Stephen C. Meyer is director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC) and a founder both of the intelligent design movement and of the CSC, intelligent design’s primary intellectual and scientific headquarters. Dr. Meyer is a Cambridge University-trained philosopher of science, the author of peer-reviewed publications in technical, scientific, philosophical and other books and journals. His signal contribution to ID theory is given most fully in Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, published by HarperOne in June 2009.
While other scientists and writers on the general subject of ID have debunked Darwinian theory by focusing on discrete aspects of life’s history and complexity -- the Cambrian explosion, gaps in the fossil record, irreducibly complex features like the bacterial flagellum or the mechanism of blood clotting, and the like -- Meyer’s research goes to the very source of the mystery of life: its origin, and more specifically the origin of biological information as represented in DNA. Signature in the Cell presents a radical and comprehensive new case, revealing the evidence not merely of individual features of biological complexity but of a fundamental constituent of the universe, namely information.
Meyer has argued that the intelligent design field is still in its infancy and that vital evidence of a designer’s “signature” on life only emerged as recently as just 10-15 years ago. His work in biological information represents the cutting edge of the argument for design.
Graduating from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, in 1981 with a degree in physics and earth science, he later became a geophysicist with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) in Dallas, Texas. From 1981 to 1985, he worked for ARCO in digital signal processing and seismic survey interpretation. As a Rotary International Scholar, he received his training in the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University, earning a PhD in 1991. His thesis offered a methodological interpretation of origin-of-life research.
He returned to Whitworth College in 1990 to teach philosophy. He left Whitworth in 2002, giving up a tenured position, to found and direct the CSC at Discovery Institute.
Prior to the publication of Signature in the Cell, the piece of writing for which Meyer was best known was an August 2004 review essay in the Smithsonian Institution-affiliated peer-reviewed biology journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. The article laid out the evidential case for intelligent design, that certain features of living organisms--such as the miniature machines and complex circuits within cells--are better explained by an unspecified designing intelligence than by an undirected natural process like random mutation and natural selection.
Because the article was the first peer-review publication in a technical journal arguing for ID, the journal’s editor, evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg, was punished by his Smithsonian supervisors for allowing Meyer’s pro-ID case into print. This led to an investigation of top Smithsonian personnel by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, widely covered in the media, including the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. The federal investigation concluded that Sternberg had been wrongly disciplined and intimidated. The case led to widespread public indignation at the pressures placed on Darwin-doubting scientists not only at the Smithsonian but at universities around the U.S. and elsewhere.
Meyer’s many other publications include a contribution to, and the editing of, the peer-reviewed volume Darwinism, Design and Public Education (Michigan State University Press, 2004) and the innovative textbook Explore Evolution (Hill House Publishers, 2007).
Meyer has been widely featured in media appearance on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, PBS, and the BBC. In 2008, he appeared with Ben Stein in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. He’s also featured prominently in two other science documentaries, Icons of Evolution and Unlocking The Mystery of Life.