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.
Today’s ID the Future spotlights a Bristol University engineer whose design work helped Great Britain’s cycling team win gold in the most recent Summer Olympics. Stuart Burgess, currently on a visiting fellowship at the University of Cambridge and an expert on linkage mechanisms, discusses with host Eric Anderson how top engineering firms are paying big money to learn from the extraordinary designs found in biology so as to improve their own designs. Burgess has designed groundbreaking linkage mechanisms, but he says the human knee is still well ahead of what even the most advanced human engineers have managed in this area, even accounting for the fact that wear and tear and misuse can lead to knee problems. He walks listeners Read More ›
On today’s ID the Future, physicist and engineer Brian Miller sits down with host Casey Luskin to survey exciting developments in intelligent design research that are driven by an engineering model for understanding and studying variations in species. ID researchers are pushing this work, but so too are systems biology researchers outside the intelligent design community. Tune in to hear Miller and Luskin discuss everything from fruit flies, finch beaks, and stickleback fish to mutational hotspots, phenotypic plasticity, and the gravity well model of biological adaptation.
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 Read More ›
On this ID the Future, physician Howard Glicksman and host Eric Anderson dive deeper into the body’s exquisite blood pressure control system, cueing off a new discovery described at Science Daily as uncovering “the location of natural blood-pressure barometers inside our bodies that have eluded scientists for more than 60 years.” According to the primary research paper at Circulation Research, “Renin-expressing cells are essential for survival, perfected throughout evolution to maintain blood pressure (BP) and fluid-electrolyte homeostasis.” How did evolution perfect the system? How did it originate the system? The paper never says. The mention of evolution appears to be little more than a de rigueur genuflection before the reigning paradigm of blind evolution. What is bearing actual fruit, according to Glicksman Read More ›
On today’s ID the Future, host Casey Luskin sits down with Dominic Halsmer, a Senior Professor of Engineering at Oral Roberts University, to discuss Halsmer’s recent book, Hacking the Cosmos: How Reverse Engineering Uncovers Organization, Ingenuity and the Care of a Maker. Dr. Halsmer draws on the engineering concept of affordances to explore how Earth and the universe show evidence of having been intelligently engineered to afford the possibility of life, and even for humans to discover evidence of a grand designer. Also in the conversation, the implications of biologists using reverse engineering to better understand biological systems, and of engineers studying clever designs in the biological realm to make engineering breakthroughs, a creative strategy known as biomimicry.
On this episode of ID the Future, Robert Marks interviews Roger Olsen, co-author of the groundbreaking 1984 book The Mystery of Life’s Origin. In the book’s epilogue they suggested that a designing intelligence stands as the best explanation for the origin of life. And with a revised and greatly expanded new edition of the book now available, he says that 36 years of additional research from the origin-of-life community has left their conclusions stronger than ever. Now an environmental scientist, Olsen has spent his career since then helping homes and families abroad protect children from the ravages of environmental pollution.
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid looks at three new discoveries in nature that shout design. The cone snail has a harpoon as fast as a speeding bullet. Researchers are looking at it for design ideas for robots and medical devices. The humble dandelion’s seeds are so optimized for lift and flight time that scientists wonder about borrowing its design for parachutes. And there’s a species, the mantis shrimp, whose larvae have “flashlights” in their eyes similar to advanced optics designed by human researchers. See more on these design wonders at Evolution News.
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid interviews biochemist Michael Behe about Part 2 of his new book Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA That Challenges Evolution. In this part of the book, Behe covers current theories for the origin of complex new interactive systems, from Neo-Darwinism and neutral theory to evo-devo and the multiverse hypothesis, and a few others as well. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast.