Today’s ID the Future spotlights The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, and specifically, an essay in the new anthology by biologist Jonathan Wells, “Is Darwinism a Theory in Crisis?” As Wells and host Casey Luskin note, the essay title alludes to philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn’s influential 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn argued there that if one studies the history of scientific revolutions, one finds that when the scientific evidence has begun to turn against a dominant scientific paradigm—when its days are numbered— its adherents do not simply concede defeat. Instead they use all their institutional power to suppress dissent and punish proponents of any competing paradigm. This is the period of crisis, which can last for years and even decades. Wells contends that modern evolutionary theory is a current instance of a dominant paradigm in crisis. He briefly makes the case in this episode, and at greater length in his essay, which appears in the newly released anthology from Harvest House Publishers, edited by William Dembski, Casey Luskin, and Joseph Holden. Find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers.
On this ID the Future, Zombie Science author and biologist Jonathan Wells and host Andrew McDiarmid explore the seductive but misleading appeal to consensus science. This is when someone makes a bandwagon appeal to support a scientific hypothesis rather than offering evidence and arguments—as in, “All serious scientists agree that X is the case.” Wells says history makes hash of the consensus-science appeal because the history of scientific progress is all about a consensus view being overthrown by a newer, more accurate view that for a time was a minority view. Wells also draws a distinction between evidence-based empirical science and ideologically driven science. The example he gives for the latter: scientific materialism. Instead of a search for truth about the natural world, science under scientific materialism becomes a search for the best materialistic explanation for this or that phenomenon. Mix scientific materialism and consensus science and you get what Wells has described as “Zombie Science.” Wells and McDiarmid also discuss the problem of science journalism hype. Most scientific discoveries are small, incremental findings of little interest to the general public. The solution for many science journalists: hype the small finding into something earth-shattering. As a remedy, Wells encourages a modest dose of skepticism anytime one is reading a science article in the popular press. What about the claims of Darwinists that the science “is settled,” that evolution “is a fact,” and that bad design in biology proves that hit-or-miss evolution is the maker of life’s diversity, not an intelligent designer? Here Wells encourages more than a modest dose of skepticism, and gives the example of the supposed “backward wiring of the vertebrate eye” as a case in point.
Today’s ID the Future spotlights Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See. Host Robert Crowther and author Eric Hedin begin by revisiting the atheist attack on Professor Hedin and his Ball State University course, the Boundaries of Science. The course was an interdisciplinary honors course exposing students to some basic astrophysics and cosmology, as well as to some of the big questions raised by such discoveries as the Big Bang and the fine-tuning of the laws and constants of physics for life. The course included mention of world-leading scientists who saw evidence of design in some of these findings, as well as mention of scientists who denied any evidence of design in nature. Atheist Jerry Coyne and the Freedom from Religion Foundation charged Hedin with infusing religion into the course, and soon the controversy spilled over into the national news. Hear Hedin tell his side of the story, followed by a quick flyover of some of the evidence for design Hedin explores in the new book. Hedin earned his PhD in experimental plasma physics from the University of Washington and conducted post-doctoral research at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Canceled Science is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple.
On this ID the Future, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor discusses his recent article about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn, the great Soviet dissident and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, penned the essay “Live Not By Lies” in 1974, just before he was arrested and exiled from Russia. It was his advice, or even strategy, for living under totalitarianism. Solzhenitsyn’s basic advice is simply not to participate with lies, and to refuse to speak what one does not believe. It’s unnervingly relevant counsel to us in America today, where “cancel culture” and other silencing tactics, long foreshadowed in the intelligent design debate, are spreading to the broader culture.
On this episode of ID the Future, Rob Crowther speaks with David Klinghoffer, editor of Evolution News and Science Today, about contemporary “cancel culture” that’s attempting to push disfavored ideas and people out of the public square, and how the cancel-culture phenomenon struck intelligent design long before cancel culture was a household term. The term — and the movie title — more commonly used in ID circles has been “expelled.” It’s happened to Richard Sternberg, Günter Bechly, Douglas Axe, and other ID-friendly researchers, to the point that many ID-sympathizing scientists have to hide their beliefs to protect research funding and careers. Klinghoffer emphasizes that this isn’t just a debate off in the corner. Rather, ID is a “hard-core truth,” meaning it’s one of those on which our entire culture of freedom rests, for what else does it mean that we were “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights”?