On this episode of ID the Future, biologist and professor Robert Waltzer talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about Waltzer’s chapter in the new Discovery Institute Press volume Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell. Waltzer’s chapter covers some key terms in the evolution/ID conversation that are often misunderstood or misused. These include the word “evolution” itself, “change over time,” “common descent,” and “natural selection.” He offers quick definitions and explains some of the confusion surrounding them. Waltzer also describes an encouraging success story of his about fostering open dialogue and exploration of the evidence for design in nature.
On this episode of ID the Future we hear the first part of Discovery Institute Education Outreach Associate Daniel Reeves’ talk at the 2020 Dallas Science and Faith Conference. Reeves outlines the meaning of natural selection, and traces its history, starting from Darwin’s early understanding, in the days when cells were viewed as just blobs of protoplasm. Reeves carries the story from there through the neo-Darwinian modern synthesis and into the extended evolutionary synthesis, culminating in a 2016 meeting of the Royal Society on the theory’s continuing — and still unresolved — explanatory deficits.
On this episode of ID the Future, Eric H. Anderson reads from his newly co-authored book Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell, written to provide a clear and simple introduction to the evolution/ID controversy, and broad overview of the evidence for design in nature — including fine tuning and the Big Bang, the origin of life, irreducibly complex machines, and the Cambrian Explosion. In this chapter excerpt, Anderson tells of Richard Dawkins’ glib assurances that the mystery of the origin of life is one not far from being solved. Not so, Anderson says. Origin-of-life researchers haven’t found a pathway to a self-replicating biological entity, the beginning point for any sort of Darwinian evolution. And it’s not for lack of Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Jonathan Witt caught up with Darwin’s Black Box author and biochemist Michael Behe at the 2020 Dallas Science and Faith conference, where the two discuss an idea that many wish would just go away, but hasn’t. Charles Darwin himself told us how his evolutionary theory could be overturned: identify a biological system that couldn’t possibly have evolved by “numerous success successive slight modifications.” It’s to Darwin’s credit that he put his theory in “empirical harm’s way,” to quote philosopher Del Ratzsch, but as Witt and Behe note, Darwin also cleverly placed the burden of proof on his opponents, an arguably dubious maneuver given that his proposed evolutionary mechanism has never once been observed Read More ›
On this ID the Future we continue a series of messages from a November 2019 symposium in Berkeley, California, presented in honor of the late Phillip Johnson, who played a crucial role in the flowering of the intelligent design movement. Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe discusses the closing sections of his new book Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA That Challenges Evolution. He compares evolutionary biology in Darwin’s time and today to the world of astronomy before and after the telescope was invented. The cell was a black box to Darwin and his contemporaries. Today we can explore that black box like never before, much better even than even two decades ago, allowing us to observe what evolution can actually do at the molecular level. According to Behe, the answer is, not much. Evolution can create niche advantages by breaking certain things, but it doesn’t build fundamentally new structures or new machines. Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid shares biologist Ann Gauger’s recent article on emerging clues to life’s design, and how the “Darwinian Regime” tends to ignore them. One stubborn bit of biological evidence Gauger highlights is the fact that cells can’t make life-essential ATP, NAD, and other metabolic co-factors without having ATP, NAD, and the other co-factors there first. It’s a “daisy chain of causal circularity woven by what must be an intelligent designer,” Gauger comments. Or as she also puts it, “It’s chickens and eggs, all the way down.”
On this episode of ID the Future, Scotsman Andrew McDiarmid reads from Marcos Eberlin’s recent book Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose. In this excerpt, the distinguished Brazilian scientist highlights the challenge the Venus flytrap poses for evolutionary theory. Dr. Eberlin, the former president of the International Mass Spectrometry Association, describes the problem: The Venus flytrap, like all carnivorous plants, had no use for its insect-trapping function unless it also had an insect-digesting function. And vice versa. Did they really both evolve together? And how when there would be no functional advantage along much of the evolutionary pathway to the sophisticated finished system? Finally, how did this “evolutionary miracle” also happen in four other carnivorous plant Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid continues his series with Michael Behe about Behe’s new book Darwin Devolves: The New Science about DNA That Challenges Evolution. Here Behe explains the “Revenge of the Principle of Comparative Difficulty,” According to this principle, evolution it is much easier for evolution to create a new adaptive niche by damaging one or more genes than even the simplest new genes and irreducibly complex structures. Along the way, Behe also explores how biology got enamored of mathematical theory built on “hopeful ignorance” regarding the nature of genes.
On this episode of ID the Future, Jorn Dyerberg, the Danish biologist and co-discoverer of the role of omega-3 fatty acids in human health and nutrition, talks with Brian Miller about finding irreducible complexity in cells 40 years ago. It wasn’t until he encountered ID researchers like Michael Behe that he gave it that name — but he saw how many enzymes and co-enzymes it took working together to make metabolism work in every living cell. And if neo-Darwinism is true, and these enzymes showed up one at a time, “And over these eons, the other enzymes would just be sitting there waiting for the next one to come.”Read More ›