The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design


Stephen Meyer’s new book Darwin’s Doubt represents an opportunity for bridge-building, rather than dismissive polarization — bridges across cultural divides in great need of professional, respectful dialog — and bridges to span evolutionary gaps. -Dr. George Church
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, and author of Regenesis

Darwin’s Doubt is an intriguing exploration of one of the most remarkable periods in the evolutionary history of life—the rapid efflorescence of complex body plans written in the fossils of the Burgess Shale . . . No matter what convictions one holds about evolution, Darwinism, or intelligent design, Darwin’s Doubt is a book that should be read, engaged, and discussed. -Dr. Scott Turner, Professor of Biology, State University of New York, author of The Tinkerer’s Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself

Stephen Meyer elegantly explains why the sudden appearance of animal forms in the Cambrian period gave Darwin pause.  He also demonstrates, based on cutting-edge molecular biology, why explaining the origin of animals is now not just a problem of missing fossils, but an even greater engineering problem at the molecular level. With mathematical precision, he shows why the neo-Darwinian mechanism cannot produce the genetic information and novel proteins — or systems for regulating their expression — that are required to build new animals. An excellent book and a must read for anyone who wants to gain understanding of the very real—though often unreported—scientific challenges facing neo-Darwinism. -Dr. Russell Carlson, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia

Darwin’s Doubt is by far the most up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive review of the evidence from all relevant scientific fields that I have encountered in more than forty years of studying the Cambrian explosion. An engaging investigation of the origin of animal life and a compelling case for intelligent design. Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, Senior Scientist Emeritus (Biologist) at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany

It is hard for us paleontologists, steeped as we are in a tradition of Darwinian analysis, to admit that neo-Darwinian explanations for the Cambrian explosion have failed miserably. New data acquired in recent years, instead of solving Darwin’s dilemma, have rather made it worse. Meyer describes the dimensions of the problem with clarity and precision. His book is a game changer for the study of evolution and points us in the right direction as we seek a new theory for the origin of animals. -Dr. Mark McMenamin, Paleontologist at Mt. Holyoke College and author of The Emergence of Animals

With the publication of “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, Darwin acknowledged that there wasn’t an adequate explanation for the pattern in the fossil record in which a wide diversity of animal life suddenly appeared in the Cambrian geological period. His doubt about the ‘Cambrian explosion’ centered on the wide range of body forms, the missing fossil intermediates and the lack of evidence for antecedents. Meyer’s book examines the implications of the ‘Cambrian explosion.’ It is a fascinating story and analysis of Darwin’s doubt about the fossil record and the debate that has ensued. It is a tour de force…This book is well informed, carefully researched, up-to-date and powerfully argued. Its value is that it confronts Darwin’s doubt and deals with the assumptions of Neo-Darwinism. This book is much needed and I recommend it to students of all levels, to professionals and to laypeople. -Dr. Norman C. Nevin, OBE, BSc, MD, FRCPath, FFPH, FRCPE, FRCP; Professor Emeritus in Medical Genetics, Queen’s University, Belfast

Darwin’s Doubt is another excellent book by Stephen Meyer. I particularly like his refutation of the concept of self-assembly of biological systems. The book explains the difference between specified complexity and order and shows that natural forces cannot generate the kind of complexity we see in living systems. I know from my personal work in the Systems Centre at Bristol University that complex systems do not create themselves but require an intelligent designer. Stephen Meyer has clearly listened to the arguments of those who are sceptical about intelligent design and has addressed them thoroughly. It is really important that Darwinists read this book carefully and give a response. -Dr. Stuart Burgess, Professor of Design and Nature, Head of Mechanical Engineering at Bristol University

I spend my life reading science books. I’ve ready many hundreds of them over the years, and in my judgment Darwin’s Doubt is the best science book ever written.  It is a magnificent work, a true masterpiece that will be read for hundreds of years. ~ George Gilder, Technologist, economist, and New York Times bestselling author

Meyer writes beautifully. He marshals complex information as well as any writer I’ve read . . . This book—and his body of work—challenges scientism with real science and excites in me the hope that the origins-of-life debate will soon be largely free of the ideology that has long colored it . . . a wonderful, most compelling read. -Dean Koontz, New York Times bestselling author

Dr. Meyer makes it clear that these well-documented facts of paleontology pose a serious challenge to Darwin’s theory, the view that has held sway in biology (and well beyond) for nearly 150 years.  The issue on the table is not now, nor has it ever been, the fact of evolution (change over time); the issue has always been the mechanism of evolution – is it blind and undirected or is it under the control of an intelligence that had a goal in mind? That’s the nub of the question, and in Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen Meyer has masterfully laid out one of the most compelling lines of evidence for the latter. -Dr. William S. Harris, Professor, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota

Dr Meyer has written a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis on the massive scientific evidence revealing the total failure of the neo-Darwinian explanation for life’s history. Darwin’s Doubt is important, clearly written with sound arguments, excellent illustrations and examples that make the topic easily understandable even for non-specialists…Randomness as a source for biological innovations is a present day paradigm and its supporters have too much at stake to give it up easily. The vague claims of Darwinian evolution refer to historical developments and as such are hard to prove. However, molecular biology has given us tools to experimentally test its claims. As so convincingly shown by Dr Meyer the experimental evidence refers to intelligence – not randomness.-Dr Matti Leisola, Professor, bioprocess engineering, Aalto University, Finland (emeritus); Editor-in-chief, Bio-Complexity

It is no secret among professionals that recent findings by developmental and molecular biologists are challenging current Darwinian theories of evolution.  Meyer has condensed the research, made it accessible to the non-specialist and put it in the context of the debate over the origins of biological novelty.  He makes a case for intelligent design as the only currently viable scientific theory for the origin of biological novelty, as found in the explosion of new species during the Cambrian geologic era. Meyer’s challenge to the dominant paradigm of naturalism will no doubt be strongly resisted by those committed to a materialist world view, but provide food for refection for those who are searching for truth. -Dr. Donald L. Ewert, Molecular Biologist, Associate Member (retired), Wistar Institute

Stephen C. Meyer’s “Darwin’s Doubt” is a truly remarkable book.  Within its 413 pages of text are four tightly woven interrelated arguments.  Using 753 references, he presents evidence associated with the serious weaknesses of materialistic theories of biological evolution, and positive evidence for the theory of intelligent design…Meyer’s attack is really against what is called “macroevolution” (large scale population change).  Michael Behe (in his “Edge of Evolution”) points out that there is abundant evidence for “microevolution” (smaller population change), but there is a boundary at which the evidence for microevolution stops and evidence for macroevolution either doesn’t exist, or any clues that do exist are beset with problems so serious that explanatory attempts boil down to “just-so-stories”.  This leaves macroevolution sitting atop a boundary (or wall) with an outlook no better that that of Humpty Dumpty. -Dr. Mark C. Biedebach, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Long Beach

A great book on the origin of animal life and crises of Darwin evolution; very clear, factual, comprehensive, logical, and informative. An enjoyable reading for both non-expert and expert. -Dr. Change Tan, Molecular biologist/developmental biologist, Associate Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia

Darwinists keep two sets of books. The first set is the real record within the peer-reviewed literature that discusses why the mechanism of the origin of life and the mode and tempo speciation are more baffling today than they were two centuries ago. The second set of books is the popular literature that promotes to the public a soothing, fanciful narrative claiming that the grand history of life is fully explained with only minor but exciting details left to be filled in. Steven Meyer gives an insightful and thoughtful treatment to this state of affairs, auditing the second set of books using the data found in the first. Justice Louis Brandies taught us that, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” and Dr. Meyer lets the sun shine in. -Dr. Stephen A. Batzer, P.E., forensic engineer

Buckle your seat belts and brace yourself for tremors from the world of science.  The evolution debate is about to undergo a major shakeup, and the world is beginning to listen in. Steve Meyer’s book is a much anticipated bombshell that details the swarm of problems of Darwinian evolution that come from Cambrian fossils.  It also clearly presents the case for intelligent design.  Ask yourself: how often does a book of this kind receive a warm welcome from leading geneticists and paleontologists?  Never, until now!  Darwin’s Doubt has been praised by Dr. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard University; by Dr. Mark McMenamin, a Cambrian fossil specialist at Mt. Holyoke College, and by Dr. Scott Turner, an evolutionary theorist at the State University of New York. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Charles Darwin’s own “Origin of Species” launched a revolution in 1859 whose scientific, cultural and spiritual effects are still with us. Now a new revolution is on the horizon. -Dr. Tom Woodward, Research Professor, Trinity College, Tampa Bay Author, Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design

Stephen C. Meyer is brilliant and his latest book, Darwin’s Doubt is a must read. -David Limbaugh
Syndicated columnist and author

Stephen Meyer’s new book, Darwin’s Doubt, is a fascinating and rigorous study demonstrating not only that biologists and paleontologists do not have an adequate explanation for the Cambrian Explosion, but that there is an alternative view that makes more sense. Those who are open to the possibility of Intelligent Design will find a treasure trove of supporting evidence for their view in this book. Those who oppose Intelligent Design owe it to themselves to read this book to understand Meyer’s position and to grapple with his arguments. -Dr. Richard Weikart, Professor of History at California State University, Stanislaus; Author of From Darwin to Hitler

Meyer is a talented writer with an easygoing voice who has blended interesting history with clear explanations in what may come to be seen as a classic presentation of this most fundamental of all debates. -Terry Scambray
New Oxford Review