Last modified on April 9, 2019, at 21:58

Stephen C. Meyer

Stephen Meyer.jpg

Stephen C. Meyer is an American philosopher of science and best-selling science author. Meyer is also director and Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute.[1]

Meyer earned his doctorate in the History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin of life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences. In addition, Dr. Meyer worked as a geophysicist with the Atlantic Richfield Company after earning his undergraduate degrees in Geology and Physics.[2] Before taking his current position at the Discovery Institute, he was an associate professor of philosophy at Whitworth College in Washington.

Intelligent Design

Meyer is a major proponent of intelligent design theory, which he regards as independent of creationism.[3] In an interview with Ben Wattenberg, Dr. Meyer said:[4]

Intelligent design is an inference from biological data, not a deduction from religious authority.

Peer Review Controversy

In August 2004, Meyer's article "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories”, appeared in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.[5] Shortly thereafter, the journal's publisher retracted the article, alleging it had not met the journal's scientific standards and had not been properly peer reviewed. This statement was met with much skepticism, with the real reasoning for the paper's retraction being extreme hostility towards intelligent design. This was confirmed when Dr. Roy McDiarmid, the President of the Biological Society of Washington and a scientist at the Smithsonian, later admitted that there was no wrong doing regarding the peer-review process of Meyer's paper:[6]

I have seen the review file and comments from 3 reviewers on the Meyer paper. All three with some differences among the comments recommended or suggested publication. I was surprised but concluded that there was not inappropriate behavior vs a vis [sic] the review process.

The journal's editor, Richard Sternberg, was harassed and demoted[7] for his publishing of Meyer's article.


Signature in the Cell

In June 2009, Meyer's long-awaited book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design was released. The book was a smash hit, finishing the year on Amazon's list of top-10 best selling science books[8] and being named one of the top books of the year by the Times Literary Supplement.[9] Atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel:

Stephen C. Meyer’s Signature in the Cell: DNA and the evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperCollins) is a detailed account of the problem of how life came into existence from lifeless matter – something that had to happen before the process of biological evolution could begin. The controversy over Intelligent Design has so far focused mainly on whether the evolution of life since its beginnings can be explained entirely by natural selection and other non-purposive causes. Meyer takes up the prior question of how the immensely complex and exquisitely functional chemical structure of DNA, which cannot be explained by natural selection because it makes natural selection possible, could have originated without an intentional cause. He examines the history and present state of research on non-purposive chemical explanations of the origin of life, and argues that the available evidence offers no prospect of a credible naturalistic alternative to the hypothesis of an intentional cause. Meyer is a Christian, but atheists, and theists who believe God never intervenes in the natural world, will be instructed by his careful presentation of this fiendishly difficult problem.

Darwin's Doubt

Published in 2013, Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design explores themes in molecular biology such as the information stored in DNA; the proteins and protein machine that cells need to stay alive; the origin of life; information-rich molecules; "specified information"; chemical evolutionary theories; and mainstream evolutionary theories.

In his case for the theory of intelligent design, he argues that science has not found a material cause for digital code found in cells, a type of information demonstrably created by intelligence.[10] Meyer call this "functional information" and compares it to radio signals, stone monuments, or magnetic discs (like CDs and DVDs or a computer's hard disk). He argues that when you look for the source of such information, you always find that it was created by a mind. Thus he concludes that digital information in the cell

"... indicates the prior activity of a designing intelligence at work in the origin of the first life."

Meyer describes the process of "building an animal" as an engineering problem and implies that unguided (random) material forces cannot explain the sudden appearance of fully-formed organisms in the Cambrian Explosion. The problem Darwin acknowledged in Origin of Species was the absence of intermediate ancestral forms. Meyer argues that Darwinistic theories lack the creative power to generate complex animals and the information necessary to build them.


  3. Intelligent design is not creationism
  4. [1]
  5. Intelligent Design: The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories
  6. Michael Shermer's Fact-Free Attack on 'Expelled' Exposes Intolerance of Darwinists towards Pro-Intelligent Design Scientists
  7. Smithsonian's top officials permit the demotion and harassment of scientist skeptical of Darwinian evolution
  8. [2]
  9. [3]
  10. "The creation of information is habitually associated with conscious activity." - Henry Quastler

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