Stephen C. Meyer Philosopher of Science

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Breaking and archived news from Evolution.News related to Stephen Meyer and his work.

Tour, Meyer: The Mystery of Life Itself

In the context of the COVID pandemic, saving lives is the order of the day. But I was struck this week by a formulation by the UK’s Lord Sumption. He discussed the priority of saving lives while at the same time not neglecting the importance of preserving "life itself," all the things that make human lives worth living. I suggest that you read his remarks. They are a little bit off-topic here, but not entirely. That’s because Rice University chemist James Tour has just released a fascinating, scientifically substantive, but also quite personal podcast conversation with our Discovery Institute colleague Stephen Meyer. They speak about many things including their shared Christian faith, and about the mystery of life’s origin. They both contributed to the recently updated

Stephen Meyer and James Tour: Tonight, a Wide-Ranging and Personal Conversation

I’ve seen Rice University chemist James Tour and Discovery Institute philosopher of science Stephen Meyer on the same stage, but never before in a personal interaction. Tonight they’ll meet in a podcast discussion hosted by Dr. Tour, covering the origin of life — and more. It promises to be a surprisingly personal interaction, as you’ll see from this sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvbK-ujiWPM Does life's origin reflect the activity of a mind, or do blind, purely physical processes alone serve as a fully satisfactory explanation? Watch and found out. You can find the podcast here at 5 pm Pacific time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5tUDJ23Kms Dr. Meyer and Dr. Tour are, among other distinctions, contributors to the recent expanded version of a classic

In Carbon Isotope Excursions, Darwinists Lose Another Excuse for the Cambrian Explosion

Evolution News keeps a lookout for new excuses that pop up to explain away the very un-Darwinian sudden emergence of 17 or more animal body plans in the Cambrian explosion. Ever since Stephen Meyer published Darwin’s Doubt in 2014, we have seen a gamut of excuses pass by. One of the strangest was that it was caused by (or correlated with) one or more “carbon isotope excursions” or CIE (see here, here, and here). Presumably, the major CIE was also associated with more oxygenated ocean water, giving microbes the magic elixir of oxygen to drive them to become animals (see here and here). The dates of those carbon excursions, however, have been uncertain and hard to correlate at different sites around the world.  A new study

A Bayesian Approach to Intelligent Design

I have recently been interested in the field of epistemology, which is the branch of philosophy that deals with how we reliably form beliefs, or how we acquire knowledge. In particular, I have been interested in how we can quantify the strength of a particular piece of evidence, and how a cumulative case, involving many different lines of evidence, may be modeled mathematically. I have come to think of evidence in Bayesian terms and this has in turn impacted the way I think about the biological arguments for intelligent design. What is Bayes’ Theorem? Named for the 18th-century English Presbyterian minister Thomas Bayes, Bayes’ Theorem is a mathematical tool for modelling our evaluation of evidences to appropriately apportion the confidence in our conclusions to

Awesome Recovery for Atheist Lawrence Krauss

Congrats to the PR team of Chutzpah, Cheek, and Insolence who scored big with the work they appear to have done for atheist Lawrence Krauss. The cosmologist has now emerged, earlier than anticipated, from under a major #MeToo cloud that resulted in his forced departure from his university and temporary disappearance from a role as a public figure. He “retired” from Arizona State in May of last year. Time flies. Here he is today in the Wall Street Journal decrying, “The Ideological Corruption of Science.” Fascinating. According to the thesaurus, some antonyms of “corruption” include decency, goodness, honesty, honor, and purity. That’s right, Lawrence Krauss of all people is now lecturing us about the importance of…decency, goodness, honesty, honor, and purity. This

The Demise of the Artifact Hypothesis

In a recent series of Evolution News articles (Bechly 2018b, 2019, 2020a, 2020b, 2020c), to be continued soon, I have presented evidence and arguments that refute several alleged fossil animals from the Ediacaran period, which had been proposed as potential precursors of Cambrian animal phyla. Of course, the general absence of fossil bilaterian animals from the Ediacaran era is hardly a secret among paleontologists, but certainly an inconvenient truth, because it leaves the appearance of complex animal phyla during the Cambrian explosion disturbingly unexplained.  It also contradicts Darwinian expectations of a gradual development of complex body plans from the bottom up, starting with simple unicellular organisms and the subsequent stepwise

From Evidence of Cosmology and Physics, Meyer's New Book Points to a Personal God

Readers have been asking when Stephen Meyer's next book, Return of the God Hypothesis, will be available. Good news! We now have a firm publication date of March 30, 2021. Now, the hardcover edition of the book can be pre-ordered again on Amazon. Thank you for your patience. Order your copy now. Here's what you have to look forward to. Beginning in the late 19th century, many intellectuals began to insist that scientific knowledge conflicts with traditional theistic belief — that science and belief in God are “at war.” Dr. Meyer, the philosopher of science and New York Times-bestselling author, challenges this view by examining three scientific discoveries with decidedly theistic implications. Meyer demonstrates how discoveries in cosmology and physics coupled with those

Mistakes Our Critics Make: Information Theory

In previous articles, I demonstrated how substantial quantities of biological information cannot emerge through any natural process (see here and here), and I described how such information unambiguously points to intelligent design. Now, in posts today through Friday, I will address the mistakes typically made by critics who challenge these claims (see here, here, here, and here). Nearly always, the errors fall into three categories: Misapplying information theory. Misinterpreting research related to protein rarity.   Misunderstanding the creative potential of evolutionary processes.  The Nature of Biological Information Skeptics of information-based design arguments typically misunderstand the nature of biological information (see here and here). For

Stephen Meyer Unmasks the Coding of Human DNA

From June 16-30, we are holding an Intelligent Design YouTube Festival by highlighting 15 Center for Science & Culture YouTube videos that have received more than 100,000 views each. Here is video #13. https://youtu.be/qxhuxg3WRfg It's another episode of “Science Uprising,” this one presenting Steve Meyer’s information argument in a succinct but powerful form. Notice the footage from the Center’s home town of Seattle — and the natural tie-in to the software industry. If you’d like us to create more videos like this one, please consider becoming one of our “movie producers” by donating to our video production

Journey Inside the Cell

From June 16-30, we are holding an Intelligent Design YouTube Festival by highlighting 15 Center for Science & Culture YouTube videos that have received more than 100,000 views each. Here is video #11. https://youtu.be/1fiJupfbSpg It is “Journey Inside the Cell,” narrated by Stephen Meyer. This was the first molecular animation we commissioned, and it became our first really big hit on YouTube, drawing over 650,000 views thus far. The video was originally created in 2009, so it wasn’t made in HD. But we have an HD version in the works — so stay tuned! If you’d like us to create more videos like this one, please consider becoming one of our “movie producers” by donating to our video production

Stephen Meyer Shatters the Myth of the Multiverse

From June 16-30, we are holding an Intelligent Design YouTube Festival by highlighting 15 Center for Science & Culture YouTube videos that have received more than 100,000 views each. Here is video #10. https://youtu.be/WR51OrawqIg It is an episode of our “Science Uprising” YouTube series that explores the evidence of fine-tuning in our universe. In addition to Steve Meyer, this special episode includes physicists Frank Tipler and Bijan Nemati. If you’d like us to create more videos like this one, please consider becoming one of our “movie producers” by donating to our video production

Stephen Meyer: God and the Origin of the Universe

From June 16-30, we are holding an Intelligent Design YouTube Festival by highlighting 15 Center for Science & Culture YouTube videos that have received more than 100,000 views each. Here is video #7. https://youtu.be/7pk9oDrpf6k It is another lecture by Stephen Meyer on cosmology and intelligent design, delivered to an audience of nearly 1,000 people at the 2019 Dallas Conference on Science and Faith. If you’d like us to create more videos like this one, please consider becoming one of our “movie producers” by donating to our video production

Signature in the Cell: Stephen Meyer Faces His Critics

From June 16-30, we are holding an Intelligent Design YouTube Festival by highlighting 15 Center for Science & Culture YouTube videos that have received more than 100,000 views each. Here is video #6. In addition to producing documentaries and animations, we also post lectures by our scientists and scholars. This is one of the best: Dr. Stephen Meyer speaking to a large live audience about his book Signature in the Cell. https://youtu.be/eW6egHV6jAw If you’d like us to create more videos like this one, please consider becoming one of our “movie producers” by donating to our video production

Save the Washington Monument. But How?

At dinner recently I said to my kids that I’m glad they’ve seen the Washington Monument in person because I’m not sure it will still be there in a year. This was following nights of rioting when news helicopters showed fires in the capital obscuring the structure. My oldest son scoffed. “They’re not talking about taking down the Washington Monument!” “Not yet,” I said.  Nobody would have predicted all the changes we’ve witnessed in 2020, what seems to be evidence of national demoralization. Freedom of assembly and of worship canceled overnight across swaths of the country, with hardly a protest? Revolutionary unrest in the cities? Statues and other monuments defaced or torn down? Serious discussion of abolishing the police? What will come

The Information Enigma: A Closer Look

The first video in our Intelligent Design YouTube Festival, “The Information Enigma,” consolidates the research and writing of Stephen Meyer and Douglas Axe into a 21-minute video. The presentation demonstrates how the information present in life points unambiguously to intelligent design. This topic is central to intelligent design arguments and the ID research program. Here I will flesh out in greater detail the concept of biological information, and I will explain why significant quantities of it cannot be generated through natural processes.  A Primer on Information A pioneer in the field of information theory was Claude Shannon⁠ who connected the concept of information to the reduction in uncertainty and to probability. As an example, knowing the five-digit ZIP

The Information Enigma

From June 16-30, we are holding an Intelligent Design YouTube Festival by highlighting 15 Center for Science & Culture YouTube videos that have received more than 100,000 views each. Here is the first installment. https://youtu.be/aA-FcnLsF1g How do you condense the message of two books totalling 1,100+ pages into a 21-minute video? That’s what we were trying to accomplish with “The Information Enigma,” which seeks to present the core message of Stephen Meyer’s bestselling books Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt. See if we succeeded!  If you’d like us to create more videos like this one, please consider becoming one of our “movie producers” by donating to our video production

Be a Movie Producer!

A few years ago, a college student despaired when his professors insisted that pursuing science required embracing materialism. Then the student discovered YouTube videos featuring Steve Meyer, Mike Behe, and other researchers at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture (CSC). Those videos threw him a lifeline, and he embraced intelligent design. Today he is enrolled in a science PhD program at a top-tier research university. Before midnight tonight, people around the globe will have watched another one billion hours of videos on YouTube. Many of those videos will change their lives — inspiring hope, or provoking despair. Videos That Give Hope That’s why the CSC has invested so much time and effort in recent years to expand its YouTube presence. We want

Scientist Admits Biologists Are Obsessed with Intelligent Design

What do scientists spend more time thinking about — sex, or the theory of intelligent design? Scientific research famously gives a range of answers to the question of how many times per day men think about sex (from 19 times to 7,200 times). If one European researcher is correct, scientists in the United States (who are mostly male) spend one-fifth of their waking time thinking about how to “combat intelligent design.” Despite incessant declarations that “there is no controversy” about evolution, ID is evidently on the mind of many biologists, to the point of obsession! Evolution News recently commented on an article in an Italian philosophy journal that took intelligent design (ID) arguments with refreshing seriousness. Now another European journal has published its own

Thanks to the Sacrifices of Many, There's Talk of Censoring Us

Your support for the Center for Science & Culture has allowed us to reach an enormous audience. Now, because of our impact, the censors have turned their gaze on Evolution News. An article in the journal BioEssays demands Internet censorship of sources sharing evidence of design in biology. The author of the article says that if Big Tech entities (Google, Facebook) shy away from prejudicial treatment of ID, then the government should step in and “Make them.” ID scientists, from their personal experience, would have told you it was only a matter of time. The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is a time for reflection about sacrifice. While heroes of the U.S. Armed Forces have given their lives, the scholars who critique scientific atheism and advance the theory of ID offer of

On Intelligent Design, an Italian Philosophy Journal Takes a Step in the Right Direction

Philosophers are making some important and interesting contributions to the conversation about biological origins. Earlier today we saw that philosopher Subrena E. Smith registered a harsh critique of evolutionary psychology in the journal Biological Theory, even saying that evo psych explanations are “impossible.” Now, a new paper in the Italian philosophy journal Humana Mente, “Residuals of Intelligent Design in Contemporary Theories about Language Nature and Origins,” observes that the arguments of intelligent design proponents are applicable to many explanations of the origins of language. The authors are cognitive scientists at the University of Messina, and although the English translation isn’t always easy to follow and some of their ideas about ID are both dated and

A Hot Seller from Discovery Institute Press, New Book Offers Intelligent Design "In a Nutshell"

Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell is the new book from Discovery Institute Press. It was just published yesterday and it's already Amazon's #1 and #2 new releases in cosmology, respectively in its paperback and Kindle editions. On a new episode of ID the Future, host Rob Crowther interviews co-author Dr. Thomas Y. Lo. The genesis of the slim and accessible Nutshell book was at a Discovery Institute Summer Seminar. Lo talked with professors and students about the idea of a concise, easy-to-understand guide to evolution and design. Before long he was joined by four others, including two PhD biologists. The resulting book covers everything from cosmology and the origin of life to irreducibly complex biological marvels. Download the podcast or listen to it here. The

What Triggered a Biology Journal to Demand Government Censorship of Intelligent Design

As noted here already, the prominent science journal BioEssays has issued a remarkable editorial by biologist Dave Speijer, “Bad Faith Reasoning, Predictable Chaos, and the Truth.” The article is like a thermometer measuring a fever among evolutionists. Speijer calls for intelligent design websites, including the one you’re reading now, to be censored by government mandate. And he’s quite serious. It would be shocking were it not for the fact that censors are already empowered at YouTube, Facebook, and on other social media, to scour the Internet and wipe out ideas they don’t like. This is not a drill. The editorial proposes that search engines be required to “have mandatory color coded banners warning of consistent factual errors or unscientific

Stephen Meyer: Teach the (Coronavirus) Controversy

Our colleague and CSC director Stephen Meyer has a terrific article up now at The Federalist. As readers will know, when it comes to evolution education, the Center for Science & Culture advocates “teaching the controversy.” Note Meyer’s application of the “Teach the Controversy” principle to how medical opinion is being given to U.S. leaders who make policy decisions about a national response to COVID-19. As Dr. Meyer observes, “The administration’s virus taskforce has recommended only a gradual lifting of stay-at-home orders and has established criteria for full re-opening that could take months to satisfy in many states.” His proposal is that rather than listen only to a group of experts with one set view, it would be productive to listen to

Louis Agassiz and the National Academy’s Secret

Editor’s note: Dr. Shedinger is a Professor of Religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He is the author of a recent book critiquing Darwinian triumphalism, The Mystery of Evolutionary Mechanisms. So entrenched is the Darwinian notion of organismal change over time that anyone questioning it will be quickly marginalized and condemned to a life outside the hallowed halls of true science. But the scientific establishment has a dirty little secret they desperately want to keep quiet.  Back in March, when the people of my college community were scattering to their homes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, I headed to my college library to stock up on some reading material for the long weeks ahead. One of the books I checked out was Edward Lurie’s 1960 biography of

The Myth of Precambrian Sponges

Sponges are sessile marine invertebrates that are considered to be the most basal and most "primitive" branch of the multicellular animals (Metazoa). Therefore, evolutionists would expect to find such sponges as the earliest animals in the fossil record. Also, immunological evidence (Wilkinson 1984) and especially molecular clock data placed the origin of sponges long before the Cambrian and even before the Ediacaran era (Peterson et al. 2004, Sperling et al. 2007, Sperling et al. 2010, Erwin et al. 2011, Cunningham et al. 2017a). Consequently, the alleged discovery of sponge-like fossils from layers prior to the Cambrian explosion, which gave rise to all the more complex animal phyla, was welcomed by evolutionary biologists as clear confirmation of Darwin’s theory. When the

Recommended Reading: A Handbook of the Big Bang

It would be easy to miss the new book on cosmology by Luke Barnes and Geraint Lewis in a bookstore. One could easily mistake the raised fist artwork on the cover for an indicator of Marxist content. The book’s title, The Cosmic Revolutionary’s Handbook, is not helpful either. Perhaps the publisher, Cambridge University Press, thought this might help sales with the younger hip generation. Readers of Evolution News probably know this duo from their prior collaborative project, A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos. I suggest it whenever I’m asked about the best introductory and up-to-date book on cosmological fine-tuning. Their new book is on the big bang theory and nicely complements the previous work. Both A Fortunate

Stephen Meyer, Eric Metaxas: Gain and Loss and the Origin of Life

Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany “revolutionized U.S. science and innovation,” as Stanford University historian Petra Moser and others have pointed out. Hitler’s loss was our gain. Something not entirely dissimilar is the case in the history of the intelligent design movement and its own revolution. https://youtu.be/2epmJnZWu84 On his radio show today, Eric Metaxas talked with Darwin's Doubt author Stephen Meyer about the reissue of the expanded version of the Ur-text of intelligent design, a 35th anniversary edition of The Mystery of Life’s Origin. Dr. Meyer contributed a new chapter, as did James Tour, Brian Miller, and other scientists who have come to doubt purely materialist accounts of how the first life arose. Steve points out to Eric that “Some

Courage, Courtesy, and the Origin of Life — Congratulations to Physicist Jeremy England

Masks, social distancing, ratting on nonconforming neighbors, inscrutable authority, the threat of unemployment — these are hallmarks of the COVID crisis. But they were all somehow oddly familiar to proponents of intelligent design, and other skeptics of scientific materialism, when the virus came along.  In academia, these skeptics are the modern lepers, avoided as unclean by any self-protecting scientist. To keep from being infected by the taint, six feet of distance is hardly sufficient. Better make it six miles. Always, the scientific establishment seeks to maintain a sterile environment, cleansed of Darwin doubters, by the threat of being snitched on to the authorities and tossed out of your job. You may recall the cases of Scott Minnich, Richard Sternberg, Günter Bechly,

“MasterClass” with Stephen Meyer; 25 Percent Discount Ends at Midnight on April 30

You’ve seen it promoted on Facebook and elsewhere: the highly produced series of online “MasterClass” programs with celebrities in a range of fields. You can learn about Writing with Dan Brown, Film and TV with Ron Howard, Culinary Arts with Wolfgang Puck, Science & Technology with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lifestyle with RuPaul, and many others.  That’s all fine, but what if you want to learn about something a little meatier — in fact about the ultimate questions that have troubled human beings from the inception of our species? Like: Does the universe manifest purpose? Does life give evidence of design? Is there a transcendent mind behind the veil of nature? For that, looking to the offerings of the MasterClass celebrities, you’d be out of luck. To answer that

Stephen Meyer on Physics and Cosmology: Online Course Opens New Frontier for Intelligent Design

Actually, the new course from DiscoveryU — “Stephen Meyer Investigates Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design” — opens a number of frontiers. For one, it’s the first online course that this charismatic philosopher of science and New York Times bestselling author has offered at DiscoveryU.org. But the really important new frontier for Dr. Meyer is a substantive one: from chemical and biological evolution, he now turns his attention to physics and cosmology.  https://youtu.be/efbcCkjmnjY As an introductory courtesy, we are currently offering a coupon worth 25 percent off the full cost of the course. Just enter the code mgen25 when you check out. More information is here. Dr. Meyer introduces the course in a new episode of ID the Future. Download the podcast or

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