Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer
In a semi-technical yet readable volume, Meyer expands on his case for intelligent design which he began in an earlier volume—Signature in the Cell. Whereas his focus there was on DNA, here he turns his attention to the so-called “Cambrian Explosion”, the sudden appearance of many complex animals as testified to in various fossil finds. Throughout the book Meyer takes on the various attempts to explain (or explain away) the apparent sudden appearance of these animals that are on offer in the scientific community. In short, he makes it pretty clear that the standard Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian accounts of animal development from a single ancestor through natural selection acting on random mutations are completely inadequate to explain the vast injection of new biological information necessary to generate these animals. The discussion must address technical issues but Meyer does so clearly and makes use of images and illustrations to engage the reader. In the later part of the book Meyer makes his case for the reasonableness of the inference of intelligent design in the development of these animals. He defends intelligent design with reference to the Cambrian Explosion in particular but also more generally as a legitimate scientific option. This book could be an excellent resource for science teachers in both Christian and public schools. The range of literature that Meyer references secures his work against accusations of scholarly cherry-picking. In particular the first and last parts of the book could be useful as they detail the growing dissatisfaction in the evolutionary community with the standard Darwinian model as well as the legitimacy of intelligent design as a scientific position.