ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast

philosophy of science

Silhouette of the man standing against the Milky Way in the mountains with a flashlight in his hands. Nepal, Everest region, view of the mount Thamserku (6,608 m) from Thame village (3,750 m).

Thinking God’s Thoughts: Kepler and Cosmic Comprehensibility

On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid kicks off a three-episode discussion with Dr. Melissa Cain Travis about her recent book Thinking God's Thoughts: Johannes Kepler and the Miracle of Cosmic Comprehensibility. A fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, Dr. Travis serves as Affiliate Faculty at Colorado Christian University's Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics, where she teaches courses in the history and philosophy of science. In Part 1, learn why Kepler was instrumental in transforming classical astronomy into a true celestial physics. Like others before him, Kepler perceived a remarkable resonance between the rational order of the material world, mathematics, and the human mind. In response, he developed a three-part cosmic harmony of archetype, copy, and image to explain this unity. Travis unpacks his tripartite harmony for us. But that's not all. To give us a richer appreciation for Kepler's work, Travis also traces the intellectual pedigree of Kepler's ideas all the way back to the ancients, from pre-Socratic philosopher Pythagoras through the Early Christian era, the Middle Ages, and on through Kepler's own university years. It's a fascinating journey that shows how long humans have pondered the design of the universe and the uncanny connection between the natural world and the mathematics that lie at the heart of it. Kepler's revolutionary discoveries in natural philosophy and his unique insights into natural theology have inspired generations of scientists and philosophers. As we continue to discover new evidence of design in life and the universe, Travis argues that Kepler's work is as relevant today as ever. This is Part 1 of a 3-part discussion. Read More ›
Bruegel tower of babel
Vienna, Austria. 2019/10/23.

David Berlinski on His New Book, Science After Babel

On today’s ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid rings up Science After Babel author David Berlinski in Paris to discuss the philosopher’s latest book. Berlinski is at his cultivated best as the two discuss everything from the biblical Tower of Babel as a metaphor for modern materialistic science, to his friendship with the brilliant and colorful French intellectual Marcel Schützenberger, a world-class mathematician who was self-taught and, as we learn here, came within a hair’s breadth of being swept up in the Chinese Revolution. Berlinski also reflects on the seminal 1966 WISTAR symposium, which laid out some mathematical challenges to Darwinism, challenges that Berlinski says remain unanswered to this day. At the same time, Berlinski gives the devil—here Darwinism—its due. Tune in for this and more, and order your copy of Berlinski’s Science After Babel here.

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Behe Counters the Best Objections to Irreducible Complexity and ID, Pt 3

On today’s ID the Future biologist Michael Behe and Philosophy for the People host Pat Flynn conclude their conversation (posted by permission here) about some of the best objections to Behe’s central case for intelligent design. One objection Behe and Flynn tackle in this episode: the idea of evolution overcoming the irreducible-complexity hurdle through co-option. That is, maybe the precursors to what would become one of today’s molecular machines, such as the bacterial flagellum motor, co-opted simpler machines being used for other purposes, allowing evolution to build a bacterial flagellum motor one small step at a time over thousands or millions of generations, even though the completed bacterial flagellum ceases to function at all when just one of its many key parts is removed. Behe has illustrated the idea of irreducible complexity with a mechanical mousetrap. Take away just one of its several key parts and it ceases to function even a little bit as a mousetrap. Evolutionist Kenneth Miller counters by noting that parts of the mousetrap could have served other purposes, such as a paper weight or a tie clip. Listen in to hear Behe’s explanation as to why such imaginative reasoning is no help to the evolution of irreducibly complex biological wonders like the bacterial flagellum. At the end of the conversation, Flynn points listeners to a web page where he has gathered his several conversations with Behe over the years, including two that involved debates with pro-evolution guests. That page is here.  Flynn also calls attention to Behe’s four books, including his latest one, where he answers many objections posed by his critics, with many of the critiques appearing in high-level science journals. The book is A Mousetrap for Darwin. You can get it here and here in hardcover, paperback, or Kindle/eBook.

Behe Counters the Best Objections to Irreducible Complexity and ID, Pt 2

Today’s ID the Future continues A Mousetrap for Darwin author Michael Behe’s conversation with philosopher Pat Flynn, focused on some of the more substantive objections to Behe’s case for intelligent design in biology. In this segment the pair discuss the bacterial flagellum, the cilium, and the blood clotting cascade, and tackle critiques from Alvin Plantinga, Graham Oppy, Russell Doolittle, Kenneth Miller, and others. This interview is posted here by permission of Pat Flynn.

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ring, lord of the rings, hobbit

The Gollum Effect in Science, from Tycho Brahe to Today

On this ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid sits down with historian and philosopher of science Michael Keas to discuss a recent article at Times Higher Education, “My Precious! How Academia’s Gollums Guard Their Research Fields.” The article looks at how scientific progress is being impeded by a culture in which scientists jealously guard their research instead of sharing it. Keas says the problem seems to have gotten worse in recent years but isn’t a new one. He illustrates with the story of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Brahe, a sixteenth-century Danish astronomer, sat on his astronomical research for years, rather than sharing it with Johannes Kepler, his assistant. Kepler only got hold of it when Brahe died unexpectedly shortly after a banquet. The rumor began that perhaps Brahe had been poisoned to free up access to his research, data that eventually allowed Kepler to make his revolutionary breakthrough, his three laws of planetary motion that cinched the case for a sun-centered model of the universe. Keas goes on from there to explain what a later autopsy revealed about Brahe’s cause of death. Then he discusses some modern-day power plays involving evolutionists jealously guarding the Darwinian paradigm against those who would challenge it. Finally, Keas enumerates some of the virtues that can help further the progress of science, including generosity and a humble willingness to listen to criticism. For more surprising facts in the history of science, check out Keas’ recent book, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion.

God the Geometer

William Dembski on Scientism, Science, and Christian Faith

On today’s ID the Future, philosopher William Dembski and host Casey Luskin explore the relationship between science and faith. What is science? What is faith? How does Christianity define faith? Dembski explains that faith in the Judeo-Christian tradition is not the opposite of reason; at the same time, faith possesses a relational component—trust in a just, gracious, and reasonable God—that goes beyond mere assent to propositions. As for science, Dembski describes it as a careful search for truths about the natural world, including truths about key elements such as the birth of our fine-tuned universe and the origin of living things. Dembski says that he is convinced that scientific discoveries, unshackled from atheistic blinders, point strongly to intelligent design as the best explanation for life and the universe, a conclusion friendly to theism. As Dembski also notes, science was invented by theists, most of them Christians. They were motivated to search out the rational underpinnings of a cosmos because they believed it was fashioned by a rational designer. The occasion for the conversation is the recent Harvest House anthology, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions about Life and the Cosmos, which Dembski co-edited and contributed a pair of chapters to. Get your copy here.

emotivism emotion feelings

David Berlinski on Nazism, Darwinism, Emotivism, and Nature Rights

On today’s ID the Future, Human Nature author David Berlinski continues his conversation with host Wesley J. Smith. Here Berlinski reflects on the Jewish Holocaust, the destructive nihilism of the Nazis and the SS, and the shortcomings of Neo-Darwinism as an explanation for the diversity of life. Berlinski and Smith also discuss the increasingly widespread attacks on human exceptionalism, the growth of emotivism and why it’s a problem, and the bizarre nature rights movement. This is the second and concluding part of a conversation borrowed, with permission, from Wesley J. Smith’s Humanize podcast.

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Jay Richards on the Art of Answering Theistic Evolutionists

On today’s ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards offers advices on engaging with evolutionists over the issues of origins, evolution, and intelligent design. In his conversation with host Casey Luskin, he says that if someone tells you he’s a theistic evolutionist, first find out what he means by theism and evolution. The latter term, in particular, can have widely varying meanings, and the average lay persons who see themselves as theistic evolutionists likely see God as actively and creatively working in the history of life to steer evolutionary outcomes, including the origin of humanity. What they may not realize is that such a view takes them well outside the bounds of what academic theistic evolutionists generally mean by the term evolution, particularly those theistic evolutionists who publicly defend evolutionary theory generally. Richards says that these academics hold to an internally incoherent view in many cases, and he encourages intelligent design proponents to surface that incoherence whenever the opportunity arises. For those who are willing to consider the evidence for intelligent design, Richards lists what he sees as the most rhetorically effective lines of evidence to present to people. The occasion for the conversation is Richards’ two chapters in the recently released Harvest House anthology, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith.


Darwin’s Rhetorical Foundation of Sand: Theological Utilitarianism

On this ID the Future, biophysicist Cornelius Hunter explores Charles Darwin’s theological arguments for his theory of evolution. By theological, Hunter doesn’t mean that Darwin was arguing for theistic evolution. He means that Darwin received what is known as theological utilitarianism from the intellectual culture of his youth, which had strong deistic tendencies and expected everything in creation to be perfectly adapted, and he made a case against it, presenting mindless evolution as a better explanation for his observations of the biological world than theological utilitarianism. But one problem with this approach, according to Hunter, is that it assumed that theological utilitarianism is THE alternative to blind evolution. In fact, there are other alternatives, including an orthodox Judeo-Christian understanding of God’s relationship to his creation. In Hunter’s conversation with host Casey Luskin, he unpacks the differences in this other understanding of God and shows how Darwin’s tunnel-vision fixation on theological utilitarianism led him into multiple problems. Hunter further shows that this basic theological mistake of Darwin’s also crops up in later defenders of Darwinism. Hunter and Luskin end the discussion by making what may strike some as a surprising claim: Evolutionary theory, argued in the way that Darwin and many of his followers argue the case, is fundamentally theology-based, whereas the theory of intelligent design, which points to a design of life and the cosmos, is strictly science-based. The occasion for the interview is Hunter’s chapter on this subject in the recent anthology co-edited by Luskin, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions About Life and the Cosmos. Check it out.

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Casey Luskin on Successfully Defending Intelligent Design

On today’s ID the Future, Casey Luskin further discusses his recent essay, “What Is Intelligent Design and How Should We Defend It,” in the new book The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith. In his conversation with host Eric Anderson, Luskin rebuts the claims that intelligent design isn’t science (it is), doesn’t produce peer-reviewed research (it does), and is just a negative argument against evolution. He also offers advice on handling personal attacks and objections that you’ve never encountered before. To consider supporting the work of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and its brave scientists, click here for options.