ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast

argument from ignorance


Casey Luskin and Adam Shapiro Debate Intelligent Design, Pt. 2

This ID the Future continues the debate between design theorist Casey Luskin, an editor of The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, and science historian Adam Shapiro, co-author of Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction. Justin Brierley, of the popular British debate program Unbelievable?, hosts. In this second half of the conversation, Shapiro argues that intelligent design’s popularity seems to have waned. Casey Luskin counters, arguing that the number and frequency of New York Times articles on ID is a superficial metric and that the ID research program is exploding, with the number of peer-reviewed ID papers growing every year, and the number of interested graduate students, ID hubs, and conferences expanding around the world, including ID conferences attended by high-level scientists, including Nobel Laureates. Luskin and Shapiro also discuss religious and academic freedom as it relates to the teaching of evolution and intelligent design in the classroom. Shapiro is actually more sanguine than Luskin about the freedom of high school biology teachers to teach intelligent design. Luskin, who has both a PhD in geology and a law degree, strongly advises high school biology teachers in public schools against teaching ID in the classroom. Instead, he says, the better and legally safer approach is to teach evolutionary theory comprehensively, covering both the evidence for it but also some of the evidence in the peer-reviewed literature against it. Luskin and Shapiro also part company on the nature of the intelligent design argument, with Shapiro suggesting that in practice it often amounts to a presenter highlighting some amazing feature in biology and then giving glory to God. Luskin pushes back, reiterating that intelligent design is an argument based on positive evidence, and is an argument to the best explanation–intelligent design–one that employs standard methods of scientific reasoning. This program is presented here with permission of Justin Brierley. To see this and other Unbelievable? episodes, go here. The first half of this conversation can be found here.


Biologist Michael Behe Tangles with Two Philosophers, Pt. 1

Today’s ID the Future features Darwin Devolves author and Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe speaking about the logic and evidence of intelligent design with two philosophers, Pat Flynn and Jim Madden. In a friendly, stimulating exchange, Flynn and Madden press Behe with objections — some philosophic, others scientific — to see how well his position stands up to scrutiny from experts who have engaged the subject. Here in Part 1 of a three-part series, Behe counters the charge that ID is an argument from ignorance, and then the three men compare the contemporary design argument to philosopher Thomas Aquinas’s fifth way. For Behe’s newest book, A Mousetrap for Darwin, go here. This discussion is presented here with permission of philosopher and podcaster Pat Flynn.

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Return of the God Hypothesis: Q&A with Stephen Meyer, Pt. 2

On today’s ID the Future Stephen Meyer continues fielding questions about his new book, Return of the God Hypothesis. The occasion was a live Zoom event for people who had pre-ordered the book. Daniel Reeves emceed, and here in the second part, Meyer rebuts the objection that intelligent design is an argument from ignorance. He also answers another objection, namely that our uniform experience with designing minds is that minds are embodied in material brains and yet Meyer seems to infer a non-embodied mind as the explanation for the design of life and the universe. Meyer also lists some prominent scientists who have either endorsed the book or championed key arguments in the book. Meyer is the Director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Reeves is the CSC’s Director of Education and Outreach.


A Mousetrap for Darwin: The Interview, Pt. 1

On this ID the Future, Eric Anderson interviews Michael Behe about Behe’s new book, A Mousetrap for Darwin. In this episode, Behe explains that he was spurred to build this collection of essays by a review in the journal Science claiming he had never answered his critics on key points. That annoyed Behe, because he had, multiple times. A Mousetrap for Darwin compiles more than a hundred of his responses, some of them from difficult-to-access places. The book also contains fresh material from Dr. Behe, including some lively behind-the-scenes details about his interactions with colleagues and critics. In this episode, the Lehigh University biochemist answers misconceptions about irreducible complexity, responds to the claim that “molecular machines” is a misnomer, relates the surprising confessions some of his fellow biologists have made outside the spotlight about evolutionary theory, and offers his appraisal of why scientists in general don’t know what’s going on with studies in evolution or intelligent design. Behe remains optimistic, though. “You can’t deny the data forever,” he says.


Averick Takes on the “God of the Gaps” Objection

On this episode of ID the Future, Rabbi Moshe Averick, author of Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused World of Modern Atheism, responds to the objection that intelligent design is a feeble “God of the Gaps” approach, an argument from ignorance. Provocative and entertaining, Averick describes the attack as “less than feeble.” He says it isn’t because of what we don’t know, but because of what we do know. He offers as an illustration the widespread skepticism in the physics community toward the possibility of anyone ever building a perpetual motion machine. Their skepticism is not driven by ignorance of how to build such a machine, Averick notes. It’s driven by their knowledge of the fundamental laws of physics. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast.