Home » Culture, Intelligent Design » Stephen C. Meyer — WORLD MAGAZINE’s Person of the Year

Stephen C. Meyer — WORLD MAGAZINE’s Person of the Year

Meyer on Cover of WORLD Terrific News about Steve Meyer making the cover of WORLD MAGAZINE as their person of the year for 2009.# Much deserved! Steve has considerable visibility in the ID movement, but I’ve known him over the years as well for his indefatigable work behind the scenes to make ID into a thriving intellectual and cultural force. Many of the initiatives and projects that have signally blessed the ID movement have been at his instance (for instance, it was his vision that propelled the video UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF LIFE, which has spawned a host of other videos).

Stephen C. Meyer

#Meyer is the second ID proponent to receive this award. Phil Johnson did in 2003.

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47 Responses to Stephen C. Meyer — WORLD MAGAZINE’s Person of the Year

  1. Steve is simply superb. I especially enjoy watching him in debate. He remains calm and collected and talks about science, evidence, and reason while his opponents drone on about how God wouldn’t do it that way, finch beaks, cheap tuxedos, and other silliness. His writing is always lucid, eloquent, and exquisitely reasoned.

    This award is certainly deserved.

  2. This would be more meaningful if World Magazine was a science magazine – but World Magazine is a “Christian news magazine,” with a declared perspective of conservative evangelical Protestantism. Its mission statement is “To report, interpret, and illustrate the news…from a perspective committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.

    Does this award illustrate that there is no connection between intelligent design and religion?

  3. I second what Gil said, well deserved. Steve Meyer is a top-notch guy, always respectful and reasoned even when confronted by opponents who are not.

    Advice to those who disagree with Steve Meyer and ID in general: skip the insults and motive-mongering, etc. Instead, follow Steve Meyer’s example: confront the argument with detailed, pertinent evidence, and respect your opponent.

    Or is respect for others only a Christian virtue?

  4. A hearty congratulations to Dr. Meyer for this recognition of his work.

  5. Congratulations to Dr Meyer!

    I am enjoying reading his book and one day I would love to have him autograph it.

  6. The World magazine ?, as in: Today’s News | Christian Views ? But ID isnt religious. Oh no.

  7. Congrats Meyer.

    And I see that there are some who have a problem with WORLD MAGAZINE because it is a Christian magazine. Well, we have something for everybody.

    http://www.stephencmeyer.org/n.....ed_on.html

  8. But ID isnt (sic) religious.

    Thanks for pointing that out. You are correct: ID is not religious but it is friendly to theism, just as Darwinism is friendly to atheism.

    The question is, What is true, design or no design in living systems? Based on what we now know from modern science it seems clear to me that the no-design hypothesis is a catastrophically absurd holdover, based on 19th century scientific ignorance about the nature of biological reality.

    As a former atheist I would suggest that the most obvious contemporary manifestation of blind religious faith is atheism and its Darwinian creation myth.

  9. But Darwinian evolution is not atheistic. Just ask Richard Dawkins.

  10. Those who try and conflate ID with religion are just admitting that they nor anyone else have anything to say in support of their own beliefs nor against ID. They are just admitting they have nothing and must use this approach in lieu of any science or logic or reason. It is a strictly emotional approach based on weakness.

  11. 11

    Does Paul Burnett ever have anything to say that is not 100% religiously motivated?

    Every single comment I have ever read by this ideologue is religiously motivated. Without fail, every single one.

    And they are all exactly the same: he wants to shout from the rooftops how this and that, and this person and that person are nothing but religiously motivated.

    It’s the biggest damn head-shaker on this blog. Is it possible that he never reads his own words?

    Hey Paul, how about a debate – all science….wanna give it a go?

  12. @Upright BiPed:
    your words “Hey Paul, how about a debate – all science….wanna give it a go?” sounds great. Next year “Daniel award” should be for you :-)

    Yeah! Me too Im disappointed to see this type of hijacking the debate from the real issue.

  13. “Upright BiPed” (#11) asked “Does Paul Burnett ever have anything to say that is not 100% religiously motivated?

    Only if you define science (including evolution) as religion – which I don’t, and which the majority of pro-science folks don’t. (It seems the majority of folks who think science is a religion are religious – maybe that’s the only paradigm they understand.)

    My point has been that for anybody who knows about the ID founders’ meetings in 1992 at Southern Methodist University, in 1993 at Pajaro Dunes, in 1996 at the former Bible Institute of Los Angeles and culminating in the 1998 “Wedge Strategy” it’s readily obvious that intelligent design is 100% religiously motivated. (Read the first sentence of the “Wedge Document” – does it sound like it’s about science or religion?)

    If Steve had been designated “Person of the Year” in Science magazine or Nature or Cell or Genetics, it would have lent credence to the “scienciness” of ID. I was simply pointing out that to have a biblical literalist magazine designate Steve as Person of the Year does not lend credence to the “scienciness” of ID – quite the opposite.

    (And I still maintain that publishing “Signature in the Cell” at a religious publishing house (HarperOne) didn’t help the “ID=science” cause either.)

    “Upright BiPed” asked “Hey Paul, how about a debate – all science….wanna give it a go?

    No, but thanks anyway – I’m not that good a debater. I’ve debated creationists a few times and find that the Gish Gallop (see http://everything2.com/user/ro.....ish+Gallop ) sabotages the debate beyond recovery.

  14. “T. lise” wrote: “…Im disappointed to see this type of hijacking the debate from the real issue.

    The real issue of this thread is congratulating Steve Meyer for having World Magazine name him Person of the Year. That is a praiseworthy achievement in and of itself, but in my humble opinion publicizing such praise is a tactical error in the context of the continuing effort to increase the connectedness of intelligent design and science, and decrease the (visibility of) the connectedness between intelligent design and religion.

    World Magazine states that it is “committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God” – this seems to imply that the magazine supports creationism (probably Young Earth Creationism – anybody know?) as opposed to science.

    The real issue here is does this award increase the acceptance of intelligent design in the science community, and in the larger community of fence-sitters? I argue that it does not, and it is therefore inappropriate to celebrate the award here, as it gives further aid and comfort to the enemies of intelligent design.

  15. PaulBurnett: Does this award illustrate that there is no connection between intelligent design and religion?

    The modern I.D. movement was founded on the shoulders of secularist Francis Crick, whose co-discovery of the genetic code was immediately recognized as the product of intelligence. This led to Crick’s belief that Earthly life was intelligently designed by advanced extraterrestrials and then “seeded” on our planet. These views were revealed in his book Life Itself. More on Crick’s founding of Intelligent Design can be read about here.

    Crick may have rejected I.D. prior to his death, but that’s certainly due to non-scientific, political and philosophical reasons (as all reasons for rejecting I.D. seem to be). The undeniable facts remain as plain as day: Crick’s discovery of the genetic code is what ignited the I.D. revolution, which was further sparked by his own belief in alien’s intelligently designing life.

    This proves that I.D. theory is in no way religious in nature, but entirely secular. It may be attractive to believers (and conversely unattractive to non-believers), sure, but the method behind the design inference is entirely scientific (further verified with S.E.T.I.) and thus must be dealt with accordingly. In other words, screaming “religion!” whenever or wherever I.D. is mentioned will get you nowhere in refuting it. Instead I’d suggest that you start working on legitimate refutations, because it continues to grow in public acceptance, and I.Dists like Stephen C. Meyer and Jonathan Wells continue to humiliate Darwinists in debates across the country.

  16. “ShawnBoy” (#15) wrote: “The modern I.D. movement was founded on the shoulders of secularist Francis Crick, whose co-discovery of the genetic code was immediately recognized as the product of intelligence.

    Crick was hardly a believer in ID – he proposed a hypothesis that life on earth was seeded by space aliens (“panspermia”). While this is technically a sub-set of ID, it is not ID and it simply begs the question of who intelligently designed the space aliens.

    It has been suggested by some observers that Crick’s speculation about panspermia “fits neatly into the intelligent design concept.” Crick’s name was raised in this context in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial over the teaching of intelligent design. Crick was, however, a firm critic of Young earth creationism. In the 1987 United States Supreme Court case Edwards v. Aguillard, Crick joined a group of other Nobel laureates who advised that, “‘Creation-science’ simply has no place in the public-school science classroom.” Crick was also an advocate for the establishment of Darwin Day as a British national holiday.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Crick

    “ShawnBoy wrote: “Crick’s discovery of the genetic code is what ignited the I.D. revolution…

    That’s absurd – Crick is not even mentioned in the “Wedge Document,” and Phillip Johnson certainly had nothing good to say about Crick – see, for instance, http://www.slate.com/id/33241/entry/33326/

    Here’s a couple of quotes from Crick – see if you think they support ID: “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” – from What Mad Pursuit, 1988 – and “One of the most frightening things in the Western world, and in this country in particular, is the number of people who believe in things that are scientifically false. If someone tells me that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, in my opinion he should see a psychiatrist.”

  17. Thanks very much for the post on Crick, ShawnBoy. By the way, the link to the article you cited is here:

    http://www.cross-currents.com/.....na-and-id/

    (Your link had a ‘%20′ in it.)

    PaulBurnett:

    Opposing creation science and recommending that its adherents should see a shrink is perfectly compatible with being an ID proponent. Do the words “big tent” mean nothing to you?

    You rightly point out that ascribing the origin of life on Earth to aliens begs the question of who designed the aliens. Nevertheless, even if there were no other options on the table except for (i) undirected natural terrestrial processes and (ii) aliens, it would still be rational to choose (ii), in the following circumstances:

    (a) scientists were broadly familiar with the entire range of undirected physical and chemical processes that take place on Earth and in the vicinity of Earth (e.g. meteorite impacts);

    (b) there were no good reasons to believe that physical and chemical processes taking place on and in the vicinity of the early Earth were fundamentally different from what they are now;

    (c) among these physical and chemical processes, scientists could identify and enumerate the ones that were most likely to have generated terrestrial life, if any of them did;

    (d) computer modeling showed that these “best candidate” processes were woefully inadequate for generating anything as complex as a DNA molecule, RNA molecule or functional protein, during the time available (the 600 million years between the cooling of Earth’s crust and the appearance of the first known life); and

    (e) there were no good reasons to suspect that there was anything fundamentally wrong with the computer models.

    If these conditions were met (as I would argue they have been), then it would be perfectly rational for a scientist to say:

    “According to our best models, no undirected physical or chemical process occurring on Earth is anywhere near capable of generating complex structures that contain digital coding, such as are found in all life-forms on Earth. However, we do know that intelligent agents (such as ourselves) are capable of generating these structures, by virtue of their intelligence. Intelligence is not a planet-specific quality: we can easily suppose that it might be found elsewhere in the universe. I therefore propose that extraterrestrial intelligent agents must have created life on Earth, four billion years ago. Of course, we have no idea how, when and where these extraterrestrials originated, but we don’t have to figure that out right now. For the time being, let’s put those problems in the ‘too hard’ basket and come back to them in a few centuries, when we have more data. In any case, for those of you who still have qualms, there’s nothing to rule out the possibility that in some other corner of the universe, natural conditions might have been more favorable for the spontaneous generation of life than they were on the early Earth. What I’m saying is this: in the light of what we now know, the alien hypothesis makes a lot more scientific sense than the hypothesis of abiogenesis having occurred on or in the vicinity of the early Earth.”

  18. 18

    Paul,

    It’s just as well; retreat suits you.

    Cowardism (retreat with an quick ad hominem to boot) suits you even more.

  19. “Upright BiPed” wrote: “Paul, It’s just as well; retreat suits you. Cowardism (retreat with an quick ad hominem to boot) suits you even more.

    A charge of “cowardism” from somebody who doesn’t even use his real name here? A pointless insult is the best you can do? No refutation of anything I wrote? Come now, you can surely do better than that…or do you agree that my last few comments were not religiously motivated? (Because they weren’t.)

  20. It should be noted that there are some of us (such as Antony Flew and yours truly) who changed their minds regarding atheism/materialism, based on what we perceive to be compelling evidence of design in the cosmos and living things.

    In my case I went one step further than Flew and became a Christian, based on what I perceived to be an accurate depiction of the human condition as elucidated by Judeo-Christian theology (i.e., made in the image of God but in a fallen state, with no hope of rescuing ourselves in our own strength). I saw this condition in myself after some brutally honest introspection, and I saw it in history. All attempts at creating utopia through philosophies and political systems that deny the obvious, inherent fallen state of humanity have resulted in hell on earth.

    There was another major factor, of course, but that is another story.

  21. —Paul Burnett: “Does this award illustrate that there is no connection between intelligent design and religion?”

    Does your question illustrate that you have not yet learned the difference between a scientist’s world view or the world view of some of his supporters, as opposed to the methodology by which he draws his scientific conclusions?

  22. Paul, the core of virtually all your comments on UD are religious in nature, and are often rather disconnected – much like the one on this thread: “Does this award illustrate that there is no connection between intelligent design and religion?”

    You then ignore the opportunity to debate down an ID proponent, while you hide behind a rather conspicuous Gish ad hom.

    The question remains: why do you make nothing but religious comments when its the non-religious observable evidence which challenges your priori?

    It seems like you would just give us the ubiquitous mechanical link between cAMP and glucose so those pesky evidentiary claims could be put to bed.

  23. Hello PaulBurnett,
    Hope stephenB(21) clarified the issue.

  24. Gil Dodgen @20:
    Your comment might not be strictly on topic, but I found it deeply moving.

  25. just as Darwinism is friendly to atheism.

    Darwinism, as in “The Scientific Theory of Evolution” says nothing about, and is not – just as ALL science for obvious reasons – is not in a position to say anything pro or con the existence of God.

    OTOH most if not all supporters of ID also embrace a book religion. Even the high priests of ID like Dembski or Behe hide their belief that the designer is God. ID has long since been unmasked as a proxy for God. Why am I unable to see the difference between ID and ‘goddidit’? If there’s a difference, please enlighten me.

  26. Cabal:

    Darwinism, as in “The Scientific Theory of Evolution” says nothing about, and is not – just as ALL science for obvious reasons – is not in a position to say anything pro or con the existence of God.

    I’m confused. Many interpret their Bible to declare that humanity, even the earth, universe and everything, was created in 6 days about 5,000 years ago. How can you suggest that science makes no comment about this? If you are saying that one’s definition of God is flexible enough that no matter what science finds, there’s still a dark corner of the universe somewhere where a “god” might be hiding, well, you’re right. However, if one puts any sort of concrete characteristics upon his definition of god, then science suddenly does speak to it. After all, if science speaks to the existance of a God who created everything in 6 days 5,000 years ago, then science must speak to all other pre-estabished characteristics of god.

  27. Cabal,

    “If there’s a difference, please enlighten me.”

    The difference is that Darwinism (as practiced at academy) removes a cause known to exist in the natural world. Let me say that again in case I wrote it too fast for you: IT REMOVES A CAUSE KNOWN TO EXISTS IN THE NATURAL WORLD. It removes this cause as a matter of ideological priori, and it removes it prior to observation of the evidence (and even in spite of it).

    ID on the other hand, does not remove any cause as a matter of priori. All known causes are up for consideration based upon their explanatory value in relation to the observable evidence.

    “Why am I unable to see the difference between ID and ‘goddidit’?”

    Because you come here as a close-minded ideologue exercising your God complex with the “what I should think and say” plug-ins provided by those who trained you.

    In other words, its a choice.

  28. Upright BiPed:

    The difference is that Darwinism (as practiced at academy) removes a cause known to exist in the natural world. Let me say that again in case I wrote it too fast for you: IT REMOVES A CAUSE KNOWN TO EXISTS IN THE NATURAL WORLD.

    I don’t get it — what cause is that? Design by humans?

  29. 29

    lrynaB,

    The cause is not design; design is not a cause.

    The causes known to operate in the natural world are chance, law, and agency.

    Humans have nothing to do with it.

  30. Upright BiPed, thank you, I think I see what you mean now. You’re saying that Darwinism removes agency as a cause known to exist in the natural world.

    Is it really a done deal that all causes can be classified as either law, chance or agency? Or perhaps some mixture of the three? If I make a cup of tea, what are the causes of the cup of tea?

    But I digress. To get back to your claim: I don’t agree with you that Darwinism doesn’t allow for agency. Didn’t Darwin himself introduce the theory of sexual selection? According to this idea, it’s the agency (mate choice) of females (such as myself) that determine the evolution of certain male traits. Wouldn’t you say that’s an example of agency in Darwinism?

  31. Upright Biped:

    IT REMOVES A CAUSE KNOWN TO EXISTS IN THE NATURAL WORLD.

    If by agency you mean libertarian free will, to whom is it “known to exist in the natural world,” or even known to be a coherent concept?

    And if you don’t mean libertarian free will, then I don’t see how it makes sense to trichotomize chance, law, and agency.

  32. 32

    lyrnaB,

    Are you really suggesting that Darwinism does in fact allow for agency operating in nature, and that this revelation is evidenced by the fact that differing sexes choose mates?

    Please allow me to repeat myself and perhaps be more clear in doing so. Darwinism is code for ideological materialism – meaning no agency allowed, period. This is not a poorly known subject of conversation, so I would hate to assume you only posted your comments as a means to argue over something that is not even in question.

    As I clearly stated: “Darwinism (as practiced at academy)”.

    My apologies if I confused you.

    Perhaps you want instead to argue that we can infer agency whenever we know the agent in advance? I would then wonder; do we not draw our inferences directly from the object of interest itself, or is it that we must (by the light of some testable assumption) defer to certain conclusions?

  33. IrynaB: I don’t agree with you that Darwinism doesn’t allow for agency. Didn’t Darwin himself introduce the theory of sexual selection? According to this idea, it’s the agency (mate choice) of females (such as myself) that determine the evolution of certain male traits. Wouldn’t you say that’s an example of agency in Darwinism?

    Upright BiPed: Please allow me to repeat myself and perhaps be more clear in doing so. Darwinism is code for ideological materialism – meaning no agency allowed, period.

    So apparently Charles Darwin was not a Darwinist (nor are most biologists at the “academy”).

  34. Geeez.

    There is truly no point of intellectual dishonesty to which materialist ideologues will not go in order to support their worldview. Shell games and child-like twists of logic are heartily included.

    But now I see … agency has been fully re-inserted into the causal chain of the natural world – after all, Sally likes strawberry ice cream, and Billy likes Suzie.

  35. To IrynaB: When Upright Biped refers to ‘agency’, its a code word for God.

  36. Upright BiPed, perhaps you could give your definition of agency?

  37. Steve is on of my academic heroes. While no man is good- as I believe in Christ’s own words- Meyer is certainly to me one of the best minds that I have read. He deserves his props, honor and respect for the nasty tides of war that he has been fighting through for years.

  38. 38

    Graham,

    When Upright Biped refers to ‘agency’, its a code word for God.

    To say ‘there is a God’ is a metaphysical assumption. It is meta-physical because it is above and beyond what is physically available to us. There is no physical test for that which is not physical. To say ‘there is not’ a God is a metaphysical assumption as well. The reason is the same – there is no physical test for that which is not physical. It again, is just another metaphysical assumption.

    Do you have the capacity to understand this concept? It is, after all, not that hard to understand. If one cannot physically test the existence of something, then to say ‘it is there’ or ‘it is not there’ stems from the same physical test – there isn’t one.

    This is why ID does not make such a conclusion, Graham. The conclusion is not appropriate to science, or to scientific investigation. Again, is this simple concept beyond your level of comprehension? There is no physical test that can say there is or is not a God. So ‘Yes God’ or ‘No God’ is a question that can be safely left out of the conversation since (to all rational thinking people) it is understood that there is no physical test to answer the question either way.

    You are welcome to have your un-tested (and un-testable) metaphysical assumptions about the answer, as is everyone else.

    That however does not mean that we must then assign to chance and law those physical observations that are clearly beyond what chance and physical law can accomplish by any observation within our uniform experience of chance and law. To do so would end in twisted logic that states the following:

    Chance and physical law cannot account for X, therefore chance and physical law are the source of X

    That level of thinking may suit you, as it apparently does, but there is nothing that requires anyone else to consider it valid.

  39. 39

    lyrna,

    I find it hard to believe that you are stymied by the words, contexts, and phrases used in this conversation.

    The Popperian in me might guess that you are an old hound at this game.

  40. To Upright Biped: I’ll leave the God stuff to you.

    Regarding your list: chance, law, and agency, I dont think Science rejects the supernatural, as it simply ignores it because it is unproductive. It leads to exactly the same place ID is in after 10+ years in the business: nowhere.

    However, you seem to have left off the most interesting and productive cause of all: variation + selection. Or did you omit it as as a matter of priori ?

    And Im writing this real sloooow.

  41. 41

    Graham,

    To Upright Biped: I’ll leave the God stuff to you.

    Really?

    Look back at my posts on this thread and find where I posted anything about a God prior to your comment addressing the topic to me. It’s a short thread, it shouldn’t be too much to ask you to cut and paste my comments.

    Didn’t find any? Now look through your comments, and tell me again how you’ll leave that topic up to me.

    Regarding your list: chance, law, and agency, I dont think Science rejects the supernatural

    Let me parse this apart…

    “Regarding (my) list: chance, law, and agency…”

    You want to make a comment about something not on the list? Then may I suggest at this point it simply becomes your list instead?

    …(science) simply ignores it

    Yes, science ignores the supernatural…that is why there are so many books on the subject written by scientist and science writers. It’s the same issue with the internet; its full of science blogs ignoring it too. They’re doing the same thing at their national association. They are strenuously ignoring all the time.

    As Berlinski once suggested, it’s what Freud referred to as “the return of the repressed”

    What would be a nice change is if science would indeed ignore the supernatural – or should I say, if science would stop enforcing its assumptions on the subject for the reasons I’ve already given – and simply returned to the observable evidence without prior demands on what the evidence can and cannot be allowed to say. That is what ID is attempting to do.

    It leads to exactly the same place ID is in after 10+ years in the business: nowhere.

    Perhaps you noticed Amazon’s Top Ten books for 2009 in the Science category.

    However, you seem to have left off the most interesting and productive cause of all: variation + selection. Or did you omit it as a matter of priori ?

    You may be new to these issues, so let me simply remind you that “variation + selection” is subsumed by “chance” and “law”. I wasn’t required to mention it separately because it was already included.

    And Im writing this real sloooow.

    Good. Now try thinking before you start.

    - – - – - – -

    Graham, let us cut to the chase…

    Is there a ubiquitous physical connection between cAMP and glucose, or not?

  42. Upright BiPed,

    I’m what you might call a young bitch at this game, so please do me a favor and tell me what ‘agency’ means to you in this conversation.

    I consider all organisms as ‘agents’, so to me they are all players on the Darwinist stage.

  43. 43

    lryna,
    I consider all living things to be agents as well, but that has nothing to do with limiting what the observable evidence can and cannot be allowed to say.

    Does the “Darwinist stage” have to have empirical evidence behind its conclusions? And what if the central overarching conclusion demands that material is all that there is?

    How would we test that? And what do we do with the evidence to the contrary?

  44. Has Meyer addressed the critical review posted on the blog of Biochemistry Professor (and Christian) Benjamin McFarland from Seattle Pacific University:

    http://arrowthroughthesun.blog.....-cell.html

    Much of it was over my head. Any biochemists here or others with thoughts?

  45. siis,

    You had asked for comments on the review of Stephen Meyer’s book posted at the blog of Prof Ben McFarland (Seattle Pacific University)

    I posted my comments there, but who knows if they’ll see the light of day.

    - – - – - –

    Ben,

    I enjoyed your review of Signature in the Cell. After such a dramatic open – where you go out of your way to show how intellectually disposed you are to the idea – I was anticipating a real challenge to the evidence.

    Unfortunately, you didn’t give one.

    In fact, I read your review as rather manufactured and petty. I also found it somewhat interesting that you posted a 2000-word review, but spent well over 850 of those words setting up how open-minded you are, talking about yourself, and complaining that the author didn’t get to the point.

    What was left of your critique seems trivial. It’s as if there was a need to be as uncharitable as possible in order to make up for the lack of anything resembling a real critique. For instance, on page 248 of the book the author writes “the discovery of 17 variant genetic codes” and then goes on to make the point that this offers rather conclusive evidence that there is not just a single set of codon-amino acid assignments. This conclusion flows directly from the evidence itself. But you return with “These are alternate codes that are exceptions that prove the rule: there is really one code and everything else is a slight variant of it, at most.”

    I noted your use of the word “variant” as a descriptive term, and then noticed Dr. Meyer’s use of the word “variant” as the same descriptive term. I was left wondering what the big issue was.
    You are of course welcome to characterize them as “alternate codes” if you wish (and I doubt anyone including Dr Meyer would disagree). Yet, it is these small potatoes you described as the author making “frequent distortions of the biochemical facts”. It truly makes one wonder who is offering up the distortions.

    In another of your bullet points you write “Later you claim that DNA is information-neutral” and then you immediately agree with him on that claim. Then you write “But then you claim that because of this there can be no bias toward information” and then once again you immediately agree with him. Then the very next thing you do is deride him for the comments you just agreed with, and label it “tunnel vision on DNA”. This is another example of rather poor form on your part, and it characterizes most of what you had to say.

    In yet another bullet point you say “The claims that nucleotides are hard to assemble are outdated in one fell swoop by the recent paper”. This is another comment of poor value. The group that synthesized an RNA molecule succeeded only after more than a decade of trying, and succeeded only by means of significant experimenter intervention at repeated steps along the process. Seeming to perhaps appreciate the issues better than you, Robert Shapiro (professor emeritus of chemistry at NYU) commented that “Although as an exercise in chemistry this represents some very elegant work, this has nothing to do with the origin of life on Earth whatsoever”. He went on to say “The chances that blind, undirected, inanimate chemistry would go out of its way in multiple steps and use of reagents in just the right sequence to form RNA is highly unlikely”.

    Finally, in your closing remarks regarding Douglas Axe’s work you start by complaining “I’m still a little annoyed that Axe spoke at the recent ASA meeting but no audio was posted for his talk. Do you want scientists like me to believe your work or not?”

    Once again, the pettiness comes through loud and clear, and one has to remind themselves that this is supposedly a book review – about a book.

    You go on to say that Axe’s work is fine on its own merit, and then say “You’re arguing that a protein must be 150 residues long and made only of amino acids to work. I agree, that’s improbable that something like that would just come together”. But then you demand that Dr. Meyer should have explored the possibilities that metals could have played in the origin of life. You write “All Axe has proven is that proteins alone are unlikely to have been a beginning. But metals are better at chemistry and they could have been the starting point. There is no mention of this possibility anywhere in the 600 pages”

    I am wondering why you feel it was incumbent on Dr Meyer to go off into pure conjecture and speculation about metals. I am certain he already had a thesis to put forward and was doing so.

    And as a final dig at the author you say “Look, I want to believe, but you have to help my unbelief by demonstrating something, not by just taking the most difficult thing we can find, saying it’s unexplained, and saying “now you have to believe what I say.” No, actually, I don’t.”

    This of course, is not just silly; it’s intellectually pathetic as well. First and foremost, there is not a single moment in the book that Dr Meyer says anything even close to resembling what you’ve ascribed to him. The quote you make doesn’t exist, you simply made it up. Not only does the comment not exist, but Dr Meyer went out of his way to say nothing like that, and in fact directly addressed your assertion on virtually every page of the book.

    One might wonder…for someone who tries so hard to let it be known he wants to “believe”, what drove you to such low-brow means to show that you don’t.

    It comes off looking a lot more like a simple refusal than anything else.

  46. I also found it somewhat interesting that you posted a 2000-word review, but spent well over 850 of those words setting up how open-minded you are, talking about yourself, and complaining that the author didn’t get to the point.

    LOL!

  47. But then you demand that Dr. Meyer should have explored the possibilities that metals could have played in the origin of life. You write “All Axe has proven is that proteins alone are unlikely to have been a beginning. But metals are better at chemistry and they could have been the starting point.

    Metals are better at chemistry that what? Chemists? Biochemists? Non-metals?

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