Item description for The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design by Professor William A. Dembski, Grover Gardner & Charles W. Colson...
Overview Is it science? Is it religion? What exactly is the Design Revolution? As the Intelligent Design movement has gained momentum over recent years, questions have naturally arisen to challenge its provocative claims. With clarity and concision, William Dembski responds to the most vexing questions and objections raised by experts and non-experts.
Publishers Description 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 nonexperts in mind, Dembski responds to more than sixty questions asked by experts and nonexperts 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.
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Studio: Hovel Audio
Running Time: 780.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.78" Width: 4.94" Height: 1.89" Weight: 0.91 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2006
Publisher Hovel Audio
ISBN 1596442883 ISBN13 9781596442887
Availability 0 units.
More About Professor William A. Dembski, Grover Gardner & Charles W. Colson
William A. Dembski is a Senior Fellow with the Discovery Institute s Center for Science and Culture. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including the first book on intelligent design to be published by a major university press, "The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities" (Cambridge University Press, 1998). He has seven earned degrees, including two doctorates, one in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, the other in mathematics from University of Chicago. His work has been featured on the front page of the "New York Times" and he has appeared on numerous radio and television broadcasts, including ABC s" Nightline" and Jon Stewart s "The Daily Show." Bill and his wife, Jana, live in Central Texas with their daughter and twin boys.
Jonathan Wells is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute s Center for Science and Culture. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD. in Religious Studies from Yale University. He has worked as a postdoctoral research biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and the supervisor of a medical laboratory in Fairfield, California, and he has taught biology at California State University in Hayward. He is the author numerous articles and several books including "Icons of Evolution, ""The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.""
William A. Dembski was born in 1960 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Baylor University, Texas.
William A. Dembski has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design?
Thought provoking for anyone with an open mind. Oct 15, 2008
Dembski outlines in a diligent manner the fundamentals of this movement. This would be a hard book to swallow for those who have been indoctrinated in public schooling their entire life. If you are able to see how we ourselves design, construct, scrutinize, optimize and perfect what we do as scientists and chemists in a laboratory setting (I myself received my PhD in Chemistry and work at a government lab here in DC) and any other setting for that matter (i.e. architecture, art, math, etc), you should be able to put 2 and 2 together and see why such a rationality makes perfect sense. But again, it's not for those who believe in the religion of naturalistic science with a blind faith that is above scrutiny. If you aren't able to doubt or question or struggle with your own "faith" and belief system, it is unlikely you will be able to read through this entire book. But I would challenge you to do so.
The Intelligent design brigade need a better spokesperson Dec 20, 2007
Please bear in mind that this book has received one star as I can not give zero stars.
It has two main flaws.
First, it is incredibly badly written. Dembski seems to have decided to use as many big words as he can to make it appear as scientific. The problem is that this does not work. It just makes it extremely difficult to read. I have been reading the book on and off for the last 6 months. I manage to cope with about 20 pages at a time before I get too confused and angry to continue.
I am reading this book (I am am currently about 3/4 of the way through), because I am an atheist, and a molecular biologist, and a big fan of Dawkins writing. I decided to try something "from the opposition" to try to allow me to see where they are coming from and to see if they have anything going for their ideas. The problem is that Dawkins manages to explain complex ideas through more simple analogy, and knows he is writing for a lay audience. Dembski seems to have gone the other way and is trying to blind people with big scientific sounding words to hide his lack of science or evidence.
My second problem with the book is that the arguments are so severely flawed.
He starts, in the first few pages, by saying that he is not going to try to provide an alternative evidence for the process of evolution. He has decided that while evolution is backed up by 150 years of proof in favour of the theory (and equally importantly nothing against it), he does not need to do the same for ID/creationism. He will show how evolution is flawed and therefore ID must be correct.
He actually goes further and says that it would be possible for life to exist how it is now through intelligent design, and it would appear that it evolved, but a creator was still behind it, even though there would be no proof of the creator. This was one of the many points I got angry and put the book down for a while. I would like to know how he has come to this conclusion. I am of the school that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck has the same DNA as a duck then it is a duck. All the evidence points towards evolution but apparently, according to dembski, it can, but god still did it, with no actual proof that god did it. It would be like concluding that while all the theories for flight appear to be correct airplanes really fly because invisible angels carry them. There is no need for the angels, there is no evidence for them, but there is no way to disprove they are there.
He also talks about a quote from Van Till about how the more evolutionary biologists discover the less proof there is for god having a hand in evolution, and the less chance of finding proof of god. While the first statement is true this is indeed a non scientific conclusion, it does not decrease the chances of finding something that has to be explained by god, it just shows that something else that was being attributed to god does not need him in the explanaition. But I can see where van till is coming from, the creationist/intelligent design community is finding more and more obscure parts of organisms to use as proof of irreducible complexity, and science so far has shown how nearly all are evoloved. Dembski also manages to conclude that a single one of these things that we have not yet explained should mean that evolution is disproved. The problem is that this would mean that evolution has been disproved countless times, and then proved again. Not having complete evidence to fill all the gaps is no reason to drop evolution. Especially when there is no viable alternative.
Following on from his rant against van till he then concludes, that because van till has made a conclusion that is unscientific it proves that dembski is correct. Which, obviously you can not do. The disproval of one statement does not make your statement correct by default, you also have to prove your own point! And this seems to be another of dembskis problems, he tries to disprove evolution, and without any evidence to back up his claims he then claims that this makes his ideas correct by default. He has overlooked that he also needs to prove his own theories. And using overly large philosophical terminology to explain why he can get away with claiming ID is correct without proof is not proof of his theory!
To follow on from the van till comments, dembski repeatedly seems to have fixed on two things that prove irreducible complexity, and therefore ID is correct. The first is the bacterial flagellum. Only problem is that this has been shown to have evolved from a secretion pore. So you can see van tills point, even if you can not fully agree with his conclusion. It is yet another thing that the ID lobby has to find a new shining beacon of irreducible complexity to hang their hopes on.
The second thing he repeatedly talks about are "various biochemical pathways", and here he is possibly being a bit more savvy. After all, if you never mention which biochemical pathways we can never disprove him quickly as we have to guess which one he means, show how it evolved, and he can say it was another one.
Although I can see why he does it. After all in the next edition I assume that the flagellum references will have been replaced with something else but he won't need to edit the "biochemical pathways".
He also talks about how ID should be taught in schools on a par with evolution, in science class. He makes two arguments for this, the first is that people in Ohio think that ID is correct, therefore their children should be taught it as fact. Unfortunately poorly educated Ohians is not a reason to teach a theory that has no proof. Fortunately a Judge agreed with this view point.
I personally am strong enough in my understanding of evolution that I feel that ID should be taught in schools, but if it is to be taught in a science class then is should be taught in accordance to how much scientific proof there is for the theory. It is a good introduction for school kids about how theories are validated. However, until there is some evidence to back it up it should not be taught on an equal footing as evolution.
To conclude, this is a very poorly written book that makes many claims for intelligent design, and against evolution, without actually giving any evidence to support either claim.
If anyone can recommend a better written book on ID or creationism I would greatly appreciate it, but I would warn people against wasting their time trying to wade through dembskis convoluted and un-necessarily wordy reasoning.
Gives clarifications Sep 2, 2007
In this well-written book W.Dembski answers many of the toughest questions that are often asked about Intelligent Design. He points out that ID is not based on a religious or theological position, but is based on the scientific process of studying the evidence, no matter where it leads. He clarifies what ID is, and what it is not. He makes the important distinction between detecting design and designating a designer --and ID does NOT try to ascertain a designer. He explains how it is scientifically possible to detect design and distinguish it from chance or necessity. He tackles the various forms of naturalism in relationship to ID. I recommend "The Design Revolution; it is a great book to clear up many of the fuzzy notions that are bandied about regarding ID.
Answers many questions Aug 19, 2007
In this book William Dembski takes the time to answer the many questions that are raised by critics of ID. The only downside to this is that many of the questions that are addressed can be answered with similar tactics and therefore many of the examples or analogies used (like the repeated flipping of a coin of the combination on a safe) get repeated a few times. While you can definately get a feeling of deja vu I don't see a better option. I mean if three or four questions were lumped together then certainly there would be some nuances of the answers that would be left out. Fortunately Dembski keeps the chapters relatively short which helps to offset some of the repetitiveness. Not the easiest book to wade through but since I got it in CD format I breezed through it while fighting traffic. Probably should give it a four star review but I'm going with 5 stars to offset all of the 1 star anti ID guys who I'm sure never read the book anyway. Side note:Why do people do that anyway? I mean I'm a Christian but don't go around giving bad reviews on Dawkins God Delusion book when I haven't even read it. I don't get that.
Great Gift May 24, 2007
This was purchased a s gift to help continue our ongoing discussions on this subject. Good book for ideas and conversation.