ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast

Fleshing Out a Theory of Biological Design

Michael Egnor
Steve Laufmann
Audio File (17.9 mb)
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On today’s ID the Future, author and engineer Steve Laufmann delves into the theory of biological design he develops in Your Designed Body, his new book co-authored with physician Howard Glicksman. Laufmann explains how his engineering background has helped him further develop design theory and, with help from Glicksman, apply it to the human body. In exploring the causal capacities of intelligent design, Laufmann spotlights four elements: (1) intentional actions, which in turn require mind, agency, and foresight; (2) adaptive capabilities, which involve, among other things, control systems that employ sensors, logic, and effectors; (3) design properties (e.g., modularity); and (4) degradation prevention. The last of these features is implemented by engineers to get a system to last longer. In the case of living organisms, it works at the individual level, as with our immune system and other bodily repair systems; but as Laufmann notes, it also works across generations to slow genetic degradation. Tune in as Laufmann and host Michael Egnor explore these and other insights at the intersection of biology and engineering.

Steve Laufmann

Steve Laufmann is a speaker, author, computer scientist, and consultant in the design of enterprise-class systems, with expertise in the difficulties of changing complex systems to perform new tasks. He leads the Engineering Research Group at Discovery Institute and chaired the program committee for the 2021 Conference on Engineering in Living Systems. He is co-author, with Howard Glicksman, of Your Designed Body (2022). When he can’t think of anything else to do, he enjoys landscape photography, pizza, and old movies.