Stephen C. Meyer

Director, Center for Science and Culture

Stephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. He has authored the New York Times best seller Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2013) as well as Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2009), which was named a Book of the Year by the Times (of London) Literary Supplement in 2009.

In his first book on intelligent design, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2009) Meyer examined the mystery of the origin of the first life. With Darwin’s Doubt, he has expanded the scope of the case for intelligent design to the whole sweep of life’s history. Meyer’s research addresses the deepest mystery surrounding the origin of life and the origin of animal life: the origin of biological information necessary to produce it.

Meyer graduated from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, in 1981 with a degree in physics and earth science. He later became a geophysicist with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) in Dallas, Texas. From 1981 to 1985, he worked for ARCO in digital signal processing and seismic survey interpretation. In 1986 as a Rotary International Scholar, he began his training in the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University, earning an M.Phil. in 1987 and a Ph.D. in 1991. His doctoral thesis was titled “Of Clues and Causes: A Methodological Interpretation of Origin-of-Life Research.”

He returned to Whitworth in the fall of 1990 to teach philosophy and the philosophy of science. He left a tenured position as a professor at Whitworth in 2002 to direct the Center for Science and Culture full time, which he had helped found with John West in 1996.

Prior to the publication of Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt, the writing for which Meyer was best known was an August 2004 review essay in the Smithsonian Institution-affiliated peer-reviewed biology journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. The article laid out the evidential case for intelligent design, presenting it as the best explanation for the origin of the biological information necessary to produce the new forms of animal life that arose abruptly during the Cambrian explosion.

Because the article was the first peer-reviewed publication arguing for intelligent design in a technical journal, it proved extremely controversial.  The journal’s editor, evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg, was punished by his Smithsonian supervisors for allowing Meyer’s article into print. This led to the investigation of top Smithsonian personnel by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.  The controversy was widely covered in the media with articles or news stories appearing about it in The Wall Street Journal, Science, Nature, NPR, The O’Reilly Factor and the Washington Post. The federal investigation eventually concluded that Sternberg had been wrongly disciplined and intimidated.

Meyer’s many other publications include contributions to, and the editing of, the peer-reviewed volume Darwinism, Design and Public Education (Michigan State University Press, 2004) and the innovative textbook Explore Evolution (Hill House Publishers, 2007).

Meyer has also published editorials in national newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The National Post (of Canada), The Daily Telegraph (of London) and The Los Angeles Times.  He has appeared on national television and radio programs such as The Jim Lehrer News Hour, NBC Nightly News, ABC Nightly News, CBS Sunday Morning, Nightline, Fox News Live, Paula Zahn Now (CNN), Good Morning America 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.

In 2008, he appeared with Ben Stein in the theatrical-released documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.  He has also been featured prominently in the science documentaries Icons of Evolution, The Case for a Creator, Darwin’s Dilemma and Unlocking The Mystery of Life, the latter which was shown on PBS and which Meyer co-wrote with producer Lad Allen.

Archives

Carbon Valley Trumps Silicon Valley

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, we hear from two contributors to the Crossway anthology, Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique, Molecular biologist Douglas Axe and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer explain how Carbon Valley Trumps Silicon Valley, and shouts intelligent design. They compare some of today’s technological marvels to living technology, and show how even “simple cells” far exceed even the best silicon valley has to offer.

Stephen Meyer Introduces His New Course on Intelligent Design

On this episode of ID the Future, bestselling author and Center for Science and Culture director Stephen Meyer introduces an exciting and informative new Discovery U video course, “Stephen Meyer Investigates Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design.” Here he sets the stage by recalling a few times when ID made national news headlines, sometimes with Meyer right in the middle of the controversy. He also addresses some of the questions generated by these dustups: Is ID faith-based or science-based? Did the earliest scientists follow ID principles or did they avoid them, as one state education commissioner claimed. And why did two highly regarded research scientists get expelled from their museum positions, and were the expulsions justified?

Honoring Phillip Johnson Pt. 6: Emily Johnson, Stephen Meyer

On this episode of ID the Future, we present two final, moving talks in a series honoring the late Phillip E. Johnson, author of the hit book Darwin on Trial and affectionately known as the godfather of the intelligent design movement. These two eulogies were given at his memorial service in November. The first speaker is Emily Johnson, Phillip Johnson’s daughter. The second is Stephen Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.

Honoring Phillip Johnson, Pt. 1

Today on ID the Future we hear the first of a series of podcasts in honor of the late Phillip E. Johnson, the pioneering thinker, networker, and organizer, who played such a crucial role in the development and growth of the Intelligent Design movement. These messages come mostly from a November 2019 symposium held in his honor in Berkeley, California. Today we hear Stephen C. Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, as he opens the symposium and introduces speakers to come, and then the first of these speakers, Phillip Johnson himself, in thoughts previously recorded by Illustra Media on intelligent design, philosophical materialism, and strategies for accomplishing change.

Stephen Meyer on Phillip Johnson’s Courage

On this episode of ID The Future, Stephen Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, honors Phillip Johnson, the U.C. Berkeley law professor who helped ignite the modern intelligent design movement with the publication of his highly successful book Darwin on Trial.

Stephen Meyer’s Advice to Science Students

On this episode of ID the Future, Stephen Meyer, director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and author of Darwin’s Doubt, gives advice to students and recent graduates interested in intelligent design. He encourages students to recognize how pervasive philosophical naturalism is in the academy; master the material; do good work; and stand firm. When should you keep your head down, letting discretion be the better part of valor, and when should you speak out, publicly supporting the case for intelligent design? Meyer also offers advice about this. 

Stephen Meyer on His CSC Summer Seminar Talks

On this episode of ID the Future, Stephen Meyer, Director of the Center for Science and Culture, discusses the two lectures he gave to a private audience at Discovery Institute’s 2019 Summer Seminar on Intelligent Design. One talk focused on the fossil record, and the other on the Big Bang.

Stephen Meyer: God and the Origin of the Universe, Pt. 2

This episode of ID the Future features the second and concluding part of a talk given by Stephen Meyer at the 2019 Dallas Science and Faith Conference. Picking up from his previous comments on how atheistic/materialistic assumptions have come to dominate much of the science community.

Stephen Meyer: God and the Origin of the Universe, Pt. 1

This episode of ID the Future features part one of a talk given by Stephen Meyer at the 2019 Dallas Science and Faith Conference. In this portion of the talk, Meyer explains Christianity’s crucial influence on the founders of science, and how much of the scientific establishment has shifted toward methodological atheism.