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Debating Design:
From Darwin to DNA

William A. Dembski (editor) Michael Ruse (editor)

(Hardcover), Cambridge University Press, 408 pp., 2004

Item# B096
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William Dembski, Michael Ruse, and other prominent philosophers provide here a comprehensive balanced overview of the debate concerning biological origins--a controversial dialectic 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
  • Intelligent design.

The contributors to this volume define their respective positions in an accessible style, inviting readers to draw their own conclusions. Two introductory essays furnish a historical overview of the debate.

William Dembski, Michael Ruse, Angus Menuge, Francisco Ayala, Kenneth Miller, Elliott Sober, Robert Pennock, Stuart Kauffman, David Depew, Bruce Weber, Paul Davies, James Barham, John Haught, John Polkinghorne, Keith Ward, Michael Roberts, Richard Swinburne, Walter Bradley, Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer

About the Editors
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 Littlefield, 2002).

Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Wekmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is the author of many books, including Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?: The Relationship Between Science and Religion (Cambridge, 2000).

Table of Contents

1. General Introduction -- William A. Dembski and Michael Ruse
2. The Argument from Design: A Brief History -- Michael Ruse
3. Who's Afraid of ID? A Survey of the Intelligent Design Movement -- Angus Menuge

Part I: Darwinism
4. Design without Designer: Darwin's Greatest Discovery -- Francisco J. Ayala
5. The Flagellum Unspun: The Collapse of "Irreducible Complexity" -- Kenneth R. Miller
6. The Design Argument -- Elliott Sober
7. DNA by Design? Stephen Meyer and the Return of the God Hypothesis -- Robert T. Pennock

Part II: Complex Self-Organization
8. Prolegomenon to a General Biology -- Stuart Kauffman
9. Darwinism, Design, and Complex Systems Dynamics -- Burce H. Weber and David J. Depew
10. Emergent Complexity, Teleology, and the Arrow of Time -- Paul Davies
11. The Emergence of Biological Value -- James Barham

Part III: Theistic Evolution
12. Darwin, Design, and Divine Providence -- John F. Haught
13. The Inbuilt Potentiality of Creation -- John Polkinghorne
14. Theistic Evolution -- Keith Ward
15. Intelligent Design: Some Geological, Historical,
and Theological Questions -- Michael Roberts
16. The Argument from Laws of Nature Reassessed -- Richard Swinburne

Part IV: Intelligent Design
17. The Logical Underpinnings of Intelligent Design -- William A. Dembski
18. Information, Entropy, and the Origin of Life -- Walter L. Bradley
19. Irreducible Complexity: Obstacle to Darwinian Evolution -- Michael J. Behe
20. The Cambrian Information Explosion: Evidence for Intelligent Design -- Stephen C. Meyer

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