On this episode of ID the Future, science historian and host Michael Keas talks with fellow science historian Michael Flannery about the newly updated book Intelligent Evolution: How Alfred Russell Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwin. Flannery tells of Darwin’s involvement in the Plinian Society, a “freethinkers” group at Edinburgh University where he studied medicine as a teenager. It was there that he first encountered radical philosophical materialism, the worldview that laid the philosophical foundation for his work in evolution. Flannery also speaks of Alfred Russel Wallace’s “intelligent evolution” and how it differs from Darwinism and from today’s theistic evolution — what Flannery prefers to call “Darwinian theism.”
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Rob Crowther continues his conversation with J. Scott Turner, biologist at the State University of New York (SUNY), visiting scholar at Cambridge University, and author of the new book Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something “Alive” and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It. Turner critiques evolutionary biology’s bias toward mechanistic and gene-centric thinking, and contemporary biology’s failure to come to grips with the evidence of purpose and intentionality at many levels of biology. Viewing the brain as a computer, for example, obscures many things about the brain and the mind that exceed computers, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
On this episode of ID the Future, guest host Jay Richards interviews science historian Michael Keas about the new Neil deGrasse Tyson Cosmos television series and its “very impressionistic storytelling.” Starting with an episode titled “Ladder to the Stars,” Cosmos: Possible Worlds weaves a tale of chemical evolution that, according to Keas, fails to engage the tough problems required to build the first self-reproducing biological entity. Keas says it then it moves into a glib explanation for the origin of mind and human intelligence. As Richards and Keas show, evidence takes a back seat to storytelling in both this latest version of Cosmos and in its predecessors.
On this episode of ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid and physician and Discovery Institute fellow Dr. Geoffrey Simmons concludes their three-part conversation about Simmons’ new book Are We Here to Recreate Ourselves? The Convergence of Designs. Our own arrival is impossible to explain through evolution, he says, in view of the incredible complexity of our neurological system, and all that had to develop simultaneously with it. 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. That’s because it can’t do what mind can do. It can’t purposefully arrange things. Behe and host Andrew McDiarmid discuss what it might mean for origins science to again recognize, and allow room in its explanatory toolkit for, the unique causal powers of mind. Finally, Behe reflects on his critics’ confident predictions that they’d have the evidence to refute his groundbreaking book Darwin’s Black Box within 20 years. It’s now been 20 years, so where does the score stand? Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast.
On this episode of ID the Future we hear bonus material on the mind from the Discovery Institute’s new Science Uprising video series. Materialist philosophy says we’re no more than our brains; that we’re wet robots, in essence. Also, scientism, rooted in materialism, holds that science is the only path to knowledge. Here, a distinguished research neuroscientist take on those dogmatic claims and discusses some clinical evidence that mind is not reducible to the brain.
On this episode of ID the Future, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor talks with host Sarah Chaffee about a theory that Hungarian philosopher Philip Goff calls “cosmopsychism.” According to cosmopsychism, the basic reality of the universe is mind, one wholly contained within the universe. Egnor says Goff gets it partly right but only partly. There are at least three very good reasons to believe there is Mind at the basis of everything, Egnor says, but as he goes on to argue, the classic view of this Mind transcending the universe remains more rational.
On this episode of ID The Future, neurosurgery professor Michael Egnor explores the case of Tatiana and Krista, the “Craniopagus Twins.” Their condition, he says, provides evidence against strict materialism. Tatiana and Krista are connected at the thalamus (which controls such things as wakefulness, motor function and vision) through a structure called a thalamic bridge. This bridge enables them to see through each other’s eyes to and control each other’s limbs. Egnor explains how their separate personalities and thoughts nevertheless show that there is something about the mind not reducible to the brain. Egnor also goes through the mind-brain research of Roger Sperry, Benjamin Libet and Wilder Penfield.
On this episode of ID The Future, host Ray Bohlin talks with Michael Egnor, a pediatric neurosurgeon and professor of neurosurgery at State University of New York Stony Brook about ways modern science validates the idea that the mind is not reducible to the brain. They delve into oddities of neuroscience that indicate that there is more going on in the brain than mere chemistry, and, in particular, walk through the seminal work of Adrian Owen on MRIs and what it reveals.