Sunday, June 21, 2009

Signature in the Cell

Denyse O'Leary can hardly contain herself 'cause Stephen Meyer's book is about to go on sale.

In case you can't wait, there's a Signature in the Cell website that explains the significance of this momentous event.
The foundations of scientific materialism are in the process of crumbling. In Signature in the Cell, philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer shows how the digital code in DNA points powerfully to a designing intelligence behind the origin of life. The book will be published on June 23 by HarperOne.

Unlike previous arguments for intelligent design, Signature in the Cell presents a radical and comprehensive new case, revealing the evidence not merely of individual features of biological complexity but rather of a fundamental constituent of the universe: information. That evidence has been mounting exponentially in recent years, known to scientists in specialized fields but largely hidden from public view. A Cambridge University-trained theorist and researcher, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, Dr. Meyer is the first to bring the relevant data together into a powerful demonstration of the intelligence that stands outside nature and directs the path life has taken.


As a philosopher and a scientist himself, having worked in the field of geophysics for Atlantic Richfield, Meyer is able to step back from the fray of competing views about Darwinian theory and offer a searching, compelling investigation of life’s beginning.


  1. If this purported intelligence stands "outside nature", then nothing, absolutely nothing, we can do or think can tell us anything about it, since being outside nature means it cannot act on the "inside", where we are. If it acts, or even if it is discernable in our universe, then it is "inside".

    (Just sort of working it out in my own poor head. My irony meter failed again, and let through a surge that zapped a bunch of neurons. I should know better than to read Denyse's output.)

    Oh, and how does being "a scientist himself, having worked in the field of geophysics," qualify someone to expound on "life's beginning"?

  2. From one of the reviews of _Signature in the Cell_

    "His [Meyer's]refutation of Richard Dawkins will have all the dogs barking and angels singing."
    — George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty and Telecosm

    Sorry, I thought I could think of something witty to say, but I am dumbstruck by the idiocy of Gilder's statement.

  3. The foundations of scientific materialism are in the process of crumbling.

    Why would anybody want that to happen? Even if "foundations of scientific materialism" are incomplete, they still freakin work pretty good so far.

    "The foundations of scientific materialism are in the process of crumbling."

    That's some pure 100% kook-freakin wing-nuttery right there, folks.

  4. "Step back from the fray?" He and his cronies are the fray!

    I guess it's just the imminent demise of evolution. Again.

  5. The foundations of scientific materialism are in the process of crumbling.

    Seriously, even if "scientific materialism" is incomplete and it needs some supernatural stuff added in there, you would still keep it, and then augment it with the supernatural whatever. You wouldn't "crumble" it. What a bunch of flippin' kook-bags, man.

  6. This is all the fault of the reductionists. If they had realized the philosphical absurdity of talking about "codes" and "programs", creationosts would not be able to latch onto those metaphors as literal truths.

  7. The foundations of scientific materialism are in the process of crumbling.

    Except, of course, in the field of medicine. Send Meyer to the hospital with a cut artery or an acute case of diarrhea and trust me, he won't give it a moment's thought that his ass is being saved by materialistic science.

    It's always the same with these clowns -- they're willing to let go of materialistic science but only when there's no cost in doing so.

  8. the process of crumbling.

    And Jesus will be back any day now.

  9. I tried to count the number of accolades for this wonderful book written by people with some biological expertise, but I wasn't able to get beyond zero. I don't think I'll be ordering it.

  10. Where the Disco Institute connects with the "Inside Story" promoted by the Templeton Foundation :-D

    Come on people, we have to admit it, Denyse rocks. Not only she is funny by herself but find for us all the good stuff.

  11. Who does Meyer think he is, the Ed McMahon of Information Theory? Really, from his former life as a geophysicist, he ought to be aware of oodles of information contained in a seismic signal--where did that information come from?

  12. So I mention Ed McMahon's name, then go home and learn that he died. Proof of a designer (and creepy, too).

  13. A vargas rants:
    "If they had realized the philosphical absurdity of talking about "codes" and "programs", creationosts would not be able to latch onto those metaphors as literal truths."

    Ah, so it is other people's fault that creationists are too ignorant to understand the difference between metaphorical langaugae and analogies and reality... Got it... Brilliant stuff.

  14. Certainly. bad science is corrosive in this matter.But amateurs like you can't tell bad science. As simple as that (you probably love Dawkins but all evolutionary biologists I know laugh at his cartoonish views of evolution, including his insane addiction to the "information:" metaphor that creationists happen to love so much) )
    I'll give you a hint; it's the scientists with diploma and research paper, who also support ID, that gave ID its boost.
    The problem is WITHIn science. we need to put some order in the house.

  15. As far as I can tell in papers or books real Ev. Bio folks do buy into the "information metaphor", so who are you thinking of?

  16. This is why we need to fix things within science first. Scientists cannot just peddle that metapho, without stopping to explain how this is not a literal truth (but actually, a philosophical monstruosity). I don't use the metaphor (neither do the smarter scientists I know)

  17. Mr Meyer is as stupid as he looks. If he can't understand it, then no one can, right? Read my paper on the adaptation of complexity, enjoy. And keep your smug mouth shut Mr Meyer. Stop spreading lies because you are as stupid as you are arrogant.

  18. I read the book and it is fascinating, irrespective of your view on the subject of intelligent design. Unfortunately, most people discussing this book present only emotional opinions without discussing any of the factual assertions in the book or the logic employed therein. It would be much more interesting to read a reasoned debate about the content of the book, rather than an emotional tit-for-tat about its conclusions.

  19. "Except, of course, in the field of medicine...."

    Medical science must assume design intent, purpose, working according to intended function vs. malfunctioning, etc. -- in other words, it must operate on the premise that the human body is designed, that organs have intended or proper functions, etc.

    Otherwise, there is no reason to view cancer cells as abnormal, or "wrong", or an enemy -- they're just cells doing their thing -- no good or bad, no right or wrong. Some things live/some things die -- no purpose, design, intent, right or wrong.

    It's easy to be a materialist in the abstract, but no one's an anti-theist when the doctor says there's something "wrong" with your heart, or your kidney's are "malfunctioning".

  20. @RkBall: there is no reason to view cancer cells as abnormal, or "wrong".

    Sure there is. Just because people might like one configuration or state and dislike another is sufficient for us to call that the right one and a less likable version the wrong one. I like my body without cancer, therefore that's the right way i want it to operate. Cancer on the other hand is wrong.

    This probably sounds like a very subjective ethical system to someone who thinks ethical norms exist outside reality, and likely claims direct knowledge of their exact content. It's not that individualistic, inasmuch as due to the nature of our species, our environment, our shared socialization, we best function and survive in certain types of societies.

    From this we can generalize to pseudo-objective norms and say that it's really wrong when people act obtuse, twist language, misrepresent medicine, and bear false witness, as you just did, because that harms our social fabric and leads to bad social decisions. It's right when those people are ignored and held as exemplars of thinking that causes suffering and imperils our world.

  21. Seems that most naturalistic materialistic "scientists" are 99 and 44 percent "scoff" and .56 "answer" to Meyer's presentation of evidence. Typical. When you cannot argue, you yell loud and throw things and make fun.

    Scientific enquiry is based on the supposition that there are logical systems and patterns that can be deduced from the study of all creation. Now that is not logical from a chaotic evolutionist's perspective. In fact logic is not logical. Random should be the byword of the evolutionist rather than ordered. Yet they just cannot see the forest for the trees.