ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast


Abstract bacteria, probiotics, gram positive bacteria bacteria and viruses of various shapes against a light background. Concept of science, medicine. Microbiology background. 3d illustration.

The Simple Life: Abiogenesis Gets Another Reality Check

When it comes to biological life, even the simplest single-celled organism is an astonishingly complex multi-part system. Just how simple can a living cell get? On this ID The Future, Eric Anderson hosts another conversation with Dr. Robert Sadler to evaluate the claims of abiogenesis researchers. A recent Nature paper reports on an engineered minimal cell and how it contends with the "forces of evolution" compared to the non-minimal cell from which it was derived. In an attempt to find life's lowest common denominator, experimenters reduced the minimal cell down from 901 genes to 473 genes. The result was a fragile, irregular organism, sheltered and well cared for. But does this reduction in genomic complexity demonstrate evolution or devolution? Is it an unguided process at work or adaptation within the boundaries of an organism's design? "When people speak of evolution, they speak of random changes and natural selection," Sadler says. "But are they really random? Or does the organism have a built-in ability to change the genome to its own benefit?" Sadler puts the paper's results and claims in perspective for us. Read More ›
Human heart with blood vessels. 3d illustration.

How Life Leverages the Laws of Nature to Survive

Left to their own devices, the natural result of physics and chemistry is death, not life. So how are we still breathing? On this ID The Future, host Eric Anderson concludes his conversation with physician Howard Glicksman about some of the remarkable engineering challenges that have to be solved to produce and maintain living organisms such as ourselves. Glicksman is co-author with systems engineer Steve Laufmann of the recent book Your Designed Body, an exploration of the extraordinary system of systems that encompasses thousands of ingenious and interdependent engineering solutions to keep us alive and ticking. In the “just so” stories of the Darwinian narrative, these engineering solutions simply evolved. They emerged and got conserved. Voila! But it takes more than the laws of nature to keep us from dying. In Part 1, Glicksman discussed how two laws of nature - diffusion and osmosis - must be innovated by living systems to avoid cell death. In this episode, Glicksman provides another example: how we regulate the flow of water and blood through our bodies without the excess leakage or shrinkage that can lead to cell death. The protein albumin is crucial. Along with helping to transport minerals and hormones, albumin vitally maintains blood volume by regulating the water flow in and out of the capillaries. How does our liver know how to make albumin, or how much of it to make? Can a gradual Darwinian process be credited with these essential innovations? Or do they bear hallmarks of design? Listen in as Dr. Glicksman explains this remarkable system, just one of many engineering feats our bodies perform every day to keep us alive. Read More ›
Cell membrane, lipid bilayer, digital illustration of a diffusion of liquid molecules through cell membrane, microscopic view of a cell membrane, biology background, medical background

The Innovative Cellular Engineering That Keeps Us Alive

When left to their own devices, the laws of nature tend toward death, not life. So what does it take for life to exist? On this ID The Future, host Eric Anderson talks with physician Howard Glicksman about some of the remarkable engineering challenges that have to be solved to produce and maintain living organisms such as ourselves. Glicksman is co-author with systems engineer Steve Laufmann of the recent book Your Designed Body, an exploration of the extraordinary system of systems that encompasses thousands of ingenious and interdependent engineering solutions to keep us alive and ticking. In the "just so" stories of the Darwinian narrative, these engineering solutions simply evolved. They emerged and got conserved. Voila! But in this chat, Anderson and Glicksman explain that it takes more than the laws of nature to keep us from dying. "Chemicals on their own don't have any desire or tendency to turn into living organisms," says Anderson. "They tend to degrade, they tend to break down, they tend to go back to their basic constituents." Glicksman and Anderson discuss examples, including how the human body handles friction, heat transfer, and the crucial task of maintaining chemical balance at the cellular level. And where does all this essential innovation come from? Glicksman points to an intelligent cause that transcends matter and energy. Read More ›
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.

Stuart Burgess: Biology’s Designs Tutor Our Top Engineers

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 through some things that make the knee an engineering marvel, and takes a look at some other masterfully designed linkage mechanisms in nature, including those found in the jaws of fish. The occasion for the discussion is Burgess’s recent scholarly paper in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.

wormhole black hole

Engineers Crash the Evolution Party, Rethink Biological Variation

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.