ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
Topic

cosmos

James Webb Telescope NASA Image Webb Captures Actively Forming Stars Larger Size
Image downloaded from NASA James Webb Telescope Gallery. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA.

How Modern Physics Reveals Purpose in the Universe

Scientists agree that our universe is finely tuned for the existence of life. But is the fine-tuning a happy accident or the result of foresight? On this ID The Future, host Brian Miller continues his conversation with Rabbi Elie Feder and Rabbi Aaron Zimmer, hosts of the Physics to God podcast. Feder has a PhD in mathematics and has published articles on graph theory. Zimmer has training in physics, and has studied mathematics, philosophy, and psychology. Both men also have extensive rabbinical training. Through their podcast, Feder and Zimmer invite both secular and religious listeners on a journey through modern physics as they offer rational arguments for an intelligent cause of the universe. In the conclusion to their discussion, Feder and Zimmer explain why the cosmological constant is one of their favorite examples of fine-tuning. They also share the importance of exploring the teleological causes, or purposes, of natural phenomena. To help listeners grasp the difference between efficient causes and teleological causes, they give the example of a carpenter who builds a table. Is the carpenter the cause of the existence of the table? Or is the idea of the table in the carpenter's mind the cause? Or both? Using modern physics, say Feder and Zimmer, an objective justification for the purpose of the universe can be made. Enjoy this provocative and illuminating discussion! Don't miss Part 1 of the conversation, available here: https://idthefuture.com/1787/ Read More ›
bright-blue-electromagnetic-field-in-space-isolated-on-black-background-stockpack-adobe-stock
Bright blue electromagnetic field in space isolated on black background.
Image licensed from Adobe Stock

Physics to God: Rational Arguments for Design in the Universe

Do you recognize the number 1/137.035999206? It might seem arbitrary, but if the fine structure constant were any higher or lower than it is, you might not exist! On this episode of ID The Future, host Brian Miller kicks off an engaging conversation with Rabbi Elie Feder and Rabbi Aaron Zimmer, hosts of the Physics to God podcast. Feder has a PhD in mathematics and has published articles on graph theory. Zimmer has training in physics, and has studied mathematics, philosophy, and psychology. Both men also have extensive rabbinical training. Through their podcast, Feder and Zimmer invite both secular and religious listeners on a journey through modern physics as they offer rational arguments for an intelligent cause of the universe. In Part 1 of a two-part discussion, Feder and Zimmer share their background and the inspiration for their podcast. They also explain their focus on the constants of physics - specific numbers and values built into the laws of nature that are the same everywhere. What do these numbers mean? How are they measured? Why are they important? Do they hint at design, or are they "magic numbers that come to us with no understanding," as noted physicist Richard Feynman put it? A physicist himself, Miller is the perfect host to unpack the efforts of Feder and Zimmer. It's time to get more intimately acquainted with the strange and wonderful numbers that hold our universe together! Read More ›
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The Very Large Array (VLA) radio-astronomy antennas, in New Mexico, is one of the most impressive observatories in the world. The Sun was piercing through after a major storm during a public tour.
The Very Large Array (VLA) radio-astronomy antennas, in New Mexico, is one of the most impressive observatories in the world. The Sun was piercing through after a major storm during a public tour. Photo by Xenomanes on Adobe Stock

Carl Sagan’s Love/Hate Relationship with Intelligent Design

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 ›

Earth and space
Photo by vovan on Adobe Stock

Jay Richards: Before Carl Sagan Said It, Science Debunked It

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.

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Sunrise over group of planets in space
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Cosmos: Possible Worlds’ Religious Mythology

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.

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rosette nebula
Photo by Alexander Andrews at Unsplash

Cosmos: Possible Worlds’ ‘Most Plausible’ Creation Myths

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. 

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New Cosmos Series Plumps for Pantheism, Distorts History

On this episode of ID the Future, host and philosopher Jay Richards interviews science historian Michael Keas about the National Geographic channel’s new Cosmos series with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. In the Cosmos episode under discussion, the 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza is presented as an early advocate for science.

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New Cosmos Series Preaches the Religion of Materialism

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.