The Design and Complexity of the Cell

Jeff Tomkins has a new book out.* It’s called The Design and Complexity of the Cell, and a few of the ICR’s other luminaries have also contributed to it. The last article (both that I will cover on its own and also literally in the magazine) in the August Acts & Facts reproduces Tomkins’ introduction to the book.


*Technically I think his latest is More Than A Monkey, but that’s not what’s being hyped here. I considered buying that latter book but the shipping costs were higher than the price of the book itself – I need to get a kindle.


Tomkins opens by talking about ‘worldviews’:

The growing field of biology—including biomedical, agricultural, and environmental sciences—is becoming more prevalent in our world and more relevant to our daily lives. This field is dominated by a strong philosophical component that plays an important role in our lives. That component is worldview. The worldview of evolutionary naturalism impacts the moral fabric of our society, and we encounter its influences on a daily basis.

No doubt they’re sinister influences.

The majority of the scientific establishment is sold on the belief that there is no God or Creator and that life developed spontaneously and randomly. On the other hand, many Christians are unaware that recent scientific discoveries in the area of biology actually support an opposite worldview, one that validates special creation as recorded in the Bible. Despite the predominance of evolutionary thinking in education and science, Christians can have confidence that what God said about creation, and particularly about life, is absolutely true.

Oh really? Inexplicitly, Tomkins slides into conspiracy mode:

Although the scientific establishment has sought to suppress much of the evidence for creation, credentialed scientists within the creation and intelligent design (ID) movements have successfully brought this evidence to light. For instance, the book that started the modern creation science movement in 1961—The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris—demonstrated the geological evidences that confirm the historical global Flood account of Genesis. A number of recent popular books that incorporate new biological discoveries have made The New York Times bestseller list, such as Signature in the Cell by science philosopher Stephen Meyer.

Yes, you may have noticed the similarities between this book and Meyer’s, at least on the surface. Has he got anything new, or is he just hammering home the ‘bible’ part more than Meyer would have been prepared to.

This article concludes:

Science is not a morally neutral discipline. There is a worldview that governs the beliefs and actions of those who do science. The sin nature of man will turn our world into a technological nightmare for humanity if science is not guided by strong moral and biblical values. Gaining understanding about the building blocks of life, honing our skills to defend the faith, and developing a deeper understanding of the wonders of creation will lead us to ultimately honor the Creator of all life.

An interesting envisioning of the terrible consequences of evolutionism – but why do we need biblical values as well as moral ones? Certainly, if we drop morality things will get bad, but arguably ‘biblical values’ can and have been done away with without demonstrable ill effects. That, after all, is what the wedge document was all about.

On the ICR’s website further information is available about the book. This includes Henry Morris III’s forward, along with the table of contents and information about the contributing authors. Other authors include Dr Nathaniel Jeanson, who contributed two chapters on stem cells, and Dr Brad Forlow, who wrote the second appendix. Dr. Randy Guliuzza, Brian Thomas, and Frank Sherwin also apparently made contributions, specifically the ‘application’ sections at the end of each paragraph. Given that at least one of Thomas’ articles seems to be a reproduced DpSU I’d say that this was a very bad idea.

The book is apparently around 130 pages long, and costs about US$20. Probably not worth it, but if I stumble across it in a situation where I don’t have to pay shipping costs I may consider buying it to review.

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5 thoughts on “The Design and Complexity of the Cell

  1. If we destroy the world it will be because of science, because science is the only thing that works. The big red button may well be pressed by a religious nutter, or someone with some other axe to grind, but they will not have prayed the button into existence. Science will destroy the world because it’s the only thing that can.

  2. “Certainly, if we drop morality things will get bad, but arguably ‘biblical values’ can and have been done away with without demonstrable ill effects.” We’ll have to wait and see: we are coming out of a time in which the Christian worldview informed morality. Take human rights for example. I would say that human rights are based on the inherent value of humans given to them by God. Naturalism however has no basis for value – whatever is, just is. No right or wrong. No valuable, no worthless. Science can tell us what humans are made up of materially and genetically, but science can’t say whether firing a gun at someone is a right or wrong course of action. Using a naturalistic or scientific basis for morality, human rights become convenient, social constructs.

    • “Biblical” values are not the sole or even the main guide to morals nor are they particularly reliable ones.
      The Bible has never been that strong on human rights. The old testament which informs Judaism, Christianity and Islam has a pretty poor record regarding genocide, slavery, the rights of women and the treatment of children and the gospel stories aren’t much better.
      Also it’s an old and spurious argument that naturalism has no values. The values it does hold are at best constructed on rational grounds with egalitarian views and worst are the ravings of despots.
      But religious morals fare no better. Religious genocide is every bit as vicious and more frequent than scientific genocide. And the laws we’ve inherited based on the Bible are often arbitrary and silly if they aren’t downright bigoted.
      It’s not science that calls for crusades and jihads – it’s religious fundamentalists.
      And no science can’t say whether shooting someone is right or wrong – only people can do that but not based on a book of bronze age myths that would have one tribe annihilating another because ‘God ordered it’.

    • Thanks, I had forgotten all about those guys. I ordered the Monkey book – ebooks can have their day some other time – and as I wasn’t planning to properly review the book above unless it was physically thrust at me I’m not bothered that they don’t have it.

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