On this episode of ID the Future, host Eric Anderson talks with scientist and fellow engineer Rob Stadler about a recent origin-of-life paper and how the authors paint themselves into a corner. The context for the paper is this: Decades of research have undermined the three great hopes for a purely naturalistic origin of life — scenarios starting with some sort of metabolism, scenarios starting with some kind of membrane, and scenarios starting with RNA. All three are necessary for cellular life; none seems able to have come ahead of the others. So now some recent work described in an article in New Scientist suggests it all happened at once in a sort of “chemical big bang.” It’s the return of an old idea long ago dismissed as too improbable. Is this “hopeful monster” plausible after all? As Anderson and Stadler show, there are numerous hidden assumptions and imaginary entities lurking in the proposal, which when surfaced, call its soundness into question.
On this episode of ID the Future, Robert Crowther interviews Eric Holloway, Associate Fellow at the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, about Holloway’s recent article answering a common criticism of intelligent design theory. The criticism centers on William Dembski’s explanatory filter for detecting design, especially Dembski’s crucial innovation, which was to include specification as the filter’s final step. Critics say specification is an ad hoc addition, conjured up by ID theorists for no good reason except to prop up ID theory. No one else uses it, they say. They’re wrong, says Holloway. Dembski accurately formalized a filter we use so often that we’re like fish in the sea. We are unaware of it because it’s ubiquitous. To prove his point, Holloway comes armed with powerful examples from information theory, communication theory, and cryptography.
On this episode of ID the Future, physician Howard Glicksman explains the hugely complex blood flow systems required to keep us clear-headed and alive even while doing everything from gymnastics to simply getting up in the morning. There are various methods the heart and blood vessels use to keep the body properly supplied. It’s also about hormones and nervous-system signaling. Does Darwinism provide a satisfactory explanation for such an intricately coordinated system? Dr. Glicksman argues that it does not, and that a far better explanation is intelligent design.
On this episode of ID the Future, we bring you the second half of John West's documentary The Magician's Twin: C. S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism. Lewis wrote with great concern about scientism’s totalitarian potential, but never more prophetically than in That Hideous Strength, published 75 years ago this month, in which scientists forget the limits of their discipline, cast off ethical restraints, and assume control of public policy. According to Lewis, science steps dangerously outside its bounds when it assumes it has all knowledge, especially moral knowledge.
On this episode of ID the Future, we recognize the 75th anniversary this month of the publication of C. S. Lewis's prophetic science fiction novel That Hideous Strength, with the first slightly abridged part of John West's documentary The Magician's Twin: C. S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism. Several scholars were interviewed for the film, including Jay Richards, Angus Menuge, Victor Reppert, John West, and Michael Aeschliman. Scientism is the idea that science is the ultimate path to knowledge and wisdom -- the only sure path -- and that the spiritual realm is a mirage. Lewis never criticized science, only scientism, the abuse of science that bears an unexpected twinship with magic.
Dr. Howard Glicksman, author of an extended series at Evolution News on “The Designed Body,” is interviewed today by Ray Bohlin on glucose, glycogen, glucogon, insulin — all part of an extended multi-step series essential for life — an irreducibly complex series. “If students only knew how life worked,” says Dr. Glicksman,” … they’d quickly come to realize that when it comes to figuring out where it all came from, common sense tells us it was intelligent design, and it’s the Darwinists who are suffering from an illusion.”
On this episode of ID the Future, host Eric Anderson speaks again with medical engineer Rob Stadler, co-author with molecular biologist Change Laura Tan of the new book Stairway to Life: An Origin of Life Reality Check. Here in Part 2 of their conversation, Stadler says that following the Miller-Urey experiments in the mid-twentieth century, researchers were optimistic that a purely naturalistic explanation for the origin of the first life was just around the corner, but since then the field has run into one obstacle after another. The challenge to mindless origin-of-life scenarios is now far greater than it was 60-70 years ago. And yet many in the field still cling to the belief that life must have arisen by some set of purely blind, material forces, no intelligence allowed. Why? Stadler says it’s the “materialism of the gaps,” a dogmatic mindset undeterred by the growing tide of evidence in the opposite direction.
On this episode of ID the Future, guest host Eric Anderson speaks with medical engineer Rob Stadler, co-author with molecular biologist Change Laura Tan of the new book Stairway to Life: An Origin of Life Reality Check. Stadler explains that it’s a “reality check” because many of the “stairway steps” that have to be mounted for chemistry to become biology must, very inconveniently, happen all at once. DNA can’t survive without repair enzymes, for example, but those enzymes are able to exist because they’re coded in DNA. The reality check is needed, says Stadler, because the media eagerly touts every oversold “advance” in origin-of-life research, ignore the mounting difficulties for an unguided origin of life posed by various fresh discoveries, and parrot the question-begging claim that origins scientists must consider only naturalistic explanations.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, we bring you a conversation between Ray Bohlin and Howard Glicksman on the body’s wondrous control systems for using water. Dr. Glicksman is a medical doctor and author of an extended series of posts at Evolution News & Science Today, "The Designed Body."
On this episode of ID the Future, host Jay Richards concludes his multi-episode conversation with science historian Michael Keas about the 2020 National Geographic series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. The two discuss a schizophrenia at the heart of the series--dour atheistic materialism one moment and gauzy, feel-good pantheism the next. Richards and Keas agree that if there’s one good thing to come of the series’ final episode,it’s that it brings the pantheistic religious mythology of the Cosmos franchise into the open. Everything comes together in a message that includes a creation myth, a story of sin (ecological sin), a salvation story, and even resurrection and ascension. Keas, author of Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion, emphasizes that while the new Cosmos series is supposed to be all about the “science,” it’s remarkably free of scientific evidence.