Intelligent Design The Future
Summary: The ID The Future (IDTF) podcast carries on Discovery Institute's mission of exploring the issues central to evolution and intelligent design. IDTF is a short podcast providing you with the most current news and views on evolution and ID. IDTF delivers brief interviews with key scientists and scholars developing the theory of ID, as well as insightful commentary from Discovery Institute senior fellows and staff on the scientific, educational and legal aspects of the debate.
Today’s episode of ID the Future features the third and final part of a conversation between Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson and Darwin skeptic David Berlinski, author of the newly released book Human Nature. Here the pair discuss the fate of Europe. Then they turn again to science, and the challenge the second law of thermodynamics poses for Darwinism and, by implication, to any theory of biological origins restricted to purely mindless processes. Berlinski suggests that this poses a considerable challenge, tempting Robinson to ask Berlinski whether he still consider himself an agnostic.
This episode of ID the Future features the second part of a conversation between Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson and polymath David Berlinski, author of the newly released book Human Nature. In this segment of the interview, Robinson asks Berlinski about a book by Nicholas Christakis, Blueprint, which argues that evolution has endowed us with a genetic makeup that drives human culture toward virtue and progress. Berlinski demurs, pointing to the horrors of the twentieth century and by noting that the virtues Christakis underscores, such as cooperativeness, can also be put to nefarious purposes. The Nazi Party, for instance, “was a marvelous engine of cooperation. All those Nazis cooperated with one another running death camps.” Robinson also asks Berlinski about Pope Benedict XVI’s 2006 Regensburg address and the West’s relegating religious thinking, in Peter Robinson’s words, “to the children’s table.” Berlinski says he would frame the situation a little differently: we are today less able to entertain a whole category of arguments we used to be able to entertain -- theological arguments. As a habit of thought, theology has receded, but Berlinski says he sees this as temporary. “Theological arguments are not going to disappear, and the fundamental questions they address are not going to disappear either.”
This episode of ID the Future features Part 1 of an interview between Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson and Discovery Institute senior fellow David Berlinski, author of The Deniable Darwin and the newly released Human Nature. Berlinski begins by noting that living systems possess “a degree of complexity that is almost unfathomable” and explains how this poses an acute problem for Darwinism. The two also discuss discontinuities in the fossil record as well as Berlinski’s insistence that “any theory of natural selection must plainly meet what I have called a rule against deferred success.” Berlinski also rebuts Razib Khan’s claim that in rejecting modern evolutionary theory, conservatives sacrifice “the most powerful rejoinder” to the claim “that male and female are merely categories of the mind.” Quite the opposite, Berlinski insists.
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads from David Berlinski’s new book Human Nature. The excerpt is a tribute to Phillip Johnson and his 1991 book Darwin on Trial. Berlinski calls the work a “Majestic Ascent.” Johnson, he writes, not only brought evolution into question logically and scientifically; he brought the case where it belongs, before “the considered reflection of the human race.” Berlinski himself reflects on various empty attempts to build a scientific theory on prior commitments to materialism. “Darwin’s theories,” he says, “are correspondingly less important for what they explain, which is very little, and more important for what they deny, which is roughly the plain evidence of our senses.”
On this episode of ID the Future, host Emily Kurlinski talks with Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at Stony Brook University, about the dire warnings, stretching back at least to Thomas Malthus near the turn of the nineteenth century, that overpopulation would lead to starvation and civilizational ruin. Egnor discusses this and other scientific claims once widely embraced by scientific experts and later shown to be off base. The lesson, Egnor says, is that when someone tells you to believe something simply because it’s “the scientific consensus,” reserve judgment. Consensus, says Egnor, is “a political concept, not a scientific one.” And when much of the scientific community is held captive by a dogmatic adherence to materialism, any claimed consensus is all the more to be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism.
This episode of ID the Future features a clip from a “Signature in the Cell” event a few years ago in Tampa, FL, featuring Stephen Meyer, Michael Medved, David Berlinski and Tom Woodward. Listen in as Dr. Meyer interviews Dr. Berlinski about the questions that led him to criticize Darwinism.
On this episode of ID the Future, mathematician, polymath, and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow David Berlinski concludes a two-part conversation with Jonathan Witt about Berlinski’s new book Human Nature. Today he talks about what we’ve sadly lost from the West, disputing secularists’ optimistic claims that we’re less violent than the medievals were. From his home next door to Notre Dame Cathedral, he also muses on the cathedral fire and contemporary France’s inability to build anything like the great cathedral. Re-construct, yes--though even that may lie beyond the collective will of France. Create, no.
On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards and astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, co-authors of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery, discuss reports on another extra-solar planet recently in the news. It’s K2-18b, 124 light years away, the first exoplanet found in its star’s circumstellar habitable zone with liquid water in its atmosphere. Science journalists have sensationalized it as another potential earth-like home for life, even though, says Gonzalez, it’s much more like Neptune or Saturn than Earth. BBC science journalist Pallab Ghosh recently criticized this kind of unbalanced science reporting. We have to keep our eyes open for this sort of thing, especially since--as Gonzalez and Richards show--Ghosh makes precisely this mistake himself in his article warning about the problem.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, David Klinghoffer shares about Tom Wolfe’s new book, which critiques evolutionary explanations for the origin of language.
On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher, mathematician, and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow David Berlinski answers questions from Jonathan Witt about Berlinski’s celebrated new book Human Nature. Is evolution carrying us upward to new heights of human goodness, as some have claimed? If not that, then will a computer-connected singularity take us on that upward trajectory, as Yuval Noah Harari argues in Homo Deus? With his famous quick wit, Berlinski says no, and warns of a new “explosion of religion,” but a new religion, one without rational grounding and with a great willingness to punish dissenters.
On this episode of ID the Future, Darwin Devolves author and Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe sits down with host Rob Crowther to discuss Behe’s recent speaking trip to Brazil, and on where he sees the Darwinism/design debate heading in the next few years. In their conversation, Behe enthuses about Brazilian food and hospitality, and says the students at the schools he spoke at were refreshingly open to considering the evidence for intelligent design. It was typical of what he finds elsewhere, he says. While the old guard tends to dig in its heels, younger researchers tend to bring an open and “exploratory” attitude to his presentations. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast: idthefuture.org/donate.
On this episode of ID The Future, Stephen Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, honors Phillip Johnson, the U.C. Berkeley law professor who helped ignite the modern intelligent design movement with the publication of his highly successful book Darwin on Trial. Meyer says Johnson had the courage to speak up when others wouldn’t. “The overweening dynamic of this debate is fear,” Meyer says. “There are many many many people who have come up to the water’s edge, who have seen the problems with Darwinian evolution, have counted the cost, and recoiled.” But one Berkeley law professor did not recoil. As Meyer put it, “Johnson had the guts.”
On this episode of ID the Future, Jonathan Wells remembers Phillip Johnson, “godfather of the intelligent design movement.” Johnson not only attracted scientists’ and other academics’ attention with his groundbreaking Darwin on Trial, he brought them together as a united movement, pushing for a “big tent” for ID theorists to work together. It reflected his own “big heart,” says Wells. The result, he says, is a movement that today is growing internationally, far faster than even Wells realized until recently.
On this episode of ID The Future, we commemorate the passing this weekend of the man called the “godfather of the intelligent design movement,” Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson. In honor of the man we bring you Dr. Johnson speaking at a 2011 Discovery Institute event commemorating the 20th anniversary of his seminal book Darwin on Trial. The book challenged mainstream beliefs about Darwinian evolution and inspired many scientists and scholars of the modern intelligent design movement. Listen in to learn why, according to the self-effacing law professor, he has always been “puzzled when someone describes me as courageous,” and how he got involved in the debate over Darwinism and intelligent design.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, listen to Jonathan Wells and John West answer questions on the intelligent design movement, embryological development, speciation and biomimicry. For more on Wells’ book Zombie Science, visit iconsofevolution.com.