Michael Denton’s new book, The Miracle of the Cell, considers the evidence for intelligent design from a new perspective and at a new level. As with his previous books, it’s a more fundamental view than that of all other ID literature. Before there can be the “Signature in the Cell” (the information in DNA, needed for the first life) or “Darwin’s Doubt” (the eruption of new life forms, animal body plans and the biological information to build them, in the Cambrian explosion), there must have been the finely tuned — the intelligently designed — atoms that make cellular life possible.
We talked with Dr. Denton about the release of his book on a live international Zoom meeting with hosts Eric Anderson and Daniel Reeves. If you missed it, you can watch that now on YouTube:
In the conversation, Denton summarized this and the other monograph-length books in his Privileged Species series:
[There is] a series of major innovations that were absolutely essential on the route to man. And amazingly, each one of these great innovations, including the cell, is preceded by an extraordinary fitness in nature which permitted that innovation to be actualized in the history of life. You have a teleological sequence and you have teleology in the very essence of things to allow that sequence to progress. It’s very consistent with the notion that humans like us, beings with our physiology, were in the mind of God at the moment of creation. Because this order we are talking about is in the very ground of being from the moment of creation itself. That’s the finger of God in creation.
A Very Special Fitness
In other words, this directionality to the evolution of the universe was foreseen — intended — from the Big Bang. Or rather, from before it, because the design was actualized right away. Since there was no nature and no time before the universe came into being, it follows that the design must be of that a transcendent mind, representing the “finger of God,” as Denton puts it.
It goes without saying that the universe and our planet are “fit” for life. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t be here to notice it. So evolutionists will quickly tell you. What atheists and materialists can’t explain is why that fitness is so special, so unforgivingly precise and intricate, at every stage on the journey to us. Everything, starting with the first elements of the periodic table, must have been just so. There was no room for error. This fact, detailed in countless mainstream science textbooks, has a message for us.
A Message in Matter
Talking with Eric Anderson, Dr. Denton recalls his introduction to the 1913 classic by Harvard physiologist Lawrence Joseph Henderson, The Fitness of the Environment, which Henderson described as “an inquiry into the biological significance of the properties of matter.” Interestingly, it was the foremost French Darwin skeptic, Marcel-Paul Schützenberger — mathematician and physician, a mentor to and major influence on evolution critic David Berlinski — who provided Denton a photocopy of the book on a visit to Paris. This revolutionized Denton’s thinking on the viability of evolution as an engine of biological innovation.
As he recounts, though, it wasn’t till he completed The Miracle of the Cell that any last wisps of hesitation he had about evolutionary theory and its demise were at last swept away. Yours will be too. Get a copy of this powerful little book now.