On today’s ID the Future, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor hosts systems engineer Steve Laufmann, author with physician Howard Glicksman of the new book Your Designed Body. Egnor makes the surprising confession that his medical library is full of engineering texts because at some point he discovered that engineering texts, and engineering principles, often shed more light on human physiology than did his physiology books. Egnor, then, is extraordinarily well prepared to interview Laufmann about the amazing engineering of the human body. Tune in for Part 1, and stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3.
On today’s ID the Future Your Designed Body author and physician Howard Glicksman takes a deep dive with Philosophy for the People podcast host Pat Flynn into Glicksman’s new book, co-authored with systems engineer Steve Laufmann. As Glicksman puts it, he and Laufmann look not just at how the human body looks but at what it actually takes for it to work and not die, and what this implies for evolutionary theory. Begin by piling up the layers of complexity in the human body—the layer upon layer of complex interdependent systems. Then ask hard questions about whether any blind and gradual evolutionary process could have kept our evolutionary ancestors alive at every generational stage as all this was gradually engineered by countless random mutations over millions of generations, beginning with the first single-celled organisms billions of years ago. Once one faces those hard questions without retreating to vague just-so stories about nature needing vision (or hearing or any number of other bodily functions) and therefore magically evolving it, at that point Darwinism’s story of gradual and blind evolution collapses. The explanation that is left standing, according to Glicksman, Laufmann, and Your Designed Body: intelligent design. This episode is posted her with the generous permission of Pat Flynn and the Philosophy for the People podcast.
On this ID the Future, Your Designed Body author and physician Howard Glicksman again sits down with host and professor of neurosurgery Michael Egnor to further explore Glicksman’s new book, co-authored with engineer Steve Laufmann. Here Glicksman gives a quick flyover of what they explore in fascinating depth in the book, namely the irreducible complexity of that extraordinary systems of systems that is the human respiratory system. As Glicksman explains, there are individual systems that are irreducibly complex, and these are joined together into a higher-level system of systems that is also irreducibly complex, marked by causal circularities and coherent interdependencies at every turn. Without all of it guided by various highly precise control mechanisms, no life. Darwinian gradualism is powerless to construct such wonders, Glicksman and Laufmann argue. The better explanation, they suggest, is the ingenious engineering of an intelligent designer. Get your copy of the book here.
On today’s ID the Future, biochemist and metabolic nutritionist Emily Reeves tells the story of the systems biology revolution, why it is intelligent-design friendly, and why it is overturning Darwinian reductionism. This presentation was taped at the 2022 Westminster Conference on Science and Faith in the greater Philadelphia area, which was jointly sponsored by Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and Westminster Theological Seminary.
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.
Today’s ID the Future brings listeners physicist and engineer Brian Miller’s recent lecture at the Dallas Conference on Science and Faith, “The Surprising Relevance of Engineering in Biology.” Miller rebuts several popular arguments for evolution based on claims of poor design in living systems, everything from the “backward wiring” of the vertebrate eye to whales, wrists, ankles, and “junk DNA.” But the main emphasis of this discussion is the exciting sea change in biology in which numerous breakthroughs are occurring by scientists who are treating living systems and subsystems as if they are optimally engineered systems. Some in this movement reject intelligent design for ideological reasons. Others embrace it. But all systems biologists treat these systems as if they are masterfully engineered systems, and that perspective is rapidly accelerating progress in experimental biology. At the forefront of this work is the Conference on Engineering in Living Systems (CELS). Miller provides an exciting sneak peek at some of the cutting edge research from members of this group.