Signature in the Cell DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design              by Jack Kettler


Signature in the Cell DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

By Stephen C. Meyer

Publisher: HarperOne

A review




Stephen C. 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. He has authored most recently 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 prestigious Times (of London) Literary Supplement in 2009.




“Signature in the Cell is a defining work in the discussion of life’s origins and the question of whether life is a product of unthinking matter or of an intelligent mind. For those who disagree with ID, the powerful case Meyer presents cannot be ignored in any honest debate. For those who may be sympathetic to ID, on the fence, or merely curious, this book is an engaging, eye-opening, and often eye-popping read” - American Spectator


“In 1991, Phillip Johnson published Darwin on Trial. In 1996, Michael Behe published Darwin’s Black Box. In 1998, William Dembski published The Design Inference. While numerous other books on the subject have been published, these three books are considered landmark works in the discussion over intelligent design. Now there is a fourth. Stephen C. Meyer’s new book, Signature in the Cell, may be the most persuasive case for intelligent design yet published. The timing could not be better, since 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.” - Keith Mathison in the Ligonier Ministries blog


“Meyer demolishes the materialist superstition at the core of evolutionary biology by exposing its Achilles’ heel: its utter blindness to the origins of information. With the recognition that cells function as fast as supercomputers and as fruitfully as so many factories, the case for a mindless cosmos collapses. His refutation of Richard Dawkins will have all the dogs barking and angels singing.” - George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty

In this book, Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D. makes the case that intelligent design (ID) is a credible theory. So much so, he has convinced Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro of intelligent design.


Dr. Meyer explains the intellectual shift-taking place among scholars:


“Renowned British philosopher, Antony Flew, announced that he had repudiated a lifelong commitment to atheism, citing, among other factors, evidence of intelligent design in the DNA molecule.” (p. 2.)


What are proteins? Meyer explains:


“Proteins build cellular machines and structures, they carry and deliver cellular materials, and they catalyze chemical reactions that the cell needs to stay alive. Proteins also process genetic information.” (p. 79.) (Underlining emphasis mine)


For the evolutionist, the above fact about proteins is a big problem. Meyer quotes biochemist David Goodsell to highlight the problem:


“Biochemist David Goodsell describes the problem, “The key molecular process that makes modern life possible is protein synthesis, since proteins are used in nearly every aspect of living. The synthesis of proteins requires a tightly integrated sequence of reactions, most of which are themselves performed by proteins.” Or as Jacques Monod noted in 1971: “The code is meaningless unless translated. The modern cell’s translating machinery consists of at least fifty macromolecular components which are themselves coded in DNA: the code cannot be translated otherwise than by products of translation. (Scientists now know that translation actually requires more than a hundred proteins.)” (p. 133-134.)


In this same line of questioning, Meyer’s continues to raise questions in the following quotes:


“The picture of the cell provided by modern molecular biology has led scientists to redefine the question of the origin of life.  The discovery of life’s information-processing systems, with their elaborate functional integration of proteins and nucleic acids, has made it clear that scientists investigating the origin of life must now explain the origin of at least three key features of life.  First, they must explain the origin of the system for storing and encoding digital information in the cell, DNA’s capacity to store digitally encoded information. Second, they must explain the origin of the large amount of specified complexity or functionally specified information in DNA, Third, they must explain the origin of the integrated complexity – the functional interdependence of parts – of the cell’s information-processing system.” (p. 134-135.)


“With odds standing at 1 chance in 10164 of finding a functional protein among the possible 150-amino-acid compounds, the probability is 84 orders of magnitude (or powers of ten) smaller than the probability of finding the marked particle in the whole universe. Another way to say that is the probability of finding a functional protein by chance alone is a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion times smaller than the odds of finding a single specified particle among all the particles in the universe.” (p. 217.)


“Anyone can claim that a fantastically improbable event might have occurred by chance. Chance, in that sense, if always a possible explanation. But it doesn’t follow that chance necessarily constitutes the best explanation. And… I wanted to find the BEST explanation for the origins of biological information. When I realized that I did not need to absolutely DISPROVE the chance hypothesis in order to make an objective determination about its merits, clarity came. By assessing the probability of an event in light of the available probabilistic resources, I could determine whether it was more reasonable to affirm or to reject the chance hypothesis for that event… I concluded that chance was not a terribly promising candidate for ‘best explanation’ of the DNA enigma.” (p. 222-223.)


Chapter 9 Ends and Odds is certainly one of the hardest chapters to refute by the evolutionary religionists who are in disagreement with Meyer. The mathematical improbabilities of highly complex cell structures appearing by accident and developing constantly into higher complexity by unobservable mechanisms (natural selection, random mutations) are absurd. Science is supposed to be empirical, i.e. observable.    


Does the fact that a theory has possible theistic or non-theistic implications invalidate it? Meyers observes in chapter 20: 


“Either way, chemical evolutionary theory and neo-Darwinism raise unavoidable metaphysical and religious questions. Arguably, these theories also have incorrigibly metaphysical and religious (or antireligious) implications. At the very least, many scientists think that evolutionary theory has larger metaphysical, religious (or antireligious), or worldview implications. Yet this fact has not prevented Darwinism from being regarded as a scientific theory. Nor does anyone think that the possible implications of the theory should determine its scientific merit or invalidate the evidence in its favor. Yet if the religious (or antireligious) implications of materialistic evolutionary theories do not make these theories religion or invalidate the evidence in support of them, then neither should the religious implications of the theory of intelligent design negate the evidence in its favor or make it a “religion”—with all that implies to the modern mind.” (p. 466.)


The intelligent design theorist should have the same benefit.      


The bankruptcy of Darwinism has led to the theory of multi-universes: 


“Appendix B

Multiverse Cosmology and the Origin of Life

“Scientists have increasingly recognized that the probabilistic resources of the observable universe are insufficient to explain—by chance alone—the origin of a minimally complex cell or even a self-replicating system of RNA molecules (or even, for that matter, a single protein of modest length).” (p. 499.)


In closing:


The multiverse cosmology is not science; it is philosophical speculation. The fact that neo-Darwinian theorists are moving in this direction is a significant admission. This is an excellent book by Dr. Meyer! It is well worth the price. It is available in several formats, hardcopy, paperback, and electronic. See below for links to Dr. Myer’s YouTube presentations on the Signature of the Cell and intelligent design.     



1.      Stephen C. Meyer, SIGNATURE IN THE CELL: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, (Harper Collins, New York, NY, 2009).  

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at:

For more study:

Stephen C. Myer YouTube presentations:

Amazing seminar on Intelligent Design by Stephen Meyer

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, PhD talks about the Case for Intelligent Design

Signature in the Cell - Stephen C. Meyer, PhD