Creationist Website Praises Stephen Meyer’s Book

THE neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) have a new post at their blog proclaiming Another Positive Review: “Signature in the Cell is absolutely fascinating.”.

That’s the new book about which we previously reported, by Discoveroid Stephen C. Meyer.

The Amazon listing for Meyer’s book is: Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. From what we’ve heard, Meyer’s key argument is that DNA is so complicated that — jeepers! — it just had to be the work of [flourish of trumpets] the Intelligent Designer.

This book is only the latest in a series of triumphs for Meyer. As we noted here, he somehow wangled a speaking gig at the once-prestigious Heritage Foundation. Before that, as we reported here, Meyer was one of three creationist “experts” who were on the 6-member panel selected by Don McLeroy to testify before the Texas Board of Education regarding standards for science education. And before that, Meyer was a central figure in the notoriously shabby peer review controversy.

The new Discoveroid blog article doesn’t say very much. It consists of a little bit of text, followed by two paragraphs quoted from a favorable review. This is what they say, including their link to the review from which they quote. We won’t copy their quote, because you can easily check out the entire review for yourself:

Over at Ligonier Ministries there is a very thoughtful review of Signature in the Cell.

We hadn’t heard of any credible scientific sources that have commented favorably on Meyer’s book, so naturally we wondered about the source of this praise that was worthy of Discoveroid attention. We followed the link to find Ligonier Ministries. Their “About” page says:

Ligonier Ministries is an international Christian education organization established in 1971 to equip Christians to articulate what they believe and why they believe it. …

They also have a Statement of Faith, which says:

We believe that the Bible, in its entirety, is divine revelation, and we submit to the authority of Holy Scripture, acknowledging it to be inerrantly inspired by God and carrying the full weight of His authority.

We’ve seen that sort of thing at other creationist websites. For example, this is from the Answers in Genesis statement of faith:

The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches. Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science.

As we’ve made clear in the past, we have no quarrel with what people believe. Everyone should have the freedom to enjoy his own beliefs. Religion is a personal matter with which we have no desire to interfere. We, of course, enjoy the same freedom, and we won’t tolerate anyone’s attempt to abridge our rights.

Looking into the nature of the reviewer helps us understand that for them to comment favorably, Meyer’s book must be consistent with their creationist beliefs. That’s not surprising, but it does indicate — at least to us — that Meyer’s book may not be the work of science that he and the Discoveroids would have us believe. It also indicates that the Discoveroids are probably desperate for any favorable publicity about Meyer’s book.

Oh, we should mention that the Discoveroid blog doesn’t quote this part of the review:

From a Christian perspective, if Meyer’s formulation of the intelligent design argument is true, then what he is observing is an instance in which the primary cause (God), operating apart from any secondary cause (natural laws, etc.), left visible evidence in the material world — specifically in the genetic code found in DNA.

They really like Meyer and intelligent design. As they should.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “Creationist Website Praises Stephen Meyer’s Book

  1. Just goes to show that ID has nothing to do with creationism, no siree!

  2. Gag! If this guy was an actual scientist, he’d know how stupid the title of his book is…

  3. LRA // 26-July-2009 at 11:08 pm

    Gag! If this guy was an actual scientist, he’d know how stupid the title of his book is…

    If this guy were a scientist we still wouldn’t of discovered the wheel!!!

  4. Bob Carroll

    In the second-last paragraph of the review, Mathison points out a major weakness in the book; the “god of the gaps” concept. If a natural explanation is found for the origin of life and the existence of DNA, then the rationale for them involving a direct intervention by the mysterious Designer are gone. I’d comment that the evidence is sufficient already. This wouldn’t faze the reviewer, but it would invalidate Meyer’s arguments.

    Mathison was being kind to Meyer, IMO, not to dwell on this . It’s more of a hint, really.
    Bob

  5. Bob Carrol says:

    In the second-last paragraph of the review, Mathison points out a major weakness in the book; the “god of the gaps” concept.

    I saw that, but left it out. It would have dragged me off topic to play with it. According to their view, there are no gaps in any scientific explanation. It’s all a miracle, even the parts that are scientifically explained. I haven’t seen that argument before. But it does rather neatly sidestep the “god of the gaps” issue.

  6. Bob Carroll wrote: “If a natural explanation is found for the origin of life and the existence of DNA, then the rationale for them involving a direct intervention by the mysterious Designer are gone. ”

    Unless that explanation accounts for the whereabouts of every subatomic particle for every nanosecond, they could always claim another “gap”. As if that’s not chutzpah enough, they claim that ID doesn’t even have to speculate when life originated.

    While they have to resort to “ministries” to find favorable reviews, it also helps that most people do not recongnize, let alone challenge, their double standard of “burden of proof.”