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The Cell's Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator's Artistry Paperback – June 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The scientific evidence of design just got stronger.

Armed with cutting-edge techniques, today's biochemists have uncovered startling molecular features inside the cell that can compel only one reasonable conclusion--a supernatural agent must be responsible for life.

Destined to be a landmark apologetic work, The Cell's Design explores the scientific and theological impact of these discoveries. Instead of focusing on the inability of natural processes to generate life's chemical systems (as nearly all apologetics works do), Fazale Rana makes a positive case for life's supernatural origin by highlighting the many biochemical features that reflect the Creator's signature.

This breakthrough book extends the case for design beyond irreducible complexity. These never-before-discussed evidences will evoke awe and amazement at God's creative majesty in the remarkable elegance of the cell's chemistry.

"In Darwin's day, a living cell was thought to be quite simply--for all practical purposes--little more than a microscopic blob of gelatin. Rana lays out what contemporary science has learned about the cell's design, and he poignantly and provocatively shows that it is the handiwork of not only an Intelligent Designer but specifically the God revealed in Scripture."--Hank Hanegraaff, president, Christian Research Institute; host, Bible Answer Man broadcast

"Fazale Rana's welcome sequel to Origins of Life makes a significant contribution to the growing scientific literature pointing to intelligent design."--Kenneth Boa, president, Reflections Ministries

Fazale Rana is vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons To Believe. He is the coauthor, with Hugh Ross, of Origins of Life and Who Was Adam?

About the Author

Fazale Rana (PhD, Ohio University) is vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons To Believe. He is the author of The Cell's Design and coauthor, with Hugh Ross, of Origins of Life and Who Was Adam? Rana lives in Southern California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801068274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801068270
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dr. Fuz Rana attempts to show that cellular biochemistry points to the existence of the Creator who designed it. Whereas most intelligent design books attempt to show the existence of design by demonstrating the existence of irreducible complexity, Dr. Rana examines the cell's biochemistry with broad strokes of how everything works together with such marvelous fidelity. So, even if a single piece or line of evidence might be dismissed as a statistical outlier, the weight of evidence makes a powerful case for design by a Creator. Each chapter begins with an analogy from the art world that relates to the topic at hand. Apparently, Dr. Rana is quite an art enthusiast.

One of my favorite sections was the discussion of how proteins are made within a cell. A large amount of the cell's molecular systems are involved in the process by which DNA is transcribed into RNA then translated into proteins. The process is like a beautifully choreographed symphony in which all the instruments come together to produce a sound that seems to be more than just the addition of the individual pieces. The protein manufacturing process is amazing in its own right. However, the quality control systems that operate at each step of the process ensure that the fidelity of the copies remain high without slowing down the process. Even so, just manufacturing proteins is not the end of the process. Many of these proteins undergo post-translational modifications, such as formation of disulfide bonds (one aspect of the protein folding process), folding of proteins into specific three-dimensional structures, addition of carbohydrate moieties, cleavage of the protein chain, and assembly into protein complexes.
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Fazale Rana's The Cell's Design is absolutely worth having, especially if you are an ID proponent. It certainly is the most comprehensive book to date (of which I'm aware) that gives a popular level overview of the cell's structure and how that relates to the ID argument. Much of the arguments put forward by Behe, Wells, Meyer, and others benefit from this book's support precisely because of that.

Unfortunately, that also turns out to be its biggest weakness on two fronts. First, in my view, Rana's book as a whole hardly constitutes an argument in and of itself, regardless of his opening statements. He believes that he is putting forward a positive case for ID based on what science does know rather than what it does not. Yet his entire approach of analogical pattern finding only works if naturalistic science turns out not to be able to find naturalistic causes for each of the issues he describes. On that count, the book doesn't make any major advances over others as he hopes.

In the second place, due to its very nature, The Cell's Design is a cumbersome read. The majority of the book reads like a college biology textbook with a concluding paragraph for each chapter offering thoughts toward design. Those without a background in biology will find the material itself difficult to follow.

So I give the book three stars. The very nature of the material doesn't lend itself well to popular argument and explanation (that is, the internal working of a cell), but it is material that every person who wants to truly grasp what ID is about needs to understand. It's no page turner, but if you want a great background to better understand other major ID proponents (and you don't already have a biology degree), I can't really think of a better investment.
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I just finished. Thanks for the engaging read, Dr. Rana. Some really good points, and the thumbnail tour through the workings of the cell was excellent. With your permission, I would like to photocopy some of the sections for use in my honors high school biology classes.

Some places I found hard-hitting:
(a) Molecular Convergence (Chap 11): Theories of evolution based upon random mutation and selection have long predicted that molecular convergence should be rare. In fact, the recent discovery of over 100 such instances is yet another case where the current paradigm has made an dramatically incorrect prediction. (e.g. another case is 'junk DNA')

(b) Error Minimization (Chap 9): The coding strategy of DNA is optimal for minimization of transcription errors; computer simulations show that the strategy life currently employs is PRECISELY the right one. Darwin might argue that nature would simply explore several possible coding strategies over time, gradually converging by natural selection to the most optimal. However, two facts preclude the 'searching' of possibility space. 1) a change/mutation in coding strategy is far more lethal than simply an transcription error; and 2) there is not evidence of any 'searching' in the fossil record. It just 'appears'...just like that... in the earliest life forms. Not bad for a convenient accident...or fine-tuning...

(c) Extensive cellular structure in prokaryotes: The recent discovery that prokaryotes are not just 'bags of loose chemicals' is going to require a lot of textbook revisions. It has been awfully convenient in the past to have a simple life form to evolve...whoops...there it went. The gap between current understanding and current observation just grew several orders of magnitude.
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