On this ID the Future host and geologist Casey Luskin continues his conversation with astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez about the many ways Earth’s place in the cosmos is fine tuned for life. In this second half of their conversation, Gonzalez zooms out to discuss the galactic habitable zone and the cosmic habitable age. Luskin says that the combination of exquisite cosmic and local fine tuning strongly suggests intelligent design, but he asks Gonzalez whether he thinks these telltale clues favor theism over deism? That is, does any of the evidence suggest a cosmic designer who is more than just the clockmaker God of the deists who, in the words of Stephen Dedalus, “remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails”? Gonzalez answers in the affirmative, but the reasons he offers for this conclusion may surprise you. Tune in to hear his answer. This two-part interview was occasioned by Gonzalez’s essay in the newly released book Science and Faith in Dialogue, available for free here. Part 1 of the interview is here. And Gonzalez’s book, The Privileged Planet, is available here.
On today’s ID the Future, Miracle of Man author and biologist Michael Denton continues his conversation with host Eric Anderson. Here Denton does a rapid flyover of several more anthropic “coincidences” in chemistry, biochemistry, and Earth science that are fine tuned to allow air-breathing, bipedal, technology-developing terrestrial creatures like ourselves to exist and thrive. The fine tuning, what Denton calls anthropic prior fitness, would seem to require foresight and planning on literally a cosmic scale. The wide-ranging conversation, the final one in a four-part series, gives a flavor for the breadth—if not the depth and richness—of Denton’s new book from Discovery Institute Press, available here.
Today’s ID the Future explores with physicist and space telescope expert Bijan Nemati the amazing discoveries that may await us when the singularly powerful James Webb space telescope goes on line in summer 2022. Nemati and host Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet, discuss the telescope’s ability to see far deeper into space than any previous telescope, and further into the past. If all goes well it will be able to see so far into the past, Nemati says, that we will get glimpses of the universe close to when galaxies were first forming, not long after the Big Bang. These glimpses may confirm our most current ideas of early cosmic history and galaxy formation, or turn them on their head. Nemati also explains how the new space telescope, already launched and arrived at its orbital point in space, will provide us potentially exciting new information about extrasolar planets. What are the telescope’s strengths and weaknesses, and are there any other telescopes in the works to complement the Webb telescope? As a matter of fact, Nemati himself is working on one of those future telescopes, and he gives Richards and podcast listeners a sneak peek at the project.
Today’s ID the Future spotlights Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See with a focus on the book’s look at our privileged planet Earth, and how its location in the galaxy and solar system, as well as various unusual features, makes it strikingly fit for life. Is it just “dumb luck,” as one scientist put it? Host Eric Anderson continues his multi-part conversation with the book’s author, Biola physics professor Eric Hedin, who suggests that “dumb luck” is more of a cop-out than an explanation, and that when one takes all the evidence together, a better explanation for our finely tuned place in the cosmos is a fine-tuner, a designing intelligence. It’s just a taste of the deeper yet extremely accessible dive Hedin makes in his new book, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers.