On this ID The Future, we're pleased to share Daily Wire host Andrew Klavan's recent interview with Dr. Casey Luskin. Klavan loves science, but he smells a rat when famous scientists like Richard Dawkins use their displaced authority to make proclamations about science's relationship with religion. So after reading Luskin's recent Daily Wire article about progressives and their long history of banning intelligent design from the classroom, Klavan invited Luskin on his show to help his viewers better understand the theory of intelligent design and the reality of the evolutionary paradigm.
Luskin starts with the meanings of evolution and the questions that guide intelligent design researchers. He cites plenty of examples of design from biology and cosmology. Klavan then asks how badly people get censored for considering design perspectives in their work. Luskin explains, using the case of physicist Eric Hedin and his treatment at Ball State University as an example. Luskin rounds out the conversation by explaining how intelligent design uses the scientific method to detect the hallmarks of design in both living systems and the universe at large. "Science never gives us, under any conditions, absolute certainty," Luskin notes. "What it can allow us to do, though, is we can use the methods of historical sciences to infer the best explanation for a given situation given what we know about how the world works." Read More ›
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 ›
Have scientists made life in a laboratory? Two-thirds of the public think the answer is yes. What do you think? This episode of ID The Future is the third installment in a series of four conversations between philosopher of science Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, and Dr. James Tour, a world-leading synthetic organic chemist at Rice University. Dr. Tour has recently been engaged in a series of back-and-forth responses to attacks on his work from YouTube science communicator Dave Farina. This has given Tour a new opportunity to critique experts in the field of abiogenesis and allows an interested public to better evaluate both sides of the argument.
In Part 3, Meyer and Tour continue their critique of the claims of chemist Lee Cronin, including his experiments on the formose reaction, autocatalysis, his attempts to conjure up lipids in oil, and more. Along the way, Tour explains how he got into the debate in the first place, providing some background on his interactions with Farina and how it led him to call out experts in the field. Tour and Meyer are careful to remind us just what life is and what it takes to build it. And on several occasions, you’ll enjoy Meyer’s insight into the big picture. These simulation experiments, says Meyer “are actually showing the difficulty of making life-relevant molecules…via an undirected process.” In other words, origin of life researchers are doing sophisticated chemistry with multi-million dollar equipment that can only be done in a modern lab! In the process, they’re showing us just how implausible chemical evolutionary theories actually are.
This is Part 3 of a 4-part series. Watch the video versions of these conversations at Dr. Meyer's YouTube Channel: @DrStephenMeyer Read More ›
On this ID The Future, Liberty McArtor, host of the Know Why Podcast, interviews Jonathan Witt on the compatibility of science and faith, both past and present. Witt is Executive Editor at Discovery Institute Press, as well as a Senior Fellow and Senior Project Manager with Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture. His latest book, co-written with Finnish bio-engineer Matti Leisola, is Heretic: One Scientist's Journey from Darwin to Design. In his conversation with McArtor, Witt describes the unique time and place that helped inspire the rise of modern science. "They had the Judeo-Christian worldview," Witt notes, "and that fired the imaginations and ordered the reasoning of those that gave birth to the scientific revolution." Witt also reviews some of the abundant scientific discoveries of the last century that are causing even committed materialists to question or reject the neo-Darwinian explanation. The all-too-common assertion that science and faith are at odds with one another is outdated. Listen in to understand just a few of the reasons why! With thanks to Liberty McArtor and the Know Why Podcast for permission to cross-post this interview. Read More ›
On this ID The Future, we continue a four-part conversation series between philosopher of science Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, and Dr. James Tour, a world-leading synthetic organic chemist at Rice University. Dr. Tour has recently been engaged in a series of back-and-forth responses to attacks on his work from YouTube science communicator Dave Farina. This has given Tour a new opportunity to critique experts in the field of abiogenesis and allows an interested public to better evaluate both sides of the argument.
In Part 2, Meyer and Tour discuss the work and claims of origin of life researcher Lee Cronin. They begin with a review of the four classes of molecules before critiquing Cronin’s foremose reaction experiments and his claims to have found a process that’s analogous to cell division. Tour also discusses the importance of chirality, as well as how amino acids behave in aqueous solutions. Turns out that “warm little pond” story we’ve been told for many years is chemically implausible. The discussion rounds out with a reminder of the information problem, something Meyer writes about at length in Signature in the Cell. Have prebiotic chemists made any progress on the sequence specificity problem? None whatsoever, says Dr. Tour.
This is Part 2 of a four-part series of conversations. Watch the video versions of these at Dr. Meyer’s YouTube channel: @DrStephenMeyer Read More ›
Has the accuracy of teaching on evolutionary theory improved in standard biology textbooks in recent years? On this ID The Future, host Daniel Reeves, Director of Education & Outreach at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, speaks with a recent high school graduate named Natalie about her senior year research project. Natalie has had an interest in evolution and intelligent design for years, and she's noticed that textbooks don't always cover important or controversial topics fairly. So when she discovered her school was trialing a new biology textbook, she decided to evaluate the proposed textbook's approach to accuracy and fairness in light of the available scientific evidence. Focusing on the fossil record and genetics, Natalie organized quotations from the textbook into three categories - misrepresented, underdeveloped, or well-aligned - based on how well they conveyed the available evidence. From whale evolution to genetic differences among organisms, Natalie found that more often than not, the textbook was misleading to students in the way it presented or omitted important scientific ideas. "High school students are in such a pivotal time in their life because they're forming their worldview," says Natalie. "And evolution is a theory on the origin of life...that's huge to answering those questions." Natalie encourages her fellow students, and anyone interested in origins, to question and dive deep as they evaluate competing ideas. As biologist and Center for Science and Culture Senior Fellow Jonathan Wells puts it at the start of his latest book, Zombie Science, this book is "dedicated to the students who will need to discern the truth for themselves." Here's one young scholar who is doing just that.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE
In the interview, Natalie shares her personal view that intelligent design should be included in public school science classrooms. However, as a matter of public policy, Discovery Institute opposes any effort to require the teaching of intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education. Attempts to require teaching about intelligent design only politicize the theory and will hinder fair and open discussion of the merits of the theory among scholars and within the scientific community. Furthermore, most teachers at the present time do not know enough about intelligent design to teach about it accurately and objectively.
Instead of recommending teaching about intelligent design in public K-12 schools, Discovery Institute seeks to increase the coverage of evolution in curriculum. It believes that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, and they should learn more about evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues. In other words, evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can’t be questioned. Read more of our recommendations for science curriculum here: https://www.discovery.org/a/3164/ Read More ›
On this ID The Future, we kick off a series of conversations between Dr. Stephen Meyer and Dr. James Tour on the many challenges faced by origin of life researchers. Dr. Tour, a world-leading synthetic organic chemist at Rice University, has recently been engaged in a series of back-and-forth responses to attacks on his work from YouTube science communicator Dave Farina. This has given Tour a new opportunity to critique experts in the field of abiogenesis and allows an interested public to evaluate both sides of the argument. Philosopher of science Dr. Stephen Meyer hosts these engaging conversations. Meyer is author of the 2009 book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, which explores theories attempting to explain the origin of the first life. So Meyer is the perfect candidate to unpack Tour's expertise and draw out key insights. In Part 1, Meyer and Tour critique the work of origin of life researcher Steve Benner. Along the way, they discuss the basic definition of life, the RNA world hypothesis, the problem with hands-on chemistry, and why the challenges facing origin of life research increase every year as our understanding of the cell grows. "What is being simulated is the need for intelligent agency to move simple chemicals in a life-friendly direction," says Meyer, and researchers "seem utterly blind to the role of their own hand, their own mind, in achieving the results that they get, such as they are." This is Part 1 of a four-part series of conversations. Watch the video versions of these at Dr. Meyer's YouTube channel: @DrStephenMeyer
Learn more about Dr. Tour's work via his YouTube channel: @DrJamesTour Read More ›
Are there ways to reconcile the latest scientific evidence with traditional theological views? On this ID The Future, host Emily Reeves talks to geologist and Center for Science & Culture Associate Director Casey Luskin about his recent paper in the mainstream journal Religions. In "Comparing Contemporary Evangelical Models Regarding Human Origins," Luskin compares eight different models of human origins. Four of the models present an evolutionary mechanism, while the other four models propose non-evolutionary approaches. Luskin explains how each of the models interface with the scientific evidence and with key theological views. "The hope is not necessarily to tell you which model you should adopt," says Luskin, "but to help you understand the models and to get a better feel for them." In doing the research on this issue, Luskin learned that you don't have to jettison traditional beliefs about Adam and Eve in light of the findings of science. He notes that there's a rich diversity of models to explore with an open mind and a willingness to learn. But the landscape of options can get confusing, notes Reeves, so a good first step is understanding all the models. In this interview and in his new paper, Luskin gives us a concise and organized guide to do just that.
Luskin's Religions paper is open-access and free to read here: https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/14/6/748 Read More ›
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: https://www.discovery.org/b/theistic-evolution/ Read More ›
The groundbreaking recent book Your Designed Body is the focus of today’s ID the Future. Here in Part 2 of a two-part conversation with host Wesley J. Smith, the two authors, systems engineer Steve Laufmann and physician Howard Glicksman, delve deeper into the exquisite, multi-layered fine tuning of the human body. They point to essential systems within systems within systems—irreducible complexity cubed, if you will. They also respond to the charge that aspects of the human body are poorly designed and, therefore, are supposedly better explained by the blind process of Darwinian evolution. Laufmann identifies five common errors that Darwinists make when pushing this bad-design argument. All of the errors involve an ignorance of key engineering principles, he says, one of them being a failure to consider the principle of constrained optimization. This episode is reposted at ID the Future by permission of Wesley J. Smith and the Humanize podcast. Read More ›