Around the Discovery Institute offices we’ve been cooing over the copies of the finished book that came in last week: it’s Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, by Dr. Stephen Meyer. Previously we had only seen bound and unbound galleys. Let me tell you, it’s a beautiful book. The color plates of Cambrian creatures, for one thing, are fantastic.
It’s also a fantastic deal that will, sadly for those who dawdle, draw to a close this Friday, May 31. We’ve been telling you about the 43% discount, the free shipping, and the four free digital books* that go with it. All that is available only at DarwinsDoubt.com. After May 31, and this is firm, you’ll be on your own. You will not get this kind of deal from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The book is due out on June 18 from the HarperOne imprint of HarperCollins.
For the scientific critique of Darwinism and for the theory of intelligent design, Darwin’s Doubt represents a major landmark. I was emphasizing it as a physical product, and in that sense I would compare it to Richard Dawkins’s The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, which also included a collection of impressive color plates. But it’s like Dawkins’s book in another way, if you’ll forgive the comparison: a powerful work of synthesis, summing up the best and newest arguments for a way of interpreting the history of life.
We’ll be sharing some of the dust-jacket blurbs with you in due time. For now, I’ll mention that the endorsements on the back include a very interesting mix of figures from scientific and public life. There is Harvard geneticist George Church — and New York Times bestselling novelist Dean Koontz.
There is Mark McMenamin, a paleontologist at Mt. Holyoke College, and Russell Carlson, a biochemist and molecular biologist at the University of Georgia. There is Scott Turner, biologist at the State University of New York, and there is Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, senior scientist (emeritus) at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Germany.
Here’s why the book is so important. Not only does it crystalize the entire argument for intelligent design as no book has done before, using the Cambrian explosion, the eruption of biological complexity 530 million years ago, as the thread that, once given a tug, unravels the whole Darwinian argument. It also cannot be ignored.
Those names on the dust jacket are one reason why. What are Darwinists going to say now? That Dr. George Church, pioneering professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, is a shill for creationism? I mean, really. (See this profile of him in the New York Times.) Darwin’s Doubt is your souvenir of the moment that the other side finally, finally had to answer and not merely dismiss the argument for intelligent design. This will be the moment they could no longer duck the obligation to reply to the evidence that Dr. Meyer rigorously lays out.
Rigorously, but also enjoyably. As I said, we’re going to make you wait a bit longer for all the endorsements. But Mr. Koontz calls it "a wonderful, most compelling read." He says: "Meyer writes beautifully. He marshals complex information as well as any writer I’ve read."
Paleontologist Mark McMenamin calls it a "game-changer for the study of evolution." Dr. Church congratulates Dr. Meyer for his contribution to a much needed "professional, respectful dialogue" and "bridge-building" between scientific and cultural views. Dr. Carlson praises the "cutting-edge molecular biology" and "mathematical precision" with which, in Darwin’s Doubt, Meyer "shows why the neo-Darwinian mechanism cannot produce the genetic information and novel proteins — or systems for regulating their expression — that are required to build new animals."
That represents some very impressive agreement among some very impressive people. From such heights, it seems like a bit of a come down to talk about discounts on cover price and shipping. Nevertheless, as any lover and buyer of books will confirm, those things matter too! Remember, Friday, May 31 is your deadline.
*They are: Science and Human Origins; Metamorphosis; Signature of Controversy; and Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life.