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Why Steve Meyer wrote Darwin’s Doubt

Not necessarily why we might think.

Darwin's Doubt
In the introduction to Darwin’s Doubt,  Meyer explains how he came to write the book.

Reviewers and noviewers of his previous book, Signature in the Cell, are the people to thank:

My book [Signature] proved controversial, but in an unexpected way. Though I clearly stated that I was writing about the origin of the first life and about theories of chemical evolution that attempt to explain it from simpler pre-existing chemicals, many critics responded as if I had written another book altogether. Indeed, few attempted to refute my book’s actual thesis that intelligent design provides the best explanation for the origin of the information necessary to produce the first life. Instead, most criticized the book as if it had presented a critique of the standard neo-Darwinian theories of biological evolution—theories that attempt to account for the origin of new forms of life from simpler preexisting forms of life. Thus, to refute my claim that o chemical evolutionary processes had demonstrated the power to explain the ultimate origin of information in the DNA (or RNA) necessary to produce life from simpler preexisting chemicals in the first place, many critics cited processes at work in already living organisms—in particular, the process of natural selection acting on random mutations in already existing sections of information-rich DNA. In other words these critics cited an undirected process that acts on preexistent information-rich DNA to refute my argument about the failure of undirected material processes to produce information in DNA in the first place. (vi–vii)

Stephen C. Meyer

Francisco Ayala provided this service for BioLogos, leading to speculations that he had not read the book. Actually, it wouldn’t much matter if he had. Other Darwinians did the same for various science media whose editors simply decline to discuss the question honestly.

I found all this a bit surreal, as if I had wandered into a lost chapter from a Kafka novel. Signature in the Cell simply did not critique the theory of biological evolution, nor did it ask whether mutation and selection can add new information to preexisting information-rich DNA. To imply otherwise, as many of my critics did, was simply to erect a straw man. (vii)

No surprise there if they are straw men themselves and they like the company.

All this notwithstanding, I have long been aware of strong reasons for doubting that mutation and selection can add enough new information of the right kind to account for large-scale or “macroevolutionary,” innovations—the various information revolutions that have occurred after the origin of life. For this reason, I have found it increasingly tedious to have to concede, if only for the sale of argument, the substance of claims I think likely to be false.

And so the repeated prodding of my critics has paid off. Even though I did not write the book or make the argument that many of my critics critiqued in responding to Signature in the Cell, I have decided to write that book, And this is that book. (vii)

From the looks of things, Meyer’s publisher really must hire those critics, reviewers, and noviewers again:

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5 Responses to Why Steve Meyer wrote Darwin’s Doubt

  1. And the responses to Darwin’s Doubt are almost as equally vacuous as they were to Signature In The Cell:

    Stephen Meyer Answers Charles Marshall (Peer Reviewed Paper) on Darwin’s Doubt – October 2013 (4 part response)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....77371.html

    Does Lightning-Fast Evolution Solve the Cambrian Enigma? – Stephen C. Meyer October 24, 2013
    Excerpt: The authors assumed that natural selection and random mutations were responsible for the change that had occurred and then simply asserted that natural selection could produce the rate of morphological change they measured. In other words, they begged the question as to the rapidity with which the mechanism of mutation and selection can produce morphological novelty. They did not demonstrate that the neo-Darwinian mechanism has the creative power to generate morphological novelty this quickly.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....78321.html

    A Graduate Student (Nick Matzke) Writes – David Berlinski July 9, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74221.html

    A One-Man Clade – David Berlinski – July 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74601.html

    Hopeless Matzke -David Berlinski & Tyler Hampton August 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75631.html

    related notes:

    Dr. Stephen Meyer – Why Intelligent Design Describes the Cambrian Explosion – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfYaD0c-SAc

    Darwin’s Doubt – Photo Gallery of Cambrian fossils
    http://www.darwinsdoubt.com/photo-gallery/

  2. Dr.Stephen Meyer knows how to collate scientific papers, sift through them and present information from both sides of a debated issue. I am awaiting his next book (there seems to be none planned so far). I am curious what issue will be debated next.

  3. Did anyone every address this by Matzke >

    “Meyer on Medved: the blind leading the blind” http://pandasthumb.org/archive.....edved.html

  4. Equate65, as I listed before, Matzke pretty much had his you know what handed to him by Berlinski (and Hampton) here:

    A Graduate Student (Nick Matzke) Writes – David Berlinski July 9, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74221.html

    A One-Man Clade – David Berlinski – July 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74601.html

    Hopeless Matzke -David Berlinski & Tyler Hampton August 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75631.html

    Frankly I’m surprised anyone would even mention Matzke’s name after he was exposed as the scientific charlatan as he was like that. But be that as it may, here is Meyer’s response to Marshall, (which I also listed in my previous post) where you can pick up his response to ‘shelly fossils’ and such as that.

    Stephen Meyer Answers Charles Marshall’s (Peer Reviewed Paper) on Darwin’s Doubt – October 2013 (4 part response)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....77371.html

    Of note:

    If anyone has not read Darwin’s Doubt yet (which I seriously doubt Matzke has actually done yet), Paul Giem is doing a chapter by chapter video series on the book here:

    Darwin’s Doubt – Paul Giem – video playlist
    http://www.youtube.com/playlis.....Ow3u0_mK8t

  5. Today on the Michael Medved Show’s Science & Culture Update, Stephen Meyer (Darwin’s Doubt) will debate professional skeptic Michael Shermer about how to teach Darwinian evolution in the public school classroom — whether in Texas or your own state. Join Medved, Meyer and Shermer for a candid discussion, 1 pm Pacific time or 4 pm Eastern. Hear live on the radio or online here. – See more at: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....5Y70V.dpuf

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