.de Einstein once remarked that the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible This statement, quoted by William Dembski, is a way of summarizing intelligent design theory, which argues that it is possible to find evidence for design in the universe The author of The Design Inference a scholarly exploration of this topic published by Cambridge University Press in this book aims to show the lay reader how detecting design within the universe, and especially against the backdrop of biology and biochemistry, unseats naturalism and above all Darwin s expulsion of design in his theory of evolution Intelligent Design is organized into three parts the first part gives an introduction to design and shows how modernity science in the last two centuries has undermined our intuition of this truth The second and central part of the book examines the philosophical and scientific basis for intelligent design The final part shows how science and theology relate coherently and how intelligent design establishes the crucial link between the two This suggests that Dembski is not simply rejecting Darwin and naturalism on fundamentalist or biblical grounds While grounded in faith, he wishes to show how God s design is accessible to scientific inquiry As such, the book should be of interest to all thinking believers Doug ThorpeDer Verlag ber das BuchGod does not play dice with the universe He plays Scrabble.In the movie Contact, an astronomer played by Jodie Foster discovers a radio signal with a discernable pattern, a sequence representing prime numbers from 2 to 101 Because the pattern is too specifically arranged to be mere random space noise, the scientists infer from this data that an extraterrestrial intelligence has transmitted this signal on purpose.William Dembski sees in this illustration an instance of identifying specified complexity, and he argues that this criteria can be empirically applied to biology and the natural sciences Dembski, one of the leading design theorists working today, demonstrates the viability of design theory with his criteria of specified complexity Just as the coherent organization of Scrabble tiles on a board indicates arrangement by an intelligent agent, complexity in genetic DNA language and other biological sources suggests design In the same way that anthropologists, forensic scientists, cryptologists and the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence SETI project use design inferences to identify an intelligently caused event, so too can molecular biologists, geneticists and other scientists reliably infer design.Dembski s position does not rely on belief in the Genesis account of creation Rather, he demonstrates that intelligent design operates as a scientific theory of information even without any a priori commitment to Christian theism The criteria of specified complexity is able to detect design in nature even if the researcher remains agnostic as to the identity of the designing agent.This wide ranging book argues that intelligent design has epistemic support and provides greater explanatory power for the origins and development of life than Darwinist evolutionary theory Dembski demonstrates the weaknesses of methodological naturalism and offers proposals for reinstating design within science An appendix details Dembski s responses to common objections to design theory.William Dembski holds a Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago He also has earned degrees in theology and psychology He is the recipient of two fellowships from the National Science Foundation and currently is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture He has done postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Northwestern University Dembski is the author of the critically acclaimed The Design Inference Cambridge and many scholarly articles as well as the editor of Mere Creation IVP....
|Title||:||Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology: The Bridge Between Science and Theology|
|Publisher||:||Inter Varsity Press,US 1 Oktober 1999|
|Number of Pages||:||196 Pages|
|File Size||:||570 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology: The Bridge Between Science and Theology Reviews
Finding order or functional complexity where this is not expected indeed suggests, at first sight, that intelligent design must be involved, and very often this is indeed the case. However, as e.g. the regular crystal structure of diamond shows, beautifull geometrical order can be the direct result of natural atomic interactions (between the carbon atoms that make up diamond). In non-linear thermodynamics, the generation of 'emergent order' is well known, too (e.g. Bénard cells). Also, collective effects such as superconductivity, essentially a physical state showing macroscopic order, is very well known. What these examples show, is that the forces of Nature are quite well capable of causing 'emergent order' at the macroscopic level, even though such 'emergent order' may not be directly visible at the level where these forces act. It is, indeed, a challenge for biology, chemistry and physics, to further elucidate the observed, and indeed absolutely amazing, emergent order found in biochemistry, but already nowadays it is clear beyond reasonable doubt, that this further elucidation is well in reach of these sciences; the coming decades will show this. If the authors of this book had made a serious attempt to investigate the already understood emergent order observed in chemsitry and physics, then they would not have jumped to their desired conclusion that the beautifull complexity observed in biochemistry is evidence of intelligent design. Not being aware of what is already known to serious researchers is no excuse for writing a book like this. As shown in e.g. At Home in the Universe (Kaufmann), 'as-if-designed' complexity is quite natural indeed.
In Intelligent Design, William Dembski makes his revolutionary insights on detecting design, first articulated in The Design Inference (Cambridge, 1998), accessible to the general reader. (He even opens with Homer Simpson!) But he also develops his ideas more broadly, perhaps most importantly by connecting his notion of specified complexity with a robust form of information. By doing so, he refutes the shallow claim that laws of self-organization can generate the relevant kind of complexity needed to explain biology. Since he spends his entire chapter six on the subject, only a reviewer who didn't bother to read the book could complain that he ignores the work of complexity theorists such as Stuart Kauffman and others. Dembski is intimately conversant with these works, and offers the best refutation to date of the aspirations of complexity and self-organizational theory. Periodic order, easily explained by self-organizational scenarios, isn't the aperiodic, information-rich complexity we have before us in DNA and biological systems. Self-organization explains what doesn't need explaining. When a critical reviewer fails to engage Dembski's concept of "specified complexity" and deal with his actual arguments, one should assume that the putative "reviewer" is either unacqainted with, or unwilling to confront the devastating case Dembski makes against materialism. In future years, his work will be recorded in the intellectual history of the late 20th century. Let's hope there's also some mention of the snide and ineffectual responses it initially received.
Dembski has put his obvious intelligence to good use in explaining, in scientific terms, the theory of intelligent design. Two caveats: One, while this book fills an important niche by approaching the subject from a purely scientific point of view, the presentation makes it difficult for non-scientists to digest. Be prepared to re-read paragraphs that you don't comprehend fully at first. Two, Dembski frequently uses examples from Christianity in illustrating his points. As a non-Christian who nevertheless believes in God, I would have preferred less belief system-specific examples. Though, if you can accept that he is using convenient elements from the most common religion in the English-speaking world, and not prosletyzing, this shouldn't be much of a problem.