On today’s ID the Future host Emily Reeves talks with geologist and intelligent design theorist Casey Luskin about his PhD. Luskin says his dissertation wasn’t focused on intelligent design at all; but the knowledge he gained and the methodology he employed well might provide him grist for ID-oriented work down the road. The wide-ranging conversation takes Luskin and Reeves from his geological work in Africa and the method known as uniformitarianism to plate tectonics, paleomagnetism, crustal recycling, and some books on how Earth appears fine-tuned for life. Luskin also tells about some astonishing beauty that lies hidden right under our feet, and how we can discover it for ourselves.
On this ID the Future, biochemist Michael Denton draws from his groundbreaking new book, The Miracle of the Cell, to explore a fine-tuning design argument centered on the periodic elements essential for life. Twenty elements—and water, too—appear to have been precisely fine-tuned in advance for highly specific biochemical roles. Without their precise properties, cellular and animal life would be impossible. “Words fail,” says Denton, to describe the “almost eerie sense” that someone very powerful knew in advance the roles and capacities required of various elements to carry out the astonishingly sophisticated activities that make cellular life possible. Denton says that this fine tuning provides an independent line of evidence that life is the result of intelligent design.
On this episode of ID the Future, biochemist and author Michael Denton tells host Eric Anderson more about his new book The Miracle of the Cell, and about his epiphany when he recognized the many remarkable ways that nature’s chemistry is fine-tuned for life. The focus in this conversation is on carbon chemistry and its “goldilocks zone” ability to form stable bonds but let loose of them when needed. Whereas biologists once wondered about a vitalist “life force” in the cell, Denton sees intelligence and foresight in the very design of carbon, its unique properties, and its “coincidental” relation to water. According to Denton, all of this, taken together, constitutes “one of nature’s most remarkable examples of nature’s fitness for life on earth.” Carbon’s suite of life-friendly features, he says, is foundational to the cell’s peerless ability to build sophisticated biological forms–everything from the smallest bacterium to the tallest tree, and you and me.