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Michael John Denton (born 25 August 1943) is a British-Australian author and biochemist. In 1973, Denton received his PhD in Biochemistry from King's College London.


Denton gained a medical degree from Bristol University in 1969 and a PhD from King's College, London University in 1974. He was senior research fellow in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand from 1990 - 2005. He later was a scientific reseacher in the field of genetic eye diseases. He has spoken worldwide on genetics, evolution and the anthropic argument for design. Denton's current interests include defending the "anti Darwinian evolutionary position" and the design hypothesis formulated in his book Nature's Destiny. Denton is an agnostic.


Evolution: A Theory in Crisis:

See also: Evolution: A Theory in Crisis

Denton is best known for his 1985 book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, in the book he presented a systematic critique of neo-darwinism ranging from paleontology, fossils, homology, molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry and argued that evidence of design exists in nature. Denton however is not a creationist, he describes himself as an evolutionist, he has rejected biblical creationism. Because of his book he is often regarded as the person who laid the intellectual foundations for the Intelligent Design movement. The book influenced both Phillip E. Johnson, the father of intelligent design, and George Gilder, co-founder of the Discovery Institute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. Denton is a current Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Since writing the book Denton has changed many of his views on evolution, however he still believes that the existence of life is a matter of design.

Nature's Destiny:

Denton still accepts design and embraces a non-Darwinian evolutionary theory. He denies that randomness accounts for the biology of organisms, he has proposed an evolutionary theory which is a "directed evolution" in his book Nature's Destiny (1998). Life according to Denton did not exist until initial conditions of the universe were fine tuned (see Fine-tuned Universe). Denton was influenced by Lawrence Joseph Henderson (1878-1942), Paul Davies and John D. Barrow who argued for an Anthropic Principle in the cosmos (Denton 1998, v, Denton 2005). Thus his second book Nature's Destiny (1998) is his biological contribution on the Anthropic Principle debate which is dominated by physicists. He argues for a law-like evolutionary unfolding of life.



Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Adler & Adler, 1985. ISBN 0-917561-52-X,

Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe, New York: Free Press, 1998. ISBN 0-7432-3762-5,

Selected Articles

Denton MJ, Arnstein HR, "Characterization of developing adult mammalian erythroid cells separated by velocity sedimentation," Br J Haematol. 1973 Jan;24(1):7-17.,

Denton, MJ, Spencer, N and Arnstein, HRV (1975) "Biochemical and Enzymic Changes during Red Cell Differentiation: The Significance of the Final Cell Division," Biochemical Journal 146: 205-211.,

Denton, MJ, Chen, JD, Serravalle, S, Colley, P, Halliday, FB, and Donald, J. (1988) "Estimate of Recombination Fractions between the Xp Probes, L128, OTC, CX5, 754, XJ.1, pERT-87, and C7 and the locus for Retinitis Pigmentosa," Hum Genet 78: 60-64.,

Denton, MJ, and Marshall, JC (2001) "The Laws of Form Revisited," Invited Concepts Column, Nature 410: 411.,

Denton, MJ, Marshall CJ, Legge M. "Protein Folds as Platonic Forms," Journal of Theoretical Biology 2002 Dec 7;219(3):325-342. Abstract,

Denton, MJ, "Henderson's 'Fine-Tuning Argument': Time for Rediscovery," in Spiritual Information: 100 Perspectives on Science and Religion edited by Charles L. Harper Jr., Templeton Foundation Press, Philadelphia, 2005, pp. 167-171.,

Denton, MJ, "Protein-based life as an emergent property of matter: the nature and biological fitness of the protein folds," in Fitness of the Cosmos for Life edited by John D. Barrow et al., Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 256-279.,


^ The characterisation of developing adult mammalian sic erythroid cells separated by velocity sedimentation, Thesis database entry, King's College London,

^ Background of Denton and his scientific work,

^ Stephen C. Meyer. "Signature in the Cell". Harper Collins. http://books.google.com/books?id=laW5vuTLNXEC&pg=PA556&dq=michael+denton+agnostic&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7fgpT_DpLubt0gHpu5n8Cg&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=michael%20denton%20agnostic&f=false. Retrieved 13 November 2010. "Michael Denton, an agnostic, argues for intelligent design in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 326-43." ,

^ Tom Frame. "Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design". http://books.google.com/books?id=o-c1IZtSnoIC&pg=PA291&dq=michael+denton+agnostic&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2vcpT57ULajZ0QGE5rX_Cg&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=michael%20denton%20agnostic&f=false. Retrieved 13 November 2010. "Michael Denton, Darwin and Intelligent Design In contrast to the other would-be pioneers of Intelligent Design, Denton describes himself as an agnostic, and his book was released by a secular publishing house." ,

^ "Profile in Evolution and creationism in the public schools by Angus Macleod Gunn",

^ Forrest and Gross(2004) pp 17, 259,

^ Forrest and Gross(2004) p153,

^ My Biological World View,

^ Allene Phy-Olsen, Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design, 2010, p.72,

^ 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: A Response to Ashby Camp's "Critique", Talk.Origins "Interestingly, it appears that Denton has finally rectified his misunderstanding about nested hierarchies and common descent, since in his latest book he unconditionally assumes the validity of the nested hierarchy, common descent, and the tree of life.",

^ "The second argument, developed in Part 2, that the cosmos is fit also for the evolutionary development of life" (p. xiv). See also especially chapter 12.