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

entropy

colorful-sunset-on-top-of-austrian-mountain-alps-stockpack-adobe-stock
colorful sunset on top of austrian mountain alps
Image licensed through Adobe Stock

The Return of Natural Theology

Influenced by a long line of materialist thinkers, Charles Darwin proposed the mechanism of natural selection as a substitute for God. But how does his theory’s explanatory power measure up to recent scientific discoveries? On this ID The Future, physicist Brian Miller discusses the resurgence of natural theology in modern science with Pat Flynn, co-host of the Philosophy for the People podcast. Natural theology advances arguments for God based on reason and the discoveries of science. It’s an ancient pursuit that fell out of favor in the 19th century as a materialist account of life’s origins took center stage. But scientific findings of the last century point to mind, not a mindless process, as the likeliest explanation for a life-friendly universe. As a result, the pendulum is swinging back to teleology, ushering in a new heyday for natural theology. In addition to giving an historical overview of natural theology, Dr. Miller and Flynn also discuss fundamental problems in origin of life studies that demand a better explanation than materialists can offer. Miller speaks plainly about the problem: “Here’s the fundamental challenge,” he says. “All natural processes tend to create greater disorder (entropy)…The origin of life requires chemicals to go into a state of both high order and high energy. That never happens without help!” This is Part 1 of a 2-part discussion. With thanks to Pat Flynn and the Philosophy for the People podcast for permission to share this interview. Read More ›
RNA
Single strand ribonucleic acid, RNA research and therapy
Single strand ribonucleic acid, RNA research and therapy Photo by nobeastsofierce on Adobe Stock

Did U of Tokyo Just Solve the Mystery of Life’s Origin?

On this ID the Future, Brian Miller, research coordinator for the Center for Science & Culture, reports on laboratory research recently presented in Nature Communications and in a University of Tokyo press release— research that supposedly provides dramatic “new insights into the possible origin of life,” and specifically “the molecular evolution of RNA.” The popular press picked up on these claims and ran with them, including in this May 5 Quanta article that breathlessly reported, “When researchers gave a genetic molecule the ability to replicate, it evolved over time into a complex network of ‘hosts’ and ‘parasites’ that both competed and cooperated to survive.” Miller says nothing remotely this dramatic occurred in the experiment. He insists there were no great Read More ›

Rocky Ocean Beach Sea Shore Photo by vlorzor on Adobe Stock

New Animated Video Dismantles Origin-of-Life Hype

Today’s ID the Future spotlights a new origin-of-life video showing that researchers aren’t anywhere close to creating life from non-life, despite the fact most Americans seem to believe otherwise. In the episode, host Eric Anderson interviews Stairway to Life co-author Rob Stadler, who helped create the new Long Story Short animated video. Stadler and Anderson explore how origin-of-life papers and popular media reports have misled the public, evidenced by a survey underscored by Rice University synthetic organic chemist James Tour. Then they discuss several daunting origin-of-life hurdles beyond the synthesis of key chemical building blocks. These are hurdles significant enough that each alone may doom the idea of life having once emerged from non-life spontaneously. Indeed, it is now a Read More ›

nanotech
Molecule 3D illustration. Laboratory, molecules, crystal lattice. Nanotech research. Decoding genome. Virtual modeling of chemical processes. Hi-tech in medicine
Photo by Siarhei on Adobe Stock

Physicist Brian Miller Talks Nanotech, Origin of Life, and Area 51

On today’s ID the Future physicist Brian Miller and host Eric Anderson continue their exploration of a recent conversation between origin-of-life investigators Jeremy England and Paul Davies on Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable? radio show. Miller begins with a quick flyover of the many nanotechnologies essential to even to the simplest viable cell. A minimally complex cell is vastly more sophisticated than our best human nanotechnology. What about England’s insistence that real progress has been made in origin-of-life studies since the 1950s? True, Anderson says, but the progress has been principally in better understanding how the simplest cells function, and in figuring out what doesn’t work to blindly evolve life from non-life. That is, the direction of discovery has been to throw Read More ›

sunrise-seascape-of-beautiful-mediterranean-coast-stockpack-adobe-stock
Sunrise seascape of beautiful mediterranean coast. Photo by David.C.Azor on Adobe Stock

More on James Tour’s Abiogenesis YouTube Series

On today’s ID the Future, physicist Brian Miller continues his review of James Tour’s origin-of-life YouTube series. As Miller explains, Tour, a world-renowned synthetic organic chemist and professor at Rice University, was inspired to create the series when YouTuber and evolutionist Dave Farina critiqued Tour’s critique of contemporary origin-of-life claims. In reviewing Tour’s video series, Miller and host Eric Anderson praise the Tour series and discuss the Levinthal paradox of the interactome, the ridiculously long odds of blind processes assembling the first living cell, and the challenge of cell death (think Humpty Dumpty and what all the king’s men couldn’t do). Also discussed: entropy, molecular machines, the challenges that Brownian motion and homochirality pose, the presence of intelligent design in Read More ›

Physicist Eric Hedin: Information, Entropy, First Life

On today’s ID the Future, Canceled Science author and physicist Eric Hedin talks with host Eric Anderson about the challenge the generalized second law of thermodynamics poses for purely naturalistic scenarios for the origin of the first living organism. The problem is generating the reams of exquisitely orchestrated biological information required for even the simplest self-reproducing cell, and fundamental principles of physics, Hedin argues, mitigate against chemical processes getting the job done. What about the fact that the Earth is an open system, gaining energy from the sun? Does that provide an end-run around the second law? Hedin says no and explains why, using easy-to-grasp illustrations. His recent book from Discovery Institute Press, Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want Read More ›

boxing gloves.jpg
Hands of two men with blue and red boxing gloves. Hands of two men with blue and red boxing gloves Photo by Leo Lintang on Adobe Stock

Brian Miller Distills the YouTube Debate between Dave Farina and James Tour

On today’s ID the Future, host Eric Anderson and physicist Brian Miller, research director for Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, discuss a recent debate between YouTube science educator Dave Farina and Rice University synthetic organic chemist James Tour. Tour has argued that no one—not even the most elite of origin-of-life scientists–has a clue how life could have arisen through blind natural forces on the early earth. Farina created a YouTube response on his channel arguing that Tour is wrong and that origin-of-life researchers are well on their way to solving the mystery of life’s origin. Tour then responded in his own YouTube video series. Now Miller and Anderson boil it all down and argue that Tour is right Read More ›

Physicist Eric Hedin Talks Entropy and the Origin of Life

On today’s ID the Future, host Eric Anderson sits down with Canceled Science* author and physicist Eric Hedin to discuss Hedin’s new book and, in particular, the book’s take on the origin-of-life problem. Hedin says the second law of thermodynamics poses a serious problem for the idea of a mindless origin of the first single-celled organism from prebiotic materials. Such an event would have involved a breathtaking increase in new information, and Hedin says that physics tells us pretty clearly that mindless nature degrades information; it doesn’t create it. Are there workarounds? Listen in as he explains why he’s not optimistic. And grab a copy of his new book to get his extended take. (*As an Amazon Associate, Discovery earns Read More ›

lovers lost argument.jpg
Couple standing on the beach at sunset are having problems with each other
Couple standing on the beach at sunset are having problems with each other Photo by Kittiphan on Adobe Stock

Brian Miller Talks Star-Crossed RNA Strands and the Origin of Life

On today’s ID the Future, physicist Brian Miller continues his conversation with host Eric Anderson. Here they explore more problems facing the idea that life began as strings of RNA. In their discussion of the RNA World Hypothesis and the origin of life generally, they touch on ideas advanced by Jeremy England, Jack Shostak, Nick Lane, Helen Hansma, and others. One of several big problems with the RNA-first hypothesis underscored by Miller and Anderson: For it to have even a slender chance of working, you need prebiotic Earth to generate not one but two information-rich RNA strands, and they somehow need to find each other before falling apart, and do so despite the fact that they aren’t looking for each Read More ›

big-bang-illustration.jpg
Photo by SantaPa design on Adobe Stock

Physicist Eric Hedin: Cosmology Points to Cosmic Design

On this ID the Future host Eric Anderson continues his conversation with physicist and Canceled Science author Eric Hedin. Here Hedin argues that the dogmatic rule that natural science should only ever invoke natural causes has at its heart a logical problem. He and Anderson also review some startling cases of fine-tuning for life and why a “theory of everything” would not solve the fine-tuning problem for atheists but merely move it back to the theory of everything itself. Also in today’s conversation, a highly accessible flyover of how scientists came to realize that the universe wasn’t eternal but had had a beginning. Hedin also tackles a theological poser: If the universe was designed for life, why did the designer Read More ›