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, author and physician Geoffrey Simmons joins host Andrew McDiarmid in a wide-ranging discussion of his new book, Are We Here to Re-Create Ourselves: The Convergence of Designs. From the foresight needed in the design of eyes, to our stereoscopic and redundant hearing systems, to the mysteries of design in the nervous and circulatory systems, signs of engineered design are everywhere in the human body. And humans are mimicking some of those designs now through humanoid robots, which we’re making ever more like ourselves — in appearance, that is. Will robots ever experience empathy or other feelings, or develop a genuine sense of humor? Will robots have souls? Simmons offers his opinion on the matter, and sounds a cautionary note: as robots advance and become more powerful, their goodness or badness will depend on its human programmer.
On this episode of ID the Future, Jay Richards discusses his new book Eat, Fast, Feast. Fasting is a traditional religious practice “that’s fallen on hard times,” he says. We “graze” instead. But there’s scientific evidence for the value of intermittent fasting: it reduces total calories while upping adrenaline and human growth hormone, and without reducing metabolic rates. All this in addition to the spiritual benefits that have been recognized across cultures for many centuries. There are simplistic “just-so” evolutionary stories in other diet and health books attempting to explain how our bodies became well adapted for intermittent fasting, but he argues that a much better explanation is that we were intelligently designed this way. In his conversation with host Rob Crowther, he summarizes his case.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Tod Butterfield interviews Steve Laufmann on Dr. Howard Glicksman’s 81-part EN series, The Designed Body. Listen in as Laufmann reflects on coherence in the body, specifically displayed in fetal development, as well as the limits of natural selection.
On this episode of ID the Future, physician Geoffrey Simmons speaks with host Andrew McDiarmid about his new book Are We Here to Recreate Ourselves? The Convergence of Design. There’s a pattern in our re-creating ourselves, Simmons says, even in the artifacts we create, but especially in human reproduction. He sees clues of design in in the processes of reproduction, in development, and in the many complex events in the lungs and vascular system that make childbirth possible. There’s even evidence of intentionality behind aging and death, says Simmons. In sum, Simmons argues, careful observations across many decades have shown that we never see such complex and foresight-rich processes created except by the working of mind or intelligence; it just doesn’t happen any other way.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Tod Butterfield interviews Steve Laufmann on Dr. Howard Glicksman’s 81-part EN series, The Designed Body. Listen in as Laufmann reflects on the body’s fight against equilibrium, the Goldilocks principal, and more!
On this episode of ID the Future, Michael Flannery speaks again with host Mike Keas about his book Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace, and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology. Wallace was the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection along with Charles Darwin, but in 1869 he broke with Darwin, disagreeing with him on the origin of special human attributes like art, music, and abstract thought. Seeing how distinctive humans are from other animals, and after determining that the mechanism of random variation and natural selection was inadequate to explain the origin of those distinctive qualities, Wallace concluded that the origin of our species required a special ruling intelligence to explain our appearance. He dissented from his day’s version of reductionist scientism, and in his 1910 book The World of Life, he put forth a natural theology compatible with Christianity, though he himself was not a Christian. Flannery also discusses two reviews of Nature’s Prophet, one from a Harvard scientist who, according to Flannery, misunderstands Wallace, Christian theology, and the point of the book.
On this episode of ID the Future, host Mike Keas speaks with science historian Michael Flannery about Darwinism, Past, Present, and Future, in which Flannery wonders about an L.A. Times op-ed by Ann Reid, director of the pro-Darwinism lobby group The National Center for Science Education. Evolution is so well established, she said, that questioning it is like doubting that matter is made of atoms. Flannery says she seems not to have noticed that even mainstream biologists have begun to question the long-term viability of Darwinism. Scientists may have felt triumphant in their certainty at the 1959 Darwin Centennial, but today questions and doubts are rising faster than the Darwin lobby can stamp them out.
Dr. Howard Glicksman, author of an extended series at Evolution News on “The Designed Body,” is interviewed on a classic episode of ID the Future by Ray Bohlin on glucose, glycogen, glucogon, insulin — all part of an extended multi-step series essential for life — an irreducibly complex series. “If students only knew how life worked,” says Dr. Glicksman,” … they’d quickly come to realize that when it comes to figuring out where it all came from, common sense tells us it was intelligent design, and it’s the Darwinists who are suffering from an illusion.”
On this episode of ID the Future, neurosurgery professor Michael Egnor talks about the code of silence that kept numerous scientists tied to consensus and silent on Jeffrey Epstein when they should have spoken out. Egnor says that even when it was already widely known that he was involved in child prostitution, his funding was still widely sought and received by scientific institutions, and he entertained scientists who willingly accepted his money. Anyone who’d spoken up, says Egnor, would likely have lost his career. The parallel with intelligent design is striking, and Egnor offers examples of scientists who were open to intelligent but either kept silent to protect a career or who stepped forward and suffered the consequences at the hands of the Darwinian thought police.
On this episode of ID the Future, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe discusses the closing sections of his new book Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA That Challenges Evolution. He compares evolutionary biology in Darwin’s time and today to the world of astronomy before and after the telescope was invented. The cell was a black box to Darwin and his contemporaries. Today we can explore that black box like never before, much better even than even two decades ago, allowing us to observe what evolution can actually do at the molecular level. According to Behe, the answer is, not much. Evolution can create niche advantages by breaking certain things, but it doesn’t build fundamentally new structures or new machines. That’s because it can’t do what mind can do. It can’t purposefully arrange things. Behe and host Andrew McDiarmid discuss what it might mean for origins science to again recognize, and allow room in its explanatory toolkit for, the unique causal powers of mind. Finally, Behe reflects on his critics’ confident predictions that they’d have the evidence to refute his groundbreaking book Darwin’s Black Box within 20 years. It’s now been 20 years, so where does the score stand? Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast: idthefuture.org/donate.
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.