ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast

Jonathan McLatchie

An electron microscopy image of a cell membrane attached to a bacterial cell wall highlighting the important role of the cell wall .
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The Irreducible Complexity Found in Bacterial Cell Division

Ready to dip a toe in the ocean of biological ingenuity? Dr. Jonathan McLatchie is back, this time to discuss with host Andrew McDiarmid the engineering elegance and irreducible complexity of the process of bacterial cell division. You may wonder why we should care about something so minuscule as bacterial cells. After all, something so insignificant and unseen has little bearing on our daily lives. But if we've learned anything in the biological revolution of the 20th century, it's that consequential things often come in very small packages. And if even the simplest forms of life exhibit stunning complexity and engineering prowess, all the more do we! And that complexity and design demands an adequate explanation. Here, McLatchie describes the remarkable process of cell wall breakage and re-synthesis that allows cell division to take place and explains why it's a big problem for Darwinian evolution. Read More ›
Big genomic data visualization
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Casey Luskin Reflects on His Recent Junk DNA Debate

For decades we were told that non-coding regions of our DNA are littered with evolutionary junk. But in recent years, numerous discoveries have revealed that function is the rule, not the exception, in the genome. On this episode of ID The Future, Casey Luskin reflects with host Jonathan McLatchie about his recent debate over junk DNA with Rutgers University evolutionary biology professor Dr. Daniel Stern Cardinale, known as Dr. Dan online. Luskin breaks down the main points he made in his debate as well as Dr. Dan's responses. He and McLatchie conclude with a reminder of why intelligent design is a far superior approach to studying the genome than an evolutionary approach. Read More ›
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Why Science Needs a Scout Mindset

Scout or soldier? When it comes to our opinions and beliefs, there's a bit of both in all of us. But which mindset is more beneficial? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid welcomes Dr. Jonathan McLatchie to discuss the characteristics of a scout mindset and how it relates to the debate over evolution and the evidence for intelligent design. Get full show notes at Read More ›
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Jonathan McLatchie on the Gift of Hearing

Cerumen, tympanic membranes, and ossicles, oh my! On this ID The Future, lend us your ears as host Andrew McDiarmid invites Dr. Jonathan McLatchie to give us a tour of our magnificent sense of hearing. Dr. McLatchie reviews the anatomy of the human ear with all its interconnected parts, from the oracle (ear lobe) to the curly cochlea in the inner ear. Along the way, he explains why intelligent design is a more reasonable explanation for our sense of hearing than a blind Darwinian evolutionary process. Read More ›
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Bayesian Probability and Intelligent Design: A Beginner’s Guide

If the phrase "Bayesian calculus" makes you run for the hills, you're not alone! Bayesian logic can sound intimidating at first, but if you give it a little time, you'll understand how useful it can be to evaluate the evidence for design in the natural world. On this ID The Future, Dr. Jonathan McLatchie gives us a beginner's guide to Bayesian thinking and teaches us how it can be used to build a strong cumulative case for intelligent design, as well as how we can use it in our everyday lives. Enjoying the podcast? Leave a written review at Apple Podcasts to help new listeners find the show! Read More ›
Single helix RNA, Epigenetics concept
Single helix RNA, Epigenetics concept

Minimal Replication Fidelity: Another Problem for the RNA World Hypothesis

The RNA world is proposed by some to explain how early life began before DNA. But is RNA capable of maintaining a life-friendly self-replication rate? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid welcomes back Dr. Jonathan McLatchie to discuss another headache for the RNA world scenario. Before a trial and error process like natural selection can even get started, self-replicating molecules must have a minimal accuracy rate to copy genetic material effectively. The required fidelity rate is estimated to be 2%. Any error rate higher than that results in error catastrophe for organisms. The average error rate in RNA copying is estimated to be around 17%, vastly higher than the estimated maximum error threshold for survival. McLatchie explains the implications of this for chemical evolutionary theories like the RNA world hypothesis. He also explains how a Bayesian approach to this evidence can provide us with the likeliest explanation for the origin of biological life. "The sorts of features that we observe in life are not particularly surprising if we suppose that a mind is involved," says McLatchie. But things like minimal self-replication fidelity are wildly surprising on a naturalistic hypothesis. Read More ›