ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast

molecular biology

Michael Behe: Behind The Scenes of Secrets of the Cell

If Charles Darwin could have peered into one of today's high-powered microscopes and seen the stunning complexity and function in even the simplest living cells, On the Origin of Species might have been a very different book! On this ID The Future, we go behind the scenes with biochemist Michael Behe to discuss his popular video series Secrets of the Cell. From overseeing intricate animation work to driving off-road in a Jeep through the backwoods, Dr. Behe spills some secrets of his own about his experience getting in front of the camera to bring the wonders of the cell to life. Read More ›
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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: Read More ›
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Jonathan Wells Evaluates Darwinian Evolution in New Online Course

How strong is the evidence for Darwinian evolution? What are the limits of the Darwinian mechanism? How should concepts like evolution and science best be defined? On this episode of ID The Future, we bring to you the first three video lectures from a new online course by molecular and cell biologist Jonathan Wells. In the first brief lecture, Wells explains his own evolution; the evolution of his thinking about evolution, that is. You'll glean some interesting details about Wells's career here. In the second lecture, Wells defines the word evolution by reminding us of its various meanings and uses. He also describes how Darwin's theory of natural selection became the framework that bolstered a materialistic metaphysic that endures today. You'll learn that Darwin's proposal relied less on evidence-based science and more on theological and philosophical arguments. In the third lecture, Wells defines science, and explains what happens when the definition of science is confined to naturalistic explanations only. Every so often, says Wells, enough data accumulates to present a challenge to the prevailing scientific framework. It happened in Newton's day. It happened in Darwin's day. And it may happen again soon, if the mounting evidence supportive of intelligent design is any indication. Learn more about Wells's online course at Over 40 short video lectures, Wells explains the major concepts of both chemical and biological evolution, and he critically assesses the evidence for evolution offered by genetics, developmental biology, fossils, and more. Wells deals with some of the most popular “icons” of evolution found in standard textbooks, including Darwin’s finches, whales, antibiotic resistance, peppered moths, “junk” DNA, and more. Read More ›
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Michael Behe’s Mousetrap on the Edge

On this ID the Future Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe dives deeper into A Mousetrap for Darwin. Behe and host Eric Anderson pivot to the new book’s section defending Behe’s earlier work, The Edge of Evolution. In that earlier book, Behe reviewed hard data from evolution studies of malaria parasites, HIV, and E. coli, showed that blind evolutionary processes face severe limits as to what they can build, and argued that intelligent design was required for the origin of life’s great diversity. In this new conversation Behe touches on some of the attempts to refute that argument and suggests why those refutations fail. For a more in-depth look at his defense of The Edge of Evolution, get your copy of A Mousetrap for Darwin: Michael J. Behe Answers His Critics and check out Part 3 of the book.


Michael Behe on the Battle of the Mousetraps

On this ID the Future, Michael Behe responds to the attacks on … his mousetrap. Behe used the common mousetrap to illustrate the idea of irreducible complexity, showing how various mechanical contrivances need all of their main parts to function, and to show how irreducible complexity poses a major challenge to Darwinism’s idea of gradual, step-by-step evolution of some biological machines. Most of the attacks on Behe’s argument have focused on the irreducibly complex biological systems he spotlighted, such as the outboard motor known as the bacterial flagellum. But some of his critics fixated on the mousetrap itself, and argued that the mousetrap wasn’t actually irreducibly complex. Behe rebuts these counterarguments and explains why he’s convinced they fail. The discussion is just a brief sampling of the deeper dive Behe takes in his newest book, A Mousetrap for Darwin.


Michael Behe on the Growth of ID via the Growth of Science

On this ID the Future, Michael Behe continues discussing A Mousetrap for Darwin, his newest book. Understanding of the cell has grown “by leaps and bounds” since the 1990s, when Behe’s first book appeared. Fresh discoveries have revealed ever more complex structures inside the cell. As Behe explains, it isn’t just the bacterial flagellum that’s irreducibly complex; the “hook” region inside the flagellum is, too. Evolution’s proper place of study has moved from gross anatomy and population genetics to biochemistry. In his conversation with host Eric Anderson, Behe says that intelligent design theory’s predictions are coming true over time, while for every step of increasing knowledge, it gets “worse and worse” for the theory of evolution by undirected unintelligent processes. Purchase his latest book here.

Michael Behe Still from Secrets in the Cell

Michael Behe Reads from His New Book

On this ID the Future, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe reads from A Mousetrap for Darwin, his latest book making the case against blind evolution and for intelligent design. The volume contains some brand new material alongside a substantial collection of essays he’s written over the years in response to critics of his three previous intelligent design books. His pro-Darwin critics have jumped all over Behe. Some have even claimed he’s ignored their objections. A Mousetrap for Darwin gives the lie to that charge. Behe has answered his critics, and done so decisively, in everything from the New York Times and prominent blogs to major science journals. Listen in as he lays the groundwork for his fourth fascinating book, in his inimitably clear and winsome style.

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Michael Behe Opens a Black Box for Christmas

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.

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David Gelernter, Stephen Meyer, David Berlinski Challenge Darwinism, Pt. 1

Part one of an uncommon trio of experts speaking on the mathematical challenges to Darwinian evolution. Stephen Meyer and David Berlinski join David Gelernter with Peter Robinson moderating. Read More ›