ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast

engineering principles

creatures of the Cambrian period, underwater scene with Anomalocaris, Opabinia, Hallucigenia, Pirania and Dinomischus (3d science illustration)

Why Intelligent Design Best Explains the Fossil Record Data

The fossil record reveals sudden explosions of new life forms followed by long periods of stasis. Is this evidence to be expected from a gradual Darwinian model? On this episode of ID The Future, host Eric Anderson talks with Casey Luskin on location at this year’s Conference on Engineering and Living Systems (CELS). Luskin discusses three different models of the fossil record - the gradual descent model, the punctuated equilibrium model, and the explosion model. He explains why gradual Darwinian models are built on a lack of data and cannot adequately explain the patterns revealed in the record. He also shows that the sudden appearance of complex organisms and long periods of non-change are exactly what we would expect to find from a design perspective. "These organisms...are designed to change within limits," says Luskin, "and that's why we see stasis." Indeed, the fossil record is consistent with the engineering-based theory of bounded adaptation, the idea that organisms are deeply designed, purposeful, and capable of adapting within their operating parameters. It's an intriguing new way to look at the history of life on earth. Says Luskin, "The only way you're going to be able to generate all the information needed to yield an organism that's alive and functional all at once is through an intelligent cause." Don't miss this intriguing conversation! Casey Luskin holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, where he specialized in paleomagnetism and the early plate tectonic history of South Africa. He serves as Associate Director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Want to dive deeper into the fascinating explosions of plant and animal life in the geologic record? Luskin recommends reading a chapter by Stephen C. Meyer and Gunter Bechly (Chapter 10) on the topic, in Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique. Available here: Read More ›
3d rendered medically accurate illustration of a sprinter

The Human Body As a Marvel of Engineering

Is your body engineered? Or did it evolve through impersonal, random processes over millions of years through natural selection? On this ID The Future, host Wesley J. Smith interviews engineer Steve Laufmann and physician Howard Glicksman about their recent book Your Designed Body. In their book, Laufmann and Glicksman evaluate the causal factors of Darwinism - heritability, random mutation, natural selection, and time - and find that they are both inadequate and incapable of producing the interconnected systems of the human body. "The systems that are required to make the human body work," says Laufmann, "are exactly the kinds of things that engineers design and build." Instead, they explain the body through the lens of engineering, showing that design is the most adequate mechanism currently available to explain how the origin of our amazing human bodies. Says Glicksman: "The more we understand how life actually works, the more the neo-Darwinian narrative becomes impossible." This is Part 1 of a two-part interview, originally airing on the Humanize podcast, a production of Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism. Read More ›
Galapagos Darwin Finch

Is Adaptation Actually a Fight to Stay the Same?

On this ID The Future, host Casey Luskin talks with Eric Anderson on location at this year's Conference on Engineering and Living Systems (CELS). The two discuss an intriguing new engineering-based model of bounded adaptation that could dramatically change how we view small-scale evolutionary changes within populations of organisms. In presenting his argument for natural selection, Charles Darwin pointed to small changes like finch beak size and peppered moth color as visible evidence of an unguided evolutionary process at work. Many have adopted this perspective, quick to grant the Darwinian mechanism credit for micro, if not macro, evolution. But Anderson and other attendees of the CELS conference are starting to promote a different view. "We need to stop saying organisms are partly designed," says Anderson. "We need to view them as deeply designed and purposeful, active and engaged in their environments, and capable of adapting within their operating parameters." Tune in to get a fascinating glimpse of this novel approach to biology. Read More ›
industrial blueprint

Is a New Design-Based Paradigm of Biology Emerging?

More biologists are returning to the use of design-based assumptions, tools, models, and language to study the natural world. Dr. Brian Miller explains why in Part 1 of a conversation with Casey Luskin. Read More ›

A Neurosurgeon and an Engineer Explore Your Designed Body

On today’s ID the Future, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor hosts systems engineer Steve Laufmann, author with physician Howard Glicksman of the new book Your Designed Body. Egnor makes the surprising confession that his medical library is full of engineering texts because at some point he discovered that engineering texts, and engineering principles, often shed more light on human physiology than did his physiology books. Egnor, then, is extraordinarily well prepared to interview Laufmann about the amazing engineering of the human body. Tune in for Part 1, and stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3.

cogs nature
Abstract mechanism with cogwheels on green meadow

The Role of Engineers in the Systems Biology Revolution

Today’s ID the Future spotlights systems biology and the role engineers can play in some leading-edge biology. According to guest Steve Laufmann, systems biology is taking the biological world by storm, an approach that treats biological systems as optimally or near-optimally engineered systems and, using that working assumption, seeks to better understand the system. Laufmann says this provides an opening for engineers to contribute, since they have a deep understanding of what it takes to make a complex system work, and what’s required to change one core aspect of an engineered system so that it continues to work with all of the other crucial parts of the system. Many biologists aren’t trained in this, Laufmann says, and most engineers aren’t trained in the details of biology. Laufmann argues that the way forward is to get engineers and biologists talking, train biologists in engineering principles, and train engineers in biology. Laufmann and host Eric Anderson also discuss a recent conference they helped organize, the Conference on Engineering in Living Systems (CELS). Near the end of their conversation, Anderson asks Laufmann to tease some of the research work coming out of the conference, and Laufmann points to one researcher’s work on the bacterial flagellum, and promises more to come.