On this episode of ID the Future, host Eric Anderson speaks again with medical engineer Rob Stadler, co-author with molecular biologist Change Laura Tan of the new book Stairway to Life: An Origin of Life Reality Check. Here in Part 2 of their conversation, Stadler says that following the Miller-Urey experiments in the mid-twentieth century, researchers were optimistic that a purely naturalistic explanation for the origin of the first life was just around the corner, but since then the field has run into one obstacle after another. The challenge to mindless origin-of-life scenarios is now far greater than it was 60-70 years ago. And yet many in the field still cling to the belief that life must have arisen by some set of purely blind, material forces, no intelligence allowed. Why? Stadler says it’s the “materialism of the gaps,” a dogmatic mindset undeterred by the growing tide of evidence in the opposite direction.
On this episode of ID the Future, guest host Eric Anderson speaks with medical engineer Rob Stadler, co-author with molecular biologist Change Laura Tan of the new book Stairway to Life: An Origin of Life Reality Check. Stadler explains that it’s a “reality check” because many of the “stairway steps” that have to be mounted for chemistry to become biology must, very inconveniently, happen all at once. DNA can’t survive without repair enzymes, for example, but those enzymes are able to exist because they’re coded in DNA. The reality check is needed, says Stadler, because the media eagerly touts every oversold “advance” in origin-of-life research, ignore the mounting difficulties for an unguided origin of life posed by various fresh discoveries, and parrot the question-begging claim that origins scientists must consider only naturalistic explanations.
On this episode of ID the Future, host Jay Richards concludes his multi-episode conversation with science historian Michael Keas about the 2020 National Geographic series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. The two discuss a schizophrenia at the heart of the series–dour atheistic materialism one moment and gauzy, feel-good pantheism the next. Richards and Keas agree that if there’s one good thing to come of the series’ final episode,it’s that it brings the pantheistic religious mythology of the Cosmos franchise into the open. Everything comes together in a message that includes a creation myth, a story of sin (ecological sin), a salvation story, and even resurrection and ascension. Keas, author of Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion, emphasizes that while the new Cosmos series is supposed to be all about the “science,” it’s remarkably free of scientific evidence.
On this episode of ID the Future, host Emily Kurlinski interviews “Mary,” a PhD biochemistry student who tells about her experiences at the annual Center for Science and Culture’s summer seminar program in Seattle, and how her relationships there developed into a community of friendship, professional connection, and support. What about the charge that ID is a “curiosity killer,” tempting scientists to answer every natural mystery with a shrug and a “God did it”? Mary says ID had just the opposite effect on her. Her pro-design perspective actually led her to choose a career in research, and the conviction that nature is a meaningful and purposeful affair makes her more eager and optimistic about uncovering deeper layers of order and elegance in the natural world than otherwise. Why does she use a pseudonym in the interview? You may be able to guess, but listen in to hear her explanation.
This episode of ID the Future features Darwin Devolves author Michael Behe. The Lehigh University biologist and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow sat down to answer some of the most common questions put to him about evolution and intelligent design, and here we collect his answers to three of those questions: (1) What are some new examples of irreducibly complex systems? (2) What are some objections to ID from well-known critics? And (3) Why aren’t you convinced by theistic evolution arguments?
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid interviews Robert Alston, Ph.D electrical engineer working at Picatinny Arsenal and co-author of the new book Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell. The two discuss the origin of the Nutshell book and the origin and fine tuning of the universe. Though cosmic fine tuning is often referred to as “the fine tuning problem,” Alston says it’s really no problem at all — not unless you’re trying to shoehorn it into the box of philosophical materialism.
On this episode of ID the Future, host Robert Marks continues his conversation with Oxford University mathematician John Lennox about Lennox’s new book 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. Lennox reviews mythology and science fiction writing stretching from the ancient poet Hesiod to the novelist Dan Brown and MIT physicist Max Tegmark. He says that artificial intelligence (AI) predictions down through the ages are all heavily dependent on theological and philosophical presuppositions. He and Marks also discuss AI’s cousin, transhumanism, its surprising history, and its potentially very dark future, including the risk of what C.S. Lewis called “the abolition of man.”
On this episode of ID the Future, host Robert Marks interviews Oxford University mathematician John Lennox on Lennox’s new book 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. It’s a wide-ranging discussion about AI’s advantages already being realized, in medicine, for example; AI’s supposed potential to achieve human-like consciousness; ethical issues that AI programmers will have to grapple with; effects that AI will have on the economy and individual workers; and the risks associated with living in an AI world where every movement is tracked. A key question as we move toward this future, says Lennox, is what does it mean to be human?
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads a recent article from Salvo magazine, “Bits and Bytes at the Bottom.” In the essay, systems engineer Ken Pedersen and Discovery Institute senior fellow Jonathan Witt begin by noting that scientific materialism sees reality as the result of accidental collisions and combinations of elementary particles — a worldview devoid of ultimate meaning and purpose. Many scientific materialists expressed confidence that any shortcomings in their paradigm would be shorn up by fresh discoveries soon enough, but as Pedersen and Witt explain, a funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century. A paradigm shift occurred, one famously summarized by renowned theoretical physicist John Wheeler: “Bit before it.”
On this episode of ID the Future, Robert Crowther interviews Sarah Chaffee, Education and Public Policy Program Officer for the Center for Science and Culture, on a recent survey conducted by the dogmatically pro-Darwin National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and published in Nature. The NCSE claims that the survey shows that science teachers “advocate evolution” even more now than in 2007. But as Crowther and Chaffe’s discussion suggests, the survey appears gamed to produce a pro-Darwinist outcome, so much so that even teachers who follow the Discovery Institute’s policy of promoting critical thinking skills by teaching biology students both the strengths and weaknesses of modern evolutionary theory could be counted as evolution advocates by the survey. Then too, as Crowther and Chaffee further note, how likely are biology teachers with doubts about modern Darwinism to participate in a survey by an organization famously instrumental in attacking Darwin-doubting biology teachers?