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Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA

Edited By: William A Dembski and Michael Ruse

405 pages, Tab, 5 halftones

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2008 | #173847 | ISBN-13: 9780521709903
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £23.99 $31/€27 approx
Hardback | Sep 2004 | #153821 | ISBN: 0521829496
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £48.99 $64/€56 approx

About this book

This volume provides a comprehensive and even-handed overview of the debate concerning biological origins. This has been a controversial debate ever since Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. Invariably the source of controversy has been design. Is the appearance of design in organisms as exhibited in their functional complexity the result of purely natural forces acting without prevision or teleology? Or does the appearance of design signify genuine prevision and teleology, and, if so, is that design empirically detectable and thus open to scientific inquiry?

Four main positions have emerged in response to these questions: Darwinism, self-organization, theistic evolution and intelligent design. In this unique survey leading figures in the debate argue for their respective positions in a non-technical, accessible style. Readers are thus invited to draw their own conclusions. Two introductory essays furnish a historical overview of the debate.

'The topic is hot; the editors are superb; the cast of contributors is star-studded.' Ronald Numbers, The University of Wisconsin, Madison 'The editors have done a fine job in amassing the leaders of various fields, all of whom are very well known - theologians, scientists, mathematicians and philosophers.' Ronald Trigg, University of Warwick 'The two editors have put together an excellent team to discuss a hot topic ! I would expect this to become a standard work of reference on the issue of 'intelligent design'.' John Brooke, University of Oxford 'No other collection offers a comprehensive, balanced, accessible overview like this.' 'The book is highly recommended.' Philosophy in Review


Introduction: General introduction William Dembski and Michael Ruse; The argument from design: a brief history Michael Ruse; Who's afraid of ID? A survey of the intelligent design movement Angus Menuge; Part I. Darwinism: 1. Design with designer: Darwin's greatest discovery Francisco Ayala; 2. The flagellum unspun: the collapse of 'irreducible complexity' Kenneth Miller; 3. The design argument Elliott Sober; 4. DNA by design? Stephen Meyer and the return of the god hypothesis Robert Pennock; Part II. Complex Self-Organization: 5. Prolegomenon to a general biology Stuart Kauffman; 6. Darwinism, design and complex systems dynamics David Depew and Bruce Weber; 7. Emergent complexity, teleology, and the arrow of time Paul Davies; 8. The emergence of biological value James Barham; Part III. Theistic Evolution: 9. Darwin, design and divine providence John Haught; 10. The inbuilt potentiality of creation John Polkinghorne; 11. Theistic evolution Keith Ward; 12. Intelligent design: some geological, historical and theological questions Michael Roberts; 13. The argument from laws of nature reassessed Richard Swinburne; Part IV. Intelligent Design: 14. The logical underpinnings of intelligent design William Dembski; 15. Information, entropy and the origin of life Walter Bradley; 16. Irreducible complexity: obstacle to Darwinian evolution Michael Behe; 17. The Cambrian information explosion: evidence for intelligent design Stephen Meyer.

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William A. Dembski is an associate research professor in the conceptual foundations of science at Baylor University as well as a senior fellow with Seattle's Discovery Institute. His most important books are The Design Inference (Cambridge, 1998) and No Free Lunch (Rowman and Littleton, 2002).

Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Wekmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is the author of many books, including Darwinism and Its Discontents (Cambridge, 2006).

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