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Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,052 ratings  ·  187 reviews
When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue, but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the Cambrian explosion, many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by HarperOne
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Martin Roules I seriously wanted to read the scientific background about the Cambrian Explosion. Having completed this complex and detailed book, I am astonished ho…moreI seriously wanted to read the scientific background about the Cambrian Explosion. Having completed this complex and detailed book, I am astonished how weak the macroevolution case is, how many statistical and mathematical holes it has. "Denial" is not a convincing argument -- and the priests of evolution are BIG on denial. Anyone who wants to be fully informed on the origin of life and its development on earth MUST read this book.(less)
Nelson The previous commenter was being slightly dishonest in his comment. In geologic time the Cambrian period is aptly described as explosion - having occu…moreThe previous commenter was being slightly dishonest in his comment. In geologic time the Cambrian period is aptly described as explosion - having occurred over such a relatively short period - and yet almost all present animal phyla appeared during this time.(less)

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“Meyer writes beautifully. He marshals complex information as well as any writer I’ve read... a wonderful, most compelling read.”Dean Koontz

“It’s hard for us paleontologists to admit that neo-Darwinian explanations for the Cambrian explosion have failed miserably... Meyer describes the dimensions of the problem with clarity and precision. His book is a game changer.”
Dr. Mark McMenamin, paleontologist at Mt. Holyoke College and coauthor of The Emergence of Animals

“A tou
An Abysmal Effort in Lying and Distorting Cambrian Paleobiology Courtesy of Stephen Meyer

Should I feel sorry for Stephen Meyer? For years he and his fellow Discovery Institute mendacious intellectual pornographers have insisted that they’ve been persecuted by “Darwinists”, and that their research has been banned from publication in notable, prestigious scientific journals like Paleobiology, Evolution, American Naturalist, Cladistics, Genetics, and many, many others. However, the sad, but true, f
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: apologetics, science
The book, 'Darwin's Doubt', by Dr. Stephen C. Meyer is written as a follow-up to his popular book that he released in 2009 titled, 'Signature in the Cell'. As he laid out in the prologue of his book, this book was written as a response to the critics of his first book, which mistakenly judged his first book as if his book was written with the intention of making a full-blown refutation of Neo-Darwinism. 'Signature in the Cell' was a book discussing the first life and the subsequent chemical evol ...more
Thomas Wenig
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Meyer does an excellent job in explaining his point. It is clear that Neo- Darwinism is a faith system built on the mathematically impossible. That it remains scientific orthodoxy is a testimony to the level of bullying used to keep doubters in line and nothing else
Melissa Travis
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just finished a cover-to-cover, word-for-word reading of DD. Working on a thorough review, to be posted soon.

Update: Review series in progress at :-)
Timothy Cook
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was something of a difficult book to read, as it was incredibly detailed, and the author was definitely not "dumbing it down" at all. It explains, though, one of those scientific conundrums that has plagued the thoughtful for the last 150 years. The particular issue is the explosion of animal life in the Cambrian period, with all of the fossils, which seemingly just appeared.
He very thoroughly goes through the various theories, and finds most of them inadequate, in their ability to explain
Brian Watson
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I have read the entire book. All of it. From reading other "reviews," I can see that not everyone has read the entirety of the book.

Second, for a detailed view of this book and Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True, go here:

In this book, Meyer addresses something that troubled Darwin: he knew that the fossil record did not match his evolutionary "tree of life." He assumed that future discoveries would vindicate his theory. Meyer shows that im
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was slow going because it was so scientifically technical. Meyer examines fossils, especially those during the Cambrian period, and genetics in great detail. One by one, he show the shortcomings of all the varieties of evolutionary theories: Darwinsim, punctuated equilibrium, neo-Darwinism, and others. Then he offers scientifically based alternative solutions to these shortcomings.
I particularly liked this quotation from evolutionist Richard Lewontin, which glaringly shows an evolutio
Gail Welborn
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
***The compelling case for Intelligent Design!***

Creationists and evolutionists have long debated their respective views over the origins of man. Did man evolve from the lower animal forms or did man suddenly appear as the Bible suggests. Although Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection favors evolution, even Darwin acknowledged there was a significant historical event he couldn’t account for called the “Cambrian Explosion.”

He called it a “troubling anomaly” in “The Origin of Species”
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding, detailed, well-documented presentation and evaluation of the "explosive origin of animal life" that occurred during the Cambrian period. Meyer examines Darwinian evolution's inability to explain how it is that 20 of the 26 phyla (broad categories of biological classification) present in the geologic record all first appear in a very narrow geologic time period called the Cambrian. Contrary to Darwinian expectations, these 20 phyla appear suddenly in the Cambrian period, present a "s ...more
Feb 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
Note: My review for Darwin's Doubt initially appeared at Amazon and was transferred to Goodreads.

So I've finished reading Darwin's Doubt. I have several issues with Dr. Meyer's argument for Intelligent Design. While the book is extensive and well written it is also misleading, contains misunderstandings, and overall is not well researched. It does not present a balanced view of the debate and leaves out key points potentially damaging to the Intelligent Design argument. The author presents infor
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations
Great book. If you are interested in the Cambrian Explosion, fossils, geology, or just the history of life this is a wonderful book for you. Meyer breaks everything down in a way that one can understand and convincingly refutes the ability for neo-Darwinian evolution to account for the Cambrian. He also breaks down the myth of Intelligent Design not being a scientific community. He compares evolution and ID and shows that they are equally scientific. If you don't include ID as scientific, you ca ...more
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
In the popular Harry Potter books, Lord Voldermort is often referred to as 'He Who Must Not Be Named." In the 21st century when it comes to discussing science, especially on the subject of the origin of life or evolution, God is "He Who Must Not Be Named."

Fortunately, not all scientists are afraid of ¨He Who Must Not Be Named.¨ Last summer Stephen Meyer came out with a great companion book to his Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. His first book dealt with the fa
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Darwin’s Doubt is the second installment by Stephen C. Meyer to address unresolved mysteries in the history of life. His first book, Signature in the Cell, addresses chemical origins and how current theories do not adequately explain not only how DNA arose, but the information content in DNA. Darwin’s Doubt flashes forward a couple billion years from the first pro-cell to address what some refer to as the “Cambrian Explosion,” named for the period in Earth’s history in which an abundance of comp ...more
Dennis Mitton
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Meyer has certainly done his work – any argument so polarizing must be touching down pretty darned firmly on a whole lot of nerves. My thoughts? Indifference mostly. What would I have liked to read? Something new. Something convincing. Something novel. Instead Meyer paints the same old story – God did it! - in a shinier, academic, and footnoted way.

Here is a secret that Meyer never exposes (or maybe he just isn’t aware of it?): working scientists know this stuff already. That is why they are wo
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Meyer has presented a comprehensive look at the problems with neo-Darwinism. He notes that many evolutionary scientists now grudgingly admit that no chemical evolutional theory offers an adequate explanation for the origin of life or the ultimate information necessary to produce it. But the public get a different story. There is a great disparity between the popular perception of the theory and the actual state of it in the peer-reviewed literature. He sets that straight in this book.
He concentr
Kurtis Epp
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sadly, the ratings of this book show the polarization of such a topic. I actually thought that Meyer did a great job of being objective and removing any notion of religion from his investigation. I tried to approach this book without any presuppositions and I walked away with plenty to think about. Meyer's direct interaction with and citation of Neo-Darwinian proponents helps the reader to go explore for himself/herself whether Meyer's critiques have legs. For this reason, I highly recommend thi ...more
Socrates Taha
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This 400 page masterpiece is the book I always wanted to author myself! Stephen Meyer really did his homework, he did'nt miss any relevant research or update to the scientific status of Evolutionary Biology, neither did he oversee any possible objection to his critics or arguments! He is a marvelous writer indeed and his book deserves more than five stars, but not because he proved his point so persuasively ( although he did) but rather because of the objective and open-minded way he presented t ...more
Danny Runkel
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent outlining of the issue and the attempts to solve it. This book was very comprehensive and presented both valid and sound arguments. It described things well, and in a fashion that I as a non-bioligist can understand. My only critique is that the book could have been up to 2/3rds shorter. Dr. Meyer did have a tendency to repeat himself.
Alan Fuller

Most evolutionists hold to methodological materialism, which rules out anything but purposeless chance guided by natural selection. There is no design. The belief was that maybe 90% of DNA was ‘junk DNA.’ It was a product of the random process of evolution. The prediction of ID was that most DNA would be functional. It turns out that ID is right.

Lamarckian theories of inheritance fell out of favor early in the last century. Neo-Lamarckian epigenetic inheritance has recently been discovered to pl
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
While I am not convinced that Intelligent Design is a more useful theory than Darwinism, I do think the issues Meyer raises about the many, many shortcomings of Darwinian and neo-Darwinian theories to account for large morphological changes and speciation (especially between different phyla) are very compelling. Plus, the Cambrian Explosion is a very interesting period in the history of life on the planet, and so this would be a fun and interesting read just to learn more about that aspect.

For i
Oct 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is utter dross. Putting to one side the gross factual inaccuracies, the philosophy underlying his argument is broken and vapid. This should be an embarrassment to someone with a PhD in philosophy.

I've written on the details here:
Joelostin stinnxe
worth book to buy and read along with best explanation and information with this you should also buy Navigating genesis "Its also a great book" to describe about evolution and Bible.

You can buy it on online or in paperback...
Worth reading -Joel stin

Jeffrey Romine
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creation
There are a number of in-depth reviews that already do a good job of discussing what's in this book. It is not light reading, but neither is it too technical for those without a degree in science. It would certainly help to have studied some college-level biology.

Has the idea of absenting a Creator for the sake of removing religious overtones been successful? Any intelligent source, such as what SETI might ultimately discover, will do as a cause to substantiate ID claims. But, why not give cred
Adam Diaz
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book. If you're only going to read one book by Stephen Meyer, it should be "Signature in the Cell." Signature in the Cell focuses on the problems with naturalistic origin of life theories and Darwin's Doubt focuses on the theory of evolution after life has started, specifically, the Cambrian Explosion.

The plain and simple fact is that evolution is assumed to be true by many scientists, but there is no evidence that the standard proposed mechanisms of evolution could have produced th
Sep 19, 2013 added it
This is a fantastic book. It was difficult to read at first due to the scientific terminology used, but once I understood the meaning of the terms used, I had a much easier time. I am not sure whether I am convinced of intelligent design, but the author makes a compelling case based upon reasoned, logical arguments based upon biology, genetics, evolution, paleontology, mathematics, statistics and philosophy. The documentation, references and supporting footnotes demonstrate a rigorous methodolog ...more
May 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
Yale prof (after reading this book) acknowledges that the emperor has no clothes. Video conversation here. ...more
Max Tang
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“In China we can criticize Darwin, but not the government; in America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin!” This quote succinctly summarizes the emotional reactions in the commentary section. Darwin is the new religion in science. Scientists are now supposed to construct theological arguments for Darwin, provide empirical evidence, hold Darwinian Mass in various seminars, and vehemently attack the non-believers - often with ad hominem arguments rather than logic. If they could cons ...more
Ray Sutera
Aug 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is the kind of book that will impress those who know little to nothing about how paleontology works. It will also impress those who want to believe in intelligent design no matter what the evidence actually says.

The most salient aspect of the book is that it horribly mischaracterizes what we know about the so-called "Cambrian Explosion". Rather than go into detail here I'll refer readers to a web site that contains a well-written refutation of Meyer's bad science:

Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I will rate this book after I finish reading "Why Evolution is True," by Dr. Coyne. I want to see how some of the points this author raised are addressed by a highly respected writer of the opposite opinion.

Generally, I felt that I rather wanted an editor to have blue-penciled this book a lot more. It was awfully repetitive. Meyer rather harps on and on about the lack of fossils from the Pre-Cambrian period and how Neo-Darwinists rather tautologically fill the holes in their record and theory.
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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

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“In China,” he said, “we can criticize Darwin, but not the government. In America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.” 5 likes
“Agassiz explained his reasons for doubting the creative power of natural selection. Small-scale variations, he argued, had never produced a “specific difference” (i.e., a difference in species). Meanwhile, large-scale variations, whether achieved gradually or suddenly, inevitably resulted in sterility or death. As he put it, “It is a matter of fact that extreme variations finally degenerate or become sterile; like monstrosities they die out.” 0 likes
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