Guppy Poecilia reticulata colorful rainbow tropical aquarium fish
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ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
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The Engineered Adaptability of the Humble Guppy

Episode
1920
With
Eric H. Anderson
Guest
Emily Reeves
Duration
00:39:13
Download
Audio File (53.9 mb)
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Do living things evolve right before our eyes? Perhaps the most common evidence put forward to support evolutionary theory is the observation that organisms can adapt. But is this adaptability really a hallmark of a gradual Darwinian process? Or is it evidence of intelligent design? On this ID The Future, host Eric Anderson speaks with Dr. Emily Reeves about the adaptability of the humble guppy fish, a new icon of evolution heralded by biologists as proof positive of Darwinian evolutionary processes at work.

It may be the mother of all eureka moments. When a scientist switches from an evolutionary lens to an engineering one, small-scale change in organisms is no longer the lucky result of chance processes. Instead, it’s actually an organism’s freedom to adjust within a predetermined set of design parameters. Dr. Reeves discusses her own eureka moment: “I had been so handicapped by not having some of those tool sets and not understanding design motifs that we know from engineering, like integral feedback or feed-forward loops…they could have been right before my eyes when I was studying the bacterial system and I would never have recognized it.”

Of course, it’s not easy for scientists to have this fundamental change in perspective in a discipline soaked in self-serving dogma. Whether it’s famed evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins proclaiming that there’s as much doubt about the theory of evolution as the theory that the earth goes around the sun, or Theodosius Dobzhansky’s oft-repeated claim that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” So it’s no small feat when a biologist succeeds in flipping the switch.

In this episode, Dr. Reeves uses guppies to discuss why the adaptability of organisms is actually powerful evidence of design. She also explains how biologists can improve their abilities as scientists by learning more about engineering.

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