How Blind is the Watchmaker?
If you found a watch, as William Paley asked nearly two centuries ago, would you think that it came into existence by chance or that there was a watchmaker? Likewise, Neil Broom asks, was the universe created by the blind...
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If you found a watch, as William Paley asked nearly two centuries ago, would you think that it came into existence by chance or that there was a watchmaker? Likewise, Neil Broom asks, was the universe created by the blind forces of physics and chemistry, or is there evidence in nature of a designing mind?
While prominent scientists in recent years have suggested that the watchmaker is indeed blind, Broom, a biomechanics scientist, sees much more than their naturalistic blinders allow them to perceive. His book How Blind Is the Watchmaker? boldly challenges the scientific establishment's commitment to what he labels as "the flimsily crafted but persuasively packaged myth of scientific materialism."
Broom reveals how naturalistic science is guilty of attempting to reduce all explanations to the molecular level, even when higher nonmaterial levels of explanation are clearly required to describe the behavior of many systems. Likewise he shows why there is little chance that science can define life in a way that seamlessly connects it to the inanimate world.
Broom also uncovers the rarely discussed or acknowledged assumptions that raise serious questions about the limits of a purely naturalistic approach to the problem of life's genesis. In a clear and readable style, he considers the recent research about the origin of life and the function of RNA, DNA and proteins. Further, he exposes how scientists often attribute "personal" characteristics to inanimate molecules. And he shows why postulating billions of years for various natural processes does not adequately explain inadequacies in evolutionary scenarios.
This thought-provoking book (a thoroughly revised and updated edition of the volume originally published by Ashgate) points beyond the poverty of many scientific pronouncements and builds a robust case for viewing the true splendour of our living world.
Drawing on a variety of examples, this shows that modern materialistic science, despite its ability to analyse in truly impressive detail the workings of the living world, remains powerless to explain the phenomenon of life itself.
Neil Broom (Ph.D., Auckland) is an associate professor in the department of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Since 1975 he has been a research fellow at the Health Research Council of New Zealand involved in bioprosthetic heart valve development, joint tissue biomechanics and arthritis research, and spinal biomechanics. He has authored the book How Blind is the Watchmaker?.