ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
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Life Sciences

ants

Amazing Insect Colonies vs. Evolution

On today’s ID the Future, Animal Algorithms author Eric Cassell delves into another fascinating portion of his new book, the programmed social behaviors of colony insects and the challenge these instinctive behaviors pose for modern evolutionary theory. Cassell and host Robert J. Marks discuss the complex caste system of these colonies, the impressive signaling systems they use to communicate, and how technologists study these tiny-brained creatures to learn tricks for developing and improving drone swarm technology. How could a mindless evolutionary process have evolved these sophisticated colonies, where various castes appear essential to the functioning and survival of the colony, and possess their division-of-labor skills instinctively? Some colony members also behave altruistically, a fact that Charles Darwin himself conceded posed Read More ›

comet earth

It Came from Outer Space? Astrobiologist: Not Likely

On today’s ID the Future astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez and host Casey Luskin discuss the idea of undirected panspermia. Gonzalez explains the basic idea and what the best current evidence says about its plausibility. The occasion is his chapter on panspermia in the new anthology A Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, co-edited by Casey Luskin, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Undirected panspermia is the idea that the first life on our planet came from outer space, carried by chance processes from a faraway living planet on space dust, asteroids, or comets either from within our solar system, or from another star system to here. The idea of panspermia was inspired by the extreme difficulty of Read More ›

Animal Algorithms

New Book Spotlights High Tech Animal Navigation

Today’s ID the Future spotlights the new book Animal Algorithms: Evolution and the Mysterious Origin of Ingenious Instincts. The author, Eric Cassell, joins host and Baylor computer engineering professor Robert J. Marks to discuss the groundbreaking book and, in particular, the chapters on some of the animal kingdom’s most stunning navigators—the arctic tern, homing pigeons, the monarch butterfly, and the desert ant, among others. Cassell has degrees in biology and engineering, and he draws on these and his decades of professional expertise in aircraft navigation systems to show that these creatures instinctively employ navigational technologies that humans have only recently mastered. According to Cassell, their skills are driven by sophisticated algorithms embedded in their brains. But what created these algorithms Read More ›

solar eclipse
Solar Eclipse In Clouds

Carl Sagan Wrong about “Pale Blue Dot,” Says Astrobiologist

On today’s ID the Future, astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez unpacks one of his chapters in the new book The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, edited by episode host Casey Luskin. Gonzalez and Luskin look at how our atmosphere as well as the sun, moon, distance from our host star, and position in the Milky Way are all curiously fine tuned not only for life but also for allowing  Earth’s human inhabitants to observe and discover things near and far about nature. It’s as if a master designer made the Earth not merely for life but for curious and intelligent beings. What about the fact that Earth is such a tiny part of a vast universe, a “pale blue dot” as Read More ›

white horses
White horses in Camargue, France.

Life: Fearfully and Wonderfully Fine Tuned

Today’s ID the Future spotlights the incredible fine tuning of life. Robert J. Marks hosts Stockholm University professor of mathematical statistics Ola Hössjer and University of Miami population geneticist Daniel Díaz. The three discuss strategies for extending the concept of fine tuning to biological systems, and along the way touch on population genetics, entropy, and probability theory. At the center of the discussion are three technical papers—here, here, and here—each co-authored by one or more of the three members of today’s podcast discussion. This episode is reposted with permission from Mind Matters News, a website of Discovery Institute’s Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence. Head over to their podcast site to find the other episodes in this interview Read More ›

Zombie Science image for IDTF
Zombie Science

Biologist Jonathan Wells Offers a Cure for Zombie Science

On this ID the Future, Zombie Science author and biologist Jonathan Wells and host Andrew McDiarmid explore the seductive but misleading appeal to consensus science. This is when someone makes a bandwagon appeal to support a scientific hypothesis rather than offering evidence and arguments—as in, “All serious scientists agree that X is the case.” Wells says history makes hash of the consensus-science appeal because the history of scientific progress is all about a consensus view being overthrown by a newer, more accurate view that for a time was a minority view. Wells also draws a distinction between evidence-based empirical science and ideologically driven science. The example he gives for the latter: scientific materialism. Instead of a search for truth about Read More ›

cogs nature
Abstract mechanism with cogwheels on green meadow

The Role of Engineers in the Systems Biology Revolution

Today’s ID the Future spotlights systems biology and the role engineers can play in some leading-edge biology. According to guest Steve Laufmann, systems biology is taking the biological world by storm, an approach that treats biological systems as optimally or near-optimally engineered systems and, using that working assumption, seeks to better understand the system. Laufmann says this provides an opening for engineers to contribute, since they have a deep understanding of what it takes to make a complex system work, and what’s required to change one core aspect of an engineered system so that it continues to work with all of the other crucial parts of the system. Many biologists aren’t trained in this, Laufmann says, and most engineers aren’t Read More ›

nanotech
Molecule 3D illustration. Laboratory, molecules, crystal lattice. Nanotech research. Decoding genome. Virtual modeling of chemical processes. Hi-tech in medicine

Physicist Brian Miller Talks Nanotech, Origin of Life, and Area 51

On today’s ID the Future physicist Brian Miller and host Eric Anderson continue their exploration of a recent conversation between origin-of-life investigators Jeremy England and Paul Davies on Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable? radio show. Miller begins with a quick flyover of the many nanotechnologies essential to even to the simplest viable cell. A minimally complex cell is vastly more sophisticated than our best human nanotechnology. What about England’s insistence that real progress has been made in origin-of-life studies since the 1950s? True, Anderson says, but the progress has been principally in better understanding how the simplest cells function, and in figuring out what doesn’t work to blindly evolve life from non-life. That is, the direction of discovery has been to throw Read More ›

dna sequencing analysis
Abstract graphic of Human Genome dna sequencing analysis, Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks called bases

Jonathan Wells Dives into “the Genome’s Uncharted Territories”

On this ID the Future, Icons of Evolution author Jonathan Wells sat down with host and fellow biologist Ray Bohlin at the August 2021 Insiders’ Briefing near Seattle to discuss some fresh discoveries into the workings of the human genome detailed in a recent article in the journal Axios, “Diving into the Genome’s Uncharted Territories.” As the article details, researchers continue to discover important functions in the noncoding regions of the human genome, once regarded by evolutionists as junk DNA. Wells and Bohlin explore the exciting new findings and some of their implications for modern evolutionary theory and intelligent design.

sphygmomoanometer blood pressure cuff

Scientists Discover Nanotech for Body’s Blood Pressure Control, Pt. 1

On this ID the Future, physician and Evolution News writer Howard Glicksman discusses an exciting new discovery by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, described at Science Daily as uncovering “the location of natural blood-pressure barometers inside our bodies that have eluded scientists for more than 60 years.” As the article reports, “The existence of a pressure sensor inside renin cells was first proposed back in 1957. It made sense: The cells had to know when to release renin, a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure. But even though scientists suspected this cellular barometer had to exist, they couldn’t tell what it was and whether it was located in renin cells or surrounding cells.” Dr. Glicksman and Read More ›