Today’s ID the Future explores with physicist and space telescope expert Bijan Nemati the amazing discoveries that may await us when the singularly powerful James Webb space telescope goes on line in summer 2022. Nemati and host Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet, discuss the telescope’s ability to see far deeper into space than any previous telescope, and further into the past. If all goes well it will be able to see so far into the past, Nemati says, that we will get glimpses of the universe close to when galaxies were first forming, not long after the Big Bang. These glimpses may confirm our most current ideas of early cosmic history and galaxy formation, or turn them on their head. Nemati also explains how the new space telescope, already launched and arrived at its orbital point in space, will provide us potentially exciting new information about extrasolar planets. What are the telescope’s strengths and weaknesses, and are there any other telescopes in the works to complement the Webb telescope? As a matter of fact, Nemati himself is working on one of those future telescopes, and he gives Richards and podcast listeners a sneak peek at the project.
On today’s ID the Future, astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez unpacks one of his chapters in the new book The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, edited by episode host Casey Luskin. Gonzalez and Luskin look at how our atmosphere as well as the sun, moon, distance from our host star, and position in the Milky Way are all curiously fine tuned not only for life but also for allowing Earth’s human inhabitants to observe and discover things near and far about nature. It’s as if a master designer made the Earth not merely for life but for curious and intelligent beings. What about the fact that Earth is such a tiny part of a vast universe, a “pale blue dot” as atheist astronomer Carl Sagan put it? Gonzalez fields that objection and uses diamonds to illustrate his point.
On today’s ID the Future, Privileged Planet co-author Jay W. Richards sits down with host Eric Anderson to discuss the gold rush of extrasolar planet discovery and how the Privileged Planet hypothesis has held up since 2004. Richards teases an anniversary edition of The Privileged Planet in the works, and he and Anderson discuss the statement that Carl Sagan is perhaps most famous for. Richards explains how science had already disproven the famous Sagan claim by the time the astronomer first uttered it to millions of viewers in his documentary series Cosmos.
Today’s ID the Future spotlights Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See with a focus on the book’s look at our privileged planet Earth, and how its location in the galaxy and solar system, as well as various unusual features, makes it strikingly fit for life. Is it just “dumb luck,” as one scientist put it? Host Eric Anderson continues his multi-part conversation with the book’s author, Biola physics professor Eric Hedin, who suggests that “dumb luck” is more of a cop-out than an explanation, and that when one takes all the evidence together, a better explanation for our finely tuned place in the cosmos is a fine-tuner, a designing intelligence. It’s just a taste of the deeper yet extremely accessible dive Hedin makes in his new book, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers.