Intelligent Design

Book Santa will keep for himself: The Nature of Nature

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You’d better order this one for yourself. It’s the long-delayed outcome of the Nature of Nature conference, which got intelligent design theorists Bill Dembski and Bruce Gordon’s Polanyi Center at Baptist Baylor University shut down.*

It features top guns on both sides of the controversy:

Unmatched in its breadth and scope, The Nature of Nature brings together some of the most influential scientists, scholars, and public intellectuals—including three Nobel laureates—across a wide spectrum of disciplines and schools of thought.

Here they grapple with a perennial question that has been made all the more pressing by recent advances in the natural sciences: Is the fundamental explanatory principle of the universe, life, and self-conscious awareness to be found in inanimate matter or immaterial mind? The answers found in this book have profound implications for what it means to do science, what it means to be human, and what the future holds for all of us.

I wrote the index for the book, and can testify to its breadth and usefulness. Also, to its absence of conspiracy theorists in mortarboards, with nothing better to offer you than their dark mutterings. And no, I am not paid to say this.

(*The conference wasn’t the immediate cause, but was surely the key one. Lord knows, a reliable Baptist science prof can’t risk saying that the universe and life forms show evidence of design – evidence that can be debated rationally. For one thing, people might suspect that the prof believes in God in such a clear and effectual way that he cannot just take it back when the cold wind of fascism next blows his way, by muttering something about “faith” being quite different from “science.”)

21 Replies to “Book Santa will keep for himself: The Nature of Nature

  1. 1
    Heinrich says:

    Lord knows, a reliable Baptist science prof can’t risk saying that the universe and life forms show evidence of design

    Poor Baptist science profs can’t say that the Flood wasn’t global, either. Some people find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.

  2. 2
    Green says:

    Is there anywhere where one can view the chapter titles of this book? It looks good, but unfortunately there’s no “view contents” option on amazon.

  3. 3
    Tsinadree says:

    Speaking of books, I recently received a copy of The Design of Life from Amazon.com. However, it seems to be missing the CD containing the general notes. Actually, I don’t even see a place where it could have been (e.g., a disc sleeve). Anyway, is there a way I can obtain it, or perhaps download the content that’s on it from somewhere? I tried contacting the info e-mail at The Design of Life website about this, but it keeps coming back as “undeliverable.” I also tried the Discovery Institute, but I didn’t get a reply. Any help would be deeply appreciated.

  4. 4
    noam_ghish says:

    I’m new to the ID debate and have a lot of questions. Is there someone out there generous enough who will give me there email so that I can ask them some questions? The last 4 questions I have posted on UD have gone unanswered.

  5. 5
    QuiteID says:

    noam_ghish, I tried to answer the two questions I could find. Where are the others?

  6. 6
    critter says:

    Poor Baptist science profs can’t say that the Flood wasn’t global, either. Some people find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Is this true?

  7. 7
    Heinrich says:

    critter – it happened to Dr. Dembski:

    He [Dr. Dembski] also argued that Noah’s flood likely was limited to the Middle East rather than being global in scope. However, he later retracted that claim in a statement released by Southwestern.

    I will profess to some sympathy for Dr. Dembski here: it seems unfortunate that there isn’t room to debate topics where the Bible and modern science appear to be at odds.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Heinrich you state:

    ‘Poor Baptist science profs can’t say that the Flood wasn’t global, either. Some people find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.’

    And Heinrich just how certain are you there was not an ancient global flood? 100%? 99%? If you are this sure about ancient history, which you were not even alive to witness (much like the misplaced cocksuredness we deal with from Darwinists for the ‘evidence’ for evolution in bygone eras), How about you explain this Global anomaly?

    This following article points to a global anomaly in sediment layers. A anomaly that would be expected from a global flood perspective:

    Ancient Earth Smackdown at Santa Fe Tells Global Story – August 2010
    Excerpt: “Geologist John Wesley Powell called this major gap in the geologic record, which is also seen in other parts of the world, the Great Unconformity.” Clicking on the link elaborates further: “The Great Unconformity is a geologic feature that exists across the world at a relatively consistent rock strata (or depth relative to sea-level).” Any unconformity worldwide in its extent would seem to require to a global catastrophe.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100810a

    Worldwide ‘planation’ also points to a global disaster from water:

    Planation surface
    Excerpt: planation surface, any low-relief plain cutting across varied rocks and structures. Among the most common landscapes on Earth, planation surfaces include pediments, pediplains, etchplains, and peneplains. There has been much scientific controversy over the origins of such surfaces.
    http://www.britannica.com/EBch.....on-surface

    It’s plain to see – Flat land surfaces are strong evidence for the Genesis Flood
    Excerpt: A planation surface is a large, level, or nearly level, land surface that has been ‘planed’ flat by running water. Scientists believe that running water cut these surfaces because they are covered by rounded rocks. Water is the only agent we know that can produce rounded rocks, by tumbling them against each other as it transports them along.,,, Planation surfaces sometimes cut across tilted sedimentary rocks. They are especially easy to recognize. The layered sedimentary rocks are often a combination of hard and soft rocks. Only a gigantic, fast-running water flow could have cut both the hard and soft rocks evenly.,,, Geomorphologist Lester King has documented that planation surfaces are abundant on all continents and found at different elevations. He noted about 60% of Africa is a series of planation surfaces. Some planation surfaces are located on the top of mountains.
    http://creation.com/its-plain-to-see

    This ‘global anomaly’ of a ‘unconformity’, and planation, is exactly what we would expect to see from a global flood perspective, yet the dating of the global catastrophe(s) from water, as far as I know, is not yet known to accurate detail. Indeed I know of no secular reference of any known ‘mass extinction’ that mentions any ancient global disaster for water covering the face earth, to form this worldwide ‘unconformity’ and planation. And yet, there the worldwide anomaly sits. An anomaly that certainly requires a global deluge to explain!:

    further notes:

    The following video is very interesting for it shows a geological formation that is now known to have been formed by a catastrophic flood, yet Charles Darwin himself had ‘predicted’ the geological formation was formed ‘gradually’:

    Where Darwin Went Wrong – geology video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3darzVqzV2o

    This following secular article ‘honestly’ admits that ‘some big canyons’ were formed by catastrophic floods:

    Secular Geology Admits to Rapid Canyon Formation by Megafloods – June 21 2010
    Excerpt: “Our traditional view of deep river canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, is that they are carved slowly, as the regular flow and occasionally moderate rushing of rivers erodes rock over periods of millions of years.” Quoting Michael Lamb of Caltech, co-author of a paper in Nature Geoscience, the article said that such is not always the case: “We know that some big canyons have been cut by large catastrophic flood events during Earth’s history.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100621a

    The following article investigates eight anomalies of the Grand Canyon that strongly suggest rapid formation by a catastrophic flood of global proportions:

    Eight factual descriptions of the Grand Canyon
    http://www.canyonministries.co.....iew/31/54/

    Here is another anomaly of the Grand Canyon:

    Grand Canyon Sand Hails from Back East
    Excerpt: Sands from the Appalachians have found a tourist mecca in the arid Southwest, it seems. Two weeks ago it was reported that Utah’s Navajo sandstones came from the Appalachians, and now a geologist from Univ. of Arizona thinks the same for Grand Canyon sandstones, He bases his conclusion on radiometric dates of zircons in the sand which match those in Appalachia. This would require huge rivers bearing sand thousands of miles westward to Wyoming, “from whence winds blew it south into the dune fields” of Arizona. The resulting sand pile covered an area the size of the Kalahari desert. “I was very surprised by what we found,” said one of the geologists.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev0903.htm#geo71

    Here is a site that, though written from a Young Earth perspective, gives a fairly good overview of the many strange anomalies in the fossil record that point to an ancient global flood:

    The Fossil Record
    http://detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html

    As well, there is actually very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human races to the three sons of Noah:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/ancestors.xml

    TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND) by Tim Osterholm
    Excerpt: The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
    http://www.soundchristian.com/man/

    This following video, and article, are very interesting for they talk about the scientific evidence for a ‘genetic Adam’ and a ‘genetic Eve’, and how the evidence relates to Noah’s flood:

    Does human genetic evidence support Noah’s flood? – Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168

    Book Review; Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man:
    Excerpt: The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah’s sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature.
    http://www.godandscience.org/n.....05-09.html

    The following videos outline some surprisingly strong geological evidence for a global flood that will make any honest person scratch their head in wonder:

    Startling Evidence That Noah’s Flood Really Happened – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....1519871387

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Heinrich you state:

    ‘Poor Baptist science profs can’t say that the Flood wasn’t global, either. Some people find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.’

    And Heinrich just how certain are you there was not an ancient global flood? 100%? 99%? If you are this sure about ancient history, which you were not even alive to witness (much like the misplaced cocksuredness we deal with from Darwinists for the ‘evidence’ for evolution in bygone eras), How about you explain this Global anomaly?

    This following article points to a global anomaly in sediment layers. A anomaly that would be expected from a global flood perspective:

    Ancient Earth Smackdown at Santa Fe Tells Global Story – August 2010
    Excerpt: “Geologist John Wesley Powell called this major gap in the geologic record, which is also seen in other parts of the world, the Great Unconformity.” Clicking on the link elaborates further: “The Great Unconformity is a geologic feature that exists across the world at a relatively consistent rock strata (or depth relative to sea-level).” Any unconformity worldwide in its extent would seem to require to a global catastrophe.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100810a

    Worldwide ‘planation’ also points to a global disaster from water:

    Planation surface
    Excerpt: planation surface, any low-relief plain cutting across varied rocks and structures. Among the most common landscapes on Earth, planation surfaces include pediments, pediplains, etchplains, and peneplains. There has been much scientific controversy over the origins of such surfaces.
    http://www.britannica.com/EBch.....on-surface

    It’s plain to see – Flat land surfaces are strong evidence for the Genesis Flood
    Excerpt: A planation surface is a large, level, or nearly level, land surface that has been ‘planed’ flat by running water. Scientists believe that running water cut these surfaces because they are covered by rounded rocks. Water is the only agent we know that can produce rounded rocks, by tumbling them against each other as it transports them along.,,, Planation surfaces sometimes cut across tilted sedimentary rocks. They are especially easy to recognize. The layered sedimentary rocks are often a combination of hard and soft rocks. Only a gigantic, fast-running water flow could have cut both the hard and soft rocks evenly.,,, Geomorphologist Lester King has documented that planation surfaces are abundant on all continents and found at different elevations. He noted about 60% of Africa is a series of planation surfaces. Some planation surfaces are located on the top of mountains.
    http://creation.com/its-plain-to-see

    This ‘global anomaly’ of a ‘unconformity’, and planation, is exactly what we would expect to see from a global flood perspective, yet the dating of the global catastrophe(s) from water, as far as I know, is not yet known to accurate detail. Indeed I know of no secular reference of any known ‘mass extinction’ that mentions any ancient global disaster for water covering the face earth, to form this worldwide ‘unconformity’ and planation. And yet, there the worldwide anomaly sits. An anomaly that certainly requires a global deluge to explain!:

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    further notes:

    The following video is very interesting for it shows a geological formation that is now known to have been formed by a catastrophic flood, yet Charles Darwin himself had ‘predicted’ the geological formation was formed ‘gradually’:

    Where Darwin Went Wrong – geology video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3darzVqzV2o

    This following secular article ‘honestly’ admits that ‘some big canyons’ were formed by catastrophic floods:

    Secular Geology Admits to Rapid Canyon Formation by Megafloods – June 21 2010
    Excerpt: “Our traditional view of deep river canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, is that they are carved slowly, as the regular flow and occasionally moderate rushing of rivers erodes rock over periods of millions of years.” Quoting Michael Lamb of Caltech, co-author of a paper in Nature Geoscience, the article said that such is not always the case: “We know that some big canyons have been cut by large catastrophic flood events during Earth’s history.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100621a

    The following article investigates eight anomalies of the Grand Canyon that strongly suggest rapid formation by a catastrophic flood of global proportions:

    Eight factual descriptions of the Grand Canyon
    http://www.canyonministries.co.....iew/31/54/

    Here is another anomaly of the Grand Canyon:

    Grand Canyon Sand Hails from Back East
    Excerpt: Sands from the Appalachians have found a tourist mecca in the arid Southwest, it seems. Two weeks ago it was reported that Utah’s Navajo sandstones came from the Appalachians, and now a geologist from Univ. of Arizona thinks the same for Grand Canyon sandstones, He bases his conclusion on radiometric dates of zircons in the sand which match those in Appalachia. This would require huge rivers bearing sand thousands of miles westward to Wyoming, “from whence winds blew it south into the dune fields” of Arizona. The resulting sand pile covered an area the size of the Kalahari desert. “I was very surprised by what we found,” said one of the geologists.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev0903.htm#geo71

    Here is a site that, though written from a Young Earth perspective, gives a fairly good overview of the many strange anomalies in the fossil record that point to an ancient global flood:

    The Fossil Record
    http://detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html

    As well, there is actually very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human races to the three sons of Noah:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/ancestors.xml

    TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND) by Tim Osterholm
    Excerpt: The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
    http://www.soundchristian.com/man/

    This following video, and article, are very interesting for they talk about the scientific evidence for a ‘genetic Adam’ and a ‘genetic Eve’, and how the evidence relates to Noah’s flood:

    Does human genetic evidence support Noah’s flood? – Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168

    Book Review; Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man:
    Excerpt: The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah’s sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature.
    http://www.godandscience.org/n.....05-09.html

    The following videos outline some surprisingly strong geological evidence for a global flood that will make any honest person scratch their head in wonder:

    Startling Evidence That Noah’s Flood Really Happened – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....1519871387

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    further notes:

    The following video is very interesting for it shows a geological formation that is now known to have been formed by a catastrophic flood, yet Charles Darwin himself had ‘predicted’ the geological formation was formed ‘gradually’:

    Where Darwin Went Wrong – geology video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3darzVqzV2o

    This following secular article ‘honestly’ admits that ‘some big canyons’ were formed by catastrophic floods:

    Secular Geology Admits to Rapid Canyon Formation by Megafloods – June 21 2010
    Excerpt: “Our traditional view of deep river canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, is that they are carved slowly, as the regular flow and occasionally moderate rushing of rivers erodes rock over periods of millions of years.” Quoting Michael Lamb of Caltech, co-author of a paper in Nature Geoscience, the article said that such is not always the case: “We know that some big canyons have been cut by large catastrophic flood events during Earth’s history.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100621a

    The following article investigates eight anomalies of the Grand Canyon that strongly suggest rapid formation by a catastrophic flood of global proportions:

    Eight factual descriptions of the Grand Canyon
    http://www.canyonministries.co.....iew/31/54/

    Here is another anomaly of the Grand Canyon:

    Grand Canyon Sand Hails from Back East
    Excerpt: Sands from the Appalachians have found a tourist mecca in the arid Southwest, it seems. Two weeks ago it was reported that Utah’s Navajo sandstones came from the Appalachians, and now a geologist from Univ. of Arizona thinks the same for Grand Canyon sandstones, He bases his conclusion on radiometric dates of zircons in the sand which match those in Appalachia. This would require huge rivers bearing sand thousands of miles westward to Wyoming, “from whence winds blew it south into the dune fields” of Arizona. The resulting sand pile covered an area the size of the Kalahari desert. “I was very surprised by what we found,” said one of the geologists.

    Here is a site that, even though written from a Young Earth perspective, gives a fairly good overview of the many strange anomalies in the fossil record that point to an ancient global flood:

    The Fossil Record
    http://detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html

    As well, there is actually very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human races to the three sons of Noah:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/ancestors.xml

    TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND) by Tim Osterholm
    Excerpt: The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
    http://www.soundchristian.com/man/

    This following video, and article, are very interesting for they talk about the scientific evidence for a ‘genetic Adam’ and a ‘genetic Eve’, and how the evidence relates to Noah’s flood:

    Does human genetic evidence support Noah’s flood? – Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168

    Book Review; Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man:
    Excerpt: The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah’s sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature.
    http://www.godandscience.org/n.....05-09.html

    The following videos outline some surprisingly strong geological evidence for a global flood that will make any honest person scratch their head in wonder:

    Startling Evidence That Noah’s Flood Really Happened – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....1519871387

  12. 12
    FtK says:

    BA77, you might find Walt Brown’s theory about the Grand Canyon interesting.

    If you keep paging through the following link, you can read it all on line rather than getting his book.

    http://www.creationscience.com.....nyon2.html

    Also mentioned on video:

    http://reasonablekansans.blogs.....anyon.html

    BTW, just wanted to say that you’re like a walking encyclopedia for references in this debate. Thanks! 🙂

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Heinrich says:

    ‘Poor Baptist science profs can’t say that the Flood wasn’t global, either. Some people find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.’

    And Heinrich just how certain are you there was not an ancient global flood? 100%? 99%?

    If there was a Biblical flood, it would have been slightly more recent than 330 million years ago. There’s a better known wide-spread boundary layer from 65 million years ago, too. But neither of these are the Biblical flood: there’s simply no evidence of human activity around them.

    (if anyone notices this comment, can you give a prod: it probably won’t appear for a day or so and ba77 is likely to miss it)

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    NG:

    If you click on the link through my handle in LH col, you will come to an online note with my own exploration of design issues.

    If that is not enough, there is a 101 survey course here.

    UD has a weak arguments corrective top right this and every page that will help, and IDEA has a FAQ here.

    If you need more, use the contact link at the linked note to reach me.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: FTK, hi, enjoy the season. Longtime no see you here at UD. (You might also want to look at the linked course.)

    PPS: How is your FAQ coming along?

  16. 16
    udat says:

    Tsinadree,

    If you have an email address you don’t mind posting here I can get you a copy of the notes your book was missing.

  17. 17
    johnnyb says:

    noam_ghish –

    Feel free to email me – jonathan@bartlettpublishing.com

  18. 18
    Tsinadree says:

    udat,that would be great! Please use the following:

    Torkalee@hotmail.com

  19. 19
    FtK says:

    Hi kairosfocus,

    Thank you. Happy holidays to you as well! I will definently check out the course. I still keep up with all the posts at UD & ENV, I just don’t have as much time to participate these days. I haven’t worked on my FAQ for quite some time, but sometimes get the urge to get back to blogging..:) Someday…

    Merry Christmas to everyone at UD! Thanks soooo much for all your hard work, dedication and information. I pass it on often.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    FTK:

    All the very best in the new year.

    GEM of TKI

  21. 21
    Heinrich says:

    This ‘global anomaly’ of a ‘unconformity’, and planation, is exactly what we would expect to see from a global flood perspective, yet the dating of the global catastrophe(s) from water, as far as I know, is not yet known to accurate detail. Indeed I know of no secular reference of any known ‘mass extinction’ that mentions any ancient global disaster for water covering the face earth, to form this worldwide ‘unconformity’ and planation. And yet, there the worldwide anomaly sits. An anomaly that certainly requires a global deluge to explain!:

    The mass extinction would have to have been in the last few thousand years, after the last glacial maximum. But I’m not aware of any evidence for such a recent extinction.

    (BTW, I have 2 comments further up that might appear when this one does. One is a response to critter, the other to ba77)

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