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

Fossil Record

IDTF 1893 Gunter Bechly Arachnid Phylogeny and Common Descent Post Image
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Unraveling the Mess of Arachnid Phylogeny

Classifying organisms is an important function of biology. But if phylogenetics is ultimately based on a floundering theory of origins, how helpful is it to our understanding of living things? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid and paleoentemologist Gunter Bechly unpack some of the major problems with arachnid phylogeny and its implications for the common descent hypothesis. Read More ›
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Dickinsonia, extinct creatures of the Ediacaran era, one of the first animals
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Günter Bechly on Why Seventy Years of Textbook Wisdom Was Wrong

A new study challenges decades of conventional wisdom on what caused the geologically sudden rise of multicellular life on earth. So what mechanism triggered the Avalon explosion and other similar infusions of new life? And is it a science stopper to use intelligence or mind as a working hypothesis? On this ID The Future, we welcome back paleoentemologist Dr. Günter Bechly to answer these questions and more. A 1959 paper argued that an increase in oxygen content was a pre-condition for the rise of the first complex macro-organisms. This became mainstream consensus for decades. But a new study shows that this geologic event, known as the Avalon explosion, was actually precipitated by a drop in oxygen levels. Dr. Bechly explains the new paper's findings. He also explains the type of mechanism that has the power to produce the effects in question. Read More ›
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Image licensed from Adobe Stock.

Berlinski: Why Humans Are Unique in the World of Matter

Eminent paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has argued that humans differ only in degree, not kind, from other organisms, and to think otherwise betrays an ancient and outdated prejudice. But does this match up with what science has revealed in the last century? On this ID The Future, we are pleased to share the first half of an engaging conversation between Dr. David Berlinski and host Eric Metaxas on the subject of Berlinski's recent book Human Nature. Some argue that humans are growing more peaceful, enlightened, and improved by the year, and that a coming technological singularity may well usher in utopia. Berlinski isn't buying it. "There is no society without its underlying ideology," he writes in Human Nature. A universal civilization requires a universal theory, and the prevailing grand narrative preferred by most materialist scientists today is fueled largely by Darwin's theory of evolution. But is the world of matter the only world that matters? In this conversation and in his book, Berlinski argues that human beings have a fundamental essence that is radically different from the essence of other organisms and that cannot be changed at will. It's a view that is supported by the latest evidence about life and the universe in biology, chemistry, physics, and even cosmology. And it represents a fatal flaw in the Darwinian story. This is Part 1 of a 2-part conversation. This interview originally aired as a Socrates in the City event in 2022. We are grateful to Eric Metaxas for permission to share it. Watch the conversation in video form on YouTube. Read More ›
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Knowledge and science books artistic graphic collage - Generative AI illustration
Image licensed from Adobe Stock

Is Evolution Taught Fairly in Textbooks? A High School Senior Investigates

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 ›
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creatures of the Cambrian period, underwater scene with Anomalocaris, Opabinia, Hallucigenia, Pirania and Dinomischus (3d science illustration)
Image licensed from Adobe Stock

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: https://www.discovery.org/b/theistic-evolution/ Read More ›
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sunrise in the sea
Photo by merydolla on Adobe Stock

Ann Gauger on Her New Book, God’s Grandeur: The Catholic Case for Intelligent Design

Today’s ID the Future spotlights the richly stimulating new book, God’s Grandeur: The Catholic Case for Intelligent Design. Edited by biologist Ann Gauger, the anthology explores the evidence for intelligent design from a Catholic perspective, with contributions from an impressive range of Catholic scientists, philosophers, and theologians, including Gauger; internationally renowned paleontologist Günter Bechly; philosopher Jay Richards; molecular biologist Michael Behe; Rector of the European University in Rome Fr. Pedro Barrajón, LC; Aquinas and Evolution author Michael Chaberek; philosopher J. Budziszewski; professor of neurosurgery Michael Egnor; and noted Dante scholar Anthony Esolen. Listen in as Gauger gives a quick flyover of the book’s content, tells how she found her way into the intelligent design fold, and explains why Catholics should Read More ›

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Close up portrait of a cute baby chimpanzee making eye contact
Close up portrait of a cute baby chimpanzee making eye contact Photo by Patrick Rolands on Adobe Stock

Chimp and Human Genomes: An Evolution Myth Unravels

On today’s ID the Future, Casey Luskin rebuts the oft-repeated claim that the human and chimp genomes are 98-99% similar and therefore surely resulted from Darwinian common descent. Luskin cites an article in the journal Science which describes the 98-99% claim as a myth. The original figure was derived from a single protein-to-protein comparison, but once you compare the entire genomes, and use more rigorous methods, the similarity drops several percentage points, and on one account, down into the mid-80s. Additionally, the chimp genomes used in the original comparison studies borrowed the human genome for scaffolding, thus artificially boosting the degree of similarity. What about supposed junk DNA similarities between human and chimp? Why would an intelligent designer put the Read More ›

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3d rendered medically accurate illustration of a fetus at week 20
3d rendered medically accurate illustration of a fetus at week 20 Photo by SciePro on Adobe Stock

David Galloway: The Fetal Circulatory System is Irreducibly Complex

On today’s ID the Future, distinguished British physician and author David Galloway explains why he’s convinced that the human fetal circulatory system is irreducibly complex and therefore beyond the reach of blind gradualistic evolution to have built. In his conversation with host and fellow physician Geoffrey Simmons, Galloway also mentions some molecular machines that he’s convinced are irreducibly complex and shout intelligent design. The occasion for the conversation is Galloway’s new book, Design Dissected.

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Neil Thomas Taking Leave of Darwin cover image

Neil Thomas Talks Darwin, Aquinas, OOL and … Young Frankenstein

On this ID the Future, Taking Leave of Darwin author Neil Thomas continues a lively conversation with radio host Hank Hanegraaff. In this second in a three-part series, the two touch on the fossil record’s challenge to Darwinism, Gould and Eldredge’s rescue attempt, the question of whether Darwin’s best known contemporary defender is dishonest or merely self-deluded, the wishful thinking surrounding origin-of-life studies, the failed attempts to reduce the mind to mere brain chemistry, and the morally repugnant pro-eugenics ideas rooted in Darwinism and touted in the textbook at the heart of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. The conversation is posted here by permission of Hank Hanegraaff. Get Neil Thomas’s book here.

tamarin new world monkey
cotton-top tamarin, Saguinus oedipus - small New World monkey sitting on a branch and holding bread in its paw . Denizen tropical forest edges and secondary forests in northwestern Colombia. Photo by myschka79 on Adobe Stock

Casey Luskin: Biogeography Is No Friend of Common Descent

On this ID the Future, geologist Casey Luskin discusses biogeography and the problems it poses for the idea of universal common descent. To make it work, evolutionists have to propose, for instance, that old world monkeys rafted across the Atlantic from Africa to South America on a natural raft. Really? That’s some raft. And how did the monkeys not starve to death? Or die of thirst? They couldn’t drink salty ocean water, after all. And talk about a genetic bottleneck! That’s just one of several problems Luskin raises with the idea that all species gradually evolved from a universal common ancestor. In his conversation with host Emily Reeves, he also touches on the problem of convergence, as when two creatures Read More ›