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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
On this episode of ID the Future, biophysicist and philosopher Kirk Durston continue their discussion of three types of science--(1) experimental science, (2) inferential science, and (3) fantasy science. In this second of three episodes, Durston recaps the three types but focuses on inferential science. He explains how it involves, in the historical sciences, abductive reasoning (inference to the best explanation), and he explains how such reasoning can be used as we consider the best explanation for the origin of biological information, and in such a way that it is rooted in observation.
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.