Category Archives: Book

Signature in the Cell

I’m currently reading the book Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer.  The book is subtitled “DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design”.  I’m very close to finishing the book and feel I have more than enough to write a review from an atheist’s standpoint.  I’m not a scientist although I’m familiar enough with most of the concepts Meyer talked about in his book that I was able to follow it pretty easily.

In terms of non-fiction book, this is pretty decent although there are some areas where it’s quite dry.  But that’s more the subject matter than Meyer’s writing.  I can’t critique it beyond that on the writing alone since I think it’s pretty well written.

I do have a lot of issues with Meyer’s main argument in the book though.  That argument boils down to essentially the following:

Life as we know is governed by DNA, an information rich molecule that pretty much codes all the necessity for biological life itself.  Given the complexity and specificity in coding information, Intelligent Design is the best explanation for the origin of DNA & therefore life.

That is pretty much the argument in a nutshell.  He does talk at length about scientific explanations that have been put forward such as the RNA first hypothesis but he invariably finds the same deficiency in them.  Namely, that they presupposes some initial information pool to get things started.  But that’s pretty much my counter argument to his Intelligent Design argument!  He presupposes something much grander: an intelligent designer.

To me that’s a fault worse than anything else.  It’s a cop out to say it was from intelligent design since anyone can say that.  I can look at any physical phenomenon that we do not understand and make the argument that it was designed that way by some intelligent being.  But to me that feels like giving up. I’m OK with saying I don’t know.  Or I don’t know right now.  But to fall back on the old “Oh, some intelligent being must have created/designed it that way.” just feels cheap to me.

While I feel he made a lot of interesting points that may guide this field of research further, he didn’t add anything new to the argument.  As such, I’m quite surprised at the positive review on this book.  So there you have it… summarized but pretty accurate I would say.