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Top Ten Darwin and Design books for 2009: #1

The biggest news, in my view, is that there is even a Top Ten. I myself cannot keep up with all the people who want me to look at their intelligent design projects. It’s not that I don’t care, but I am only one little old hack, and there are only so many hours in a day.

It’s been difficult to keep journalists in this area; they tend to get scared off by aggressive Darwinists fronting their tax-funded, establishment line. And every weekend “relationships” news editor has endless time for “evolution” nonsense. But word leaks out. As executive director Dennis Wagner comments,

“I would never have predicted that an atheist [Thomas Nagel] would name a book about intelligent design as one of the top books of 2009, while another atheist [Bradley Monton] would write a book defending intelligent design? This is a sign that open minds in the academic and scientific communities are beginning to take the evidence for intelligent design seriously.”

Mind you, these two above mentioned are intelligent atheists. Nagel, for example, wrote the brilliant paper, “What is it like to be a bat?”, exploring the mystery of animal minds. They restore my faith in human nature; I used to think all atheists were the sort of people who fill my In Box with vitriol – I had good reasons for thinking that, but it is not necessarily true as a consequence …

It’s one thing not to believe in God; quite another to actually believe in the selfish gene, the Big Bazooms theory of human evolution, or how “evolution” explains why people vote for Sarah Palin or Al Gore.

So – ta-DA!! – here is the winner:

1.Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer (Harper One, 2009). Stephen Meyer forcefully outlined the positive case for design and refuted arguments that ID isn’t science in his seminal book, Signature in the Cell, published by HarperCollins in June of 2009. The book was named one of the top books of 2009 in the prestigious Times Literary Supplement (TLS) annual “Books of the Year” issue. The selection was made by prominent philosopher (and noted atheist) Thomas Nagel at New York University. A companion three minute animated video, Journey Inside the Cell was released providing a stunning visual illustration of Meyer’s points.

[From Denyse: Most interesting. To me, the most significant thing about the book is that Harper One thought it worth taking a chance on. Harper One is a pretty big publisher and assumes that the books it signs have a wide audience. Clearly, lots of people are beginning to guess that Darwinism is the General Motors of biology. Yes, it is big, but today only government bailouts keep it going. The challenge for design theorists today is not to keep one step ahead of the Darwin inquisition or even to gain a hearing but to explain what design offers.

PS: Harper One also published The Spiritual Brain by Beauregard and - ahem - O’Leary, a comprehensive survey of the dead end of materialist neuroscience. I regularly get letters from people thanking us for helping them understand, in a publishing universe where two-neuron you-neuron nonsense had become the normal fare.]

The #2 pick is here.

(Note: These are the key books, not science or media news. The Top Ten Darwin and Design Science News Stories for 2009 are here, and my comments are here, the Top Ten Darwin and Design Media News Stories for 2009 are here, and my comments on the latter are here. Also, to get the links, you must go here.)

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10 Responses to Top Ten Darwin and Design books for 2009: #1

  1. Mrs O’Leary,

    I agree, Signature in the Cell was the number one book on ID in 2009.

    I see it as a significant shift in the argument for ID away from evolution per se towards OOL as the intellectual battleground. Until Drs Dembski and Marks can join up their mathematics with the existing population genetics literature, it seems that attacking evolution will be left as a culture war exercise, like the previous year’s Expelled. Even then, what of CSI and the Explanatory Filter? Hors de combat, apparently.

  2. Nakashima-san,

    ID does not attack evolution.

    Rather ID “attacks” the blind watchmaker thesis.

    Also ID has always been about origins- IOW there wasn’t any shift.

    As for the EF and CSI- they still work.

    How do you think scientists differentiate between nature, operating freel and agency involvement?

    My bet is they use the EF or something very similar to it.

    CSI- same thing- there still isn;t any evidence that nature, operating freely can produce it.

  3. “Nagel, for example, wrote the brilliant paper, What is it like to be a bat?, exploring the mystery of animal minds”.

    Animal mind and behaviour have always been a puzzle. Probably even nowadays all have heard about conditional and unconditional reflexes. At the beginning of the 20th century the work of physiologist I.P.Pavlov was extremly popular in Russia.
    Pavlov’s disciple Savi? tried to prove that also human behaviour is nothing else as conditional reflexes (published in Obozrenij biologi?eskoj laboratorii P.F.Lesgafta according Nikolay Lossky. One can sometimes read also books on History of philosophy in Russia to hit upon interesting information. Of course it cannot be included in top 10).

    Savi? took as an example Darwin. He analysed the conditions of his life. He tried to prove that all scientific work of this scientist can be understand as a sequence of conditional reflexes.

    http://cadra.wordpress.com/

  4. VMartin at 3, To my mind, Nagel’s wonderful paper pointed out something often neglected.

    Animals have different senses from humans and therefore different experiences, at least in certain important ways.

    A bat’s most important sense for getting around seems to be echolocation – something humans just do not even do – or not as a natural sense anyway.

    We can create technology around echolocation, but that is a different matter.

    I don’t know what bats feel or think, but it probably isn’t easily accessible to humans.

  5. I know that Denyse doesn’t put any stock in Wikipedia. However, for everybody else who is interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_echolocation

    Maybe we should ask a handful of blind people and see how they feel. :)

  6. Denyse, one of the first who studied this phenomenon was Jacob von Uexkull. He even coined the term “Umwelt” for the animal environment, which every species see in different way. This concept influenced also Martin Heidegger.

    Actually the problem is interesting one also from the human point of view. Brentano revived scholastic conception of intentionality and posited “horizont” against which all our perception are perceived. Nothing is more persuasive as color perception – we often detect the same color even though the color itself has changed greatly – be it by its frequency or intensity. In such cases it is the “background” and not the foreground that determine our perception.

    These considerations were used by Husserl and the school of phenomenology. Husserl clearly called his teaching “subjective idealism”. To be on topic – the difference between deep thoughts of phenomenologists and those babble of darwinists regarding perception and judgment is something that has always strucked me.

    http://cadra.wordpress.com/

  7. Mr Joseph,

    CSI- same thing- there still isn;t any evidence that nature, operating freely can produce it.

    If so, I’m quite surprized that there isn’t any evidence that anyone is calculating CSI, whether in bits, in fits, or during fits.

    It is one thing to define a concept, another thing to put it to use. If CSI is useful, why isn’t it used in these latest papers from Drs Dembski, Marks, et al.?

  8. Nakashima-san:

    If so, I’m quite surprized that there isn’t any evidence that anyone is calculating CSI, whether in bits, in fits, or during fits.

    Where have you looked?

    IOW how do you know there isn’t any evidence?

    It is one thing to define a concept, another thing to put it to use. If CSI is useful, why isn’t it used in these latest papers from Drs Dembski, Marks, et al.?

    Ask them.

    But if blind watchmaker evolution is so useful why doesn’t anyone use it to make new discoveries?

    It’s one thing to define a concept but another to put it to use- right?

  9. Note to the editor:

    Your Amazon link to “Signature in the Cell” seems to be broken.

  10. Where have you looked?

    IOW how do you know there isn’t any evidence?

    This is just too funny. Just a short while ago you where complaining that one can not prove a negative, yet, here you are asking Nakashima to do just that.

    A simple example of scientists calculating CSI would have been sufficient to convincingly refute him.

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