Is it science? Is it religion? What exactly is the Design Revolution?
Today scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers in the intelligent design movement are challenging a certain view of science—one that limits its investigations and procedures to purely law-like and mechanical explanations. They charge that there is no scientific reason to exclude the consideration of intelligence, agency and purpose from truly scientific research. In fact, they say, the practice of science often does already include these factors!
As the intelligent design movement has gained momentum, questions have naturally arisen to challenge its provocative claims. In this book, William A. Dembski rises to the occasion clearly and concisely answering the most vexing questions posed to the intelligent design program. Writing with non-experts in mind, Dembski responds to more than sixty questions asked by experts and non-experts alike who have attended his many public lectures, as well as objections raised in written reviews.
The Design Revolution has begun. Its success depends on how well it answers the questions of its detractors. Read this book and you'll have a good idea of the prospects and challenges facing this revolution in scientific thinking.
“The fundamental claim of intelligent design is straightforward and easily intelligible: namely, there are natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence.” (Page 27)
“There’s a joke that clarifies the difference between intelligent design and creation. Scientists come to God and claim they can do everything God can do. ‘Like what?’ asks God. ‘Like creating human beings,’ say the scientists. ‘Show me,’ says God. The scientists say, ‘Well, we start with some dust and then—’ God interrupts, ‘Wait a second. Get your own dust.’” (Page 38)
“Naturalism is the view that the physical world is a self-contained system that works by blind, unbroken natural laws. Naturalism doesn’t come right out and say there’s nothing beyond nature. Rather, it says that nothing beyond nature could have any conceivable relevance to what happens in nature. Naturalism’s answer to theism is not atheism but benign neglect. People are welcome to believe in God, though not a God who makes a difference in the natural order.” (Pages 21–22)
“According to Arthur Schopenhauer, ‘All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.’ Similarly, evolutionist J. B. S. Haldane remarked, ‘Theories pass through four stages of acceptance: (i) this is worthless nonsense; (ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view; (iii) this is true, but quite unimportant; (iv) I always said so.’” (Page 20)
This book spells out clearly for the general public how and why the progress of modern science points strongly toward an intelligent designer. It answers the most common criticisms of design theory so deftly that it makes one wonder if dogged opponents of design have something on their minds other than pure science.
—Michael Behe, Professor of Biology, Lehigh University, and author of Darwin's Black Box
The truth is that the honor and integrity of science really are at stake in this matter. They would be profoundly tarnished by a dogmatic refusal to face up to Dembski's questions.
—Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University
This lucid and authoritative book attempts to answer the many objections that have been raised against the theory of intelligent design. Dembski argues powerfully that it is an intellectually defensible science. It should be read by anyone interested in the character of the world we live in, whether they wish to attack or defend the theory.
—Roger Trigg, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick
This is an incredibly valuable resource from one of the great thinkers in the intelligent design movement. If you've got questions about this important topic, look inside—you'll find the answers in an authoritative yet accessible style.
Dembski, a philosopher/mathematician who has been an important theorist for the intelligent design movement, handles a wide range of questions and objections that should give both fans and detractors of ID plenty to chew on.
The Design Revolution is about questions of fundamental importance: Can one formulate objective criteria for recognizing design? What do such criteria tell us about design in the biological realm? Sad to say, even to raise such questions is dangerous; but fortunately Dembski is not deterred. In this courageous book he takes aim at the intellectual complacency that too often smothers serious and unprejudiced discussion of these questions.
—Stephen Barr, Professor of Physics, University of Delaware, author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith
Dembski's latest book indicates more clearly than any other recent publication that I know why CSI—the sort of order observed in complex machines or computer programs—cannot originate by cumulative selection. The improbability is far too great! Obviously if biological systems contain considerable amounts of CSI as Dembski claims, then the standard Darwinian explanation is deeply flawed, and what is needed is a new paradigm for understanding the natural world.
—Michael Denton, molecular geneticist and author of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis and Nature's Destiny
For the past decade or so 'intelligent design' has stirred a storm of controversy. Is it nothing more than gussied-up creationism, as its critics charge, or a new scientific paradigm, as its advocates maintain? This sprightly catechism, written by the movement's leading theoretician, offers believers and skeptics alike (and I count myself among the latter) an authoritative, if one-sided, introduction to what the fuss is all about.
—Ronald L. Numbers, Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin
Bill Dembski poses all the tough questions that critics ask about intelligent design in biology, and brilliantly answers them all!
—Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial
This is the most brilliant defense of the intelligent design movement in print. Dr. Dembski systematically dismantles virtually every known objection to the argument for intelligent design. There is nothing like it in print. It is the latest and greatest on the topic.
—Norman Geisler, philosopher and author of When Skeptics Ask
William Dembski examines the challenges to intelligent design and, in turn, unveils the increasing difficulties with once-accepted Darwinian theory. Students will be especially encouraged here to find manageable tools to help them engage the often uncontested Darwinian establishment in the university. I enthusiastically recommend this resource for what is certainly one of the most critical discussions of our day.
—Ravi Zacharias, author and speaker
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