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Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe

Papers Presented at a Conference Sponsored by the Wethersfield Institute, New York City, September 25, 1999Multiple Authors

As progress in science continues to reveal unimagined complexities, three scientists revisit the difficult and compelling question of the origin of our universe. As mathematician, biochemist, and philosopher of science, they explore the possibility of developing a reliable method for detecting an intelligent cause and evidence for design at the origin of life. In the process, they present a strong case for opening and pursuing a fruitful exchange between science and theology.

Mathematician William Dembski, author of The Design Inference, first argues that new developments in the information sciences make intelligent design objectively and scientifically detectable — he identifies the signs of design. Next, philosopher of science, Stephen Meyer, and biochemist Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, argue that these signs are now clearly evident in both the architecture of the universe and the features of living systems. Other essays by the authors defend the scientific status of the theory of intelligent design and show how that theory supports traditional religious belief without necessarily “proving” the existence of God. In a concluding essay, Michael Behe responds to critics of his best selling book, Darwin’s Black Box, thus bringing readers up-to-date on the status of the contemporary design argument in biology.

Michael J. Behe

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Michael J. Behe is Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. Behe's current research involves delineation of design and natural selection in protein structures. In his career he has authored over 40 technical papers and three books, Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA that Challenges Evolution, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, and The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, which argue that living system at the molecular level are best explained as being the result of deliberate intelligent design.

Stephen C. Meyer

Director, Center for Science and Culture
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. He is author of the New York Times-bestseller Darwin’s Doubt (2013) as well as the book Signature in the Cell (2009) and The Return of the God Hypothesis (forthcoming in 2020). In 2004, Meyer ignited a firestorm of media and scientific controversy when a biology journal at the Smithsonian Institution published his peer-reviewed scientific article advancing intelligent design. Meyer has been featured on national television and radio programs, including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CBS's Sunday Morning, NBC's Nightly News, ABC's World News, Good Morning America, Nightline, FOX News Live, and the Tavis Smiley show on PBS. He has also been featured in two New York Times front-page stories and has garnered attention in other top-national media.

William A. Dembski

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
A mathematician and philosopher, Bill Dembski is the author/editor of more than 20 books as well as the writer of peer-reviewed articles spanning mathematics, engineering, philosophy, and theology. A past philosophy professor, he retired in 2014 from active research and teaching in intelligent design (ID) to focus on the connections between freedom, technology, and education — specifically, how education helps to advance human freedom with the aid of technology. Bill Dembski is presently an entrepreneur who builds educational software and websites. He lives in Iowa.