The Design Revolution
by William Dembski, Intervarsity Press, 2004,.
ISBN 0-8308-3216-5, 334 pages
William Dembski is one of the leaders of the "Intelligent Design" (ID) movement. Along with Michael Behe, Dembski has argued against naturalism and atheistic Darwinism in a series of books, booklets, and video materials. Atheists and evolutionists have branded the Intelligent Design movement as creationism in disguise and considerable expense and energy has gone into attacking this movement as unscientific and religious in nature. It appears that this book is a response to those attacks. We have expressed concern in this journal about Intelligent Design being used as a purely scientific endeavor on the basis that it tends to blur the boundaries of science and apologetics. Our position is that the movement offers great support for the teleological arguments for the existence of God, but that if you are not careful you end up stopping science on the basis that if God did it, we cannot understand or utilize science. I have to admit I have learned some things from reading this book that make me at least uncertain about our approach to the Intelligent Design movement in the past.
This book is divided into six sections and 44 chapters. Each of the chapters is essentially a challenge that has been made by critics of the Intelligent Design system. An example will show what we mean here. Chapter 25 is titled "The Supernatural" and has the subtitle "Isn't the designer to which intelligent design attributes biological complexity a supernatural agent and therefore outside the bounds of science?" This is a challenge that has constantly been made against the "I.D. Movement" and which Dembski tries to answer.
If you want to read an excellent defense of the Intelligent Design movement on purely intellectual and philosophical grounds, you will find this book to be excellent. There is some very good material against naturalism in the book which nontechnical readers will find useful. Whether it justifies the ID movement as a valid scientific enterprise instead of a purely apologetic one remains open. I tend to retain my earlier opinion, but this book has certainly made me think. We recommend this book highly.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, MayJun05.