On today’s ID the Future, philosopher of science Paul Nelson explores an intriguing tension in the thinking of famous scientist and science popularizer Carl Sagan concerning his agnosticism shading into atheism on the one hand, and on the other hand his embrace of certain ideas consistent with the theory of intelligent design. As Nelson is quick to clarify, if Sagan had lived to see the rise of the contemporary intelligent design movement, he probably would have rejected it, particularly its theistic implications. And yet, Nelson says, Sagan’s thinking and arguments laid out in his Gifford lectures and in his science fiction novel Contact strongly support the idea that intelligent design can be detected. Nelson goes further, saying that if we Read More ›
On today’s ID the Future, astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez unpacks one of his chapters in the new book The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, edited by episode host Casey Luskin. Gonzalez and Luskin look at how our atmosphere as well as the sun, moon, distance from our host star, and position in the Milky Way are all curiously fine tuned not only for life but also for allowing Earth’s human inhabitants to observe and discover things near and far about nature. It’s as if a master designer made the Earth not merely for life but for curious and intelligent beings. What about the fact that Earth is such a tiny part of a vast universe, a “pale blue dot” as Read More ›
On today’s ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards and host Eric Anderson wrap up their conversation about a video where Carl Sagan plumps for atheism. At one point Sagan suggests that if we give up on the belief in God, then we realize that we’re on our own and instead of waiting around for God to save us, we can roll up our sleeves and save ourselves and our planet. Richards notes that Sagan’s argument involves a strawman view of the Judeo-Christian worldview, which is miles apart from the idea of sitting around doing nothing while waiting for God to save us. As Richards and Anderson discuss, it’s no coincidence that the Christian West invented universities, hospitals, and science. What Read More ›
On today’s ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet, continues a conversation with host Eric Anderson about Carl Sagan and a short video clip where Sagan fields questions about God. Sagan points out that there are different conceptions of God, but Jay asks, what’s his point? There are different conceptions of nature. That doesn’t mean that nature isn’t out there and that there aren’t true and false things that can be said about it. Also, when the vast majority of people speak about God, they have in mind a powerful, conscious Creator of nature. Sagan plays definitional games by redefining the meaning of “God.” Listen in to learn how, to what purpose, and to hear what Read More ›
On today’s ID the Future, Privileged Planet co-author Jay W. Richards sits down with host Eric Anderson to discuss the gold rush of extrasolar planet discovery and how the Privileged Planet hypothesis has held up since 2004. Richards teases an anniversary edition of The Privileged Planet in the works, and he and Anderson discuss the statement that Carl Sagan is perhaps most famous for. Richards explains how science had already disproven the famous Sagan claim by the time the astronomer first uttered it to millions of viewers in his documentary series Cosmos.
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, Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, host Jay Richards interviews historian of science Michael Keas about a new documentary claiming that Copernicus’s heliocentric model of the solar system “demoted” humans from the place of honor at the center of everything. Neil deGrasse Tyson champions this persistent myth in episode 8 of the new National Geographic series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. The reality is quite different. As Keas explains, in Copernicus’s day, the Earth was thought to be at the bottom of the universe, the “sump” where all the filth collected, while the starry heavens were considered the place of honor. Keas and Richards trace the history of the demotion myth and discuss how Copernicus, Kepler, and other luminaries of the Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, science historian Michael Keas and philosopher Jay Richards continue their conversation about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new National Geographic series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. As Keas explains, Tyson’s story of ancient superstition evolving at last into modern medicine gets both ancient and modern medicine factually wrong. His long-running “history” of the warfare between science and religion also is historically mistaken, Keas, author of Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion insists. Curiously, Tyson has a future, quasi-religious myth of his own to promote: personal immortality through futuristic technology.
On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards hosts science historian Michael Keas in another conversation about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. They talk this time about what the show itself calls its “most plausible creation myth… for the origin of life,” involving hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean floor — with no mention at all of the equally deep scientific problems with the idea. Tyson’s imagination wanders from there to a moon of Saturn to the Cambrian explosion, everywhere supposing that just because one or two necessary conditions exist for life, that’s all the explanation that’s needed. Richards and Keas ably explore why this is untrue.
On this episode of ID the Future, guest host Jay Richards interviews science historian Michael Keas about the new Neil deGrasse Tyson Cosmos television series and its “very impressionistic storytelling.” Starting with an episode titled “Ladder to the Stars,” Cosmos: Possible Worlds weaves a tale of chemical evolution that, according to Keas, fails to engage the tough problems required to build the first self-reproducing biological entity. Keas says it then it moves into a glib explanation for the origin of mind and human intelligence. As Richards and Keas show, evidence takes a back seat to storytelling in both this latest version of Cosmos and in its predecessors.