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.
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.
On this episode of ID the Future, biologist Ann Gauger talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about new research challenging the common claim that the field of population genetics rules out a single-couple human origin. She and Stockholm University statistical mathematician Ola Hössjer have just published a paper in the journal BIO-Complexity modeling the scenario using a newly developed computer algorithm. The results, Gauger says, show that the genetic data does not rule out Adam and Eve. Their results are not proof, she emphasizes, just possibility; and different assumptions could produce different estimates as to when such a first human couple lived. See more on the backstory at Evolution News. Gauger and Hössjer are also building a site with additional information. It’s still being fleshed out but already contains a page with animations to help explain their new model.
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid catches up with philosopher Jay Richards at the recent COSM conference in greater Seattle. The two discuss the history of George Gilder’s Telecosm conferences and how the first one gave birth to a book Richards edited and contributed to 18 years ago, Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong A.I. Is the “singularity” coming, as Kurzweil argues there and elsewhere, when machines equal and then quickly surpass human intelligence? Does “machine learning” really mean learning? Will “Skynet” wake up? Jay describes Kurzweil’s sunny version of strong AI and the dystopian version. Then he argues the other side, namely that human beings possess something beyond the purely material, something even the most powerful computers will never possess.
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid shares biologist Ann Gauger’s recent article on emerging clues to life’s design, and how the “Darwinian Regime” tends to ignore them. One stubborn bit of biological evidence Gauger highlights is the fact that cells can’t make life-essential ATP, NAD, and other metabolic co-factors without having ATP, NAD, and the other co-factors there first. It’s a “daisy chain of causal circularity woven by what must be an intelligent designer,” Gauger comments. Or as she also puts it, “It’s chickens and eggs, all the way down.”
On this episode of ID The Future from the vault, Robert Crowther explores the dangers and potential of artificial intelligence with Dr. Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University and co-author of Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics. Marks uses John Searle’s “Chinese Room” analogy to explain why computers do not have understanding and never will. At the same time, Marks predicts that continuing advances in technology will further augment our abilities.
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid brings listeners a pair of Michael Egnor responses to atheist biologist Jerry Coyne, who recently argued that if God existed, we’d have sense organs to detect Him. We do have that organ, says Egnor. It’s reason, the means by which we can infer the reality of a designing mind behind nature. Through reason we can infer the unseen from the seen--everything from the existence of unseen electrons to the existence of an unseen intelligent designer from the evidence of design in nature. Egnor notes that while humans have this “sense” organ, we are free to use it poorly in any given situation, even to ignore where the evidence points.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Sarah Chaffee discusses an article by Adam Laats and Harvey Siegel in Education Week. While Laats and Siegel make important points that schools should teach about evolution, and students should be asked to understand, not accept the theory, they leave out much of what origins science education is really about.
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid concludes his two-part conversations with Michael Aeschliman, author of the newly revised and expanded The Restoration of Man: C. S. Lewis and the Continuing Case Against Scientism. Here Aeschliman places Lewis among a strong line of thinkers critiquing scientism, including the philosopher/mathematician Blaise Pascal, who showed that scientific knowledge on its own could never be sufficient for being fully human; the theologian and physicist Stanley L. Jaki, who brilliantly integrated science and theology; and the great English author Jonathan Swift, whose satirical work skewered the illusions of scientific reductionism.
On this episode of ID the Future, Michael Aeschliman, author of the newly revised and expanded The Restoration of Man: C. S. Lewis and the Continuing Case Against Scientism sits down with host Andrew McDiarmid to explore Lewis’s The Abolition of Man, its defense of natural law, and its bracing takedown of scientism. Aeschliman says that Lewis did this using classic arguments not always popular in today’s intellectual climate, yet never refuted. As Aeschliman further notes, Lewis also powerfully illustrated the shortcomings and dangers of scientism in his final Space Trilogy novel, That Hideous Strength.
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads the afterword to Michael Aeschliman’s newly revised and expanded The Restoration of Man: C. S. Lewis and the Continuing Case Against Scientism. As Aeschliman explains, Lewis neither deified nor defied science, but he did insist that science idolatry was the grave and present danger of our age. In this excerpt, Aeschliman, professor of Anglophone Culture at the University of Italian Switzerland (Lugano), focuses on Lewis’s brilliant critique of scientism in The Abolition of Man and elsewhere in his work, and on some key thinkers, past and present, who joined Lewis in the fight. It’s a battle, Aeschliman explains, against “the vanity of reason unhinged from ethics,” amidst “a culture that oscillates between the toxic and the trivial.” How did Lewis propose to counteract the polluting effects of scientism? Listen in to find out. And for a deeper dive, pick up a copy of The Restoration of Man.