an inference can be made to an intelligent cause.

Signature of Controversy is a must read for those who have read SitC. You will learn more details why recent origin of life experiments, that supposedly tag ID as a dead-end, actually supplement the design argument. It will bring you into the dialogue that is going on in the blogosphere. Be prepared to access blog sites to read these SitC reviews first hand. It will position you to look objectively at the communities of scientists that are discussing this theory. This book has also helped to solidify the intelligent design argument for me, and hopefully it will do the same for you.
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65 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Paul Vjecsner on March 28, 2011
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Notwithstanding the offenses heaped upon opponents of Darwinism, the Discovery Institute, Intelligent Design, and specifically the book of the controversy, "Signature in the Cell", and its author, Stephen C. Meyer, their defenders manage to largely abstain from such offenses and engage more pertinently, especially in the present case, in careful argumentation, absent in many disputes.

There is a strong emphasis on correcting accusations of "Creationism" and other "unscientific" approaches, by highlighting as one of Dr. Meyer's chief forms of argument (in his own words) "the method of inferring to the best explanation", which "necessarily requires an examination of the main competing hypotheses that scientists have proposed to explain a given event" (p.18). This is indeed a dominant, "hypothetico-deductive", scientific method, used by Darwin as well, with probabilistic problems. A drawback is its near fallacy of "affirming the consequent", ((A implies B) does not imply (B implies A)). That is why hypotheses, predicting known occurrences, are always subject to change.

In any event, Dr. Meyer makes in his book "a positive case for intelligent design by showing that the activity of conscious and rational agents is the only known cause by which large amounts of new functional information arise" (p.19). Expressions like "functional information", related to "information-bearing properties of DNA", sound a little too vague to me. "Information" in DNA is admittedly a metaphor, since one can simply speak of causation, and "functional" can likewise apply to causes, functioning in producing certain effects. But the argument is sound, by concerning the functional forms of organisms in the sense that they function to attain certain purposes.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Harrison Koehli on July 9, 2013
As the title makes clear, this is a series of responses to criticisms of Stephen Meyer's book, Signature in the Cell. It's a small volume, readable in a sitting or two, and contains responses written by Discovery Institute-affiliated scholars and writers, including Douglas Axe, David Berlinski, David Klinghoffer, Casey Luskin, Paul Nelson, Jay Richards, Richard Sternberg, and Meyer himself. While the volume does an excellent job responding to critics (many of whom didn't even both to read Meyer's book before reviewing it, seemingly), because of the overall poor quality of the criticisms to start out with, there isn't a whole lot of new information here (aside from Sternberg's three-part look at a fascinating genomic signal in LINE and SINE DNA, showing that Alu-like sequences seem to be species specific, aggregating in similar sections of the genomes of different species). Berlinski's witty two-page rejoinder is probably the highlight of the book for me. So, Signature of Controversy (***) is fine as a supplement, but you're not missing much if you just stick to Meyer's book (which is excellent, by the way).
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23 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo F. Oliveira on August 7, 2011
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I loved the book. Reading is extremely pleasant. The authors of the chapters, for their advocacy of the non-dominant view, must always be wary of criticism by the mass of Darwinists. I especially enjoyed the chapters 13-15 (Richard Sternberg). By the way, Ayala: First read carefully the books you want to review or criticize.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By nasamike on November 21, 2012
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This book was like taking a college class in microbiology, yet it was a very good read. I could understand it very fast because of the way the author used analogies to everyday things. I think it's a must read for anyone interested in what DNA is all about. You can learn the history of the search for how genetic information is passed on, and understand easily why there is more to this universe than Energy and Matter interacting randomly over immense time. There is another entity we call, "Information", which is distinct from Energy and Matter, but just as elemental. I loved the analogy about those plastic letters with the magnets that we stick on the refrigerator. Maybe you can accept the extremely high improbability of the letters being formed naturally over immense time, just from the interaction of energy and matter. But, when you see them all forming an understandable sentence without errors or extras, you know that communication of Information took the intervention of intelligence. So clearly, Intelligence is not just a mixture of Energy and Matter over time. Read this book.
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