Editor’s note: We are delighted to welcome a new contributor to Evolution News, our colleague Daniel Reeves, Educational Outreach Assistant with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.
Representing Discovery Institute as an educational outreach assistant often means sitting at a conference book table and offering a selection of materials related to intelligent design — readings that range from a brief overview of the corrosive social impacts of neo-Darwinism to 600-page technical breakdowns of complex biochemical systems. I’ve watched, time after time, as students and professionals alike approach the table with visible enthusiasm only to leave feeling overwhelmed by the vast array and sheer quantity of information available on the subject. I can fully relate.
My own journey to learning about intelligent design began in high school, where I became particularly interested in the biodiversity of life and the glaring inadequacy of natural selection as an explanation for it all. A friend handed me a copy of Darwin’s Black Box, by Michael Behe, and I was hooked.
Soon, I learned of other titles and was knee-deep in Signature in the Cell — an argument for design from the complex digital codes observed in DNA. By the time I had finished an undergraduate degree in biology and was getting acquainted with Discovery Institute, I had read another dozen or so books on the subject. My head was swimming with so many ideas that I didn’t know where to turn next.
I wondered: How does this all fit together? What other arguments are out there for intelligent design? What are the counterarguments? What I wish I had to start with was a comprehensive curriculum providing a basic framework for all of the technical books and papers I would go on to read in the years to follow. Such a thing, to my knowledge, did not exist. But now it does.
Regardless of your level of study on the subject, there are now invaluable resources available to help make the multitude of current ID arguments accessible to you. Two are of special interest. Each is organized much like a textbook and comes with supplemental materials including workbooks and/or DVDs. Online companion courses are also offered for each of these, free of charge, to help the reader work through the material at her own pace. I trust that one or both of these resources will prove helpful in your own intellectual journey.
Published recently by Discovery Institute Press, Discovering Intelligent Design is a comprehensive curriculum presenting the biological and cosmological evidence in support of the scientific theory of intelligent design, as well as challenges to neo-Darwinism. Designed for readers ranging from middle-school students (in private or home schools, not public) to adults, this is a perfect place to begin your studies or to gain an overview of the arguments to date. Topics include the fine-tuning of the universe, solar system, and planet Earth, the irreducible complexity of biochemical systems, challenges to the traditional “tree of life,” and even strategies for engaging in the larger debate. With plenty of images, discussion questions, and accompanying videos, this curriculum stands to captivate students, professionals, families, youth groups, and more.
Or are you already comfortable with the basic framework of ID arguments? Delve deeper with The Design of Life, a beautifully illustrated college-level textbook that covers topics related to human origins, genetics, and macroevolution, the fossil record, the origin of species, irreducible complexity, and much more! Written by mathematician William Dembski and biologist Jonathan Wells, this book presents a compelling scientific case for the intelligent design of biological systems using critical analysis, clear explanations, and brilliant analogies. It will engage every reader, from trained scientist to curious layperson.
The textbooks are available for sale at the Center for Science & Culture bookstore. I hope these resources will serve you as they have me.
Photo: Daniel Reeves, via Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.