I am the author of The Design Matrix: A Consilience of Clues. This blog will build on the various themes that are outlined in my book.
Table of Contents
Part I — The Way
Chapter 1: Lessons from a Vanishing Face
Chapter 2: The Explanatory Continuum
Part II — The Clues
Chapter 3: Echoes of Technology
Chapter 4: Error Correction Runs Deep
Chapter 5:: Welcome to the Machines
Part III — The Challenges
Chapter 6: Ducks and Rabbits
Chapter 7: Designing Evolution
Part IV — The Matrix
Chapter 8: Analogies and Discontinuities
Chapter 9: Rationality and Foresight
Chapter 10: The Design Matrix Unleashed
If you have not read the book, here are some of the reviews:
Other design proponents have (rightly) been accused of claiming scientists are ignorant about things that they understand or are working on understanding. Gene, to his credit, focuses his attention on things that are genuinely mysterious, on questions that are truly unanswered (p.288). Whether they are answerable in other terms is an open question, and one that must be fully explored. But Gene is not twisting evidence to make it seem to support a conclusion drawn in advance. For this he is to be applauded, and deserves to be taken seriously, even if in the end one draws a different conclusion than he does. For, unlike other design proponents, Gene invites you and encourages you to weigh the evidence for yourself and draw your own conclusion.
For some time now I have thought that the debate surrounding ID had grown stale. It seems that the ideas and arguments concerning intelligent design were just being recycled over and over again. That has changed. I just finished reading Mike Gene’s new book The Design Matrix and it is chock-full of interesting information, ideas, and approaches to the design question.
The way that he supports ID is refreshingly unique, however. He doesn’t argue for a conclusion of Intelligent Design at all. He argues more modestly, for a suspicion of Intelligent Design. He would have a beef with dogmatists on either side of the issue. Quite helpfully he distinguishes between the strong evidence required for conviction by a court of law, and evidence required by an investigating detective. A detective arrives on the scene with nothing but questions. His first objective is to move toward reasonable suspicions. A little hint there, a vague clue there: these things can move him toward a theory of a crime; and from there he can begin to look for more definite signs. Eventually, much further down the road, proof may come. Mike Gene believes we should recognize ID is in the developing suspicion stage: there is no hard scientific proof of design, but there are hints and clues that raise a most reasonable suspicion, and which can lead to a search for more definite signs.
I must say, in conclusion, that I rarely, if ever, read a book about evolution that was (i) so thoroughly and honestly scientific — significantly more so than many Darwinist screeds — and (ii) so utterly thought-provoking.
Teleology is taboo in modern science. It’s not hard to see why: purpose implies design, design implies a designer, and a designer is exactly what the predominantly atheistic scientific community does not want to admit. But yet, we use telic language–specifically the language of engineering–to describe concepts in biology all the time. Is it just because we know of no better way to describe systems than by analogy to those that we ourselves have designed? Or is there something deeper to the compelling similarity between “molecular machines” that we discover inside the cell and machines that we use every day? It is such questions that drive Mike Gene’s brave new book: The Design Matrix: A Consilience of Clues, which aims to refocus the neverending debate over purpose in nature away from the black-and-white arguments of days past into a careful investigation of the actual evidence.
- ad alu bacteria biology book brain Bunny Fright Week cats cells cilia circuits complexity convergence cytosine deamination deep homology design DNA engineering eukarya evidence evo-devo evolution FLE abstracts FLE ruminations front-loading front-loading ruminations genes genetic code genome HGT horizontal gene transfer humor Insp. Bunny intellectual honesty introns James Shapiro just for fun LECA life LUCA machines metaphysics metazoa moonlighting music nanotechnology nervous system neutral evolution nudge OOL organelles origin of life outline perception preadaptation proteins rabbit rationality Reply to Dave's Amazon review ribosome RNA science scientism Scott Turner seeding SETI SRP symbiosis Symmetry synthetic life terraforming transposons
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- Book pictures
- Bunny Fright Week
- cytosine deamination
- deep homology
- FLE abstracts
- FLE ruminations
- genetic code
- horizontal gene transfer
- Insp. Bunny
- intellectual honesty
- James Shapiro
- just for fun
- needless complexity
- nervous system
- neutral evolution
- origin of life
- Scott Turner
- synthetic life