Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chapter by Chapter Review of Darwin's Doubt – Smilodon's Retreat

Original post by: Smilodon's Retreat

A pro-ID reader has graciously sent me a copy of Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design by Stephen Meyer with the understanding that I will read and report on it.  I’ll remind everyone that I made several predictions about the book.
Since I made my predictions, my understanding of the book has changed.  It is, apparently, almost purely about the Cambrian Explosion and why this is evidence of special creation.  Make no mistake about it, ID is special creation with ”certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause.”
Now this review will take a while.  First, I’m traveling for the next two weeks.   A week in Denver, unfortunately not for fun, but for work.  Then a week in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My ability to review the book will be limited due to this (sorry).  Unfortunately, I can’t read (or do much of anything) on aircraft.  I have vertigo and a airplane trip puts me out for a while.
The second part is that I fully intend to (somehow) acquire the references (if any) used by Meyer.  I’ll review them to see if Meyer reports them accurately and if the same conclusion is drawn.  It’s not that I don’t trust Meyer… well… OK… it’s that I don’t trust Meyer.  The people from the Discovery Institute are consummate charlatans.
I’ll be perfectly honest, there isn’t anything in this book that shows evolution is wrong or that ID has any supporting evidence.  If there was, they would publish and then they wouldn’t shut up about it.  This is just  book to lead the lay-person to the conclusion that science can’t explain everything.
I may sound biased, and I am, a bit.  The DI doesn’t do science.  Meyer doesn’t do science.  Behe has tried to redefine science.  Dembski doesn’t do science.  How can one refute science when one does not do science?
That all being said, I will try my best to be scrupulously fair.  I will let you, my readers, decide if I’m being fair or biased.
I will also ask that anyone willing to help me acquire research papers send me a message from my contact page.  I would be grateful.

Prologue (part Ipart IIpart IIIpart IV)

Part I  The Mystery of the Missing Fossils

  1. 1. Darwin’s Nemesis (part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5part 6)

  2. 2. The Burgess Bestiary

  3. 3. Soft Bodies and Hard Facts

  4. 4. The Not Missing Fossils?

  5. 5. The Genes Tell the Story?

  6. 6. The Animal Tree of Life

  7. 7. Punk Eek!

Part II – How to Build an Animal

  1. 8. The Cambrian Information Explosion

  2. 9. Combinatorial Inflation

  3. 10. The Origin of Genes and Proteins

  4. 11. Assume a Gene

  5. 12. Complex Adaptations and the Neo-Darwinian Math

  6. 13. The Origin of Body Plans

  7. 14. The Epigenetic Revolution

Part III – After Darwin, What?

  1. 15. The Post-Darwinian World and Self-Organization

  2. 16. Other Post-Neo-Darwinian Models

  3. 17. The Possibility of Intelligent Design

  4. 18. Signs of Design in the Cambrian Explosion

  5. 19. The Rules of Science

  6. 20. What’s at Stake

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