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Debating Design

William Dembski, Michael Ruse, and other prominent philosophers provide here a comprehensive balanced overview of the debate concerning biological origins — a controversial dialectic since Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. Invariably, the source of controversy has been “design.” Is the appearance of design in organisms (as exhibited in their functional complexity) the result of purely natural forces acting without prevision or teleology? Or, does the appearance of design signify genuine prevision and teleology, and, if so, is that design empirically detectable and thus open to scientific inquiry?

Table of Contents

    • Notes on Contributors
    • Introduction
    • 1. General Introduction    3
    • 2. The Argument from Design: A Brief History    13
    • 3. Who’s Afraid of ID? A Survey of the Intelligent Design Movement    32
  • Part I    Darwinism
    • 4. Design without Designer: Darwin’s Greatest Discovery    55
    • 5. The Flagellum Unspun: The Collapse of “Irreducible Complexity”    81
    • 6. The Design Argument    98
    • 7. DNA by Design? Stephen Meyer and the Return of the God Hypothesis    130
  • Part II    Complex Self-Organization
    • 8. Prolegomenon to a General Biology    151
    • 9. Darwinism, Design, and Complex Systems Dynamics    173
    • 10. Emergent Complexity, Teleology, and the Arrow of Time    191
    • 11. The Emergence of Biological Value    210
  • Part III    Theistic Evolution
    • 12. Darwin, Design, and Divine Providence    229
    • 13. The Inbuilt Potentiality of Creation    246
    • 14. Theistic Evolution    261
    • 15. Intelligent Design: Some Geological, Historical, and Theological Questions    275
    • 16. The Argument from Laws of Nature Reassessed    294
  • Part IV    Intelligent Design
    • 17. The Logical Underpinnings of Intelligent Design    311
    • 18. Information, Entropy, and the Origin of Life    331
    • 19. Irreducible Complexity: Obstacle to Darwinian Evolution    352
    • 20. The Cambrian Information Explosion: Evidence for Intelligent Design    371
    • Index    393