On this episode of ID the Future, James M. Tour and Stephen C. Meyer begin a discussion about the hard problems facing researchers trying to discover how the first life could have come about naturalistically. Meyer is the director of the Center for Science and Culture; Tour is a world-renowned synthetic organic chemist with over 700 research publications and multiple major recognitions, including TheBestSchools.org naming him one of the 50 most influential scientists in the world today. Though he doesn’t sign on to ID theory, he says he’s sympathetic with the idea, and certainly not impressed with any naturalistic explanations for the origin of life. In this first of a three-part series, they explore problems ranging from the extreme improbabilities associated with protein assembly, to what precisely has gone missing in the nanosecond when a cell dies. The episode is excerpted from a longer interview Dr. Tour conducted with Meyer as part of his excellent new video series The Science & Faith Podcast: Follow the Evidence.
On this episode of ID the Future, Discovery Institute education outreach specialist Daniel Reeves illustrates how ID opponents commonly erect mindless straw men versions of the theory of intelligent design, as if by refuting a false version they’ve done any damage to the real thing. Then, in this middle portion of a talk he gave to students at the 2020 Dallas Science and Faith Conference, he explains what ID really is, and the central question ID seeks to answer.
On this episode of ID the Future, Kirk Durston, a biophysicist focused on identifying high-information-density parts of proteins, completes a three-part series on three categories of science: experimental, inferential, and fantasy science. Fantasy science makes inferential leaps so huge that virtually none of it is testable, either by the standards of experimental science or by those of the historical sciences, which reason to the best explanation by process of elimination. One example of fantasy science, according to Durston, is the multiverse. As he insists, an imaginative story largely untethered from evidence and testing but told using math instead of literary devices is still an imaginative story untethered from evidence and testing. Scientism, “atheism dressed up in a lab coat,” can lead to fantasy science of this kind because it commits itself to materialistic conclusions for philosophical reasons, not scientific ones.
On this episode of ID the Future, biophysicist and philosopher Kirk Durston continue his discussion of three types of science: (1) experimental science, (2) inferential science, and (3) fantasy science. In this second of three episodes, Durston recaps the three types but focuses on inferential science. He explains how it involves, in the historical sciences, abductive reasoning (inference to the best explanation), and he explains how such reasoning can be used as we consider the best explanation for the origin of biological information, and in such a way that it is rooted in observation.