ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
Author

John G. West

Reagan at National Prayer Breakfast 1988 Video Still

Ronald Reagan’s Deeply Personal Argument for Intelligent Design

On this ID The Future marking the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's death, we're delighted to share Discovery Institute Vice President Dr. John West's recent conversation with radio host Michael Medved discussing Reagan’s deeply personal argument for intelligent design. During remarks given at a National Prayer Breakfast event in 1988, Reagan shared his argument for intelligent design in unscripted, humorous fashion. But as Dr. West explains, Reagan’s commitment to intelligent design went much deeper than a few off-the-cuff laugh lines. Reagan fought against atheism and materialism in his diplomacy as president and even in his role as a father. Read More ›
CS Lewis John West Scientism Interview Part 2 Graphic Option 3 Figure Cut Out in Gold Color with Photo Credit
Image licensed from Alamy

Thus Saith the Science: C.S. Lewis on the Dangers of Scientism

Progress is an appealing idea, but what happens when we do not all desire the same things? On this ID The Future, we mark the 60th anniversary of the death of British writer C. S. Lewis as host Andrew McDiarmid concludes a conversation with Dr. John West about Lewis's prophetic warnings to us about science and scientism. Dr. West explains how scientism harms real scientific progress and leads to moral relativism. And he discusses how we can bring science back into alignment with older, deeper human truths. This is Part 2 of a two-part conversation. Read More ›
CS Lewis John West Scientism Interview Part 1 Graphic with Photo Credit
Photo licensed from Alamy

C. S. Lewis’s Prophetic Legacy on Scientism

What happens when science leaves human values behind? Or when governments become governed by scientists? On this ID The Future, we mark the 60th anniversary of the death of British writer C. S. Lewis as host Andrew McDiarmid begins a conversation with Dr. John West about Lewis's prophetic warnings to us about science and scientism. Dr. West discusses what scientism is, what happens when science neglects deeper human truths, and how Lewis warned against the rise of technocracies. This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation. Read More ›
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Ales Hrdlicka
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:(Ales_Hrdlicka)_SIA2009-4245.jpg

The Washington Post Exposes the Smithsonian’s Racist Brain Collection

On today’s ID the Future, host Michael Medved talks with Human Zoos film director John West about a recent Washington Post series exposing how the Smithsonian Institution collected hundreds of brains from indigenous peoples as part of an early-20th century effort to promote Darwinian racism. The motivation for the brain collection was to document how some people were supposedly lower on the evolutionary ladder than others. As West notes, many of these brains are still stored in steel vats at a non-public Smithsonian facility in Maryland. Tune in as West and Medved explore this disturbing topic and how it all ties into Darwin’s theory of evolution. And to watch the segment from the Human Zoos documentary detailing this gruesome collection and the man behind it, Aleš Hrdlička, click here.

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Darwin Comes to Africa text-free cover; Olufemi Oluniyi book

When Darwinian Racism Came to Africa, and the West

Today’s ID the Future features another reading from scholar Olufemi Oluniyi’s new book, Darwin Comes to Africa. In this excerpt we learn how Darwin himself laid much of the groundwork for social Darwinist ideas, primarily in his book The Descent of Man, and how those ideas were energetically developed in the ensuing decades by various mainstream scientists. Oluniyi further details how their work fueled pseudo-scientific racism against black Africans and other indigenous peoples outside the West. To learn more about this neglected corner of modern Western history, and for the good news that the flow of evidence has turned against Darwinism and, with it, social Darwinist principles, pick up Oluniyi’s book here.

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Darwin Comes to Africa text-free cover; Olufemi Oluniyi book

When Darwinism Came to Africa, Horrors Ensued

On today’s ID the Future, hear a Nigerian voice-actor reading from the opening pages of Nigerian scholar Olufemi Oluniyi’s new book, Darwin Comes to Africa. In this section from the preface, Oluniyi explores the relationship of Darwinism to Social Darwinism, and some of the ways Social Darwinism fueled and justified horrific ideas and actions among European thinkers and colonizers. Oluniyi tells the story of Russian scientist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov, who, guided by Social Darwinist thinking, “sought to produce a race of super-soldiers for Stalin’s army by impregnating French Guinea women with the sperm of a dead chimpanzee—black African women, mind you, who were presumed to be less highly evolved and thus closer to chimpanzees than were white European women.” As Oluniyi Read More ›

Olufemi Oluniyi

Olufemi Oluniyi’s New Book, Darwin Comes to Africa

On today’s ID the Future, scholar John West introduces Darwin Comes to Africa, the new book by Nigerian pastor, theologian, journalist, scholar, and human rights activist Olufemi Oluniyi. The work explores the poisonous influence of social Darwinism on British rule in northern Nigeria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a poisonous influence felt in Oluniyi’s home country down to the present, he argues. The book project grew out of Oluniyi’s intimate knowledge of Nigerian culture as well as his attendance at the 2017 Center for Science & Culture Summer Seminar program in Seattle, Washington. By the end of that nine-day gathering, he had resolved to write a book about the impact of Social Darwinism on his home country Read More ›

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Turin (Torino), high definition panorama at twilight
Turin (Torino), high definition panorama at twilight Photo by Marco Saracco on Adobe Stock

John West in Turin, Italy: Intelligent Design’s Roots and Fruit

Today’s ID the Future takes us to a conference in Turin, Italy, where scholar John West speaks about the roots of intelligent design, roots that stretch back to ancient Greek and Roman philosophers. In his talk, West also makes the case that design thinking was crucial to the rise of modern science, and he traces how Darwinism has eroded design thinking, fueled scientific racism, and undermined belief in human exceptionalism. West celebrates some of Italy’s contributions to Western civilization but also calls attention to Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso, who championed various racist ideas undergirded by Darwinian thinking, disturbing work that West learned more about when he visited the Cesare Lombroso Museum in Turin. On the bright side, there has been Read More ›

church fathers
Detail of a fresco in Aghios Andreas monastery on Mount Athos :.Christian founding fathers
Detail of a fresco in Aghios Andreas monastery on Mount Athos :.Christian founding fathers Photo by Julian on Adobe Stock

The Debate over Design in the Early Church Eerily Current

In today’s ID the Future, scholar John West, managing director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, reveals how current debates over whether nature displays evidence of intelligent design echo debates in the first centuries of the Christian church. The early Christians debated the Greco-Roman materialists but also the religious Gnostics of their day; and the ideas the early Christians confronted then confront Christians and other theists still today. Moreover, in some cases, those ideas are being peddled not by outsiders to the faith but by prominent Christians. West’s talk was taped at the 2022 Westminster Conference on Science and Faith in the greater Philadelphia area, an event jointly sponsored by Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and Read More ›

Carrie and Emma Buck 1924
Carrie Buck and birth mother (Emma) 1924, eugenics, sterilization, US

Before the Third Reich: America’s Darwinist Eugenics Crusade

On this classic ID the Future, John West, managing director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, explains the Darwinian basis for getting rid of the “unfit.” One way this manifested itself in the twentieth century was in the eugenics movement’s disturbing push for compulsory sterilization, right here in the United States. One of the most famous such instances was Carrie Buck (to the left in the picture accompanying this episode), sterilized as “feeble minded” despite going on to live a normal productive life. Her case went to the Supreme Court, where the court, in an opinion written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., ruled against Buck. She was sterilized five months later. Listen in to learn about prominent scientists Read More ›