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Intelligent Design: William A. Dembski & Michael Ruse in Dialogue Paperback – October 1, 2007

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert B Stewart is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he holds the Greer-Heard Chair of Faith and Culture.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; First Paperback Edition edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800662180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800662189
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,315,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Editor Robert B. Stewart gathers the insights of leading intellectuals William A. Dembski, Michael Ruse, and others in Intelligent Design, an examination of the hotly contested debate between proponents and deniers of the Intelligent Design theory. Intelligent Design strives to be as objective as humanly possible; essays address the tasks of finding a precise definition for ID, ID's history as an idea and body of thought, the most common objections to and defenses of ID, and much more. All of the diverse essays are respectful in tone and pay meticulous attention to detail. A bibliography and index round out this measured assessment of the standoff between evolution, creationism, and perspectives in between.
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"Intelligent Design: William A. Dembski & Michael Ruse in Dialogue" contains a goldmine of information about the Intelligent Design movement. Included are chapters by Francis Beckwith of Baylor University, Wesley Elsberry, John Lennox of Oxford University, Nicholas Matzke, Alister McGrath of Oxford University, Berkeley PhD Nancy Murphy, Hal Ostrander, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Martinez Hewlett, Sir John Polkinghorne of Cambridge University, Michael Ruse and others. All of the chapters are very useful in understanding this now hotter than ever controversy and most of the authors are well known scholars in their field. Most ironic is the extensive discussion of the Dover case and the fact that this book would not be allowed as a supplemental text in Dover, PA. One way around the judge's decision would be to cut the book up and allow students to read only the chapters opposed to Intelligent Design (ID) and remove those in favor of ID. I would be very interested if some brave soul used this book in a public school in USA and was challenged by the ACLU to see if it would pass constitutional muster in the United States. According to Judge Jones's ruling, as discussed in detail in this book, it would not. If the court ruled that this book would have to be cut up, I wonder what chapters would escape the knife. Many chapters discuss religion, including those against ID, and to be consistent they should also be cut. Fortunately, the public can read this "banned book" and decide for themselves, something the students in Dover are not allowed to do as students.
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Format: Paperback
Some of the chapters give a quick review of errors in intelligent design and the audacity of its peddlers in trying to deceive, promote, and push their views into school classrooms. Even so, most of the text still gives quarter to unfounded religious conjecture. It may be a decent assembly of essays on the history and beliefs of creationism/intelligent design. It is not a truly unbiased text, however.

The book does not give proper attention to the strengths of evolution, nor are ID opponents given sufficient length to fully state their cases. In this regard, it fails its stated purpose of having a "dialog" from both sides of the fence. The majority of the text attempts to stack the cards in favor of intelligent design. In many chapters, this bias is condescending and reviles accomplished scientists.

For a substantive review of the significance of evolution, once should read Prothero's "Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters." Prothero is also the author of one of the leading college textbooks on invertebrate paleontology (he knows what he is talking about).
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a dialog concerning the merits of intelligent design vs. evolution, this is not the book for you.

Its not a dialog. There is one 30 page chapter of which about half is opening statements and the rest is a dialog between an ID'er and an evolutionist. There is also a chapter in which ID is demolished merely by recounting the facts of the Dover Pennsylvania court case. But beyond that, the rest devoted to arguing for ID.

And there is no science either. This is a book of philosophy, not science. Most of the essays are long torturous philosophical arguments filled with misconceptions and false assumptions which lead to the conclusion that life on earth must be designed. One author goes as far as to prove an atheistic philosophy is "suicidal" : "The world of rational discourse dissolves into the absurd chatter of firing synapses. Quite frankly, that cannot be right, and none of us believes it to be so." This kind of argument is typical. Plus, I found it strange that ID'ers are so big on using the film "Contact" in their examples.

Overall, I was disappointed. I am interested in science, and I was hoping to read some science. I'll let the theological philosophers argue how many angels can dance on a pinhead and other topics which fascinate them so.
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Format: Paperback
Kept reading about Intelligent Design till my eyes were paralyzed.
Thought Bill Dembski's comments were most strange.
Recognizing that his defense of explanatory filter and
specified complexity were so queer.
Gratified to be reading the real truth from Nick Matzke.
Reading the science truth from Wes Elsberry too.

So, where to now, Bill Dembski?
If it's true, I'm in your hands.
I may not be a Christian,
but I've done all one man can.
I understand I am on a road
where all that was is gone...
So where to now, Bill Dembski?
Show me which road I am on.

Recognize that Intelligent Design is
pathetic Klingon Cosmology
Recognize why it's just queer
mendacious intellectual pornography.
Understanding why you're so wrong Bill Dembski
Your mind paralyzed by your Christian God.

Specified Complexity, Irreducible Complexity,
Just all the same to me.
Mendacious religious nonsense,
Pretending to be scientific theory.

So, where to now, Bill Dembski?
If it's true, I'm in your hands.
I may not be a Christian,
but I've done all one man can.
I understand I am on a road
where all that was is gone...
So where to now, Bill Dembski?
Show me which road I am on.

(with apologies to the person formerly known as Reg Dwight and his long-time partner Bernie Taupin)
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