Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism

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Matt Young, Taner Edis
Rutgers University Press, 2004 - Science - 238 pages
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Historically, religious scriptures are defined as holy texts that are considered to be beyond the abilities of the layperson to interpret. Their content is most frequently analyzed by clerics who do not question the underlying political or social implications of the text, but use the writing to convey messages to their congregations about how to live a holy existence. In Western society, moreover, what counts as scripture is generally confined to the Judeo-Christian Bible, leaving the voices of minorities, as well as the holy texts of faiths from Africa and Asia, for example, unheard. In this innovative collection of essays that aims to turn the traditional bible-study definition of scriptures on its head, Vincent L. Wimbush leads an in-depth look at the social, cultural, and racial meanings invested in these texts. Contributors hail from a wide array of academic fields and geographic locations and include such noted academics as Susan Harding, Elisabeth Shussler Fiorenza, and William L. Andrews. Purposefully transgressing disciplinary boundaries, this ambitious book opens the door to different interpretations and critical orientations, and in doing so, allows an ultimately humanist definition of scriptures to emerge."
 

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It can be difficult to review and rate a book like this, written specifically for scientists. Perhaps a non-scientist would be better equipped to say it it was too technical, too boring, too ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Grand Themes Narrow Constituency
9
Grand Designs and Facile Analogies Exposing Behes Mousetrap and Dembskis Arrow
20
Common Descent Its All or Nothing
32
Darwins Transparent Box The Biochemical Evidence for Evolution
48
Evolutionary Paths to Irreducible Systems The Avian Flight Apparatus
58
Evolution of the Bacterial Flagellum
72
SelfOrganization and the Origin of Complexity
85
Chance and Necessity and Intelligent Design?
139
There Is a Free Lunch after All William Dembskis Wrong Answers to Irrelevant Questions
153
Is the Universe FineTuned for Us?
172
Is Intelligent Design Science?
185
Organizations and Web Sites
197
References
207
About the Contributors
223
Index
227

The Explanatory Filter Archaeology and Forensics
107
Playing Games with Probability Dembskis Complex Specified Information
121

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Page v - It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.

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About the author (2004)

Matt Young is the author of No Sense of Obligation: Science and Religion in an Impersonal Universe. He is a retired physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and now teaches physics at the Colorado School of Mines.

TANER EDIS is associate professor of Physics at Truman State University. While primarily a theoretical physicist, he has also written numerous articles on the secularist tradition in science. He is the author of The Ghost In the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science (2002) and co-editor of Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism (2004).

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