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 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 Biola University physicist John Bloom discusses his chapter in the recent anthology The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, co-edited by host Casey Luskin. Bloom’s focus in his contributed chapter is the pivotal role of Christianity in the rise of science. Bloom, the academic director of Biola’s master’s program in science and religion, draws on his PhD training in physics but also on his PhD in ancient Near Eastern studies and his study of the history of science. Here he argues that while the Babylonians and Greeks contributed some discoveries and insights that would eventually play into the rise of science, science did not take off, was not born, until a cluster of crucial ideas drawn from the Judeo-Christian worldview infused Western thought. Only then did astrology become astronomy, alchemy chemistry, and the great adventure of scientific discovery begin in earnest. Tune in as Bloom and Luskin discuss the ancient predecessors of science and some of the key founders of science, including Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Bacon, along with crucial ideas drawn from the Judeo-Christian worldview that lit the match. And find your copy of The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith here.
On this ID the Future Stephen Meyer sits down with talk show host and bestselling novelist Andrew Klavan to discuss Meyer’s Return of the God Hypothesis. In this fast-paced conversation the pair touch on the Judeo-Christian roots of science, how fine tuning in physics and cosmology point to intelligent design, and how a great many scientists held out hope that the universe was eternal and therefore did not require a creator, but eventually threw in the towel as evidence mounted for a cosmic beginning. What about the multiverse hypothesis as an escape for atheists wishing to explain away the evidence for a cosmic designer? Meyer explains why it fails Occam’s Razor, and then he and Klavan discuss a noted atheist philosopher who frankly admits that he doesn’t want theism to be true and yet also admits that modern Darwinism has crashed and burned, and the evidence for design in various scientific fields is too powerful to be ignored. Today’s material is borrowed, with permission, from the Daily Wire and Episode 1050 of the Andrew Klavan Show. If you value the work of Stephen Meyer, our other design theorists, and the work of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, along with intelligent design resources such as ID the Future, please consider a gift this holiday season. The generous donations of our supporters and regular listeners make this good work possible. Your gift will translate into more and more people encountering—some for the very first time—the powerful evidence that the universe is not meaningless but instead is charged with evidence of design and purpose. Click here to view donation options.
On today’s ID the Future, astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez unpacks one of his chapters in the new book The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, edited by episode host Casey Luskin. Gonzalez and Luskin look at how our atmosphere as well as the sun, moon, distance from our host star, and position in the Milky Way are all curiously fine tuned not only for life but also for allowing Earth’s human inhabitants to observe and discover things near and far about nature. It’s as if a master designer made the Earth not merely for life but for curious and intelligent beings. What about the fact that Earth is such a tiny part of a vast universe, a “pale blue dot” as atheist astronomer Carl Sagan put it? Gonzalez fields that objection and uses diamonds to illustrate his point.
On today’s ID the Future, Privileged Planet co-author Jay W. Richards sits down with host Eric Anderson to discuss the gold rush of extrasolar planet discovery and how the Privileged Planet hypothesis has held up since 2004. Richards teases an anniversary edition of The Privileged Planet in the works, and he and Anderson discuss the statement that Carl Sagan is perhaps most famous for. Richards explains how science had already disproven the famous Sagan claim by the time the astronomer first uttered it to millions of viewers in his documentary series Cosmos.
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.