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), 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, and now, Return of the God Hypothesis (HarperOne, 2021).

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.


Stephen Meyer: One God or Many Universes?

In this ID the Future, Stephen Meyer takes a deep dive into the case for not only intelligent design, but also for a designer of the cosmos who is immaterial, eternal, transcendent, and involved. Meyer draws on evidence for design at the origin of life, in the origin of plants and animals, and from the fine tuning of the laws and constants of chemistry and the initial conditions of the universe. He connects all this to the scientific evidence that the universe is not eternal but had a beginning—the Big Bang. What about the main materialistic alternative for explaining this suite of evidence—the idea that there is a multiverse with our universe just being one of the lucky universes with Read More ›

James Webb Telescope Goes Live: Stephen Meyer Reports

On today’s ID the Future, radio host Michael Medved sits down with Cambridge-trained philosopher of science Stephen Meyer to hear some exciting news about the newly active James Webb space telescope, a telescope dramatically more powerful than the already extraordinarily powerful Hubble space telescope. The James Webb telescope was launched by NASA last Christmas and has begun returning a stream of dramatic images. As Meyer explains, thanks to Webb we can now see farther into the distant universe than ever before, and the farther a telescope can see, the further into the past it can see. The James Webb telescope can see far enough to witness galaxies from the very early universe. Meyer says what Webb is revealing, and what Read More ›

Dr. Stephen Meyer Visits the Multiverse of Madness

On today’s ID the Future, radio host Michael Medved sits down with bestselling science author Stephen Meyer to discuss the Marvel movie Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Medved isn’t wild about the film, but he uses it as a springboard to dive into what he calls “the madness of the multiverse”—namely, the proposals in physics and cosmology for the idea that our universe is just one of many universes. Meyer explains some of the early motivations among twentieth-century physicists and cosmologists for proposing a multiverse. Then he turns to what he says is the main driver for interest in the multiverse in our day—a desire to explain away something that is deeply puzzling on the grounds of atheism, Read More ›

Stephen Meyer — God Behind the Birth of Science and the Cosmos

On today’s ID the Future Return of the God Hypothesis author Stephen Meyer and radio host Michael Medved discuss some hit videos featuring Meyer that explore the increasingly strong scientific case for intelligent design and for the idea that the universe is the product of a transcendent mind. In their discussion, Meyer and Medved focus on how evidence of a cosmic beginning supports Judeo-Christian theism, and how the Judeo-Christian faith undergirded the birth of science. The Stephen Meyer videos that Medved spotlights now have more than 10 million views altogether. You can find them all here.

Andrew Klavan and Stephen Meyer Talk God and Science

On this ID the Future Stephen Meyer sits down with talk show host and bestselling novelist Andrew Klavan to discuss Meyer’s Return of the God Hypothesis. In this fast-paced conversation the pair touch on the Judeo-Christian roots of science, how fine tuning in physics and cosmology point to intelligent design, and how a great many scientists held out hope that the universe was eternal and therefore did not require a creator, but eventually threw in the towel as evidence mounted for a cosmic beginning. What about the multiverse hypothesis as an escape for atheists wishing to explain away the evidence for a cosmic designer? Meyer explains why it fails Occam’s Razor, and then he and Klavan discuss a noted atheist Read More ›

Pt. 4: Stephen Meyer and Skeptic Michael Shermer

This ID the Future wraps up a lively four-part series between religious skeptic Michael Shermer and Return of the God Hypothesis author and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer. Here Meyer underscores the fact that every worldview must posit something as the prime reality, and he argues that positing mind (rather than matter) as the prime reality solves far more problems in science, and not just in origins science. What about the idea of a multiverse to explain the fine tuning of the laws and constants of physics? Meyer concedes that this is a solution of sorts, but it comes at a tremendous cost, which he explains. That’s just a taste of where Meyer and Shermer go in this final segment. Read More ›

Pt. 3: Stephen Meyer and Skeptic Michael Shermer

On this ID the Future, Return of the God Hypothesis author Stephen Meyer and skeptic Michael Shermer address the question of how a divine immaterial being could act in the material world to design and fashion things such as the first life. Meyer argues that while we don’t know precisely how an immaterial mind would do this or did do this, we have good evidence that minds can and do affect matter, as for instance in the evidence that our minds can affect our brains and, by extension, our bodies. Meyer and Shermer also discuss the idea of front-loaded intelligent design—that is, where God loaded into the moment of the Big Bang everything necessary for the emergence of stars, planets, Earth, Read More ›

Pt. 2: Stephen Meyer and Skeptic Michael Shermer

Today’s ID the Future continues a lively and cordial conversation between atheist Michael Shermer and Stephen Meyer, author of Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe. In this segment of the four-part series, Shermer and Meyer discuss a fourth argument for theism, the moral law within. Then they discuss the similarities and differences between inferring design for something like the Rosetta Stone versus inferring intelligent design from the information in DNA or the fine tuning of the universe. The interview is reposted here by permission of Michael Shermer.

Stephen Meyer and Skeptic Michael Shermer, Pt. 1

Today’s ID the Future spotlights the first part of a lively and cordial conversation between host and atheist Michael Shermer and Stephen Meyer, author of Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe. In this first of the four-part series, the two touch on everything from Meyer’s three key lines of evidence for theism to a quick flyover of less well-known materialistic origins theories, including the oscillating universe model, panspermia as an explanation for the origin of the first life on earth, and Stephen Hawking’s idea of imaginary time. Meyer lumps many of these ideas under what he terms exotic naturalism and suggests that the atheists who defend these explanations are multiplying exotic Read More ›

Pat Flynn, Stephen Meyer, and the Return of the God Hypothesis, Pt. 2

On this ID the Future, Pat Flynn continues his conversation with bestselling author and philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer, director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. The focus is Meyer’s new book, Return of the God Hypothesis, and here in the second and final part of their conversation, Flynn and Meyer discuss the beginning of the universe, the multiverse hypothesis, worldview bias, Bayesian probability calculus, methodological materialism, and specific scientific predictions that intelligent design thinking has motivated. This interview is presented here with permission of philosopher and YouTuber Pat Flynn.