ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast


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Eric Hedin on Free Will and Morality in a Designed World

Are we responsible for our choices? What can the laws of nature teach us about morality? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid welcomes back Dr. Eric Hedin, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at Ball State University, to conclude a discussion about his two recent articles on suffering, free will, and morality in a designed world. Some scientists continue to argue that human free will is an illusion and that we have no more control over our choices than the decision to breathe. But this idea, known as determinism, flies in the face of our human experience. Dr. Hedin explains that far from being slaves to external forces, humans have a great latitude of freedom in the universe. In other words, the ball is in our court. This is Part 2 of a two-part discussion. Read More ›
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Eric Hedin on Suffering in a Designed World

Is natural evil an argument against intelligent design? And is human evil more consistent with naturalism or theism? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid speaks with Dr. Eric Hedin about his recent article "Thoughts of Evil in a Designed World." First, Dr. Hedin discusses the problem of natural evils like earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, and other natural disasters. He reports that in the last century, the human death toll from such tragedies has dropped as we have learned to mitigate the effects of these natural forces in our lives. Hedin also discusses the impact of sickness on our bodies. "Any complex system can break down," Hedin reminds us, "because we do live in a world where the second law of thermodynamics applies not just to stars and mountainsides and physical systems but also to our own bodies." But suffering, tragic as it can be for all of us to endure, is not inconsistent with design. Then there's the other major cause of suffering in life: human evil. If humans are products of an evolutionary process, we'd expect human evil to more or less match what we see in the animal world. But as recent attacks on the people of Israel starkly demonstrate, that is not the case. We are capable of much worse, as well as much better. Dr. Hedin explains that humans have the gift of rational override, something determinists tend to forget. This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation. Read More ›

The Dawkins Test Returns an Answer: Intelligent Design

In 2009 atheist biologist Richard Dawkins offered a scientific test to decide between Darwinian evolution and intelligent design (ID). The results are in, and as guest Casey Luskin explains on this ID the Future, the evidence has broken strongly in favor of intelligent design. At the time Dawkins presented the test, he was confident that comparative DNA evidence supported Darwin’s tree of life and its idea of universal common ancestry. He made the point in his 2009 book The Greatest Show on Earth and in two interviews. As he put it, “The single most convincing fact or observation you could point to” in favor of Darwinian evolution over against ID “would be the pattern of resemblances that you see when you compare the genes … of any pair of animals you like … and then plot out the resemblances and they form a perfect hierarchy, a perfect family tree. And the only alternative to it being a family tree is that the intelligent designer deliberately set out to deceive us in the most underhanded and devious manner.” But fourteen years later the picture looks very different. Tune in as Casey Luskin details the various ways that the rapidly developing field of phylogenomics is uncovering data that powerfully fits the ID model of life’s history and strongly undermines the idea of universal common ancestry via mindless evolution. As Luskin says in a recent Evolution News article, “Now, years later, scientists have sequenced a great number of whole genomes. And as a consequence, they know that Dawkins was wrong. Every gene does not deliver ‘approximately the same tree of life.’… On its own terms, the Dawkins test for evolution has come up for ID.” So why haven’t evolutionary biologists given up on universal common ancestry? Luskin says that some have, while others reflexively invoke auxiliary hypotheses and employ question-begging computer models to generate tree-like ancestries in the face of contrary data. Luskin compares the behavior to astronomers who protected the dying geocentric model of the solar system by invoking “epicycles” to explain away contrary astronomical data. Better to let the Dawkins Test speak for itself, Luskin says. Listen in for the full story.