Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design” as Want to Read:
Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (Signature in the Cell #1)

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  656 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
One hundred fifty years ago, Charles Darwin revolutionized biology, but did he refute intelligent design (ID)? In Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer argues that he did not.

Much confusion surrounds the theory of intelligent design. Frequently misrepresented by the media, politicians, and local school boards, intelligent design can be defended on purely scientific grounds
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by HarperOne (first published June 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Signature in the Cell, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Signature in the Cell

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,160)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 25, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it
This is a very long book (a tome?) and I don't have the time or energy to review it well. I doubt most of those who give it a one star rating, here and at Amazon, have even read it. Their "reviews" just seem like they're forced. They just have to get something off. The word I've made up to describe these types is: designophobe.

This book is a scaled down version of the author's doctoral dissertation at Cambridge on the question of the "DNA enigma." That is, how the information properties of the D
Kip Lowery
Jan 31, 2012 Kip Lowery rated it it was amazing
An excellent summary for the case for Intelligent Design (ID). Meyer answers critics who label ID as unscientific, citing Stephen Jay Gould, who described evolutionary biology, geology, paleontology, etc. as “historical sciences.” Meyer explains how the theory of ID fits these parameters.

Clearly, the biological information contained in DNA is code-like, so much so that people like Dawkins and Crick have to remind scientists that it only “appears” that way. In his first premise, Meyer recounts a
Oct 22, 2011 Randy rated it it was amazing
The year 2009 marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. This caused a lot of reflection about the legacy of Darwin, about what his greatest contribution is thought to be. Although the theory of evolution leaps to mind, many scholars believe that Darwin's legacy is not so much his theory per se but the consequences of his theory: that by providing a completely materialistic account of biological history he refuted the classical argument from desi ...more
“A decisive case based upon breathtaking and cutting-edge science.” - Dr. Philip S. Skell, member, National Academy of Sciences, and Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus at Pennsylvania State University.

“A defining work in the discussion of life’s origins... the powerful case Meyer presents cannot be ignored in any honest debate... an engaging, eye-opening, and often eye-popping read.” - American Spectator
Michael Johnson
Sep 26, 2012 Michael Johnson rated it it was amazing
He never touched religion in this, which was a wise move. I have always had a nagging disbelief of evolution and this book with a few others just sealed the deal. Pure science, not big corporate science, will leave evolution in the scrap pile with Marxism and Freud. The fossil record is a joke, you can't test evolution, and the fact the Darwinists get so mad is proof that the legs of evolution are built on sand. Lets move science into the next century and get the atheists out of it.
Richard Nelson
Dec 16, 2009 Richard Nelson rated it it was amazing

This is a must read for very one interested in the origin of life issues. Steven Meyer's new book, Signature in the Cell, takes the reader on a breath-taking journey through modern scientist's findings that definitively demonstrates the improbability of life arising by chance. Don't miss this journey.

Loaded with references, the Stephen Meyer takes you through his journey of discovery during his lifetime.

Richard William Nelson
Aug 27, 2009 Ted rated it did not like it
Shelves: evolution-debate
While this book is portrayed as a new approach in the understanding of Intelligent Design as a scientific theory, but there is nothing new here. It uses many of the same arguments in much the same old way and introduces nothing new. While the author claims it is a scientific study, it is really a philosophical approach that doesn't advance his position at all. It's not even published by a scientific journal, but HarperOne, the religious imprint of Harper-Collins. I found it in the Christian Livi ...more
Oct 06, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2010
A really good Intelligent Design apologetic. Along the lines of Behe, Meyer shows how the new understanding of DNA eliminates chance as a possible explanation for the the origins of life, DNA, RNA and enzymes.

After reading this book one wonders how the theory of Evolution can survive, except that its opponents will continue to be dismissed in the media or silenced in academia.
Feb 22, 2011 Joshua rated it it was amazing
This was a very heavy read(i.e. loaded with science content), but well worth the effort. Meyer does a phenomenal job putting forth a step by step argument for the theory of intelligent design.

Richard Williams
i liked the book, i enjoyed reading it, the only problem is that he is wrong.

first, id, is fruitless as a research theory, mostly because it causes the discussion to rise from the science level to the theolological, it is a lot more interesting to discuss the designer than it is to talk about how.

second, is that he is really discussing abiogenesis and through a sleight of hand trick says that this criticism makes the neo-darwinian synthesis suspect. nope, creating the first replicator is not the
In his rather tendentious, often dull, treatise on behalf of Intelligent Design and its potential implications for resolving the mystery of the origin of life, Stephen Meyer has written yet another manifesto of the kind we’ve come to expect from Meyer and his fellow Discovery Institute colleagues; one that is long on style and rather short on substance. In “Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design” Meyer contends that Intelligent Design is a better scientific alternativ ...more
Aug 07, 2011 Scott rated it really liked it
I’m not sure I can say more than what’s already been said about this. Atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel called it one of the best books of 2009 (albeit, the paperback came out in 2010) and the American Spectator called it a “defining work in the origins debate.” It was really long (around 625 pages, if you include the footnotes), but definitely went beyond what I was expecting. I’m a layman, and therefore can’t think of any wondrous objections to it, but I’m still waiting to see how things turn o ...more
Dec 06, 2011 Shane rated it really liked it
Meyer does a convincing job of showing why intelligent design should be considered a scientific theory for the origin of life. As a scientist himself, Meyer can at times be over the head of the casual reader, but the gist of it is, that the information that is contained within the cell had to have originated somewhere, and current theories fail to adequately explain how it did so. He makes the case that intelligent design is the best explanation for how DNA and the coded information thereon came ...more
Jan 29, 2011 Bruno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Using the same uniformitarian assumptions and historical scientific reasoning as Darwin, Meyer's shows that the best explanation of the origin of life is intelligent design. Darwin's theory explains the development and diversification of life but not it's origin.

Meyer's book is well written and makes for a captivating read as he cogently builds his case step by step.

He also provides many excellent and helpful illustrations of abstract concepts for the non-scientists.

Meyer's includes an appendi
Sep 22, 2012 Jeff rated it it was amazing
What a great book. It is dense and intellegent, but I also found it accessable. I can understand how atheists get upset with this book as it picks apart neoDarwinism (the religion of many atheists), but this theory does not say who is the designer. It just says one exists.
Sep 14, 2014 Gkc3of9 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, science
It would be easy to dismiss any review as advocating or rejecting this book based on a preconceived worldview. That is unfortunate. Dr. Meyer presents a rather painstaking historical review of genetic science. At times, the reader can feel both appreciation for the careful thoroughness and a sense that Meyer is over-documenting his case. His storytelling is more than readable without breaking the seriousness the topic requires.
Meyer is careful to leave theology and religion out of the book. Whil
Paul Seitz
May 03, 2011 Paul Seitz rated it really liked it
Provides an excellent summary of the Intelligent Design argument, and effectively answers many of the criticisms currently brought against the scientists who dare to disavow Darwinian evolution as the best possible explanation for the origin of life.
Brandon Zaffini
Jun 27, 2012 Brandon Zaffini rated it it was amazing
Every bit as good as I expected. Stephen Meyer doesn't much leave room for rebuttal; he's almost obnoxiously thorough in his arguments. Brilliant book though. It will stand for a long time, I would wager.
Jan 11, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
I read this book before Darwin's Doubt, which I don't recommend especially if you are new to genetics topics.

I learned a heap from this book. I finally understand what gene expression it, how proteins are made, how DNA directs protein creation, what proteins do, how unbelievable complex DNA is and also how complex proteins are. There is a great animation at showing the basics of how it works. Amazing stuff.

Further amazing is how improbable random mutations and n
Sep 23, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
I love this book. It offers some very clear arguments to help understand how DNA functions as "information". So far the only source of information we have identified is intelligent agents so there are sound arguments for concluding "intelligent design" as the source of the information in DNA.
Meyer also leads through how the historical sciences use a different method and criteria than do the sciences that use an empirical approach. The sciences that use a historical method include forensics, geol
It is f***king amazing like my rating! With more than 5 hundred pages literally!
The writer teach us about history of DNA research from A to Z.
It is important since DNA is the key for intellegent design (information).
Continued with DNA enigma and lots of arguments from academic societies.
Then the Intellegent Design (ID) ideology itself where it shown us that ID has deep roots in the history of cosmology, and in the earth and life sciences.

Todd Miles
Jul 13, 2015 Todd Miles rated it really liked it
While the biochemistry sections made for some tough sledding, Meyer's analysis of the arguments of Darwinists is clear and easy to follow. This is a laudable work and should be read by all who care, one way or the other, about the intelligent design debate.
Very detailed science of DNA and how it points to a creator. Meyer is good at describing big-brain stuff, but goes into minute detail.
Mar 20, 2011 Seth rated it it was amazing
A solid intellectual defense of Intelligent Design. I particularly enjoyed the history of DNA's discovery.
Jan 25, 2015 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crisis-of-faith
What is the probability that life began by chance in a prebiotic soup? Stephen Meyer addresses this question in his book, The Signature in the Cell. Meyer offers best estimates in chapter 9 from which the quotes for this article are taken (page 212ff.).

Meyer shows that the origin of life happening by chance is mathematically unimaginable. Up to this point, chapter 9, he has been preparing us for the math. He discusses DNA and nucleic acid, amino acids and proteins, the history and philosophy of
Sep 06, 2012 Mark rated it liked it
OK... First I have to admit that this book was way too long and convoluted for me to read the whole thing. Too much story-telling and unnecessary information (In contrast, I enjoyed the brevity and simplicity of Francis Collin's "The Language of God" when I read it some years ago). Having said that, I appreciated most of what I did read of Meyer's work. For a shorter version that repeats a lot of the basic argument see the article below on his organization's website:
Andrés Palacios
Aug 12, 2015 Andrés Palacios rated it it was amazing
For me as a computer engineer presents an outstanding comparisson between the [turing] machines built by humans and the high level complexity found in DNA. It highlights the information present in biological systems based on Shannon's theory of information. Awsome book to discard orthodox Darwinism in its many ways.
Brad Holaway
Sep 17, 2010 Brad Holaway rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, Meyers makes a very strong case for intelligent agency as the origin of information residing in the genetic code. As a non-scientist, I was able to follow his argument and understand the issues involved in the controversy. Now I am reading "Darwin's God" to hear the other side of the argument. After that I intend to ready "Origin of the Species". Stay tuned...
Neal Aggarwal
Sep 26, 2013 Neal Aggarwal rated it did not like it
If you don't know anything of the origins of life this book is a very impressive read. So many have been taken in by it. Myer simply does not mention lots of important research directly relevant to the issues and if you don't know the field you don't know what you're missing. Myer employs Occams Broom as the evil tool that it is to sweep the facts under the carpet.
Sharee Smith
Aug 14, 2013 Sharee Smith rated it it was ok
I was expecting a lot of science and new facts. Part of the book was biography of the author's life, the other part philosophy/theology, the other part science. The arguments presented here are ones I've heard before. And very few of them had to do with the cell. Author's understanding of biblical arguments wasn't too great either. Wouldn't recommend to anyone.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 71 72 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong
  • The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery
  • The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
  • The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems
  • Darwin on Trial
  • The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions
  • God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science
  • Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism
  • The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God
  • Evolution: A Theory In Crisis
  • Reasonable Faith
  • Five Views on Apologetics
  • When Skeptics Ask
  • Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith
  • The Real Face of Atheism
There is more than one author with this name in the database.

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the philosophy of science. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. In 2004, Meyer ignited a firestorm of media and scientific controversy when a biology journal at the S
More about Stephen C. Meyer...

Other Books in the Series

Signature in the Cell (2 books)
  • Signature of Controversy: Responses to Critics of Signature in the Cell (Signature in the Cell #2)

Share This Book

“With odds standing at 1 chance in 10164 of finding a functional protein among the possible 150-amino-acid compounds, the probability is 84 orders of magnitude (or powers of ten) smaller than the probability of finding the marked particle in the whole universe. Another way to say that is the probability of finding a functional protein by chance alone is a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion times smaller than the odds of finding a single specified particle among all the particles in the universe.” 13 likes
“Since natural selection “selects” or preserves functionally advantageous mutations or variations, it can explain the origin of systems that could have arisen through a series of incremental steps, each of which maintains or confers a functional advantage on a living organism. Nevertheless, by this same logic, selection and mutation face difficulty in explaining structures or systems that could not have been built through a close series of functional intermediates. Moreover, since selection operates only on what mutation first produces, mutation and selection do not readily explain appearances of design that require discrete jumps of complexity that exceed the reach of chance; that is to say, the available probabilistic resources.” 13 likes
More quotes…