How Blind Is the Watchmaker?: Nature's Design & the Limits of Naturalistic Science

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9780830822966: How Blind Is the Watchmaker?: Nature's Design & the Limits of Naturalistic Science

If you found a watch, as William Paley asked nearly two centuries ago, would you think that it came into existence by chance or that there was a watchmaker? Likewise, Neil Broom asks, was the universe created by the blind forces of physics and chemistry, or is there evidence in nature of a designing mind?While prominent scientists in recent years have suggested that the watchmaker is indeed blind, Broom, a biomechanics scientist, sees much more than their naturalistic blinders allow them to perceive. His book How Blind Is the Watchmaker? boldly challenges the scientific establishment's commitment to what he labels as "the flimsily crafted but persuasively packaged myth of scientific materialism."Broom reveals how naturalistic science is guilty of attempting to reduce all explanations to the molecular level, even when higher nonmaterial levels of explanation are clearly required to describe the behavior of many systems. Likewise he shows why there is little chance that science can define life in a way that seamlessly connects it to the inanimate world. Broom also uncovers the rarely discussed or acknowledged assumptions that raise serious questions about the limits of a purely naturalistic approach to the problem of life's genesis. In a clear and readable style, he considers the recent research about the origin of life and the function of RNA, DNA and proteins. Further, he exposes how scientists often attribute "personal" characteristics to inanimate molecules. And he shows why postulating billions of years for various natural processes does not adequately explain inadequacies in evolutionary scenarios.This thought-provoking book (a thoroughly revised and updated edition of the volume originally published by Ashgate) points beyond the poverty of many scientific pronouncements and builds a robust case for viewing the true splendor of our living world.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Broom, a biomaterials engineer writing from a Christian perspective, makes a spirited but ungainly case against Darwinism as he defends a return of purpose and intentionality to biological explanation. The book's most helpful material is found in chapters four through seven where Broom reviews life-origins research, comparing the failure or limited success of most studies with widespread and extravagant claims in the "pop science" realm that the basic problem of biogenesis has been solved. The second half of Broom's treatise takes a turn for the worse as the subject matter shifts from specific research results to evolutionary theory and the philosophy of biology, a conceptual thicket where careful distinctions and judicious arguments become crucially important. In this section, Broom's lack of sympathy for his opponents often colors his presentation of their arguments; in some cases it is unclear whether he has really understood them. An uncharitable reading of Darwinism lures him into a tendentious and muddled argument about natural selection in which he seems to be forcing Darwinists to interpret the metaphor of "selection" in terms of literal intentionan interpretation any orthodox or neo-Darwinist is bound to disavow. Readers looking for an accessible critique of Darwinism and scientific materialism will fare better with Phillip Johnson's The Wedge of Truth (also from IVP), which offers clearer arguments and more sure-footed reasoning as it covers much of the same ground.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Neil Broom, William A. Dembski (Foreword)
Editorial: InterVarsity Press (2001)
ISBN 10: 0830822968 ISBN 13: 9780830822966
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Neil Broom
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Broom, Neil
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