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

Icons of Evolution

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Heaven and Earth. The Milky Way over an Italian church.
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How Modern Science Strengthens the Claims of Theism

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 The all-too-common assertion that science and faith are at odds with one another is outdated.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 ›
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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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Tropical fishes on the coral reef
Tropical fishes on the coral reef Photo by belyay on Adobe Stock

Ann Gauger: A Scientist’s Journey into the Intelligent Design Movement

On today’s ID the Future, biologist and intelligent design researcher Ann Gauger tells host Eric Anderson the rest of her story about how she was drawn into the intelligent design movement. The two discuss everything from the challenges she faced making it in a male-dominated field to the evidential power of beauty in the natural world. But how did she end up in the ID movement? After stepping out of a promising career as a research scientist to focus on her family and meeting the needs of an autistic child, she assumed that her life as a scientist was behind her. But then several years later she began reading the work of Darwin skeptics and intelligent design trailblazers—Phillip Johnson, Jonathan Read More ›

lab beaker
Lab beaker
Lab beaker

A New Flaw in the Miller-Urey Experiment, and a Few Old

On today’s ID the Future, biologist Jonathan Wells and host Eric Anderson discuss a recently discovered problem with the famous Miller-Urey experiment, long ballyhooed in biology textbooks as dramatic experimental evidence for the naturalistic origin of life. The newly uncovered problem involves the glassware used in the experiment. It is an interesting finding, but as Wells explains, it is far from the first problem discovered with the experiment, nor the most serious one. While biology textbooks often present the 1952 experiment by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey as a key icon of evolution, even those origin-of-life researchers who hope to one day to discover a credible naturalistic scenario for the origin of the first living cell concede that the experiment Read More ›

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crisis, broken point
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Is Darwinism a Theory in Crisis?

Today’s ID the Future spotlights The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, and specifically, an essay in the new anthology by biologist Jonathan Wells, “Is Darwinism a Theory in Crisis?” As Wells and host Casey Luskin note, the essay title alludes to philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn’s influential 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn argued there that if one studies the history of scientific revolutions, one finds that when the scientific evidence has begun to turn against a dominant scientific paradigm—when its days are numbered— its adherents do not simply concede defeat. Instead they use all their institutional power to suppress dissent and punish proponents of any competing paradigm. This is the period of crisis, which can last Read More ›

dinosaur lizard fossil
Fossil dinosaur lizard. Fossil of prehistoric lizard skeleton on the rock
Photo by millaf on Adobe Stock

Jonathan Wells and The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, Pt. 1

Today’s ID the Future spotlights a new book, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions about Life and the Cosmos, and specifically a chapter by biologist Jonathan Wells titled “What are the Top Scientific Problems with Evolution?” Wells is the guest, and the host is geologist and Center for Science and Culture associate director Casey Luskin, who co-edited the anthology from Harvest House Publishers. In this episode the first problem that Wells highlights concerns homology and convergence. A second problem involves fossils. Darwin anticipated “innumerable transitions” in the fossil record, but such a rainbow of transitional forms has never been found. Not even close. Another problem, molecular phylogenies. Another: the lack of observational evidence that natural Read More ›

Zombie Science image for IDTF
Zombie Science

Biologist Jonathan Wells Offers a Cure for Zombie Science

On this ID the Future, Zombie Science author and biologist Jonathan Wells and host Andrew McDiarmid explore the seductive but misleading appeal to consensus science. This is when someone makes a bandwagon appeal to support a scientific hypothesis rather than offering evidence and arguments—as in, “All serious scientists agree that X is the case.” Wells says history makes hash of the consensus-science appeal because the history of scientific progress is all about a consensus view being overthrown by a newer, more accurate view that for a time was a minority view. Wells also draws a distinction between evidence-based empirical science and ideologically driven science. The example he gives for the latter: scientific materialism. Instead of a search for truth about Read More ›

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Honoring Phillip Johnson, Pt. 2: Jonathan Wells and Paul Nelson

Today’s episode of ID the Future comes from a Berkeley, California symposium honoring the recently deceased Phillip Johnson. Biologist Jonathan Wells recalls how he met Johnson and the huge influence he had on Wells’ own research and writing. Then philosopher of biology Paul Nelson reminisces on Johnson’s keen intellect, his eye for hidden assumptions, his awareness that “we are not of our own devising,” and on the mountain range of new knowledge opening up to us in biology, one that scientists knew little about even 30 years ago and that Nelson says points strongly away from Darwin’s idea of common descent.

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Dead Peppered Moths Can’t Evolve, and the Myth About Them Hasn’t Changed Much, Either

On this episode of ID the Future, biologist Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong and Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution, debunks a new study purporting to breathe fresh life into an old and throughly discredited icon of evolution, the peppered moth. Wells also tells how this icon of a moth “evolving” from light to dark still lives on in current textbooks, in the same form many parents probably remember from their school days. Dr. Wells and others have shown that many of these pictures used dead moths, pinned in places that live ones never rest. The supposed science of peppered moth evolution has been shown to be false as well. But the pictures and the claims are persuasive, so some textbooks still use them. This prompts host Rob Crowther to ask Dr. Wells, what can parents do to help their kids know the truth? Listen in and to hear Dr. Wells’ advice.

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IDTF-thumbnail

Zombie Science Author: From Berserkeley to Berkeley and Back Again

On this episode of ID the Future, Zombie Science author Jonathan Wells talks about his multifaceted, impressive and, at times, quirky educational history. Dr. Wells started as an undergrad geology major at Princeton and later moved to Berkeley to finish his undergraduate work. He was arrested as a conscientious objector and saw the ugly side of the anti-war movement. Disgusted, he moved to the remote mountains and there discovered evidence of intelligent design. After snagging a Ph.D. in theology from Yale, he returned Berkeley for his second Ph.D., this one in embryology. It was in studying embryos that Dr. Wells came across his first Icon of Evolution, Haeckel’s embryos. More icons soon followed. These and the dogmatism of the scientific materialists are explored in his newest book, Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution.

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