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Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design Paperback – June 22, 2010
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“Signature in the Cell is a defining work in the discussion of life’s origins . . . the powerful case Meyer presents cannot be ignored in any honest debate. . . [T]his book is an engaging, eye-opening, and often eye-popping read” (American Spectator)
“A decisive case based upon breathtaking and cutting-edge science.” (Dr. Philip S. Skell, member, National Academy of Sciences, and Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus at Pennsylvania State University)
“A fascinating exploration . . . Whether you believe intelligent design is true or false, Signature in the Cell is a must-read book.” (Dr. Scott Turner, professor, environmental and forest biology, State University of New York, and author of The Tinkerer’s Accomplice)
“A careful presentation of this fiendishly difficult problem.” (Dr. Thomas Nagel, professor, New York University, in the Times Literary Supplement)
From the Back Cover
A Compelling Case for Intelligent Design Based on Revolutionary Discoveries in Science
In Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer has written the first comprehensive DNA-based argument for intelligent design. As he tells the story of successive attempts to unravel a mystery that Charles Darwin did not address—how did life begin?—Meyer develops the case for this often-misunderstood theory using the same scientific method that Darwin himself pioneered. Offering a fresh perspective on one of the enduring mysteries of modern biology, Meyer convincingly reveals that the argument for intelligent design is not based on ignorance or "giving up on science," but instead on compelling, and mounting, scientific evidence.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have studied quantum mechanics, you will have run into the inescapable conclusion that nothing really exists an a determinate state unless it is observed by a conscious observer. Furthermore, you probably have run into Bell's theorem which concludes that locality is something of a myth and that there is no logical connection between the reality we live in every day and quantum reality upon which our material world is based. The theory of quantum mechanics frankly states that consciousness is (and probably was) a primordial property of the universe.
The theory of intelligent design is based upon SCIENCE, and not on theology. It stands upon infinitely firmer ground than the Multiverse which is modern cosmology's latest mathematical/theological attempt to explain the anthropomorphic nature of our world of matter. Read this book if you really want to begin the journey to a rational understanding of how Spirit might actually have a place to live after all!
P.S. I've read the one star reviews. It is obvious that none of these reviewers has actually read the book. Out of 429 reviews, only 58 gave it two stars or less, and their comments seemed to have nothing to do with the book's actual content.
The arguments in favor of the need to postulate some form of intelligence as the progenitor of life on Earth seem to me quite convincing. Even with an awesomely vast universe, with much in the way of probabilistic resources, I believe that Dr. Meyer makes a very strong case for the view that some form of creative intelligence giving rise to life is certainly the best, if not the only reasonable, explanation for life as we encounter it here on Earth.
I believe that this book deserves to be in every university library, and that it belongs in many science and philosophy classrooms as required reading material. Dr. Meyer has certainly made belief in the existence of a creative Intelligence as the source of life in this universe and the progenitor of “laws of biology” not only more credible, but almost persuasively convincing. “Signature in the Cell” is an excellent book.
Meyer shows that the origin of life happening by chance is mathematically unimaginable. Up to this point, chapter 9, he has been preparing us for the math. He discusses DNA and nucleic acid, amino acids and proteins, the history and philosophy of scientific research—a detailed description of the processes occurring in a living cell and how scientists reach their conclusions. Chapter 9 for me is the fulcrum of this work and a primary reason why it is subtitled: … Evidence for Intelligent Design.
Cells are complex living units with at least 250 functioning protein clusters. Proteins in the cell are made of a chain of amino acids—not any amino acids—but specific to the functionality the cell requires to be alive. There were 3 calculations that went into mathematically estimating the probability of life from the chance combining of amino acids into proteins. A simple 150 amino acid chain was used.
The probability that the amino acids will join or link up at all—peptide bonding(1×10^46);
The probability that they will join in the correct order—like words on a page to relay information in a readable sentence and not gibberish (1 x 10^74) ;
The probability that the correct amino acids will be joined—amino acids form isomers which are mirror images of themselves but only the left-handed amino acids (not the right-handed isomers) are functional in a living cell. (1×10^46).
“The odds of getting one functional protein from a prebiotic soup is no better than 1×10^164.” [1 x 10^46*46*74]
Meyer also argues for intelligent design (ID) as a science—an historical science, as was Darwin's approach previously for explaining natural selection as regards micro-evolution. Information theory, multiple hypothesis, causal adequacy.. a few new concepts that have come with the computer age. He uses Dembski;s filter to show that only ID provides a plausible explanation for the DNA enigma or the origin of life.
Honestly, to dat, I am convinced of his arguments. He uses down to earth illustrations to explain. A great read but a bit technical in places.
The New-Darwinian mechanism faced what they called a ‘combinatorial problem’.
The odds of getting one functional protein from a prebiotic soup is no better than 1×10^164
The probability of producing the proteins necessary to build a minimally complex cell—or the genetic information necessary to produce those proteins—by chance is unimaginably small. (1×10^41,000)
In Meyer's words
For one hundred and fifty years many scientists have insisted that "chance and necessity"—happenstance and law—jointly suffice to explain the origin of life on earth. We now find, however, that orthodox evolutionary thinking—with its reliance upon these twin pillars of materialistic thought has failed to explain the origin of life of the central feature of living things: information.