Signature in the Cell
|Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design|
|Author||Stephen C. Meyer|
|Country||United States of America|
|Genre||Science and religion|
|Publication date||June 23, 2009|
|Preceded by||Darwinism, Design, and Public Education (2003)|
Philosopher Thomas Nagel submitted the book to the "2009 Books of the Year" supplement for The Times, writing "Signature in the Cell... 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... 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."
Stephen Fletcher, chemist at Loughborough University, responded in The Times Literary Supplement that Nagel was "promot[ing] the book to the rest of us using statements that are factually incorrect." Fletcher explained "Natural selection is in fact a chemical process as well as a biological process, and it was operating for about half a billion years before the earliest cellular life forms appear in the fossil record." In another publication, Fletcher wrote that "I am afraid that reality has overtaken Meyer’s book and its flawed reasoning" in pointing out scientific problems with Meyer's work by citing how RNA "survived and evolved into our own human protein-making factory, and continues to make our fingers and toes."
Darrel Falk, co-president of the BioLogos Foundation and a biology professor at Point Loma Nazarene University, reviewed the book and used it as an example of why he does not support the intelligent design movement. Falk wrote that the book contains many incorrect claims such as "Meyer correctly concluded that no RNA molecule had ever been evolved in a test tube which could do more than join two building blocks together." Falk was critical of Meyer's declaration of scientists, such as Michael Lynch, being wrong without Meyer conducting any experiments to falsify the established work in the field. Falk wrote, "the book is supposed to be a science book and the ID movement is purported to be primarily a scientific movement—not primarily a philosophical, religious, or even popular movement."
Falk concluded, "If the object of the book is to show that the Intelligent Design movement is a scientific movement, it has not succeeded. In fact, what it has succeeded in showing is that it is a popular movement grounded primarily in the hopes and dreams of those in philosophy, in religion, and especially those in the general public." On January 28, 2010 the BioLogos Foundation published Meyer's response to Falk. The response criticizes Falk's characterization of Meyer's credentials as well as the lack of any evidence from Falk that the premise of his book is faulty. Of his book Meyer says, "Since its completion, the book has been endorsed by prominent scientists including Philip Skell, a member of the National Academy of Sciences; Scott Turner, an evolutionary biologist at the State University of New York; and Professor Norman Nevin, one of Britain’s leading geneticists."
- 2009 Books of the Year, The Times
- Fletcher, Stephen (December 2, 2009). "TLS Letters 02/12/09". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- Fletcher, Stephen (February 3, 2010). "TLS Letters 03/02/10". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- Falk, Darrel (December 28, 2009). "Science & the Sacred » Signature in the Cell". BioLogos Foundation. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Response to Darrel Falk’s Review of “Signature in the Cell”, 28 January 2010, BioLogos Foundation