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

origin of life

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Couple standing on the beach at sunset are having problems with each other

Brian Miller Talks Star-Crossed RNA Strands and the Origin of Life

On today’s ID the Future, physicist Brian Miller continues his conversation with host Eric Anderson. Here they explore more problems facing the idea that life began as strings of RNA. In their discussion of the RNA World Hypothesis and the origin of life generally, they touch on ideas advanced by Jeremy England, Jack Shostak, Nick Lane, Helen Hansma, and others. One of several big problems with the RNA-first hypothesis underscored by Miller and Anderson: For it to have even a slender chance of working, you need prebiotic Earth to generate not one but two information-rich RNA strands, and they somehow need to find each other before falling apart, and do so despite the fact that they aren’t looking for each Read More ›

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Stephen Meyer Defends His New Book to Cosmologist Brian Keating, Pt. 3

Today’s ID the Future concludes the conversation between Stephen Meyer, author of the newly released USA Today bestseller Return of the God Hypothesis, and UC-San Diego physicist Brian Keating. In part three they discuss divine extravagance and the question of why, if the universe was made for humans, did it take so long before humans came onto the scene? From there Meyer turns to the evidence for intelligent design from the digital information embedded in DNA and RNA. Is this book just another intelligent design argument, similar to his previous two books? Meyer says it is that, but it goes further, combining an intelligent design argument with evidence from science outside the scope of ID science in order to draw some inferences about the nature of Read More ›

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Brian Miller on Life, Thermodynamics and Jeremy England

In today’s ID the Future physicist Brian Miller discusses fellow physicist Jeremy England’s book Every Life Is on Fire: How Thermodynamics Explains the Origin of Living Things. Has England made a significant step toward solving the mystery of how life first began? In Miller’s conversation with host Eric Anderson, he argues that while England’s laboratory work is fascinating and innovative, what’s happening in his experiments differs dramatically from what is required of even the simplest life, so much so that the experiments do not shed the kind of light on the mystery of life’s origin that some may hope they do. Moreover, life does certain crucial things with energy that are unknown outside of the biological realm, Miller says, and Read More ›

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Origin of Life’s Purple Unicorn: Protocells

On today’s ID the Future, host Eric Anderson sits down with Rob Stadler, co-author with Change Tan of The Stairway To Life: An Origin-Of-Life Reality Check. The topic of discussion–protocells. Stadler notes that the simplest existing single-celled organisms are far too sophisticated to have emerged through a blind process of prebiotic evolution. He further notes that this is widely acknowledged in the origin-of-life community, but those committed to a purely materialistic origin of the first life have a fallback explanation–protocells. That is, early biological structures far simpler than anything we find today. An intriguing hypothesis, but the problems with it, according to Stadler, are legion. Tune in as Stadler and Anderson walk through several lines of evidence that appear to Read More ›

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Physicist Eric Hedin: Cosmology Points to Cosmic Design

On this ID the Future host Eric Anderson continues his conversation with physicist and Canceled Science author Eric Hedin. Here Hedin argues that the dogmatic rule that natural science should only ever invoke natural causes has at its heart a logical problem. He and Anderson also review some startling cases of fine-tuning for life and why a “theory of everything” would not solve the fine-tuning problem for atheists but merely move it back to the theory of everything itself. Also in today’s conversation, a highly accessible flyover of how scientists came to realize that the universe wasn’t eternal but had had a beginning. Hedin also tackles a theological poser: If the universe was designed for life, why did the designer Read More ›

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James Tour: Primordial Soup Bluffing Goes Right to the Top

Today’s ID the Future features another installment in James Tour’s hard-hitting and evidence-based YouTube series on abiogenesis. Here Dr. Tour, a world-leading synthetic organic chemist at Rice University, describes the early Earth primordial soup concept for the origin of first life (OOL) and shows why it’s simplistic, bogus, and doesn’t represent the current science on the issue. He also reviews survey data showing just how misinformed the public is about how far scientists have gotten in creating life in the lab. One critic of Tour protested that the simplistic primordial soup story might be found in highly simplified textbooks for sixth graders but isn’t peddled at higher levels. Tour provides video evidence to the contrary.

James Tour–A Flyover of the Challenges Facing Abiogenesis

Today’s ID the Future features the next in a YouTube video series by Dr. James Tour on the origin-of-life problem. Here Tour, a distinguished synthetic organic chemist, lists the characteristics of life and describes some features of the early Earth where life first appeared. Then he provides a fast flyover of the many grave problems of blindly evolving the first living cell from prebiotic materials. 

Physicist Eric Hedin Discusses His New ID Book, Canceled Science

Today’s ID the Future spotlights Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See. Host Robert Crowther and author Eric Hedin begin by revisiting the atheist attack on Professor Hedin and his Ball State University course, the Boundaries of Science. The course was an interdisciplinary honors course exposing students to some basic astrophysics and cosmology, as well as to some of the big questions raised by such discoveries as the Big Bang and the fine-tuning of the laws and constants of physics for life. The course included mention of world-leading scientists who saw evidence of design in some of these findings, as well as mention of scientists who denied any evidence of design in nature. Atheist Jerry Coyne and Read More ›

A James Tour Course on Abiogenesis: Prologue

Today’s ID the Future features audio of the first in a series of YouTube videos by Dr. James Tour on the origin-of-life problem. Here Tour, a renowned synthetic organic chemist and professor at Rice University, explains why he is addressing the origin-of-life issue, also known as abiogenesis, and touches on some common misconceptions about the field. He says the organizing impetus for the series is a YouTube video by Dave Farina, “Elucidating the Agenda of James Tour: A Defense of Abiogenesis.” As Farina’s title suggests, he begins his video with an ad hominem attack, seeking to discredit Tour by showing that Tour is a Christian. Tour briefly responds to this line of attack and then moves into matters scientific. There Read More ›

RNA World in a World of Hurt

On this ID the Future, biophysicist Cornelius Hunter and host Eric Anderson discuss the RNA World hypothesis, an explanation for how the first self-reproducing organism might have arisen via mindless chemical processes. Hunter and Anderson have each written on the topic, and together they unpack some of the many and growing problems with this RNA-first explanation for the origin of life. They also spotlight some recent admissions in mainstream scientific publications that it’s time to move on from the cherished but embattled RNA World. The conversation pivots off of a recent essay by Hunter at Evolution News, “RNA World: Repeated Downfalls, Repeated Resurrections.” For more on the challenges of creating the first self-reproducing biological entity, see Eric Anderson’s Chapter 3 Read More ›