Signature In The Cell by Stephen C. Meyer

Dr. Meyer has provided a thorough look into the discovery and meaning of DNA as it relates to the scientific theory of Intelligent Design. 

Stephen Meyer has a Ph.D in philosophy of science from arguably the most scientifically prolific site in academia, the University of Cambridge. He is the director of the Discovery Institute and the author of several books including Signature In The Cell and Darwin’s Doubt.

I first came across Dr. Meyer in a study on apologetics with a church I used to attend. I was very impressed with Dr. Meyer’s credentials and his focus on science. I don’t know why Dr. Meyer was included in an apologetics class because he doesn’t “defend the faith” outright as a true apologist, but rather makes a scientific case for Intelligent Design. These are two different things entirely. In any case, I was glad to discover him and plan to read Darwin’s Doubt in the future. 

This book sat on my shelf for a long time. It’s size (a scientifically dense 508 pages) made me put it off for years. I’m glad I finally got around to it because it shed light on the theory of Intelligent Design for me. Intelligent Design is a strictly scientific case for there being an intelligent designer of the universe. It’s not creationism and it’s not apologetics. Once I was able to properly categorize this book as a case for a scientific theory, I did find an appreciation for Dr. Meyer’s work. 

What I got from this book is that there is information in our biological make-up that is so specific and purposeful that it is laughable to think that it would have evolved over eons by random mutation for no apparent reason by Darwinian evolution. “Nucleotide bases in DNA functioned just like alphabetic letters in an English text or binary digits in software or a machine code.” (p.100). DNA is literally a readable library of information extremely similar to computer code in how it translates to meaningful, purposeful functions.

This book is great as a purely scientific approach to explain that something must have designed living beings. There can be no accusation of religious bias or dogmatic interference with pure scientific theory. In fact, that is exactly the criticism I have of this book. Dr. Meyer points to Intelligent Design, but he does not point to God. After reading Dr. Meyer’s assessment of Intelligent Design there is nothing that keeps the reader from assuming that aliens or some other form of “intelligence” could have created life. Stephen Hawking mentions God more than Stephen Meyer. I understand Dr. Meyer’s intention to remove religious bias from his scientific endeavor but neutrality is a myth. Scientists with a godless worldview come to conclusions of Darwinian natural selection based solely on their presuppositions. Everyone has presuppositions. Everyone has a worldview and that will inevitably come to the surface, so instead of trying to withhold our presupposed worldviews, lets show all our cards from the outset and see which stand up with rational consistency. 

I’d recommend this book to anyone who sees science as some sort of barrier to belief in God (which is insane because there is no science, logic, reason, or morality without God, but I digress). I can’t wait to read Dr. Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt. Dr. Meyer is a valuable resource to any scientifically minded Christian, and I do mean scientifically minded. This is a scientifically dense book that, while still being readable to the layman, will test how well you paid attention in high school biology. However, it unfortunately keeps little regard to what you learned in Sunday school.

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