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The Design Revolution 
Author: William Dembski 
Publisher: InterVarsity Press, 2004 
Length: 334 pages 

The evolution debate is raging again.  Over the last decade or so, opposition to evolutionary theory has intensified and state school boards across the U.S. are conducting hearings to determine how evolution will be taught in the public schools.  At the center of this controversy is the hotly contested intelligent design theory, which claims to have scientific evidence that could eventually place Darwinism on the endangered species list.

Sometimes labeled as creationism, sometimes as thinly-veiled theological hogwash with a religious agenda to indoctrinate young minds, intelligent design is arousing curiosity, congratulations, and curses.  ID proponents claim to be practicing real science, without a religious agenda, but can a theory that leaves room for miracles be ďrealĒ science?  And is it really a significant foe for Darwinism?  

Dr. William Dembski, one of the most widely-known ID proponents, has just penned The Design Revolution, a book written for the layman and scientist alike, that aims to answer the toughest questions surrounding the anti-Darwinism movement.

Structured like a question and answer forum, TDR is divided into short chapters (average length is about 6 pages) that respond to questions like, What is intelligent design?  Is intelligent design a cleverly disguised form of creationism?  If nature exhibits design, who designed the Designer?  How can intelligent design be considered real science?  Isnít intelligent design untestable (and therefore unreliable)?  Is it true that design theorists arenít published in peer-reviewed journals?

This is Dembskiís most accessible, comprehensive, and easy-to-read book to date.  While a couple of the 44 chapters are technical and may require rereading by the mathematically challenged (e.g., yours truly), the book as a whole is enlightening, engaging, and easy to comprehend.  The structure allows the reader either to go from cover to cover or to pick and choose chapters based on interest. 

The biggest drawback, of course, is that TDR is a one-sided argument, but you can hardly fault Dembski for that.  Almost every book on evolution, for or against, is one-sided, and to give equal time for other voices would only make the already 300+ page book a burden to read.  Dembski, while opinioned, gives strong defense for his arguments and avoids setting up strawmen to win support from the reader. 

Those who donít know a thing about intelligent design will gain a strong grasp of its basics, and those well-versed with the theory will further their understanding of the debates surrounding ID as well as future directions for the field.  Even advocates of Darwinism will find this reference a useful tool for understanding the objections to Darwinism that intelligent design raises.

Authroritative, easy to read, and comprehensive, The Design Revolution is a must-have for anyone with an interest in the evolution debate, no matter which side of the fence youíre on.

Bill Kerschbaum 
Submitted 4/24/04 

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