Stephen Meyer Introduces His New Course on Intelligent Design

On this episode of ID the Future, bestselling author and Center for Science and Culture director Stephen Meyer introduces an exciting and informative new Discovery U video course, “Stephen Meyer Investigates Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design.” Here he sets the stage by recalling a few times when ID made national news headlines, sometimes with Meyer right in the middle of the controversy. He also addresses some of the questions generated by these dustups: Is ID faith-based or science-based? Did the earliest scientists follow ID principles or did they avoid them, as one state education commissioner claimed. And why did two highly regarded research scientists get expelled from their museum positions, and were the expulsions justified?

Science
Published: April 22, 2020, 5:41 p.m.

New Cosmos Series Plumps for Pantheism, Distorts History

On this episode of ID the Future, host and philosopher Jay Richards interviews science historian Michael Keas about the National Geographic channel’s new Cosmos series with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. In the Cosmos episode under discussion, the 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza is presented as an early advocate for science. It makes for a great story, Keas says, except that it’s a serious distortion. Spinoza was an advocate for nature, but he did so by equating it with God, and he opposed some of the most important innovations in science. As both Richards and Keas suggest in their conversation, it appears that the makers of Cosmos: Possible Worlds are trying to use Spinoza’s pantheism to invoke a spiritualized approach to nature and science, one more palatable than strict materialism, but that obscures how Christian theism provided important theological resources for the scientific revolution.

Science
Published: April 20, 2020, 11:19 p.m.

Jay Richards on How the Warfare Thesis Ignores the Roots of Science

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, CSC Director of Communications Rob Crowther interviews CSC Senior Fellow Jay Richards. Listen in as Richards rebuts the warfare thesis – the idea that religion and science are antagonists – and argues that historically, Judeo-Christian culture “was the seedbed from which science emerged.” Has science missed out by being partnered with materialism?

Science
Published: April 17, 2020, 7:22 p.m.

New Cosmos Series Preaches the Religion of Materialism

On this episode of ID the Future, guest host Jay Richards interviews science historian Michael Keas about the new Neil deGrasse Tyson Cosmos television series and its “very impressionistic storytelling.” Starting with an episode titled “Ladder to the Stars,” Cosmos: Possible Worlds weaves a tale of chemical evolution that, according to Keas, fails to engage the tough problems required to build the first self-reproducing biological entity. Keas says it then it moves into a glib explanation for the origin of mind and human intelligence. As Richards and Keas show, evidence takes a back seat to storytelling in both this latest version of Cosmos and in its predecessors.

Science
Published: April 15, 2020, 5:07 p.m.

Evolution, ID, and the Coronavirus: Jonathan Wells Explains

On this episode of ID the Future, biologist and Discovery Institute senior fellow Jonathan Wells tackles questions of evolution and intelligent design as they relate to the novel coronavirus SARS CoV-2. Is it the product of evolution, in the sense of Darwin’s Origin of Species? Wells argues to the contrary: It’s not a new species; in fact viruses aren’t even considered living species. Does modern evolutionary theory guide medicine’s response? Not when you consider that most of the major treatments being used and pursued actually preceded Darwin. Is intelligent design involved? Yes and no, Wells says. Listen in to get his take on this and more.

Science
Published: April 13, 2020, 10:26 p.m.

Anti-Human Science: Stephen C. Meyer and Wesley J. Smith on the March for Science

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, listen in as Wesley J. Smith and Stephen C. Meyer answer questions at a Washington D.C. event entitled “March for Science or March for Scientism? Understanding the Real Threats to Science in America.” Listen in as they discuss the politicization of science, and how these ideas are anti-human.

Science
Published: April 10, 2020, 2:12 p.m.

Günter Bechly: Still More Evidence Against Darwinian Gradualism

On this episode of ID the Future, paleontologist Günter Bechly speaks again with host Andrew McDiarmid about the growing case against Darwinian gradualism. Bechly points out two more cases where fossil discoveries refuted Darwin’s prediction of gradualism in species transitions. In one of the classic showcases for such alleged transitions, between two species of deep-sea protists called foraminifera, more recent research showed their speciation to be abrupt and not an ancestor-descendent sequence. And fossil freshwater snails from Germany, once viewed as another textbook example of gradual speciation, were discovered not to be separate species at all. Is there a paradigm change coming in evolutionary studies? Nothing fits the data better than intelligent design.

Science
Published: April 8, 2020, 5 p.m.

Günter Bechly Says Goodbye to Darwinian Gradualism

On this episode of ID the Future, paleontologist Günter Bechly and host Andrew McDiarmid discuss Bechly’s article “Ape-Man Waves Goodbye to Darwinian Gradualism.” Bechly touches on the oldest australopithecine fossil skull ever found, from 3.8 million years ago. The researchers behind the find are confident of its age but puzzled because the discovery undercuts one of the best examples of alleged gradual transition between two hominid species, and it also doesn’t fit well with common theories of phylogenetic relationship. The evidence poses a significant problem for the Darwinian mechanistic paradigm, but can be readily explained with an intelligent design approach.

Science
Published: April 6, 2020, 7:16 p.m.

Roger Olsen on the Mystery of Life’s Origin on the Early Earth

On this episode of ID the Future, Robert Marks interviews Roger Olsen, co-author of the groundbreaking 1984 book The Mystery of Life’s Origin. In the book’s epilogue they suggested that a designing intelligence stands as the best explanation for the origin of life. And with a revised and greatly expanded new edition of the book now available, he says that 36 years of additional research from the origin-of-life community has left their conclusions stronger than ever. Now an environmental scientist, Olsen has spent his career since then helping homes and families abroad protect children from the ravages of environmental pollution.

Science
Published: April 1, 2020, 2:06 p.m.

Michael Behe on COVID-19, Chloroquine, Malaria and the Edge of Evolution

On this episode of ID the Future, biochemist Michael Behe and host Andrew McDiarmid discuss the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, now being investigated as a treatment for COVID-19, and how it may work on the cellular level against the coronavirus. The same drug was featured in Behe’s 2007 book The Edge of Evolution, as part of his demonstration that evolution has strict limits: It can do adaptive work for organisms with single mutations, but if just two coordinated mutations are required at once, evolution’s random processes have great difficulty even with natural selection helping them along. In cases where population sizes are enormous, as with malaria, it can eventually overcome the need for two simultaneous and coordinated mutations, but only just barely. Because the odds go up exponentially, three simultaneous coordinated mutations may be beyond the edge of evolution. What does all this bode for chloroquine and the coronavirus? Listen in as McDiarmid and Behe discuss.

Science
Published: March 30, 2020, 4:01 p.m.

Stephen C. Meyer on the March for Science and How Evolution Degrades Information

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, hear Stephen C. Meyer’s talk given April 2017 at the March for Science or March for Scientism? Understanding the Real Threats to Science in America event hosted by Discovery Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Listen in as he discusses weaknesses in the theory of neo-Darwinism.

Science
Published: March 27, 2020, 4:06 p.m.

Charles Darwin vs. Richard Owen on Race

On this episode of ID the Future, Mike Keas interviews science historian and bioethicist Michael Flannery about his recent article on Charles Darwin and archrival Richard Owen. Owen was an evolutionist, too, but of a different stripe. Unlike Darwin, he believed that evolution was guided by teleology or purpose, and he saw humans as different from animals not only in degree but in kind. This led him to reject Darwin’s conclusion of a "hierarchy of races," as well as Darwin’s expectation that the supposedly "less fit" races of humankind ultimately would be exterminated by the so-called "superior" white race. Most Darwinists today aren't racist, but Darwinism did grease the skids into a dubious scientific racism that became widespread, encouraging racist eugenics campaigns in both Europe and the United States.

Science
Published: March 25, 2020, 9:03 p.m.

Charles Thaxton on The Mystery of Life’s Origin, Then and Now

On this episode of ID the Future, Robert J. Marks interviews chemist Charles Thaxton about a seminal 1984 book he co-authored, The Mystery of Life’s Origin, foundational to the intelligent design movement, and a later project, Of Pandas and People. The main body of Mystery was generally praised, Thaxton explains. It was the epilogue that proved controversial. There the three authors reviewed five proposed explanations for life’s origins and suggested that the best explanation was that the first life originated through an act of creative intelligence. The Mystery of Life’s Origin is now being re-released in an updated and greatly expanded version, with new contributions by Stephen Meyer, James Tour, and others.

Science
Published: March 23, 2020, 4:51 p.m.

Wesley J. Smith on the March for Science and Rights Gone Wild

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, hear Wesley J. Smith’s talk given this April at the March for Science or March for Scientism? Understanding the Real Threats to Science in America event hosted by Discovery Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Listen in as he discusses how science has been conflated with ethics and talks about animal and plant rights.

Science
Published: March 20, 2020, 10:18 p.m.

Kirk Durston on Fantasy Science and Scientism--Pt. 3 of 3

On this episode of ID the Future, Kirk Durston, a biophysicist focused on identifying high-information-density parts of proteins, completes a three-part series on three categories of science: experimental, inferential, and fantasy science. Fantasy science makes inferential leaps so huge that virtually none of it is testable, either by the standards of experimental science or by those of the historical sciences, which reason to the best explanation by process of elimination. One example of fantasy science, according to Durston, is the multiverse. As he insists, an imaginative story largely untethered from evidence and testing but told using math instead of literary devices is still an imaginative story untethered from evidence and testing. Scientism, "atheism dressed up in a lab coat," can lead to fantasy science of this kind because it commits itself to materialistic conclusions for philosophical reasons, not scientific ones.

Science
Published: March 19, 2020, 3:46 p.m.

Michael Behe on COVID-19 and ‘Why Are There Viruses, Anyway?’

On this episode of ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid and biochemist Michael Behe discuss the pandemic coronavirus known as COVID-19. The two move through a series of questions, some straightforward, others more speculative. What is a virus and where did this one come from? Why is it so much worse than other coronavirus strains? What sort of evolution is involved here? Does the human species have any ancient, shared genetic relationship with viruses? And why are there viruses in the first place?

Science
Published: March 16, 2020, 10:47 p.m.

Jay Richards on When to Doubt the Scientific ‘Consensus’

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, hear Jay Richards’ talk given at a Washington D.C. event entitled “March for Science or March for Scientism? Understanding the Real Threats to Science in America.” The event was hosted by Discovery Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Listen in as he discusses the issue of consensus in science, and when to doubt such a consensus.

Science
Published: March 13, 2020, 4:39 p.m.

Durston on Experimental, Inferential, and Fantasy Science--Pt. 1

On this episode of ID the Future, biophysicist and philosopher Kirk Durston discusses his recent article series about three types of science--(1) experimental science, which is generally very trustworthy, with some exceptions; (2) inferential science, which can be trustworthy but often takes huge leaps into the doubtable and dodgy; and (3) fantasy science, which is essentially science fiction masquerading as actual science. In this first of three episodes, Durston focuses on experimental science. Such science is, at its best, reproducible and verifiable. Durston says he has yet to find a true conflict between experimental, reproducible scientific observations and his religious faith. The contradictions he encountered were all between his faith and the inferences that some scientists were drawing from experimental science. Durston and host Andrew McDiarmid then move into a discussion of the reproducibility crisis in experimental science. As Durston explains, without a healthy scientific culture and the right incentives, experimental science can quickly fall into disrepair.

Science
Published: March 10, 2020, 1:55 a.m.

Just the Facts? Michael Flannery on Charles Darwin and Materialism

On this classic episode of ID the Future, Brian Miller interviews Michael Flannery on how Darwin’s background conditioned him to materialism, and how this influence impacted his development of the theory of evolution. Listen in to learn more about Darwin’s experiences at the University of Edinburgh with the Plinian Society, and his interaction with prominent atheists Aveling and Büchner near the end of his life.

Science
Published: March 6, 2020, 8:25 p.m.

Honoring Phillip Johnson Pt. 6: Emily Johnson, Stephen Meyer

On this episode of ID the Future, we present two final, moving talks in a series honoring the late Phillip E. Johnson, author of the hit book Darwin on Trial and affectionately known as the godfather of the Intelligent Design movement. These two eulogies were given at his memorial service in November. The first speaker is Emily Johnson, Phillip Johnson's daughter. The second is Stephen Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.

Science
Published: March 4, 2020, 7:14 p.m.

Michael Denton: Remarkable Coincidences in Photosynthesis

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, we listen in on a few minutes from a lecture given by CSC Senior Fellow Michael Denton. We've all heard of the importance of photosynthesis as an oxygen creating process. In this segment, Denton explains the "remarkable set of coincidences" which makes the creation of oxygen through photosynthesis possible. From the specific energy of visible light to the unique properties of water, this degree of improbability screams DESIGN.

Science
Published: March 2, 2020, 11:57 p.m.

Paul Nelson on the 2020 Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design

On this episode of ID the Future, host Rob Crowther talks with Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and philosopher of science Paul Nelson about the upcoming Summer Seminars at the Discovery Institute in Seattle in July. In two overlapping tracks, these seminars provide nine days of intensive study on design in the natural sciences and in humanities and the social sciences, with the opportunity to interact with top scholars and other students. It’s “summer camp for nerds,” says Nelson, and the opportunity for upper-level undergrads, grad students, professors, and professionals to break free of the isolation they often experience in environments where design is kept off the table. Nelson discusses why he loves lecturing at the seminars every July, and what students can expect. There’s still time to apply for the 2020 seminars, through early March.

Science
Published: Feb. 28, 2020, 9:51 p.m.

Honoring Phillip Johnson Pt. 5: John Mark Reynolds

On this episode of ID the Future we hear John Mark Reynolds’ concluding comments at the November 2019 symposium in honor of the late Phillip E. Johnson. Reynolds is a Fellow with the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, president of the Constantine School in Houston, and a long-time friend of Phillip Johnson. Reynolds says he saw in Johnson a mind constant and relentless in the pursuit of truth, a man who refused to distort the truth to fit it into a materialist paradigm, and who passed along that mindset to as many as he could, for he knew there is no success without successors. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast: idthefuture.org/donate.

Science
Published: Feb. 27, 2020, 12:21 a.m.

Honoring Phillip Johnson Pt. 4: Ann Gauger

On this episode of ID the Future, we hear biologist and Center for Science and Culture senior fellow Ann Gauger speaking at a gathering to honor the recently deceased Dr. Phillip Johnson, the Berkeley law professor known affectionately as the “godfather” of the intelligent design movement. Dr. Gauger tells of her journey of discovery, how she returned to a science career three times in her life, how she found her way into the ID movement, and how Johnson emboldened her to give free rein to a healthy scientific skepticism, one that has long had her pushing back against scientific materialism with a simple question: “Who says?” Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast: idthefuture.org/donate.

Science
Published: Feb. 24, 2020, 10:34 p.m.

Gauger: Is It Easy to Get A New Protein?

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Ann Gauger discusses a central argument used by evolutionary biologists to say it’s simple to get new proteins. Listen in to learn more about nylonase, and whether it shows that purely natural processes can produce biological information.

Science
Published: Feb. 22, 2020, 12:13 a.m.

Paul Nelson Visits the Galapagos Islands, Pt. 3

On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson wraps discussion of his recent visit to the Galapagos Islands, sharing lessons he learned there. He says Darwin was right to see natural history as crucial to understanding biology; but he was wrong in making it the be-all and end-all. Nelson then limns a picture of a day when scientists frankly concede the limits of evolution and the necessity of intelligent design in the history of life, and with the ID/evolution war behind them, can explore without distraction the fertile ground of integrating the aspects of evolutionary theory that actually work into a larger design framework.

Science
Published: Feb. 19, 2020, 9:22 p.m.

Paul Nelson Visits the Galapagos Islands, Pt. 2

On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson continues his discussion with host Andrew McDiarmid about Nelson’s recent visit to the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin. Nelson explains how Darwin was right — partly. Darwin urged biologists to consider the history of a plant or animal, an idea that was much neglected in the work of his predecessors. As Darwin’s experience on the Galapagos showed, and as Nelson’s experience there echoed, history must be part of our explanation for how species and populations have become the way they are today. At the same time, there are demonstrated limits to evolutionary change, Nelson argues, and so natural history alone cannot be the entire explanation for the origin of biological form.

Science
Published: Feb. 17, 2020, 8:55 p.m.

Michael Denton Reads the First Pages of His Book, The Wonder of Water

In this episode of ID the Future from the vault, geneticist and biochemist Michael Denton reads the beautiful introduction to his book, The Wonder of Water. He begins at Yosemite’s Bridalveil Fall and explores how water is curiously fine-tuned for life. Indeed, thanks to a unique cluster of properties, water is able to fulfill many roles essential to our living planet.  It’s thanks to some of those properties that rivers and streams can leech and carry minerals from rock to various places they’re needed in the biosphere. Water’s unusual properties also make it an ideal medium for our circulatory system. There it serves not only to transfer nutrients and oxygen but also expel carbon dioxide, excess body heat, and waste products—again, thanks to a unique cluster of properties. Denton’s book can be purchased here.

Science
Published: Feb. 14, 2020, 10:05 p.m.

Paul Nelson Visits Darwin’s Galapagos Islands, Pt. 1

On this episode of ID the Future, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and philosopher of biology Paul Nelson tells about his surprise 60th birthday gift from his wife, a trip to the “scientific Mecca,” the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin, whose own birthday lands today, devoted a big portion of his notes and field books from his Beagle voyage to these amazing islands, where species can be found that exist nowhere else on earth, and where from Darwin’s day until now, the creatures have no fear of humans. These unusual creatures have history, Nelson reminds us, and that history needs explaining. This is the first of three podcasts; there will be more to come.

Science
Published: Feb. 12, 2020, 11:18 p.m.

Michael Behe on the Design Idea That Won't Go Away (and Shouldn't)

On this episode of ID the Future, Jonathan Witt caught up with Darwin’s Black Box author and biochemist Michael Behe at the 2020 Dallas Science and Faith conference, where the two discuss an idea that many wish would just go away, but hasn't. Charles Darwin himself told us how his evolutionary theory could be overturned: identify a biological system that couldn’t possibly have evolved by "numerous success successive slight modifications." It’s to Darwin’s credit that he put his theory in “empirical harm’s way,” to quote philosopher Del Ratzsch, but as Witt and Behe note, Darwin also cleverly placed the burden of proof on his opponents, an arguably dubious maneuver given that his proposed evolutionary mechanism has never once been observed to generate a fundamentally new biological form or molecular machine. Still, Behe has taken up the challenge. Listen in as he discusses how his “irreducible complexity” arguments against Darwinism have fared, and for a teaser about an upcoming anthology where Behe directly engages his critics.

Science
Published: Feb. 10, 2020, 5 p.m.

Walter Bradley on the New Mystery of Life's Origin, Pt. 2

On this episode of ID the Future, Robert Marks continues his conversation with Walter Bradley, co-author (with Charles Thaxton and Roger Olsen) of the groundbreaking 1984 work The Mystery of Life’s Origin. A revised and expanded edition of the book has just been released with new contributions from James Tour, Guillermo Gonzalez, Stephen Meyer, and others, but today Bradley and Marks discuss the book’s first release, including the cultural context that made finding a non-religious publisher an uphill battle, and discussion of some of the endorsements and early reviews, including one drive-by and four positive responses from distinguished scientists Robert Jastrow, Dean Kenyon, Robert Shapiro, and Fritz Schaefer. Bradley and Marks also discuss some scholars who more recently have testified to how the book, and Bradley, dramatically influenced their intellectual careers.

Science
Published: Feb. 5, 2020, 11:14 p.m.

Protein Scientist Douglas Axe at the Dallas Area Science and Faith Conference

On this episode of ID the Future, guest host Jonathan Witt sits down with molecular biologist Douglas Axe at the recent Dallas Science and Faith Conference. Axe, author of Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed, had his research on protein folds published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, work showing that random mutations are not up to the task of building fundamentally new protein folds from old, a finding that poses a major challenge to modern evolutionary theory. After all, if evolution can’t build something as basic as a new protein fold, how could it build whole new organs and body plans in the history of life? But Witt presents Axe with an objection: Axe couldn’t possibly have tested more than the tiniest fraction of a fraction of all the possible amino acid combinations for the protein he studied, so how can we trust his findings? Tune in to hear Axe’s explanation, and to learn about other lines of evidence confirming his research.

Science
Published: Feb. 3, 2020, 10:08 p.m.

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