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Evolution News and Views

Signature In The Cell Continues to Garner Attention

Stephen Meyer's new book, Signature in the Cell, continues to get lots of coverage.

Dr. Meyer was recently interviewed for CNS and you can watch a video of the entire interview on the SITC website here.

Also, over at Uncommon Descent Robert Deyes is reviewing the book chapter by chapter.

When the 19th century chemist Friedrich Wohler synthesized urea in the lab using simple chemistry, he set in motion the ball that would ultimately knock down the then-pervasive 'Vitalistic' view of biology. Life's chemistry, rather than being bound by immaterial 'vital forces' could indeed by artificially made. While Charles Darwin offered little insight on how life originated, several key scientists would later jump on Wohler's 'Eureka'-style discovery through public proclamations of their own 'origin of life' theories. The ensuing materialist view was espoused by the likes of Ernst Haeckel and Rudolf Virchow who built their own theoretical suppositions on Wohler's triumph. Meyer summed up the logic of the day:

"If organic matter could be formed in the laboratory by combining two inorganic chemical compounds then perhaps organic matter could have formed the same way in nature in the distant past" (p.40)

Darwin's theory generated the much-needed fodder to 'extend' evolution backward' to the origin of life. It was believed that "chemicals could "morph" into cells, just as one species could "morph" into another " (p.43). Appealing to the apparent simplicity of the cell, late 19th century biologists assured the scientific establishment that they had a firm grasp of the 'facts'- cells were, in their eyes, nothing more than balls of protoplasmic soup.

read the rest at Uncommon Descent.