ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast

science and religion

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How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature

Is the universe meaningful or meaningless? Purposeful or pointless? On this ID The Future, enjoy the second half of an interview with Dr. Jonathan Witt about the evidence of purpose and meaning built into the universe. In the second half of a conversation, Dr. Witt describes four characteristics common in works of human genius and shows that these same hallmarks are also found in the natural world. Don't miss the first half of the interview, available in a previous episode. Read More ›
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A Cosmos Charged With Meaning and Purpose

Nearly 30 years ago, physicist Steven Weinberg wrote that “[t]he more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” But is our universe really just a meaningless accident? Or can we detect true genius by studying its workings? On this ID The Future, we are pleased to share the first half of an interview with Dr. Jonathan Witt about the central questions of his 2006 book A Meaningful World, co-written with Benjamin Wiker. Witt explains that the more we learn about the universe, the more it seems laden with meaning. This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation. Read More ›
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William Whewell: Statesman of Science

Are there natural limits to biological change? Is the evidence for design in nature well-founded? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid concludes his conversation with historian of science Michael Keas about Christianity's influence on the development of modern scientific inquiry. Keas also discusses the legacy of pioneering philosopher of science William Whewell, contrasting Whewell's perspective of the evidence for design with his contemporary Charles Darwin. This is Part 2 of a two-part conversation. Read More ›
Famous astronomical clock Orloj in Prague

When Natural and Super-Natural Explanations Work Hand in Hand

Is there room in science for both natural and super-natural explanations? Or does science only advance by excluding arguments that go outside purely naturalistic causes? On this episode of ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid begins a two-part conversation with historian of science Michael Keas on how Christianity cultivated science both with and without methodological naturalism. This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation. Read More ›
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The Miracle of Man: Reflections on The Westminster Conference

Is mankind an error-prone accident of nature or a masterpiece of engineering and intention? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid invites physicist Brian Miller to discuss highlights of the 2023 Westminster Conference on Science & Faith. If you didn't get to attend this year's event in person or via live-stream, Dr. Miller's got you covered! The theme was The Miracle of Man, and speakers explored the uniqueness of human beings in the fields of physiology, biology, paleontology, and genetics, as well as theology and philosophy. Dr. Miller reviews his own talk on the intelligent design of human vision. He also recaps other highlights of the event, including talks from Michael Denton on the fitness of the planet for human life, Michael Egnor on the experimental evidence showing our minds are different than our brains, and more. He concludes by reminding us of the benefits of in-person events. "The presentations spark ideas and present new evidence," says Miller. "Then people will take that and talk about it over dinner, over lunch, or over coffee. And it's just a beautiful time to make new connections." Read More ›
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Berlinski: Men Are Not About to Become Like Gods

Are humans progressing morally as well as materially? What does it mean to be human in the cosmos? On this ID The Future, we bring you the second half of a stimulating conversation between Dr. David Berlinski and host Eric Metaxas on the subject of Berlinski's recent book Human Nature. In Human Nature, Berlinski argues that the utopian view that humans are progressing toward evolutionary and technological perfection is wishful thinking. Men are not about to become like gods. "I'm a strong believer in original sin," quips Berlinski in his discussion with Metaxas. In other words, he believes not only that humans are fundamentally distinct from the rest of the biological world, but also that humans are prone to ignorance and depravity as well as wisdom and nobility. During the second half of their discussion, Berlinski and Metaxas compare and contrast the ideas of thinkers like psychologist Steven Pinker, author Christopher Hitchens, and physicist Steven Weinberg. The pair also spar gracefully over the implications of human uniqueness. Berlinski, though candid and self-critical, is unwilling to be pigeonholed. Metaxas, drawing his own conclusions about the role of mind in the universe, challenges Berlinski into moments of clarity with his usual charm. The result is an honest, probing, and wide-ranging conversation about the nature of science and the human condition. This is Part 2 of a two-part interview. Read More ›
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Design or Chance? Casey Luskin on The Andrew Klavan Show

On this ID The Future, we're pleased to share Daily Wire host Andrew Klavan's recent interview with Dr. Casey Luskin. Klavan loves science, but he smells a rat when famous scientists like Richard Dawkins use their displaced authority to make proclamations about science's relationship with religion. So after reading Luskin's recent Daily Wire article about progressives and their long history of banning intelligent design from the classroom, Klavan invited Luskin on his show to help his viewers better understand the theory of intelligent design and the reality of the evolutionary paradigm. Luskin starts with the meanings of evolution and the questions that guide intelligent design researchers. He cites plenty of examples of design from biology and cosmology. Klavan then asks how badly people get censored for considering design perspectives in their work. Luskin explains, using the case of physicist Eric Hedin and his treatment at Ball State University as an example. Luskin rounds out the conversation by explaining how intelligent design uses the scientific method to detect the hallmarks of design in both living systems and the universe at large. "Science never gives us, under any conditions, absolute certainty," Luskin notes. "What it can allow us to do, though, is we can use the methods of historical sciences to infer the best explanation for a given situation given what we know about how the world works." Read More ›

Robert Shedinger: Darwin’s Sacred Cause is “Historical Fiction”

On today’s ID the Future, science-and-religion scholar Robert Shedinger makes the case that a well-known biography of Charles Darwin, Darwin’s Sacred Cause, is deeply misleading. Specifically, the book by Adrian Desmond and James Moore holds that Darwin was significantly motivated in his scientific work by abolitionist sentiments; and Shedinger says, not so fast.  He had spent considerable time reading Darwin’s correspondence and had seen no evidence of this thesis, so he reread Darwin’s Sacred Cause, this time tracking down all the key citations the book offered as evidence, and a pattern soon emerged. The sources the authors cite didn’t actually support their thesis. Some were totally irrelevant. Some were cited completely out of context. In other cases, the authors gave the impression that Darwin said something when the comment they attributed to him was stitched together from multiple correspondences and the constituent comments were often about something else altogether. Shedinger says he realized that this biography that looked to be so well documented amounted to “historical fiction.” The effect of the biography is to misrepresent Darwin in such a way as to make those who reject Darwinism appear to be opposing a saintly anti-abolitionist. While Darwin did have anti-slavery sentiments, it didn’t drive his science and he himself was anything but free from racism. In fact, his case for human evolution partly rested on deeply demeaning racist attitudes toward indigenous peoples. For more on this, see historian Richard Weikart’s book Darwinian Racism. Also in this episode, Shedinger tells host Michael Keas about how he went from a scholar fully persuaded of Darwinian theory to a skeptic of modern evolutionary theory and attracted to the theory of intelligent design. Shedinger lays out his case against Darwinism in his recent book The Mystery of Evolutionary Mechanisms.

Casey Luskin Reviews Three Views on Christianity and Science

On today’s ID the Future, host Tom Gilson and guest Casey Luskin discuss a new book Luskin recently reviewed at Evolution News, Three Views on Christianity and Science. Luskin, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, summarizes the three views covered in the book: the independence view presented by Michael Ruse, the dialogue view presented by Alister McGrath, and the constrained integration view presented by Bruce Gordon. Luskin critiques the first two and argues that the dialogue view, in practice, quickly devolves into a monologue where religion is supposed to sit down and shut up the moment there is a point of difference between religion and consensus science. He says this is doubly problematic because (a) scientists are fallible and the scientific consensus changes; it’s not an infallible guide; and (b) key founders of modern science were inspired by a genuine cross-fertilization between scientific and theological reflection as opposed to a faux dialogue where all the influence moves only in one direction, from scientific consensus to religion. Luskin further points out that theistic evolutionists, such as those involved with the BioLogos group, promote the dialogue view but tend to quickly cede ground when evolutionary materialists muscle their way into an area previously claimed by a religious explanation. Luskin gives the example of theistic evolutionist and BioLogos founder Francis Collins pointing to universal human morality as something best explained not but by blind evolution but by the idea of humans made in the image of God. Luskin adds that this explanation apparently even played a role in bringing Collins to belief in God. In contrast, evolutionary psychology insists on explaining human personality in purely materialistic evolutionary terms, and as it has expanded its influence in recent years, BioLogos has tended to steer away from this very argument that helped bring their founder to belief in God. A better approach, Luskin argues, is the third one in the book, the constrained integration view advocated by CSC senior fellow Bruce Gordon.

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An old man shakes hands with an opponent in a game of chess, he lost and acknowledges it.

Alfred Russel Wallace and His Friendly Battle with Darwin

On this ID the Future, science historian Michael Flannery continues discussing his newly updated Intelligent Evolution: How Alfred Russel Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwin. Wallace was co-founder with Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution by random variation and natural selection, but unlike Darwin he saw teleology or purpose as essential to life’s history, and a teleological view as essential to the life sciences. According to Flannery, Wallace’s views on the nature of the cell, the special attributes of humans, the irreducible nature of life, and the fine tuning of the universe hold up well today. He and Darwin disagreed on much of this, yet they maintained mutual respect. In this, Flannery says, the two are a great model for scientists who disagree today.