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Two Books in the Pipeline

The following two books are complete and will be out early next year:

ID UncensoredEvidence for God

The first is coming out with InterVarsity, the second with Baker. They’ll serve as a nice counterblast to the theistic evolutionism promoted by Denis Alexander, Karl Giberson, Francis Collins, and others.

P.S. Barbara Forrest in her book against ID complains that I publish too many books. Deal with it Barbara — they sell well and they get read, especially in the Christian community. In any case, Barbara, please make sure to cite these two in your next edition.

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30 Responses to Two Books in the Pipeline

  1. Keep ‘em coming! Your resources are incalculably useful.

  2. I’m in the IV book club. Maybe they’ll feature your book. Looks good. I’ve read the Giberson’s book and was not impressed and meant to read Collins’. I’m actually open to their arguments, but I hope Collins did better than Giberson, who I thought did very little to make his case.

    Needless to say, I want to see both sides — and while I’m familiar with (and agree) with a lot of ID arguments, I’d like to see some direct responses to what TE proponents argue — especially in how they present ID.

  3. I just read Collins’ Language of God earlier this week. Lame. There is very little meat in it.

    Cambrian Explosion – “Evolution is true. The fossil record doesn’t show what it should. Therefore the fossil record is incomplete.”

    Abiogenesis – “The evidence doesn’t support it but we should not posit design because science could fill in the gaps later. This is not a place to ‘wager our faith’.”

    Common Descent – “Is true and here’s some evidence followed by laughable argumentation on most of it.”

    Random Mutation – “I don’t want to explain what this means to my laymen Christian audience but rest assured it is compatible with Christianity.”

    Natural Selection – “I don’t want to explain what this means to my laymen Christian audience but rest assured it is compatible with Christianity.”

    DNA – “DNA is the Language of God because it is, even though He didn’t make it.”

    Seriously, this last should be the thesis of the book but takes less than two pages. After reading Signature in the Cell it was greatly disappointing.

    Creation Science – “They are wrong and if we accept they are right it would destroy science.”

    Intelligent Design – “Should be considered seriously but irreducible complexity has been refuted, therefore intelligent design is heading to the bottom of the ocean.”

    Theistic Evolution – “This view has been unsuccessful in spreading to the public because it doesn’t have a snazzy name. Therefore it should be renamed BioLogos.”

    Thesis of the book – “All this argument and bad reasoning by Christians is hurting our witness to atheists. Therefore everyone should stop fighting and predicting disaster if the other side wins (unless the side is the aforementioned creationism) and just agree with me to make the world a happy and harmonious place.”

    That’s a pretty good summary. You probably don’t even have to read it now.

  4. Oh I almost forgot.

    Probabilities – “Life is highly improbable but that doesn’t matter because God is outside of time and picked the unspecified entity from an unspecified random set that randomly gave rise to life.”

    Correction to Theistic Evolution entry:

    “This view is correct but has been unsuccessful in spreading to the public because it doesn’t have a snazzy name. Therefore it should be renamed BioLogos and you should believe it because I headed the Human Genome Project, the greatest scientific accomplish in our time and maybe ever.”

  5. lol, I’m bored so here’s some more.

    Fine-tuning – “Several constants are fine-tuned. Some marksmen shot a target. Therefore God made the universe and this is one of only two arguments for His existence besides Jesus.”

    C.S. Lewis – “Is awesome and the reason I converted to Christianity. I know Christians revere his opinion and he believed in evolution. He also came up with the Moral Law argument which is the only other good argument for God’s existence besides Jesus.”

    Genesis – “The Hebrew word yom does not necessarily mean a literal 24-hour day. None of the early Christians interpreted the Genesis creation story literally because St. Augustine wasn’t sure if it should be. The literal interpretation of Genesis was invented less than a hundred years ago. Bishop Ussher calculated the date of creation. And, oh yeah, the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 are incompatible because in Genesis 2 God formed Adam from the dust of the earth but Genesis 1 says he created plants before that. So…there wouldn’t have been any dust…lying around…”

  6. It seems Forrest publishes so little in academic journals that she consider 5 articles on a subject a lot. But when you’ve published over 80 articles, five’s less than a year’s work.

    I’ve never been a gossip columnist, so I can’t relate to where Forrest is coming from.

  7. Dr. Dembski tells us Intelligent Design Uncensored is from “InterVarsity,” whose website ( http://www.ivpress.com/ ) states “InterVarsity Press is a Christian publishing company dedicated to serving the university, the church and the world.” This seems like a peculiar publisher to choose for a book about a purportedly scientific topic that claims to have no connection with religion.

  8. I thought all anti-evolution sentiment was being stifled by the all-pervasive Darwinist cabal. How did these two books slip past the censorship?

  9. 9

    Seversky,

    How have any anti-evolution books slipped past the censorhip?

    It’s called independent publishing, based on free speech.

    How do evolution articles slip past the peer review censorhip of scientific journals?

    It’s called conformity to orthodoxy.

  10. 10

    Dr. Dembski,

    Your ‘ID: Uncensored’ book appears to have a cover similar to the cover of the ‘expelled’ video (minus the sneakers, shorts and a tie). Was this intentional, and if so, is there a connection?

    Also, I recognize Dr. Licona from a book he coauthored with Gary Habermas entitled “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus.”

    I haven’t (yet)read any of your theological books, so I’m curious as to how close to Dr. Habermas’ and Dr. Licona’s theology are your own views.

  11. Mr/Ms Mishap: Since it would be impossible for the fossil record to BE complete you have to ask which models/hypotheses the fossil record upholds. Now, it may be that the fossil record does not contradict evolution or ID but I’m not sure what the ID hypothesis really is. That some things are better explained by the intervention of an intelligent designer . . . . okay . . . which things? When? Specifically. Which gap in the fossil record are you picking? Narrow it down, don’t just say the whole Cambrian explosion. And after you’ve done that you still have to ask: is this a gap simply because we haven’t found something to fill it OR that it represents an intervention by an undefined, untraceable, unknowable intelligent designer? And I would ask what was the designer doing during the times when we have lots of transitional fossils but that’s just me. :-)

    I guess I personally just can’t make the leap from assuming that a gap is a gap as opposed to positive evidence for something. Does that make sense?

  12. they sell well and they get read, especially in the Christian community

  13. ellazium,

    The Cambrian presents nothing less than a falsification of the gradualist paradigm. Gould did not write a book about punctuated equilibrium because the fossil record was in a happy accord with the claims being made. In fact, he referred to it as the “trade secret” of paleontology. These are simple clues; accessible to anyone.

    If it is positive evidence you seek, perhaps you should simply begin with the observable fact that there are no chemical or physical bonds along the linear axis of DNA (where the information is) that cause any one nucleotide to be followed by any other nucleotide. In fact, as far as the laws of the universe are concerned, DNA does even have to exist at all. The sequencing of chemical symbols that represent the information which creates living tissue is not itself reducible to mechanical explanation. This is not even in dispute, and is already a part of the scientific literature:

    Polanyi said as much in 1968 ((Science 160 3834).

    Abel then repeated the data in 2005. He honed onto the concept of “selection at the level of information” and challenged the scientific community to (at a very minimum) verify their grand assumptions (Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling 2005, 2:29).

    And then again in 2009 (International Journal of Molecular Science 2009, 10(1), 247-291).

    The response to this intractable evidence from the materialist camp has been nothing short of special pleading. We are now to believe in anything.

    Consider spending some time reflecting on the evidence, instead of the argument.

  14. Ellazim,

    Why are you assuming ID believes in the ‘intervention‘ of an intelligent agent?

    Rather, intelligence is embedded in nature. There is never any intervening. Science will inevitably discover organic systems are the result of the interface of different dimensions ( hint: quarks do not exist then not exist, but jump from one dimension into another).

    Science, if it is to carry on into future generations, needs to figure out how to detect and deal with these unseen dimensions.

    To be sure, at the edge of science is theology. It would be a smart and wise move to start sooner then later to make nice with Bill and friends.

    “That some things are better explained by the intervention of an intelligent designer . . . .”

  15. ellazimm

    First of all, it doesn’t matter what I believe, it’s a horrible argument. ID says that design in nature can be detected. Period. Don’t place burdens on it which don’t apply. Science is not guaranteed to come up with some overarching, theory of everything, meta-narrative of life, the universe and everything. Deal with it in your own way. The story shaped hole in your heart can be filled by reading some Harry Potter books. Try them out I hear they are really good.

  16. Mr/Ms BiPed: Why isn’t the sequence reducible to mechanical explanation? The reproducing sequences which were better at reproducing created more “offspring” and mistakes were occasionally made. Many of the mistakes were fatal, some were neutral (the genetic code having some redundancy), and some were beneficial. I guess it just seems plausible to me. :-)

    Mr/Ms Oramus: I guess I don’t understand; how is intelligence imbedded in nature? If the intelligent designer didn’t intervene then how did irreducibly complex systems arise in a step-wise fashion? I am so confused! I’m just trying to find out what people’s thoughts are. I hope I’m not offending anyone.

    Mr/Ms mishap: I know that’s what ID says but isn’t it in the nature of science to ask questions, wonder why, wonder how, speculate, develop hypotheses, check them out. That’s where ID explanatory power will come to the fore . . . .yeah? I don’t expect to get everything answered but I like to ask and find out what we can discover. :-)

  17. tragic mishap,

    Your “review” certainly didn’t make me want to stay away from Collins’ book, but instead makes me want it to speak for itself. Both the tone & substance of your criticisms leave me unconvinced.

    I think the first thing we need to do (and this is both sides of the debate TE & ID) is find some civility. We are, after all, brothers and sisters in Christ. I think too, those of us who consider ourselves IDers and Christians need to listen to the TE Christians and find out why they believe what they believe. I can tell you, from the little I’ve read/heard of Collins and what I’ve heard from people like Giberson is that this is NOT just a scientific debate. In fact, I believe Collins’ big fear is that ID is bad for the faith. Why? Because he thinks if the arguments get discredited in the future that it will damage some people’s faith in God. I think this is a valid concern, though I disagree that we need to then try to promote a theology that is more naturalistic (at least in appearance).

    But Tragic, the thing that I most disagreed with was actually some of your specific points:

    Random Mutation – I don’t know of anyone who disagrees that RM is true.

    Natural Selection – I don’t know of anyone who disagrees that NS is true. The ID argument isn’t whether RM and/or NS is true, but whether together they are able to produce the kind of complex systems we see today.

    DNA – Collins certainly thinks God created DNA — it’s about method. He either doesn’t believe God created it directly (instead it was done through nature because of God’s fine tuning) or His hand is undetectable. I disagree with him, but at least present his argument better.

    And some of your other summaries/criticism were just confusing to me.

    I’m not a YEC and I don’t believe Genesis 1 should be read literally. I’m an Evangelical and I think I’m in very good company in that regard (old Earth and allowing for non-literal Genesis 1 readings).

  18. dodgingcars,

    He either doesn’t believe God created it directly (instead it was done through nature because of God’s fine tuning) or His hand is undetectable.

    He doesn’t say either of these things. He really makes no argument at all about the origin of DNA directly. When he calls it the language of God it’s an offhand remark in the middle of the story about the Human Genome Project. I apologize if this doesn’t sound civil. It was merely meant to be satirical. I encourage you to read the book. I think you’ll find I’m not really exaggerating that much. I’m sure Collins’ actual beliefs are more sophisticated than what he put down in the book. At least I’d hope they are.

    ellazimm,

    Sure go ahead and ask questions. Fine with me. Just realize that there are some questions that ID is not claiming to answer. Just like there are some questions which Darwinian evolution does not claim to answer, like the origin of life. I could go on.

  19. Random Mutation – I don’t know of anyone who disagrees that RM is true.

    Natural Selection – I don’t know of anyone who disagrees that NS is true. The ID argument isn’t whether RM and/or NS is true, but whether together they are able to produce the kind of complex systems we see today.

    I really don’t understand what you are saying here. Did I anywhere claim that these concepts are false? Please read my post again, this time paying attention to the words that I wrote.

  20. —-dodging cars to tragic mishap: “Your “review” certainly didn’t make me want to stay away from Collins’ book, but instead makes me want it to speak for itself. Both the tone & substance of your criticisms leave me unconvinced.”

    Actually, tragic mishap did a pretty good job of summarizing Collins’ confusion without going over the edge. On the one hand, Collins titles his book, “The language of God,” and, on the cover, displays a likeness of a DNA molecule, a clear symbolic statement implying that God was trying to communicate about his creation through design and that God’s language can be interpreted as a message by the scientist. On the other hand, he devotes the contents of his book to the opposite theme, namely that God did was not trying to communicate about his creation through design and that God’s “language” is an illusion that cannot be interpreted as a message at all. What exactly does Collins think that language is for if not to communicate a message? By using that word and that symbol, he shows that he is either being disingenuous or is hopelessly confused.

  21. Tragic Mishap: I quite like that actually! :-)

    I completely agree: there are some thing evolution doesn’t try to answer although other “materialist” scientists are trying to find plausible explanations. Is anyone in the ID camp trying to find plausible explanations for the who, when and how questions? ‘Cause I think they are really, really interesting and put the whole endeavour into a much more interesting light! I would love to have a discussion about those issues regarding the potential intelligent designers. When did (t)he(y) intervene? How? Why only sometimes? To me this is the best part of the ID paradigm. The really interesting part. And I’m not even asking “why”. :-)

    Again, I am really, really NOT trying to offend or catch anyone out; I just really want to know what people are thinking. I’m trying my best to be honest and civil and interested. :-)

  22. I think of it like archaeology. When I go on a dig I am desperately trying to distinguish design . . . that’s part of the reason for doing it! But that’s the first step towards drawing conclusions about the designers. We excavate in order to draw conclusions about the “designers”. There wouldn’t be much point otherwise. If you just held up an artifact and said: someone made this the whole archaeological world would say: Who? When? How? Why?

    Archaeology is all about the designers. Isn’t ID all about the designer(s) too? Or, at least, aren’t you interested? I am.

  23. ellazim,

    DNA is not chemically ordered. Instead, it is a symbol-system of encoded information where one thing represents another thing without having a mechanical/physical/chemical coordination between them.

    There are no chemical or physical bonds along the linear axis of DNA (where the information is) that causes any one nucleotide to be followed by any other nucleotide. Each node along the DNA chain (where the nucleotides are attached to the backbone of the helix) has an equi-probable chance for any of the four nucleotides to bond.

    The sequencing in DNA is chemo-dynamically inert. As far as the laws of the universe are concerned, DNA doesn’t even have to exist at all – yet it does exist – with no laws or physical properties to explain its sequence.

    I provided you with three links to peer-reviewed research on the issue. Perhaps you could read them.

  24. Upright BiPed,
    Thanks for posting this link/author (David L. Abel). Took me over an hour to read while working but well worth it.

    Ellazim,
    Archaeologists benefit from Historians as Medical Examiners benefit from Detectives to answer the Who? When? How? Why? questions.

    For the IDist, at the moment, while these are interesting, they are not the primary objective. Not to say they will not be explored.

    Because “physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration” to quote the above theoretical biologist, others like Philosophers of Mind (who in my opinion should carry more clout in these debates) can provide great insights into these questions.

  25. Upright: I am not disagreeing with you that DNA is unnecessary or improbable . . . and I will read your references; I will be focusing on why a self replicating system with duplication errors and a natural external selection criteria couldn’t develop into the system we now see. Thanks! It’s nice to have you take the time to answer and I appreciate it. It seems like we disagree on when “meaning” came into the system. Maybe. This is why I like Uncommon Descent; it gives me the chance to find out and discuss these points. Thank you very much!

    Absolutist: I guess I was granting ID it’s primary objective and asking . . . . what then? So many commentators here take ID as established so I assumed that there would be speculation and work past that. Because, it must be the case, with the kind of inquisitive minds I see exhibited here that lots and lots of people must be asking: When? Where? How? And maybe, just maybe, why. That’s not so bad is it? It sounds close to what some evolutionary psychologists do. And if they can then . . . why not? Why not guess, speculate, hypothesize, test, experiment, etc.

    If this is not the forum to discuss those things then I do apologise. But I would really, really like to know where are the people who are asking those questions in the ID camp. And what are they doing to examine those questions. ‘Cause that’s gotta be the goal. That’s gotta be the most important issue to pursue. Who is the intelligent designer? I would really like to know that!! How do I get to that?

  26. ellazimm,

    “Upright: I am not disagreeing with you that DNA is unnecessary or improbable . . .”

    I do believe we have failed to communicate. Perhaps the papers I linked to will perform better than I apparently have.

  27. ellazimm,

    Oh ok.

    Of course I’m interested in who the designer is. It’s an interesting question at a personal level. Anyway you would have to ask individual ID theorists what they think on those issues because there’s a plurality of viewpoints. I myself am a boring, run-of-the-mill YEC, so that’s probably not what you are looking for.

  28. Upright: I’ll read the articles, thanks!

    Tragic: I don’t think that’s boring at all! Thanks! :-) Do you ever think about how God brought everything about or does that even make sense? I’m not sure it does! :-) I am terrible though, I keep wondering where all the energy and matter came from but I can’t quite get my head around the Big Bang either.

  29. 29

    ellazimm,

    “I am terrible though, I keep wondering where all the energy and matter came from but I can’t quite get my head around the Big Bang either.”

    I think these are the questions we all have trouble with. I used to have discussions with atheists in communities on AOL and elsewhere – long before I became aware of the ID theory, and these issues came up frequently. To ask what was present ‘before’ the big bang seems to be unrealistic if the big bang is the starting point for matter, motion and energy – and the big one, time.

    All perspectives (atheism, theism, agnosticims, etc…) have to answer these. It has always been more reasonable to me that since there really cannot be a materialistic answer to these questions, that they are rather something beyond material. But making that assumption does not force the answers into the realm of the ‘supernatural’ as we understand the term. What we assume is supernatural may not be so, even though it is immaterial.

    Reality is! – that’s the staggering realization. We haven’t discovered the ultimate reality that brings meaning to all other reality through science. We are reasonably forced into the conclusion that something that transcends our natural reality must be behind it, and that some other discipline apart from materialistic science will give us the answers. Even if we are materialists, we have to come to this conclusion when considering these ultimate questions.

    I percieve that the problem with materialism is that it doesn’t look back far enough, and this is what forces the incomplete assumption that the answers are materialistic. Materialism does not solve the problem of infinite regresses. Theism solves the problem with an eternal first cause to every reality.

    ID looks at natural evidences for something that may or may not be natural. This is why it is premature to make assumptions based on the natural evidences, on who or what that something is. All we have at this time are separate disciplines in philosophy and theology, and for some of us, these are sufficient in answering these questions. The materialists persist in looking for materialistic causes for reality without even considering if this is sufficient, despite the evidence we see all around us that it is not.

  30. I just posted a review of Francis Collins’ book “The Language of God” here:

    http://www.relevantmagazine.co.....38;t=10358

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