When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue, but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the “Cambrian explosion,” many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock. In this presentation, Dr. Stephen Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life—a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information—stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells—to building animal forms. Meyer will show that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than purely undirected evolutionary processes.
Stephen Meyer, senior fellow with the Discovery Institute and author of the recent, highly acclaimed book Darwin’s Doubt. Meyer received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. He has authored the New York Times best seller Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2013) as well as Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2009), which was named a Book of the Year by the Times (of London) Literary Supplement in 2009. He received WORLD Magazine’s Daniel of the Year Award in 2009. In the 21st century, the information age has finally come to biology. We now know that biology at its root is comprised of information-rich systems, such as the complex digital code in DNA. Groundbreaking discoveries of the past decade are revealing the information- bearing properties of biological systems. Dr. Meyer examines the depth of digital technology found in living cells and develops an argument for intelligent design as the best explanation for the information at the heart of life. In the textbook Explore Evolution and the TrueU DVD series, Dr. Meyer has modeled an innovative way of teaching science in which he exposes students to arguments about competing scientific theories as a way of advancing scientific education. This approach comports well with the classical model and the importance of exposing older students to competing arguments as they enter the rhetorical stage of their educational development.