radio dishes seti
The Very Large Array (VLA) radio-astronomy antennas, in New Mexico, is one of the most impressive observatories in the world. The Sun was piercing through after a major storm during a public tour.
The Very Large Array (VLA) radio-astronomy antennas, in New Mexico, is one of the most impressive observatories in the world. The Sun was piercing through after a major storm during a public tour. Photo by Xenomanes on Adobe Stock
ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
Episodes

Carl Sagan’s Love/Hate Relationship with Intelligent Design

Episode
1622
With
Robert Crowther
Guest
Paul Nelson
Duration
00:33:06
Download
Audio File (16.5 mb)
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On today’s ID the Future, philosopher of science Paul Nelson explores an intriguing tension in the thinking of famous scientist and science popularizer Carl Sagan concerning his agnosticism shading into atheism on the one hand, and on the other hand his embrace of certain ideas consistent with the theory of intelligent design. As Nelson is quick to clarify, if Sagan had lived to see the rise of the contemporary intelligent design movement, he probably would have rejected it, particularly its theistic implications. And yet, Nelson says, Sagan’s thinking and arguments laid out in his Gifford lectures and in his science fiction novel Contact strongly support the idea that intelligent design can be detected. Nelson goes further, saying that if we take the methods Sagan laid out for detecting intelligently designed radio signals from extra-terrestrial intelligence, and apply them to patterns in nature that ID theorists have pointed to (such as DNA), it’s hard not to see his methodology triggering a design inference. Tune in to hear Nelson’s reflections on this important tension in Sagan’s thinking, and what, according to Nelson, prevented Sagan from fully resolving it.