THIS IS HUGE. Maybe this CNN editorial will cause people to stop describing intelligent design as “the idea that life so complex that God had to create it”.
His first argument is the Cambrian explosion:
We are told that a consensus of scientists supporting the theory means that Darwinian evolution is no longer subject to debate. But does it ever happen that a seemingly broad consensus of scientific expertise turns out to be wrong, generated by an ideologically motivated stampeding of opinion?
[…]Contrary to Darwinian orthodoxy, the fossil record actually challenges the idea that all organisms have evolved from a single common ancestor. Why? Fossil studies reveal “a biological big bang” near the beginning of the Cambrian period (520 million years ago) when many major, separate groups of organisms or “phyla” (including most animal body plans) emerged suddenly without clear precursors.
Fossil finds repeatedly have confirmed a pattern of explosive appearance and prolonged stability in living forms, not the gradual “branching-tree” pattern implied by Darwin’s common ancestry thesis.
And his second argument is the biological information in DNA:
Consider the implications, for example, of one of modern biology’s most important discoveries. In 1953 when Watson and Crick elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule, they made a startling discovery. The structure of DNA allows it to store information in the form of a four-character digital code, similar to a computer code.
This discovery highlights a scientific mystery that Darwin never addressed: how did the first life on earth arise? To date no theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of the information needed to build the first living cell.
Instead, the digital code and information processing systems that run the show in living cells point decisively toward prior intelligent design. Indeed, we know from our repeated experience — the basis of all scientific reasoning — that systems possessing these features always arise from an intelligent source — from minds, not material processes.
DNA functions like a software program. We know that software comes from programmers. Information — whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book, or encoded in a radio signal — always arises from a designing intelligence. So the discovery of digital code in DNA provides a strong scientific reason for concluding that the information in DNA also had an intelligent source.
You can see Stephen Meyer debate against a famous, qualified Darwinist here. That post also has links to other debates on intelligent design from the Cato Institute and PBS. And don’t forget that Stephen Meyer is debating Michael Shermer on November 30th, 2009 in Beverly Hills.
Ideas for Christmas gifts
If you guys are looking for Christmas gift ideas, I recommend Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell” for advanced students. For beginners, get the new intelligent design DVD “Darwin’s Dilemma” and the “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” DVD. The former covers the Cambrian explosion, and the latter covers the argument from DNA. If you still have money left over for more gifts, then get “The Privileged Planet” DVD, which compares the requirements for complex life forms and the requirements for scientific discovery. These can all be bought at Amazon.com.
By the way, just for fun, why don’t you guys print off this article, and then go to some of your atheist family and friends and ask them what intelligent design is. Compare what they think intelligent design is with what it actually is, according to Stephen Meyer. If you want, write it up and leave it as a comment to this post.
UPDATE: Atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel names Signature in the Cell one his two 2009 Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement. This will be in a separate post shortly. (H/T Apologetics 315)