Stephen C. Meyer Philosopher of Science
Topic

methodological naturalism

Stephen Meyer has already made year-end lists with Signature in the Cellan Amazon bestselling science book and one of Times Literary Supplement’s books of the year for 2009, but the latest news go far beyond that: Stephen Meyer has been named World Magazine’s “Daniel of the Year” for 2009:

Stephen Meyer Daniel of the Year Cover

This fall Meyer came out with a full account of what science has learned in recent decades: Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (Harper One, 2009) shows that the cell is incredibly complex and the code that directs its functions wonderfully designed. His argument undercuts macroevolution, the theory that one kind of animal over time evolves into a very different kind. Meyer thus garners media scorn for raining on this year’s huge celebration of the birth of Charles Darwin 200 years ago and the publication of On the Origin of Species 150 years ago.

The cover story is what should become the essential profile of Meyer, following what World’s Marvin Olasky describes as “the four-stage pattern that is common among intellectual Daniels: Questioning, discernment, courage, and perseverance.”

Meyer says, “You ask how someone gets the moxie to take something like this on. Part of the answer is that I didn’t know any better when I was young. I was just so seized with this idea and these questions: ‘Was it possible to develop a scientific case? Were we looking at evidence that could revive and resuscitate the classical argument from design, which had been understood from the time of Hume and certainly the time of Darwin to be defunct?’ If that was the case, that’s a major scientific revolution.”

Courage becomes a determinant once we count the cost and see that it’s great. Meyer’s first inkling came when “talking about my ideas to people at Cambridge High Table settings, and getting that sudden social pall.” But the cost was and is more than conversational ease: San Francisco State University in 1992 expelled a professor, Dean Kenyon, who espoused ID, and other job losses have come since. Meyer and other ID proponents saw “that this would be very controversial. One of the things that emboldened all of us who were in the early days of this movement was meeting each other. In 1993 we had a little private conference [with] 10 or 12 very sharp, mostly younger scientists going through top-of-the-world programs in their respective fields who were all skeptical. I think the congealing of this group gave everyone the sense that this was going to be an exciting adventure: Let’s rumble.”

Rumble, indeed — Meyer just returned from schooling Michael Shermer (listen to the audio here).

The article, as the title indicates, is a profile in courage worth reading, particularly this bit:

Many who enter the courage stage at first think that the war in which they find themselves will end in a few years. There comes a time in many lives, though, when a hard realization sinks in: It will not be over in my lifetime. That’s when some give in while others proceed to the perseverance stage. That’s where Meyer is: Signature in the Cell ends with a long list of testable predictions concerning the direction of science over the next several decades. Meyer predicts that further study will reveal the importance of “junk DNA” and the reasons for what seem to be “poorly designed” structures: They will reveal either a hidden functional logic or evidence of decay from originally good designs.

Read the whole article here.

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Close-up shot of microscope with metal lens at laboratory.

Yes, Intelligent Design Is Detectable by Science

Biologists have long recognized that many organized structures in living organisms — the elegant form and protective covering of the coiled nautilus; the interdependent parts of the vertebrate eye; the interlocking bones, muscles, and feathers of a bird wing — “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Read More ›
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Photo by Maksim Shebeko on Adobe Stock

Moshe Averick Responds to British Geneticist Robert Saunders’s Review of Signature in the Cell

Here’s a spot-on reply to UK geneticist Robert Saunders’s recent review of Dr. Meyer’s Signature in the Cell. Averick is particularly good at pointing out the faith, presuppositions and ideological blinders that constrain Saunders’s view, even if the scientist doesn’t seem to recognize it: [Saunders] is, in effect, admitting that Science has no explanation for the origin of life and the huge amounts of information necessary for life to exist, but asks us to have faith that Science will yet discover a purely naturalistic answer to the question. Here Saunders makes it clear that he has shut off his mind from even considering the possibility of Intelligent Design, which is, of course, a theory that is proposed to explain the Read More ›

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stamping with approved stamp on document at meeting.

Stephen Meyer Reframes Christianity Today’s Question on Intelligent Design

In the May issue of Christianity Today, the magazine’s Village Green section posed the following question to Stephen Meyer, as well as to theistic evolutionist Karl Giberson and young earth creationist Marcus Ross: How can the intelligent design movement gain academic credibility? Below is Meyer’s response: Asking what advocates of intelligent design must do to gain credibility in the academy is a bit like asking a man when he stopped beating his wife. Such a question makes a prejudicial assumption. When queried about his history of spousal abuse, an innocent man should say, “I don’t concede the premise of your question.” Similarly, I would suggest that behind the Village Green question lurk some false assumptions. Indeed, the question seems to presuppose three things: Read More ›