On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson continues his discussion with host Andrew McDiarmid about Nelson’s recent visit to the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin. Nelson explains how Darwin was right — partly. Darwin urged biologists to consider the history of a plant or animal, an idea that was much neglected in the work of his predecessors. As Darwin’s experience on the Galapagos showed, and as Nelson’s experience there echoed, history must be part of our explanation for how species and populations have become the way they are today. At the same time, there are demonstrated limits to evolutionary change, Nelson argues, and so natural history alone cannot be the entire explanation for the origin of biological form.
In this episode of ID the Future from the vault, geneticist and biochemist Michael Denton reads the beautiful introduction to his book, The Wonder of Water. He begins at Yosemite’s Bridalveil Fall and explores how water is curiously fine-tuned for life. Indeed, thanks to a unique cluster of properties, water is able to fulfill many roles essential to our living planet. It’s thanks to some of those properties that rivers and streams can leech and carry minerals from rock to various places they’re needed in the biosphere. Water’s unusual properties also make it an ideal medium for our circulatory system. There it serves not only to transfer nutrients and oxygen but also expel carbon dioxide, excess body heat, and waste products—again, thanks to a unique cluster of properties. Denton’s book can be purchased here.
On this episode of ID the Future, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and philosopher of biology Paul Nelson tells about his surprise 60th birthday gift from his wife, a trip to the “scientific Mecca,” the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin, whose own birthday lands today, devoted a big portion of his notes and field books from his Beagle voyage to these amazing islands, where species can be found that exist nowhere else on earth, and where from Darwin’s day until now, the creatures have no fear of humans. These unusual creatures have history, Nelson reminds us, and that history needs explaining. This is the first of three podcasts; there will be more to come.
On this episode of ID the Future, Jonathan Witt caught up with Darwin’s Black Box author and biochemist Michael Behe at the 2020 Dallas Science and Faith conference, where the two discuss an idea that many wish would just go away, but hasn't. Charles Darwin himself told us how his evolutionary theory could be overturned: identify a biological system that couldn’t possibly have evolved by "numerous success successive slight modifications." It’s to Darwin’s credit that he put his theory in “empirical harm’s way,” to quote philosopher Del Ratzsch, but as Witt and Behe note, Darwin also cleverly placed the burden of proof on his opponents, an arguably dubious maneuver given that his proposed evolutionary mechanism has never once been observed to generate a fundamentally new biological form or molecular machine. Still, Behe has taken up the challenge. Listen in as he discusses how his “irreducible complexity” arguments against Darwinism have fared, and for a teaser about an upcoming anthology where Behe directly engages his critics.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, we listen in on a a few minutes from a lecture given by CSC Senior Fellow Michael Denton. We’ve all heard of the importance of photosynthesis as an oxygen creating process. In this segment, Denton explains the “remarkable set of coincidences” which makes the creation of oxygen through photosynthesis possible. From the specific energy of visible light to the unique properties of water, this degree of improbability screams DESIGN.
On this episode of ID the Future, Robert Marks continues his conversation with Walter Bradley, co-author (with Charles Thaxton and Roger Olsen) of the groundbreaking 1984 work The Mystery of Life’s Origin. A revised and expanded edition of the book has just been released with new contributions from James Tour, Guillermo Gonzalez, Stephen Meyer, and others, but today Bradley and Marks discuss the book’s first release, including the cultural context that made finding a non-religious publisher an uphill battle, and discussion of some of the endorsements and early reviews, including one drive-by and four positive responses from distinguished scientists Robert Jastrow, Dean Kenyon, Robert Shapiro, and Fritz Schaefer. Bradley and Marks also discuss some scholars who more recently have testified to how the book, and Bradley, dramatically influenced their intellectual careers.
On this episode of ID the Future, guest host Jonathan Witt sits down with molecular biologist Douglas Axe at the recent Dallas Science and Faith Conference. Axe, author of Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed, had his research on protein folds published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, work showing that random mutations are not up to the task of building fundamentally new protein folds from old, a finding that poses a major challenge to modern evolutionary theory. After all, if evolution can’t build something as basic as a new protein fold, how could it build whole new organs and body plans in the history of life? But Witt presents Axe with an objection: Axe couldn’t possibly have tested more than the tiniest fraction of a fraction of all the possible amino acid combinations for the protein he studied, so how can we trust his findings? Tune in to hear Axe’s explanation, and to learn about other lines of evidence confirming his research.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Brian Miller, CSC Research Coordinator, interviews Paul Nelson, CSC Senior Fellow and philosopher of science, on universal common ancestry. Listen in as Nelson describes how common descent predicts one – and only one – genetic code. Yet, this is not what we find.
On this episode of ID the Future, Robert J. Marks interviews Walter Bradley, co-author of the seminal 1984 ID book The Mystery of Life’s Origin, now being released in a revised and expanded edition with updates from multiple contributors discussing the progress (or lack of it) in origins science in the 35 years since the book’s original publication. In this first of two podcasts, Bradley discusses the history of the attempts to explain life’s origin naturalistically, and how the three authors of the 1984 book came together to shake up the world of origin-of-life science.
On this ID the Future we continue a series of messages from a November 2019 symposium in Berkeley, California, presented in honor of the late Phillip Johnson, who played a crucial role in the flowering of the Intelligent Design movement. On today’s episode Lehigh University biology professor Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box, The Edge of Evolution, and Darwin Devolves, tells about his earliest memories of Phillip Johnson and speaks on the long history of science: how ancient science pointed to purposeful design in life, and how current science is coming full circle, so that the conclusion of design is as strong or stronger than it's ever been.