For over a decade, mathematician Jeffrey Shallit has been an outspoken critic of intelligent design. Recently, in a series of blog posts, he has attacked Stephen Meyer’s book Signature in the Cell (SITC) for what he sees as a variety of shortcomings. Some of Shallit’s criticisms merit careful attention, which we’ll present here in weeks to come. Other criticisms, however, are fluffy confections, failing to achieve even the slightness of what Hume called “mere cavils and sophisms.” Let’s look at one such bonbon of sophistry, Shallit’s claim that weather forecasting represents a devastating counterexample to SITC’s argument that complex specified information is, universally in human experience, produced by a mind or intelligence.
I’ve followed the back and forth between Francisco Ayala and Steve Meyer with interest. I happened to have just read Meyer’s book Signature in the Cell when I first saw Ayala’s commentary/review on it at the Biologos Foundation website. My initial response was that Ayala obviously hadn’t read the book, and, as a result, made some embarrassing mistakes that any reader of the book would recognize. Darrell Falk at the Biologos Foundation was apparently responsible for inviting Ayala to comment on Meyer’s book, and has been drawn into the debate. He published the first part of Meyer’s response to Ayala, but not without first offering his “background comments” about the debate. (I think David Klinghoffer has said what needs to Read More ›
Earlier this week, the Biologos Foundation posted part of Stephen Meyer’s response to a review of his book Signature in the Cell by evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala. Because Biologos decided to introduce its partial posting of Meyer’s response with a misleading and inaccurate preface, and because Biologos further decided to rebut part 1 of Meyer’s response before readers had a chance to read his entire response, we have decided to make the rest of Dr. Meyer’s response available on his website immediately. Just as readers were allowed to read Dr. Ayala’s critique in its entirety before reading Dr. Meyer’s response, we think it only fair that readers should have the opportunity to read Meyer’s entire response (which was written in Read More ›
The Discovery Institute has invited Dr. Francisco Ayala to debate the thesis of the book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design with the book’s author, Dr. Stephen Meyer. Those who’ve been following the debate between Meyer and his critics know that there has been a bit of back and forth since Ayala was invited to critique SITC on the Biologos website. Meyer has responded this week, with the first of two parts on the Biologos site. Discovery Institute would like to initiate a full-fledged, official debate between the two, and so we have already sent the following invitation to Dr. Ayala. Dear Professor Ayala: I am writing to you in my capacity as the Director Read More ›
Earlier this year, evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala critiqued Stephen Meyer’s book, Signature in the Cell, in an invited essay for the Biologos Foundation website. Dr. Meyer has now responded with the first part of a two-part response, “On Not Reading The Signature in the Cell.” In this first part, Meyer argues that Ayala unfortunately does not appear to have read Signature in the Cell, and so his effort to refute the book falls flat. Indeed, Ayala’s “review misrepresents the thesis and topic of the book and even misstates its title.” Read more here.