Today’s ID the Future spotlights a new free online ID book from South Africa, Science and Faith in Dialogue, with contributions from Stephen Meyer, Hugh Ross, Guillermo Gonzalez, James Tour, Fazale Rana, Marcos Eberlin, and others. Geologist Casey Luskin joins host Eric Anderson to tell how the new peer-reviewed book came together and to describe the chapter he contributed, “Evolutionary Models of Palaeoanthropology, Genetics, and Psychology Fail to Account for Human Origins: A Review.” Luskin did his PhD in South Africa and had many opportunities to study various hominid fossils. Here he explains why he is convinced that intelligent design far better explains the fossil evidence than does Darwinian evolution.
December 27, 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Pasteur, the French scientist whose scientific breakthroughs have saved millions of lives, and whose work on microbes sounded the death knell of the idea of spontaneous generation. On this episode of ID the Future, biologist Ann Gauger walks listeners through the triumphs, flaws, and tragedies in the life of this extraordinary individual. In the nineteenth century, it was widely believed that the spontaneous generation of life from non-life was common and unremarkable, since it was thought that spontaneous generation of worms, mold, and other life forms occurred all the time in rotting meat and dirty rags. Pasteur constructed an experiment demonstrating that these “spontaneously” arising worms and such in fact sprang from microorganisms contained in the dust of the air. In this way Pasteur lent decisive support to the view summarized in the Latin phrase, “Omne vivum ex vivo”—all life is from life. This is sometimes referred to as the law of biogenesis and holds that organisms do not spontaneously arise in nature from non-life. Thanks in no small part to Pasteur’s work in this area, the origin of the first life on Earth came to be seen as a powerful mystery for scientists committed to the chance origin of the first life, a mystery deepened by discoveries in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries showing that even the simplest single-celled life is vastly more sophisticated than even our most advanced manmade factories. There is so much more to the fascinating life and work of Louis Pasteur, from his pioneering and life-saving work on vaccines and the special relationship he had with his wife to his Christian faith that bore him up through the death of three of his children. Tune in to learn more about this complex man of science and faith.
On this ID the Future, host Eric Anderson sits down with biologist and intelligent design proponent Ann Gauger to hear her story of how she got into the intelligent design movement and how the evidence for design has shaped her life. It begins with a lonely girl on a Kansas military base who at one point loses her Christian faith but also discovers the wonders of nature, and friendship, when she is given a horse and begins taking it for long rides in the countryside. Her intellectual journey takes her to MIT, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Washington, and eventually into the Catholic church, where she explores becoming a nun until a conversation with echoes from the Sound of Music leads her in a different direction. Tune into hear the first part of Gauger’s moving story, and come back for the second half of her conversation with host Eric Anderson. Today’s episode is the first in an occasional series, Why It Matters, spotlighting leading intelligent design researchers and hearing from them about how they got into intelligent design, why they believe ID matters to our culture, and why it matters to them personally.
On today’s ID the Future geologist Casey Luskin explains how Earth contains many intricate geological processes required for life. He argues that, taken together, this points to intelligent design rather than dumb luck. This episode is the first half of a talk Dr. Luskin presented at the 2022 Dallas Conference on Science and Faith. Stay tuned for Pt. 2 and a Q&A with his original audience.
On today’s ID the Future, host John West sits down with physicist and engineer Brian Miller to pitch him questions submitted at the Dallas Conference on Science and Faith. Is the Bible against the pursuit of knowledge about the natural world, or for it? Are microevolutionary changes in various organisms consistently driven by random mutations and natural selection, or instead, are some made possible by pre-programming in the organism, programming that gives the organism a built-in flexibility to adapt to its environment, within limits? If living systems were deliberately engineered, how good of an engineer was the engineer behind living systems? And if so, what are the implications for the evolution/design debate? Also, what do engineering insights regarding optimization processes tell us about unguided evolution’s ability (or inability) to generate macroevolutionary change? Tune in as Miller answers these and other questions.
On this ID the Future intelligent design pioneer William Dembski unpacks one of his chapters in The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions about Life and the Cosmos, which Dembski co-edited with Joseph Holden and episode host Casey Luskin. The chapter, “Why Intelligent Design Matters,” focuses on ID’s cultural implications. Dembski notes that atheists use mindless evolution to provide a God-free explanation for life and the universe. Intelligent design checks that move, showing that blind material processes couldn’t have created many things in nature, much less the cosmos itself. Intelligent design is the better explanation. What about the idea that an alien created, say, the first life on Earth (intelligent design without the need for God)? Dembski says that idea–one that some atheists have suggested as a fallback explanation—is a poor explanatory substitute for an immaterial intelligent designer.
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.
On today’s ID the Future, design theorist Casey Luskin, an editor of The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, and science historian Adam Shapiro, co-author of Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction, debate the meaning and prospects of intelligent design. Here in this first half of their conversation with host Justin Brierley of the Unbelievable? podcast, the focus is on how the term intelligent design is used, or misused, and its relationship to theological issues. The interview is used by permission of Justin Brierley.