Washington Times Book Review of Intelligent Design
In "The Blind Watchmaker," atheist Richard Dawkins proclaimed, "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." Now, with the paperback release of Stephen C. Meyer's "Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design," theists can rejoin with, "Meyer made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled theist." Indeed, in his book, Mr. Meyer begins the chorus by stating that "as a Christian theist, I find this implication of intelligent design 'intellectually satisfying.' "
But, to suppose that "Signature in the Cell" is a book that argues for intelligent design (ID) from a religious or even metaphysical perspective is to suppose badly. For this book makes a strong case for ID as a rigorous scientific argument for the origin of life - at least as rigorous and scientific as any purely materialistic explanation such as neo-Darwinism.
Whether it be evolutionary/materialistic- or ID-based, the fundamental challenge for any proposition that claims to explicate the causes for life's inception is this: Explain in a scientific way "the origin of the central feature of living things: information." Mr. Meyer claims that orthodox evolutionary thinking, with its reliance upon chance and necessity, has failed to meet that challenge.
"Signature in the Cell" makes the case for ID being the only reasonable scientific explanation for the origin of information by showing first that overall, ID studies operate like other historic scientific endeavors (such as archaeology and crime-scene investigation) and indeed follow a method popularized by Darwin himself in "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection."
The method relies on "inference to the best explanation." (However, in the case of ID investigations, the possibility of an intelligent cause is not ruled out a priori.) Mr. Meyer states that "like other scientific theories concerned with explaining events in the remote past, intelligent design is testable by comparing its explanatory power to that of competing theories."