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Understanding Intelligent Design
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Release Date: July 2008
Page Count: 240
Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Binding: Perfectbound
ISBN: 978-0-7369-2442-9
Case Lot Quantity: 48
Collection/Series Name:®

Understanding Intelligent Design

Everything You Need to Know in Plain Language

This compact guide lays out the basics of Intelligent Design, popularly known as ID. William Dembski, the dean of the intelligent-design movement, and Sean McDowell especially target readers whose understanding may have been confused by educational bias and one-sided arguments and attacks.

Commonsense and no-nonsense, with pointed examples, the authors explain

  • the central theories of ID, showing why the presence of information and meaningful complexity require the involvement of intelligence
  • why ID adheres to the scientific method and is a valid field of scientific inquiry
  • why scientific evidence increasingly conflicts with evolutionary theories
  • how both evolutionary theory and ID have religious/philosophical underpinnings, and why this causes so much controversy
  • how both systems of thought have radical implications for our culture—and what readers can do about it

Clarifying crucial issues, this key resource gives nonspecialists a solid grasp of one of today's foundational religious-scientific-cultural concepts.

Meet the authors

Sean McDowell

Sean McDowell

Sean McDowell (PhD) is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including A New Kind of Apologist. He is an associate professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University, is an internationally recognized speaker, and blogs regularly at

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William A. Dembski

William A. Dembski

William A. Dembski, PhD, speaks worldwide on intelligent design and is frequently featured in newspaper articles and on radio and TV shows, among them ABC’s Nightline and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. A mathematician, philosopher, and research professor, Dembski has published widely and is the author/editor of more than a dozen books,...

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A Word from the Author

"I could not be more excited about the release of Understanding Intelligent Design. There has been a tremendous need for a book to take the complex ideas of ID and make them understandable, interesting, and relevant to people today. Understanding Intelligent Design is written for people, and especially young people, who want to have a handle on this important movement. Whether you are a supporter of ID or not, this book will cause you to wrestle with this significant new movement that is reshaping science as we know it. Enjoy!"
Sean McDowell, author of Understanding Intelligent Design

Editorial Reviews

“This is a book we have needed for some while, defining exactly what ID is and what it is not (particularly why it is ‘not’ Creationism). The book is a good mixture of real science, logical argument, and sound advice on exactly how to argue for design and against the ploys of materialists and evolutionists…”
Christian Marketplace

“I am pleased to see this educational book written in layman’s language and at a price anyone can afford. It is a serious thought–provoking book. Read and ponder—where do you stand?”
Polish American Journal


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"In my book Godless, I showed that Darwinism is the hoax of the century and, consequently, the core of the religion of liberalism. Like John the Baptist, Darwin foretold one of the key tenets of the left’s worldview: that humans are accidental descendants of earthworms, not the unique creations of an all–powerful God. Liberals respond to critics of their religion like Cotton Mather to Salem’s ‘witches.’ With this book, two more witches present themselves for burning: Sean McDowell, whose gift is communicating with young people, and Bill Dembski, often called the Isaac Newton of intelligent design. I think Dembski is more like the Dick Butkus of intelligent design. His record for tackling Darwiniacs is unmatched. This book gives young people all the ammo they need to take on Darwinism and understand the only viable scientific alternative to Darwinism: intelligent design. Every high school student in America needs a copy of Understanding Intelligent Design.”
Ann Coulter, author of Godless: The Church of Liberalism

"This book is long overdue! Finally, an understandable, engaging, and well–written introduction to intelligent design. Understanding Intelligent Design is the best book of its type.”
J.P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy, Biola University, author of Kingdom Triangle

"Bill and Sean have written a superb book that I wish I had when I was in high school—it would have spared me decades of believing in Darwinism! This book presents a crystal–clear overview of the most important and exciting development in science in our lifetime—the growing recognition that life and the cosmos reveal clear scientific evidence for design by a Mind.”
Michael Egnor, professor and vice–chairman, department of neurosurgery, State University of New York at Stony Brook, featured in Ben Stein’s movie Expelled

"Written especially for young people, this is a lucid presentation of the philosophical and scientific factors that contribute to the debate about origins. It is a ‘must–read’ for Christian teenagers!”
Caroline Crocker, executive director, IDEA Center, featured in Ben Stein’s movie Expelled

"Understanding Intelligent Design provides a magnificent introductory explanation of the most significant intellectual controversy of our time. I highly recommend it.”
Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial

"’Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.’ So runs a quote often attributed to Einstein. Using clear and easily read prose, Dembski and McDowell do exactly this in painting a powerful and wonderfully coherent case for intelligent design.”
Robert J. Marks II, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, Baylor University, featured in Ben Stein’s movie Expelled

"Intelligent design is often rejected, but rarely understood, especially by those who incessantly tell the rest of us to keep an ‘open mind.’ This is an age when sophisticated academics do not flinch at requiring public school students to watch ‘sex education’ demonstrations that involve bananas and condoms. Yet these same intellectuals insist that our children be shielded from any literature that may cast doubts on materialism. This is why ID advocates would face less resistance in our more cerebral venues if someone somewhere would just label it as pornography. But, alas, that has not happened. So, you’ll just have to discover by your lonesome self what gets Richard Dawkins’ panties in a bunch. Start by reading this book and learning something. If you wind up disagreeing with portions of it or even the whole thing, that’s okay, for many of us (me included) have issues with and questions about ID as well. But some of us are far more suspicious of the thought–police that want to protect you from this new boogeyman.”
Francis J. Beckwith, professor of philosophy and church–state studies, Baylor University

"I once asked a juvenile felon why he chose a life of crime. His response was chilling: ‘Joel, if this is all there is, why not?’ Understanding Intelligent Design takes a great first step toward correcting such attitudes. Our schools indoctrinate young people into thinking that they are nothing more than products of time plus chance plus natural selection. ID, by contrast, shows that purpose must be added to this equation. This automatically gives young people a meaning to their existence, something to live for and something to seek after. For anyone who is struggling to understand our place in the cosmos or knows a young person who is, give them Understanding Intelligent Design.”
Joel Borofsky, worldview blogger

Understanding Intelligent Design by Sean McDowell and William Dembski is a tremendous resource. Whether you’re a teacher, youth pastor, or parent, this book will help you guide the young people under your care towards a confident and passionate embrace of God as the Creator and sustainer of all life.”
Jason Carlson, Christian Ministries International

“For most people, the cosmological constant, amino acids, and specified complexity may as well be terms from another language. However, understanding them is necessary for appreciating the magnificent evidence for an intelligent Designer of the universe and life. Solution? Bill Dembski and Sean McDowell! This much needed book provides crucial and up–to–date facts in user–friendly language. It’s like getting the nutrition from vegetables in the form of a delicious pastry!”
Mike Licona, Director of Apologetics, North American Mission Board

“As a high school Bible teacher, I’m grateful for the work of Dembski and McDowell as they have simplified Intelligent Design in a way that even my teenage students will be able to understand. Publications like this are important if we want our children to ‘own their own faith’ before they head into the skeptical college years. I highly recommend this book for every layperson who desires to be exposed to the wealth of information showing that there truly must be an Intelligent Designer of the universe.”
Eric Johnson, bible department chair, Christian High School of El Cajon, CA, associate, Mormonism Research Ministry

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