Intelligent Design The Future

Discovery Institute

The ID The Future (IDTF) podcast carries on Discovery Institute's mission of exploring the issues central to evolution and intelligent design. IDTF is a short podcast providing you with the most current news and views on evolution and ID. IDTF delivers brief interviews with key scientists and scholars developing the theory of ID, as well as insi

All Episodes

On this episode of ID the Future, historian and Cal State Stanislaus emeritus professor Richard Weikart speaks with host Michael Keas about the dark history of “scientific” racism. Racism, of course, long pre-dated Darwinism, but as Weikart argues, Darwin and Darwinian evolutionary theory greatly fueled racist thinking in the late nineteenth century and even down to the present. Weikart notes that Darwin himself was “intensely racist,” writing (The Descent of Man, 1871) that “at some time the civilized races of man will exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.” Darwin didn’t merely predict this; he thought it would advance human evolution. His cousin Francis Galton, a strong proponent of eugenics, agreed, as did Margaret Sanger a few years later. (Part 1 of a 2-part conversation.)

Sep 21

14 min

On this episode of ID the Future, Rice University synthetic organic chemist and inventor James M. Tour continues his conversation with Stephen C. Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture. In this third of three episodes featuring the two researchers, Tour draws from questions sent in by listeners of his own podcast. These include questions about the multiverse, quantum cosmology, the possibility — and theological implications — of life on other planets, the Big Bang, and what intelligent design thinking has to say about viruses and bacteria. The episode is excerpted from an extended interview from Tour’s excellent new video series The Science & Faith Podcast: Follow the Evidence. There you will find the full Meyer interview in video form as well as episodes featuring Henry F. Schaeffer III, John Lennox, and others.

Sep 18

21 min

On this episode of ID the Future, James M. Tour, Rice University professor of chemistry, materials science and nanoengineering, and a recipient of multiple scientific awards, continues a conversation with Signature in the Cell author Stephen C. Meyer about research into the origin of life. In this second of three parts, Tour insists that the scientific community remains clueless as to how life could have arisen naturalistically, and that all the public spin to the contrary is only so much storytelling. Even the most hopeful research shows that chemistry doesn’t move in life-friendly directions without investigator interference. Meyer goes further, arguing that these mindful interferences themselves exemplify the unique causal power of intelligent agency in action, suggesting that intelligent design is the only causally adequate explanation for the origin of the first life. The two also discuss Jeremy England, dissipation theorems, and Brian Miller’s work on the origin of life and the second law of thermodynamics. The episode is excerpted from a longer interview in Tour’s excellent new video series The Science & Faith Podcast: Follow the Evidence.

Sep 16

17 min

On this episode of ID the Future,  James M. Tour and Stephen C. Meyer begin a discussion about the hard problems facing researchers trying to discover how the first life could have come about naturalistically. Meyer is the director of the Center for Science and Culture; Tour is a world-renowned synthetic organic chemist with over 700 research publications and multiple major recognitions, including TheBestSchools.org naming him one of the 50 most influential scientists in the world today. Though he doesn’t sign on to ID theory, he says he’s sympathetic with the idea, and certainly not impressed with any naturalistic explanations for the origin of life. In this first of a three-part series, they explore problems ranging from the extreme improbabilities associated with protein assembly, to what precisely has gone missing in the nanosecond when a cell dies. The episode is excerpted from a longer interview Dr. Tour conducted with Meyer as part of his excellent new video series The Science & Faith Podcast: Follow the Evidence.

Sep 14

18 min

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, we hear from two contributors to the Crossway anthology, Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique, Molecular biologist Douglas Axe and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer explain how Carbon Valley Trumps Silicon Valley, and shouts intelligent design. They compare some of today’s technological marvels to living technology, and show how even “simple cells” far exceed even the best silicon valley has to offer.

Sep 11

12 min

On this episode of ID the Future, Rob Crowther speaks with David Klinghoffer, editor of Evolution News and Science Today, about contemporary “cancel culture” that’s attempting to push disfavored ideas and people out of the public square, and how the cancel-culture phenomenon struck intelligent design long before cancel culture was a household term. The term — and the movie title — more commonly used in ID circles has been “expelled.” It’s happened to Richard Sternberg, Günter Bechly, Douglas Axe, and other ID-friendly researchers, to the point that many ID-sympathizing scientists have to hide their beliefs to protect research funding and careers. Klinghoffer emphasizes that this isn’t just a debate off in the corner. Rather, ID is a “hard-core truth,” meaning it’s one of those on which our entire culture of freedom rests, for what else does it mean that we were “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights”?

Sep 9

16 min

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Jorn Dyerberg, the Danish biologist and co-discoverer of the role of omega-3 fatty acids in human health and nutrition, talks with Brian Miller about finding irreducible complexity in cells 40 years ago.

Sep 4

11 min

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.

Sep 2

26 min

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.

Aug 31

18 min

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.

Aug 28

21 min

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.

Aug 26

17 min

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.

Aug 24

16 min

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.”

Aug 21

21 min

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.

Aug 19

18 min

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.

Aug 17

18 min

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."

Aug 15

18 min

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.

Aug 12

19 min

On this episode of ID the Future, host Emily Kurlinski interviews “Mary,” a PhD biochemistry student who tells about her experiences at the annual Center for Science and Culture’s summer seminar program in Seattle, and how her relationships there developed into a community of friendship, professional connection, and support. What about the charge that ID is a “curiosity killer,” tempting scientists to answer every natural mystery with a shrug and a “God did it”? Mary says ID had just the opposite effect on her. Her pro-design perspective actually led her to choose a career in research, and the conviction that nature is a meaningful and purposeful affair makes her more eager and optimistic about uncovering deeper layers of order and elegance in the natural world than otherwise. Why does she use a pseudonym in the interview? You may be able to guess, but listen in to hear her explanation.

Aug 10

17 min

On this episode of ID the Future, Ray Bohlin interviews physician Howard Glicksman about hemoglobin and the body’s need to have enough of it to transport sufficient oxygen to the tissues. Finely-tuned and exquisitely engineered, this system gave our ancestors enough oxygen to not only stay alive but thrive in the face of hostile challenges. Dr. Glicksman is author of an extended series of posts at Evolution News & Science Today, “The Designed Body.”

Aug 7

18 min

This episode of ID the Future features Darwin Devolves author Michael Behe. The Lehigh University biologist and Discovery Institute senior fellow sat down to answer some of the most common questions put to him about evolution and intelligent design, and here we collect his answers to three of those questions: (1) What are some new examples of irreducibly complex systems? (2) What are some objections to ID from well-known critics? And (3) Why aren’t you convinced by theistic evolution arguments?

Aug 5

16 min

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid interviews Robert Alston, Ph.D electrical engineer working at Picatinny Arsenal and co-author of the new book Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell. The two discuss the origin of the Nutshell book and the origin and fine tuning of the universe. Though cosmic fine tuning is often referred to as “the fine tuning problem,” Alston says it’s really no problem at all — not unless you’re trying to shoehorn it into the box of philosophical materialism.

Aug 3

19 min

On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Ray Bohlin interviews physician Howard Glicksman about a common cause of death, cardio-pulmonary arrest, using the subject as a doorway to explore some intricate, interdependent control systems that sustains life. Dr. Glicksman is a medical doctor and author of an extended series of posts at Evolution News & Science Today, “The Designed Body.”

Jul 31

16 min

On this episode of ID the Future, host Robert Marks continues his conversation with Oxford University mathematician John Lennox about Lennox’s new book 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. Lennox reviews mythology and science fiction writing stretching from the ancient poet Hesiod to the novelist Dan Brown and MIT physicist Max Tegmark. He says that artificial intelligence (AI) predictions down through the ages are all heavily dependent on theological and philosophical presuppositions. He and Marks also discuss AI’s cousin, transhumanism, its surprising history, and its potentially very dark future, including the risk of what C.S. Lewis called “the abolition of man.”

Jul 29

22 min

On this episode of ID the Future, host Robert Marks interviews Oxford University mathematician John Lennox on Lennox’s new book 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. It’s a wide-ranging discussion about AI’s advantages already being realized, in medicine, for example; AI’s supposed potential to achieve human-like consciousness; ethical issues that AI programmers will have to grapple with; effects that AI will have on the economy and individual workers; and the risks associated with living in an AI world where every movement is tracked. A key question as we move toward this future, says Lennox, is what does it mean to be human?

Jul 27

19 min

On this episode of ID: The Future from the vault, Dr. Ray Bohlin interviews Dr. Howard Glicksman about the irreducible complexity of the human calcium control system. Glicksman is a medical doctor and author of an extended series of posts at Evolution News & Science Today called The Designed Body.

Jul 24

25 min

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