Why Steve Meyer wrote Darwin’s Doubt
|November 12, 2013||Posted by News under Darwinism, Origin Of Life|
Not necessarily why we might think.
In the introduction to Darwin’s Doubt, Meyer explains how he came to write the book.
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)
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:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)