Today’s ID the Future spotlights systems biology and the role engineers can play in some leading-edge biology. According to guest Steve Laufmann, systems biology is taking the biological world by storm, an approach that treats biological systems as optimally or near-optimally engineered systems and, using that working assumption, seeks to better understand the system. Laufmann says this provides an opening for engineers to contribute, since they have a deep understanding of what it takes to make a complex system work, and what’s required to change one core aspect of an engineered system so that it continues to work with all of the other crucial parts of the system. Many biologists aren’t trained in this, Laufmann says, and most engineers aren’t Read More ›
On this ID the Future, physician Howard Glicksman and host Eric Anderson dive deeper into the body’s exquisite blood pressure control system, cueing off a new discovery described at Science Daily as uncovering “the location of natural blood-pressure barometers inside our bodies that have eluded scientists for more than 60 years.” According to the primary research paper at Circulation Research, “Renin-expressing cells are essential for survival, perfected throughout evolution to maintain blood pressure (BP) and fluid-electrolyte homeostasis.” How did evolution perfect the system? How did it originate the system? The paper never says. The mention of evolution appears to be little more than a de rigueur genuflection before the reigning paradigm of blind evolution. What is bearing actual fruit, according to Glicksman Read More ›
On today’s ID the Future, physicist Brian Miller touches on various challenges facing the origin of the first life. He and host Eric Anderson discuss Jeremy England’s origin-of-life ideas and the RNA World Hypothesis, and offer multiple reasons why they are convinced that various proposed mindless processes do not explain the origin of the first self-reproducing cell. Miller urges another approach, one that draws on engineering principles and embraces the evidence in even the simplest cell of highly intelligent engineering.
On today’s ID the Future we go behind the scenes at the recent Conference on Engineering in Living Systems, where host Jonathan Witt sat down with Dustin Van Hofwegen, a biology professor at Azusa Pacific University in California. The two discuss the private conference, which brought together biologists and engineers to study how engineering principles and a design perspective can and are being applied to biology — to plants and animals but also to Van Hofwegen’s area of focus, the Lilliputian realm of microbial biology. The two quickly move into a conversation about Van Hofwegen’s article in the Journal of Bacteriology, co-authored with Carolyn Hovde and Scott Minnich, based on research they did at the University of Idaho. As Van Read More ›
On today’s ID the Future, host Casey Luskin sits down with Dominic Halsmer, a Senior Professor of Engineering at Oral Roberts University, to discuss Halsmer’s recent book, Hacking the Cosmos: How Reverse Engineering Uncovers Organization, Ingenuity and the Care of a Maker. Dr. Halsmer draws on the engineering concept of affordances to explore how Earth and the universe show evidence of having been intelligently engineered to afford the possibility of life, and even for humans to discover evidence of a grand designer. Also in the conversation, the implications of biologists using reverse engineering to better understand biological systems, and of engineers studying clever designs in the biological realm to make engineering breakthroughs, a creative strategy known as biomimicry.