On today’s ID the Future biologist Michael Behe and Philosophy for the People host Pat Flynn conclude their conversation (posted by permission here) about some of the best objections to Behe’s central case for intelligent design. One objection Behe and Flynn tackle in this episode: the idea of evolution overcoming the irreducible-complexity hurdle through co-option. That is, maybe the precursors to what would become one of today’s molecular machines, such as the bacterial flagellum motor, co-opted simpler machines being used for other purposes, allowing evolution to build a bacterial flagellum motor one small step at a time over thousands or millions of generations, even though the completed bacterial flagellum ceases to function at all when just one of its many key parts is removed. Behe has illustrated the idea of irreducible complexity with a mechanical mousetrap. Take away just one of its several key parts and it ceases to function even a little bit as a mousetrap. Evolutionist Kenneth Miller counters by noting that parts of the mousetrap could have served other purposes, such as a paper weight or a tie clip. Listen in to hear Behe’s explanation as to why such imaginative reasoning is no help to the evolution of irreducibly complex biological wonders like the bacterial flagellum. At the end of the conversation, Flynn points listeners to a web page where he has gathered his several conversations with Behe over the years, including two that involved debates with pro-evolution guests. That page is here. Flynn also calls attention to Behe’s four books, including his latest one, where he answers many objections posed by his critics, with many of the critiques appearing in high-level science journals. The book is A Mousetrap for Darwin. You can get it here and here in hardcover, paperback, or Kindle/eBook.
On today’s ID the Future, Casey Luskin, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, discusses his Evolution News article about the recently deceased Steven Weinberg. On Weinberg’s view, one of science’s social functions is to undermine religion, which he sees as superstition. Luskin takes the opposite view and points to skilled and successful scientists he got to know in Africa. He says these scientists are convinced that the supernatural is real and would find Weinberg’s secular Western rejection of the supernatural as blinkered. Luskin and host Robert Crowther also discuss a hopeful trend among some atheists toward a more civil and respectful way of engaging intelligent design, even to the point of acknowledging that design theorists are making thoughtful, substantive arguments. Luskin summarizes six lines of evidence for design, and encourages people to escape the internet atheist bubble and read the best ID scholars firsthand rather than depending on strawman summaries of those arguments.
On today’s ID the Future, Return of the God Hypothesis author Stephen C. Meyer sits down with podcaster and philosopher Pat Flynn to discuss Meyer’s new book. Flynn notes that some contemporary followers of the great medieval Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas argue that the theory of intelligent design is incompatible with Thomism. In response Meyer, a philosopher of science and the director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, points out that some Thomists are fully on board with ID, and he offers reasons why he sees ID as fully compatible with Thomistic philosophy. Flynn and Meyer then move into a discussion of Meyer’s new book with a particular focus on the sections exploring the beginning of the universe and the fine tuning of the cosmos for life. The interview is used by permission of Pat Flynn.
On today’s ID the Future Stephen C. Meyer fields questions about Return of the God Hypothesis*, his new bestselling book from HarperOne. The occasion was a live Zoom event for people who had pre-ordered the book. Daniel Reeves emceed, and in his introductory conversation with Meyer the two discuss a colorful tidbit about Meyer’s time at Cambridge University when he was working on his PhD. Turns out we may have Meyer’s wife to thank for him still possessing the ability to write such a probing book. In the Q&A Meyer summarizes the thesis of the book and then takes questions—everything from how evolutionists explain, or fail to explain, the pattern of stacked information in living things to what’s the object on the shelf behind Meyer. (*As an Amazon Associate, Discovery earns from qualifying purchases.)