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, The 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.

Archives

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.

Pat Flynn and Stephen Meyer Talk Thomism and Intelligent Design

On today’s ID the Future, Return of the God Hypothesis author Stephen C. Meyer sits down with podcaster and philosopher Pat Flynn to discuss Meyer’s new book. Flynn notes that some contemporary followers of the great medieval Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas argue that the theory of intelligent design is incompatible with Thomism. In response Meyer, a philosopher of science and the director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, points out that some Thomists are fully on board with ID, and he offers reasons why he sees ID as fully compatible with Thomistic philosophy. Flynn and Meyer then move into a discussion of Meyer’s new book with a particular focus on the sections exploring the beginning of the universe Read More ›

Science and Faith: Stephen Meyer on the Marc Bernier Show

On today’s ID the Future, listen to host Marc Bernier ask Stephen Meyer perceptive and wide-ranging questions about everything from the possibility of extraterrestrials, to the role of intelligent design in medicine and education, to meaning and the reliability of the mind. The discussion also turns to Meyer’s bestselling new book, Return of the God Hypothesis, and the reconciliation of science and faith. At one point Bernier asks Meyer about the statement, “The heart cannot exalt what the mind rejects,” and in reply Meyer talks about his personal experience grappling with the relationship between science and faith, and tells about a warning he used to give college students in a class he taught. This interview originally appeared on The Marc Bernier Read More ›

Return of the God Hypothesis: Q&A with Stephen Meyer, Pt. 2

On today’s ID the Future Stephen Meyer continues fielding questions about his new book, Return of the God Hypothesis. The occasion was a live Zoom event for people who had pre-ordered the book. Daniel Reeves emceed, and here in the second part, Meyer rebuts the objection that intelligent design is an argument from ignorance. He also answers another objection, namely that our uniform experience with designing minds is that minds are embodied in material brains and yet Meyer seems to infer a non-embodied mind as the explanation for the design of life and the universe. Meyer also lists some prominent scientists who have either endorsed the book or championed key arguments in the book. Meyer is the Director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science Read More ›

Return of the God Hypothesis: Q&A with Stephen Meyer, Pt. 1

On today’s ID the Future Stephen C. Meyer fields questions about Return of the God Hypothesis*, his new bestselling book from HarperOne. The occasion was a live Zoom event for people who had pre-ordered the book. Daniel Reeves emceed, and in his introductory conversation with Meyer the two discuss a colorful tidbit about Meyer’s time at Cambridge University when he was working on his PhD. Turns out we may have Meyer’s wife to thank for him still possessing the ability to write such a probing book. In the Q&A Meyer summarizes the thesis of the book and then takes questions—everything from how evolutionists explain, or fail to explain, the pattern of stacked information in living things to what’s the object Read More ›

God Hypothesis Returns: Frank Turek and Stephen Meyer Report

Today’s ID the Future episode features excerpts from a lively conversation with Frank Turek as host and Stephen Meyer as guest. The focus: Meyer’s new USA Today bestseller, Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries that Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe.* The two discuss the new book, and Meyer fields questions from the audience. The conversation originally appeared on Turek’s national radio show, CrossExamined, and the excerpts from that longer interview are used here with permission. (*As an Amazon Associate, Discovery Institute earns from qualifying purchases.)

Stephen Meyer Defends His New Book to Cosmologist Brian Keating, Pt. 3

Today’s ID the Future concludes the conversation between Stephen Meyer, author of the newly released USA Today bestseller Return of the God Hypothesis, and UC-San Diego physicist Brian Keating. In part three they discuss divine extravagance and the question of why, if the universe was made for humans, did it take so long before humans came onto the scene? From there Meyer turns to the evidence for intelligent design from the digital information embedded in DNA and RNA. Is this book just another intelligent design argument, similar to his previous two books? Meyer says it is that, but it goes further, combining an intelligent design argument with evidence from science outside the scope of ID science in order to draw some inferences about the nature of Read More ›

Stephen Meyer Defends His New Book to Cosmologist Brian Keating, Pt. 2

Today’s ID the Future continues (by permission) the long-form conversation between Stephen Meyer, author of the newly released USA Today bestseller Return of the God Hypothesis, and UC-San Diego physicist Brian Keating. Here in part two the conversation turns to quantum cosmology, multiverse hypotheses, Stephen Hawking, and Hawking’s now-you-see-it/now-you-don’t use of imaginary time to deny a cosmic beginning. Meyer argues that Hawking’s imaginary-time trick doesn’t wash, there remains powerful evidence for a cosmic beginning, and that this beginning is best explained as the creation act of an intelligent, immaterial being. Also, Keating and Meyer tackle the question: Did Isaac Newton really blunder by invoking a God of the gaps to periodically tweak the solar system to smooth out perturbations? That is, was Newton led Read More ›

Stephen Meyer Defends His New Book to Cosmologist Brian Keating, Pt. 1

Today’s ID the Future features, by permission, the first part of a long-form conversation between Stephen Meyer, author of the newly released Return of the God Hypothesis, and Brian Keating, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Physics at the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. Do the laws of cosmology, physics, and biology exhibit dispositive evidence of a cosmic designer? Do the Big Bang and fine tuning suggest a “Mind” behind it all? In the book and in this conversation Meyer argues yes. Keating tells what he likes about the new book and draws on his deep knowledge of cosmology to press Meyer with some great followup questions. Check out Keating’s website here, and Read More ›

Michael Medved and Stephen Meyer on the Return of the God Hypothesis

Today’s ID the Future features, by permission, a recent conversation between radio show host Michael Medved and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer as they discuss Meyer’s new book, Return of the God Hypothesis. Listen in as Meyer, director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, provides a swift flyover of 500 years of scientific history, in which he traces the rise, fall, and rise again of a paradigm Meyer refers to as “the God hypothesis.” To learn more about Meyer’s new book and see the growing list of enthusiastic reviews from top scientists, go to ReturnoftheGodHypothesis.com.