On today’s ID the Future, design theorist Casey Luskin, an editor of The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, and science historian Adam Shapiro, co-author of Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction, debate the meaning and prospects of intelligent design. Here in this first half of their conversation with host Justin Brierley of the Unbelievable? podcast, the focus is on how the term intelligent design is used, or misused, and its relationship to theological issues. The interview is used by permission of Justin Brierley.
On today’s ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards offers advices on engaging with evolutionists over the issues of origins, evolution, and intelligent design. In his conversation with host Casey Luskin, he says that if someone tells you he’s a theistic evolutionist, first find out what he means by theism and evolution. The latter term, in particular, can have widely varying meanings, and the average lay persons who see themselves as theistic evolutionists likely see God as actively and creatively working in the history of life to steer evolutionary outcomes, including the origin of humanity. What they may not realize is that such a view takes them well outside the bounds of what academic theistic evolutionists generally mean by the term evolution, particularly those theistic evolutionists who publicly defend evolutionary theory generally. Richards says that these academics hold to an internally incoherent view in many cases, and he encourages intelligent design proponents to surface that incoherence whenever the opportunity arises. For those who are willing to consider the evidence for intelligent design, Richards lists what he sees as the most rhetorically effective lines of evidence to present to people. The occasion for the conversation is Richards’ two chapters in the recently released Harvest House anthology, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith.
This ID the Future brings in protein scientist Douglas Axe to discuss his contribution to a new book, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith. Axe and host Casey Luskin discuss Axe’s thinking on the design intuition, the evidence that it’s triggered almost universally in small children when they observe things like dragonflies or fresh-baked cookies, and why he’s convinced that this intuition is a rational one rooted in our true sense of what sorts of things require know-how for their creation. For those who retort “Science!,” Axe has some of that to offer as well. As he tells Luskin, he led an experiment at a lab in Cambridge, England, on the abilities and limits of an enzyme to evolve. The research findings on this protein, beta-lactamase, were published in a prestigious, peer-reviewed research journal, and showed that while the enzyme does mutate, the odds of it randomly mutating to a fully novel function are so slim as to place such an event beyond the reach of chance, even if we give all the life forms that have ever existed on Earth a go at the challenge. The Petri dishes don’t lie. The numbers don’t lie. So why do so many academic biologists and other scholars resist the design implications of Axe’s research? For many it’s because they are theophobes, says Axe. He explains the term and, for evidence, points to a noted contemporary philosopher who frankly admits to being one.
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, Casey Luskin, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, discusses his Evolution News article about the recently deceased Steven Weinberg. On Weinberg’s view, one of science’s social functions is to undermine religion, which he sees as superstition. Luskin takes the opposite view and points to skilled and successful scientists he got to know in Africa. He says these scientists are convinced that the supernatural is real and would find Weinberg’s secular Western rejection of the supernatural as blinkered. Luskin and host Robert Crowther also discuss a hopeful trend among some atheists toward a more civil and respectful way of engaging intelligent design, even to the point of acknowledging that design theorists are making thoughtful, substantive arguments. Luskin summarizes six lines of evidence for design, and encourages people to escape the internet atheist bubble and read the best ID scholars firsthand rather than depending on strawman summaries of those arguments.
On this ID the Future, host Stephen Meyer concludes his three-part conversation with Oxford mathematician and philosopher John Lennox on Lennox’s new film Against the Tide: Finding God in an Age of Science. Science depends on word, on logos, says Lennox, meaning the rational intelligibility of the universe. Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, wished to disprove the need for God, but the language of DNA has turned out to be a signpost to an intelligence, Lennox comments, a logos, behind nature. Scientists still claim authority to pronounce against theism, but according to Lennox, such pronouncements come not from science but from a dogma known as scientism. Far from being “science vs. God,” it’s really a collision of competing worldviews. All this and more will be covered in the beautifully filmed Against the Tide, also starring Hollywood actor Kevin Sorbo, in theaters November 19. Go to https://againstthetide.movie/ to learn more and purchase tickets.
On this ID the Future, Stephen Meyer and Oxford University mathematician and thinker John Lennox begin a three-part conversation about Lennox’s upcoming documentary, Against the Tide: Finding God in an Age of Science. As Lennox explains, he grew up as the child of a uniquely non-sectarian Christian family in Northern Ireland, with parents who encouraged him to question broadly, read widely, and respect every person as a creature made in the image of God. He tells of his encounters with C. S. Lewis at Cambridge University, relates a humorous story in which atheist Peter Atkins gave him the title of one of his books, and describes his front-row seat as he watched the scientific atheism of the 1960s transform into the aggressive and contemptuous New Atheism of more recent years — a story that includes Lennox’s own debate with Richard Dawkins.
On this episode of ID the Future, hear the second half of Discovery Institute’s John West’s talk given at the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science and Faith, on how Darwinism has corroded Western culture. In this portion he examines the morally poisoning effects of Darwinism on marriage, sexual ethics, and religion, such that virtually anything can be defended as OK, and no particular culture’s ethic is to be preferred over another. Humankind’s spiritual purpose has likewise been eroded. Yet West closes with hope: science in our generation is discovering more and more signs of intelligent design and purpose in nature, and young researchers are learning that materialism shouldn’t be the foregone conclusion of contemporary science.
On this episode of ID the Future, Michael Egnor interviews philosopher Edward Feser about Feser’s new book Aristotle’s Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science. Scientists can get along without Aristotle’s metaphysics, says Feser, but science can’t; in fact science presupposes Aristotle. Mechanistic views of nature have tried to make nature nothing but particles interacting, but a full understanding of nature requires that we include Aristotelian purpose, or teleology, and essences as well. Ultimately, Feser suggests, this leads us toward evidence for a divine mind behind it all.
On this episode of ID the Future, Joshua Youngkin gives his review of Thomas Nagel’s new book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. Nagel, a distinguished philosopher at NYU and an atheist, suggests that our world isn’t as scientifically knowable as many perceive it to be. Tune in as Youngkin discusses Nagel’s thoughts on why scientific materialism offers only a partial picture of the world.Read More ›