Has Craig Venter Produced Artificial Life?

“Artificial life, the stuff of dreams and nightmares, has arrived.” So proclaimed The Economist on May 20th, after a team of scientists headed by J. Craig Venter [2] announced that it had replaced the natural DNA in a bacterial cell with DNA they had artificially synthesized. According to University of Pennsylvania philosopher and bioethicist Arthur Caplan, “Venter and his colleagues have shown that the material world can be manipulated to produce what we recognize as life. In doing so they bring to an end a debate about the nature of life that has lasted thousands of years. Their achievement undermines a fundamental belief about the nature of life that is likely to prove as momentous to our view of ourselves Read More ›

Gotcha! Checking Stephen Meyer’s Spelling and Other Weighty Criticisms of Signature in the Cell

While my chapter in Signature of Controversy responding to Stephen Matheson’s review of Signature in the Cell deals with a variety of issues, I’d like to boil it down to two or three which I feel are the most important topics. Why are they the most important? Because it’s on these topics that Matheson engages in the most name-calling, and where Matheson also happens to be the most wrong. (Is there a reason why evolutionists so often increase the ad hominem attacks when their case is weak?) With that, here’s a condensed and abridged version of my response to Matheson: What would you get if you crossed a snarky pro-evolution blog like Panda’s Thumb with a passionate defender of theistic Read More ›

New Book, Signature of Controversy, Responds to Steve Meyer’s Critics

Critics of intelligent design often try to dismiss the theory as not worth addressing, as a question already settled, even as being too boring to countenance. Then they spend an amazing amount of energy trying to refute it. The very evidence of the ongoing debate sparked by Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell should silence that tired trope that there is no controversy over evolution and intelligent design. That controversy has reached a fever-pitch in less than a year since the book’s first release, marking Meyer’s volume as a book serious Darwinists must deal with. And dealt with it, they haven’t — in their responses, some critics have misread it, while others have simply failed to read it at all. Read More ›

Which Steve said “design is an excellent and irrefutable explanation”?

Q: Which Steve said design is an excellent and irrefutable explanation? Hint: He didn’t write Signature in the Cell. This incredible interaction came at last Friday night’s presentation of Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer at Biola University in front of 1,400 attendees and hundreds more watching the event streamed live on the internet. In a panel discussion after his lecture, Meyer met two of his critics head-on, one of whom essentially conceded that intelligent design is a better explanation than an unguided process like Darwinian evolution. The critics were Steve Matheson, a theistic evolutionist from Calvin College, and Arthur Hunt a Darwinist and biologist from the University of Kentucky. Both have written critically of SITC and intelligent design Read More ›

Biola to Broadcast Signature in the Cell Event Live on Friday

Even if you can’t make it to the free Signature in the Cell event in Southern California this Friday, you’re in luck. Biola University will be broadcasting the event with Stephen Meyer live for a fee. According to the website: The broadcast fee helps subsidize the cost of the event, and the cost of producing and hosting the video broadcast. It is intendend primarily for large groups and we hope you choose to view it in a group to foster discussion about this topic. Discussion groups, interested friends, churches, families and individuals are encouraged to participate in the broadcast on Friday at 7pm PDT. Go here for system requirements (a computer with high-speed internet) and ordering information.