On this ID the Future Cornelius Hunter continues discussing determinism, which he describes as a “bizarre position” held “with great confidence” by scientists such as the German physicist Sabine Hossenfelder. It’s bizarre, says Hunter, because if it’s true, then the universe’s initial conditions and the laws of nature produced the particular works of Beethoven and Shakespeare willy nilly. If it’s true, then all one says or thinks — right or wrong, true or false — was determined some 13.8 billion years ago. But if that’s the case, then there are no reasonable grounds for concluding that one’s belief in determinism is true. And like David Hume’s argument against miracles, determinism makes a false dichotomy between natural law and free will. Read More ›
On this ID the Future Cornelius Hunter discusses the controversy over determinism and free will. Joined by host Michael Keas, Dr. Hunter, a specialist in biophysics and computational biology, takes listeners all the way back to Aristotle, then to Newton, then to Pierre-Simon Laplace, who theorized that a sufficient computation could determine the future based on just the universe’s initial conditions and the laws of nature. Laplace was a physical determinist, in other words, one who holds that the laws of nature determine everything. That includes human choices, which determinists today, such as German theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, take to be merely an illusory experience. But it’s “an irrational rejection of evidence” on their part, Hunter argues; evidenced by how Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, host Jay Richards interviews historian of science Michael Keas about a new documentary claiming that Copernicus’s heliocentric model of the solar system “demoted” humans from the place of honor at the center of everything. Neil deGrasse Tyson champions this persistent myth in episode 8 of the new National Geographic series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. The reality is quite different. As Keas explains, in Copernicus’s day, the Earth was thought to be at the bottom of the universe, the “sump” where all the filth collected, while the starry heavens were considered the place of honor. Keas and Richards trace the history of the demotion myth and discuss how Copernicus, Kepler, and other luminaries of the Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads an excerpt from Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design by Finnish bioengineer Matti Leisola and Jonathan Witt. It makes the case that modern neo-Darwinism is today’s “phlogiston,” a theory that explains everything but nothing, faces mounting contrary evidence, and survives only with ever more ancillary hypotheses. In the excerpt Leisola and Witt also discuss the well-documented pattern of scientists defending an existing scientific paradigm even after fresh discoveries have turned against it, with the obsolete dominant paradigm dying only very slowly. An especially dramatic and tragic example gave the name to this all-too-human tendency — the Semmelweis reflex. Listen in to learn more.
On this episode of ID the Future, Bijan Nemati, formerly of CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and now at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, tells what science is learning about how hard it is to find a planet like Earth. Anywhere. The more we learn about the conditions necessary for a planet to host life, the more we see we may need to search at least tens of thousands of Milky Way galaxies to expect to find another one — at least if it all depends on blind luck. This talk is part of bonus material included with the new, thought-provoking series Science Uprising.
On this episode of ID the Future, Michael Egnor continues his discussion with philosopher and professor Edward Feser about Feser’s new book Aristotle’s Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science The question this time is whether evolution is compatible with an Aristotelian understanding of reality. Feser says it could be — but he argues against naturalistic evolution anyway. While Feser differs from intelligent design theorists on his approach to the question, he agrees with the conclusion that nature evidences the existence of a mind instilling purpose, goal-directedness, and function within nature.
On this episode of ID the Future, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Jay Richards speaks with astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez about new research just reported in the Astrophysical Journal. The research suggests that the circumstellar habitable zone for terrestrial planets around stars is narrower than previously thought. This zone around stars, often referred to as the “goldilocks zone,” is where planets are not too hot and not too cold to support liquid water on the surface and, with it, complex life. But there’s another factor, previously underappreciated, which greatly curtails how much further a planet can be situated from its host star without running into trouble. It makes earth’s position that much more fine-tuned for life and, as Richards and Gonzalez discuss, Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Jay Richards interviews astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez on the first images ever taken of a black hole, released to the public early in April 2019. Not that it’s exactly an “image,” for as Gonzalez explains, no light can escape a black hole. But this massive object — equaling billions of suns in mass — in the M87 galaxy still provides important information, adding to the list of confirmations for Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which also provides further support for Big Bang cosmology. And that, in turn, tells us our universe isn’t infinitely old — so where did it come from, if not an intelligent designer?