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 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 scientific revolution saw the Copernican revolution very differently, as a glorious promotion of humanity’s place in the cosmos.
On this episode of ID the Future host Andrew McDiarmid continues his series with science historian Michael Keas about Mike’s new work from ISI Books, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. Here they focus on the myth that a vast cosmos renders humanity insignificant, and in the process, discredits the Judeo-Christian worldview. As Keas notes, science popularizer Bill Nye recently dusted off this old saw, but the Old Testament itself, in the Psalms, depicts man and the earth as tiny in compared to a vast universe. Keas also discusses C.S. Lewis’s take on the matter. Lewis pointed out that atheists have argued that a universe where earth is the lone habitable planet argues against God. And they have argued that a universe filled with many habitable planets argues against God. Heads the atheists win; tails the theists lose. As Lewis and Keas suggest, we are rightly skeptical of such rigged games. Listen in to learn more about this complex and fascinating issue touching on philosophy, theology, and the history of science. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast.
In this episode of ID the Future, geneticist and biochemist Michael Denton reads the beautiful introduction to his new book, The Wonder of Water. He begins at Yosemite’s Bridalveil Fall and explores how water is curiously fine-tuned for life. Indeed, thanks to a unique cluster of properties, water is able to fulfill many roles essential to our living planet. It’s thanks to some of those properties that rivers and streams can leech and carry minerals from rock to various places they’re needed in the biosphere. Water’s unusual properties also make it an ideal medium for our circulatory system. There it serves not only to transfer nutrients and oxygen but also expel carbon dioxide, excess body heat, and waste products — again, thanks to a unique cluster of properties. Denton’s new book can be purchased here.Read More ›