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By Design: Science and the Search for God [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.08" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2004
Publisher   Encounter Books
ISBN  159403043X  
EAN  9781594030437  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
The triumphal Darwinian Centennial in 1959 seemed once and for all to end the argument between science and religion that had been raging since Thomas Huxley took up the cause of evolution in the Victorian era. As far as science was concerned, God was dead-case closed. But in the past two decades, as award winning Washington journalist Larry Witham shows in By Design, the case has been reopened. Advances in science suggest that the materialist "laws" may be incapable of comprehending the subtleties of evolution. Independent scientists and those involved with organizations such as the Discovery Institute are now using the cutting edge tools of physics, biochemistry, genetics, information theory, and neuroscience to reconsider whether "intentional" fine-tuning was required for life to be possible. At the heart of By Design are two inter-related movements. One is the "science and religion dialogue," which stretches from the laboratories of Nobelists to inner sancta of the Vatican. This dialogue attempts to build bridges between two worlds formerly thought to be implacably hostile and incompatible. The other is the intelligent design movement, which by reviving a natural theology of design in nature has challenged the Darwinian strongholds in science and public education. Larry Witham introduces some of the most colorful characters in these movements, and summarizes the scientific developments that have made this dramatic new dialogue possible. After reading By Design we understand how what was once a battleground between God and science is now becoming a meeting ground.

Publishers Description
The triumphal Darwinian Centennial in 1959 seemed once and for all to end the argument between science and religion that had been raging since Thomas Huxley took up the cause of evolution in the Victorian era. As far as science was concerned, God was dead--case closed. But in the past two decades, as prize winning science writer Larry Witham shows in By Design, the case has been reopened. Advances in science suggest that the materialist "laws" may be incapable of comprehending the subtleties of evolution. Independent scientists and those involved with organizations such as the New Discovery Institute are now using the cutting edge tools of physics, biochemistry, genetics, information theory, and neuroscience to reconsider whether "intentional" fine-tuning was required for life to be possible. At the heart of "By Design" are two inter-related movements. One is the "science and religion dialogue," which stretches from the laboratories of Nobelists to inner sancta of the Vatican. This dialogue attempts to build bridges between two worlds formerly thought to be implacably hostile and incompatible. The other is the intelligent design movement, which by reviving a natural theology of design in nature has challenged the Darwinian strongholds in science and public education. Larry Witham introduces some of the most colorful characters in these movements, and summarizes the scientific developments that have made this dramatic new dialogue possible. After reading "By Design" we understand how what was once a battleground between God and science is now becoming a meeting ground.


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More About Larry Witham

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Larry Witham is the author of The Measure of God, Where Darwin Meets the Bible, and By Design: Science and the Search for God. As a journalist, he has won the Religion Communicators Council's Wilbur Award three times and has received several prizes from the Religion Newswriters Association as well as a Templeton Foundation award for his articles on science and religion.

Larry Witham was born in 1952.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Unconvincing!  Jun 13, 2007
As Mr. Witham states in the "Acknowledgements", he is no expert on any of the topics, he writes about. He simply quotes "authority" after "authority",with no input of his own.
I had read Richard Dawkin's book THE GOD DELUSION prior to reading this one, and I hoped for an equally convincing argument for the Design Idea. This book does not even come close to meeting my expectations. Since Mr. Witham does not seem to understand the arguments of the Pro-Design-Faction, he cannot put the quotations he constantly cites into proper perspective. He obviously believes, that Evolution is wrong and Design is right, but this book cannot convince anybody straddling on the issue.
Surely, Mr. Dawkins wins this competition hands down.
 
Excellent Survey of Intelligent Design Movement  Sep 16, 2005
This book is a good and fair survey and history of the Intelligent Design movement. Included is coverage of the Discovery Institute out of Seattle, which is promoting a critical examination of Darwinism/evolution as is taught in our schools.
The author is even-handed and presents information and views of opponents as well as proponents. The book is readable, well-written. I especially recommend it to anyone who thinks the intelligent design movement is just a bunch of kooky, right wing, young earth types.
 
Evenhanded and very interesting.  Aug 19, 2004
Early in his career, award winning science writer Larry Witham examined the (sometimes ponderous and often dogmatic) ideas of the positivistic-leaning old school of "normal science" -- to borrow Kuhn's characterization. Although an entrenched orthodoxy, science underwritten by a rigid philosophical materialism has been encountering increased difficulty in verifying its more important predictions and its assumed creed, the so-called Mediocrity Principle (the doctrine that our universe, Earth, life, and humankind are not special). Witham seems to have now carved himself an important niche, writing about the issues at the interface of science and religion. He continues to interview the 'old school' of course, and presents those (often virulently anti-theistic) arguments honestly and evenhandedly, but more scientists are now recognizing the difficulties of materialism's mediocrity doctrine than the standing paradigm would have the nonscientific community believe. In a modest 200 pages, Witham gives us a considerable range of interviews and arguments from most of the major voices in this dialog today. The result is a very engaging discourse on the history of the ID hypothesis, beginning with MP Schutzenberger's mathematical dismissal of the neo-Darwinian "synthesis" in the very midst of Darwinism's would-be victory celebration in Chicago in 1959. I had a hard time putting the book down. Everyone knows where Steven Weinberg stands, and where William Dempski stands (and one could fill out a list in both categories), but what do we hear from such interested 'bystanders' as Alan Sandage, George Ellis, Paul Davies, Simon Conway Morris, and others? You might be surprised. The reader who assumes Weinberg's view -- that the dialog is inherently 'wrong' and should not be permitted a hearing -- may not care for this volume. And that's too bad, Witham is no dogmatist (most theist's wouldn't subtitle their book "the Search for God"), he's a dispassionate journalist intent on giving both general views a fair hearing. He does exactly that, restricting a philosophical battle that goes back at least to the ancient Greeks (Epicurus versus Plato, we might say), to the scientific developments of the past four decades, although reaching back to Hubble's 1929 discovery for foundation. If you are interested only in one pole's case against the other, this may not be the volume you're looking for. There will be certain materialists who will derisively call Witham a fundamentalist merely because he allows ID scientists their view. If you are one who can approach these issues with an honest curiosity, you will greatly enjoy this book.
 
A wonderful read: Check out the index.  Jun 25, 2004
Simply put, a wonderful read. Check out the index for the wide variety of persons and movements that he covers.
 
An excellent book  May 17, 2004
When I started reading this book I was a little disappointed because it focused on the development of the Intelligent Design(ID) movement, and did not cover much of the science behind Intelligent Design. Nevertheless, after finishing the book I was very surprised and pleased with the content of the book. Beginning with the Darwinian centennial of 1959, Witham begins by showing how science exuded confidence and hubris over the fact that science was apparently on the verge of solving the mystery of life's origins. Yet, even before the centennial celebration cracks in Darwinian theory were already beginning to appear; From Francis Crick's discovery of the complex double helix structure of DNA, to new findings in molecular biology, to the anthropic principle in astronomy, new discoveries seem to be casting doubt on the principle that we live in a purposeless universe and that man is nothing more than a cosmic accident residing in a backwater location in the universe. Moreover, Witham covers the growth and development of the ID movement from the Templeton foundation to various academic establishments attempting to break into mainstream science. All of the major players are mentioned including: Behe, Johnson, Dembski, Polkinhorne and others. It is quite sad that these men remain on the outside looking in in regards to the scientific establishment because they have a lot to say and raise some interesting questions. Yet, as Witham notes the scientific establishment gets to make it's own rules and disregard anyone who doesn't abide by their rules, and the Darwinian majority seems to be wed to Darwinian theory because they are afraid or unwilling to consider purposeful design. They are like the medieval astronomers who continued to accept Ptolemaic astronomy even though it had developed into a great monster. Hopefully, the ID movement will continue to press on and make inroads into mainstream science where their theories and ideas can be evaluated critically and not rejected outright as fundamentalist creationism.
 

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