Over at the Times Literary Supplement, an estimable organ for which I’ve written frequently, philosopher Thomas Nagel has blurbed an ID book, Discovery Institute darling Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell, as one of the books of the year for 2009:
Stephen C. Meyer’s Signature in the Cell: DNA and the evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperCollins) is a detailed account of the problem of how life came into existence from lifeless matter – something that had to happen before the process of biological evolution could begin. The controversy over Intelligent Design has so far focused mainly on whether the evolution of life since its beginnings can be explained entirely by natural selection and other non-purposive causes. Meyer takes up the prior question of how the immensely complex and exquisitely functional chemical structure of DNA, which cannot be explained by natural selection because it makes natural selection possible, could have originated without an intentional cause. He examines the history and present state of research on non-purposive chemical explanations of the origin of life, and argues that the available evidence offers no prospect of a credible naturalistic alternative to the hypothesis of an intentional cause. Meyer is a Christian, but atheists, and theists who believe God never intervenes in the natural world, will be instructed by his careful presentation of this fiendishly difficult problem.
“Detailed account”?? How about “religious speculation”?
Nagel is a respected philosopher who’s made big contributions to several areas of philosophy, and this is inexplicable, at least to me. I have already called this to the attention of the TLS, just so they know.
Do any of you know of critiques of Meyer’s book written by scientists? I haven’t been able to find any on the internet, and would appreciate links.