Book Reviews by Stephen P. Smith, Ph.D. (Part III)

Review of Stephen C. Meyer’s Book by Stephen P. Smith : Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

Abstract: Meyer makes the case for intelligent design, in my view, but he stops short with the causation that underwrites intelligent design. For Meyer, the only known cause for specified information has been human consciousness and agency, and therefore, intelligent causation offers the best available explanation for the origin of many features of life. This is well enough, but Meyer shirts the issue about the manifestation of this consciousness throughout life and in human expressions of consciousness. See:

Review of Stuart Kauffman’s Book by Stephen P. Smith: Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion

Abstract: The pretense is that emergence provides an unambiguous account of evolution. I will argue that ambiguity remains, even after a close read of Kauffman's "Reinventing the Sacred." Kauffman lauds the "natural" God that is found associated with the apparent "ceaseless creativity," even while he rejects the "Creator God." I think the Creator God is Kauffman's abstraction that sees a God that is held separate from God's creation. However, it seems unreasonable to say that God is separate from God's creation, in my view. Christians pray to God, and live by the golden rule, and this can only imply that God is again united with God's creation. Moreover, mystics from all religions report being united with God and this is far from Kauffman's Creator God. The concept of "natural" in Kauffman's naturalistic God is equally ambiguous given that ambiguity cannot be removed from emergence. See:

Review of Mike Gene’s Book by Stephen P. Smith: The Design Matrix: A Consilience of Clues

Abstract: Is there a middle way between the design inference and natural causation? Between teleology and non-teleological evolution? Mike Gene's "The Design Matrix" gives an affirmative answer to these questions. Take design seriously, and new scientific insights and testable hypotheses become available - so says Mike Gene. Follow the Rabbit (Gene's proxy for the teleological agent), and we shall discover things beyond the reductionism offered by the Duck (Gene's proxy for the blind watchmaker). See:

Review of John C. Landon’s Book by Stephen P. Smith: World History and the Eonic Effect: Civilization, Darwinism, and Theories of Evolution

Abstract: John C. Landon's "Word History and the Eonic Effect" is a worthy read for anyone interested in cultural evolution and theories of evolution. Historicism, the belief that history unfolds from universal laws (leading to a blind induction without remainder), is exposed as fraud. The best example of fraud is Darwinism, the belief that macro-evolution is explained by random variation and natural selection. In fact, evolution necessarily implies something ineffable; otherwise we fall back into historicism. Fixity of purpose, stuck on historicism, stuck on Darwinian explanations of biological function, leads to the blind leading the blind. See:

Review of Frank Ryan’s Book by Stephen P. Smith: Darwin's Blind Spot: Evolution beyond Natural Selection

Abstract: Competing bacteria can fine tune their weapons to such an extent that they may win over their victims. They could be invited into their conquered host cells and become organelles like mitochondria and the cell nucleus. But the illusion of conquest is short lived. As the competing prokaryote cells find themselves to be one eukaryote cell, they discover a deeper symmetry and their felt imperatives flip as the competing bacterium find deep agreements in their mutual cooperation. Frank Ryan's book presents a wonderful account of such symbiosis as discovered in biological evolution. See: