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Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
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Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

(Signature in the Cell #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,143 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Signature in the Cell is a defining work in the discussion of life’s origins and the question of whether life is a product of unthinking matter or of an intelligent mind. For those who disagree with ID, the powerful case Meyer presents cannot be ignored in any honest debate. For those who may be sympathetic to ID, on the fence, or merely curious, this book is an engaging, eye-openi“Signature ...more
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by HarperOne (first published June 2009)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  1,143 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Aug 25, 2009 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 th
Kip Lowery
Dec 26, 2011 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
Oct 22, 2011 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
Aug 19, 2009 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
“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 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
Oct 11, 2009 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
Sep 24, 2010 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.
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
Feb 22, 2011 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 fir
Barton Jahn
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most articulate speakers and writers I have heard or read, Stephen C. Meyer makes what I would assess to be an irrefutable case for Intelligent Design…based upon the bankruptcy of unguided materialistic processes to explain the biological information needed for DNA in living cells to get up and running…to reach the state of functional survival and reproduction.

Meyer’s excellent writing style combined with the interesting subject-matter of the origin of life and the speci
Jul 25, 2011 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
Jul 01, 2009 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
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.
Sep 22, 2012 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 08, 2014 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
Aug 23, 2010 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
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
May 25, 2015 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.
Paul Seitz
May 03, 2011 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.
Jan 11, 2014 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 natural se
Mousa Alshaikh
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Meyer is doing an excellent job of presenting his argument in a very complete and organized manner. The descriptions of intracellular processes are easy to understand for non-scientific readers, yet they are detailed enough to inform those who have the most interest. One thing I really admire is that unlike many who have an opinion in this area, it does not dive into calling names or making fun of opponents. It refers to hypocrisy and bias. His analysis of intracellular complexity, along wit ...more
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A solid intellectual defense of Intelligent Design. I particularly enjoyed the history of DNA's discovery.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a Christian theist, I already recognize teleology in biology and the connection between information and purpose. So I found myself agreeing frequently with Meyer. The writing is clear and does elucidate the weaknesses of the current darwinian theories of origins. There is a lot of arm-waving going on the naturalist's side of the fence and Meyer rightly points it out. But a fair analysis of his work here left me with a few criticisms. First, I found the book verbose and repetitive -- the same ...more
Adam Diaz
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had time to write a longer review. Bottom line, I loved this book.

Technical, but easy to understand. Thorough, but kept my attention the entire time.

I have tried to find any secular scientist that refutes his argument and I can't find one. The crux of the book is that there is no know mechanism that can create complex specified information except a mind. He continues his case that not only is there no know mechanism, there could not be a material (non-mind) mecha
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant Propsition

A carefully considered highly plausible theory. Replete with numerous logical arguments that have such a profound effect upon the reader that it is difficult to dispute the conclusions therein. Highly recommended for the curious. A great book.
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.
Achilleas Georgiou
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it

Premise 1: despite a thorough search no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information

Premise 2: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information

Conclusion: Intelligent design constitutes the best most causally adequate explanation for the information in the cell

The book goes against two main theories, randomness and deterministic pr
Noura Noman
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A highly specialized and informative book. It outlined all the stages which lead to the topic of "intelligent design" (ID). From Darwin to DNA to nature to chance, a very technical explanation which is made even more difficult by the fact that this was an audio book and I could not refer to previous explanations. Still, the methodology seems to be sound (at least for someone who only studied literature and linguistics). The jury is out, but at least there is one answer to the question of what sp ...more
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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

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Signature in the Cell (2 books)
  • Signature of Controversy: Responses to Critics of Signature in the Cell (Signature in the Cell #2)
“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.” 20 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.” 14 likes
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