Is Intelligent Design Science?

On my upcoming radio show, Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, webtalkradio.net, scheduled for posting on July 29, 2013, I interview Professor Michael Behe of Lehigh University and author of the controversial book, Darwin’s Black Box.  This book, which the back cover says helped launch the intelligent design movement, contains a devastating attack on Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  We are conditioned to reject the intelligent design movement as unscientific (if not unAmerican) and to believe that the Darwinian camp, led by Richard Dawkins (of Blind Watchmaker fame), must be right.  While taking this stance, I would guess many people have not really  examined for themselves natural selection or Behe’s version of intelligent design.  And this may be the biggest problem facing opponents of Darwin: it doesn’t matter what the facts show, to be a true scientist one must be a materialist (matter, not mind, is fundamental) and reject any role of intelligence in the make-up of the physical world and of life.  But advocates of this position have never explained why science and mind are mutually exclusive.  Further, the universe seems to be telling us we have no choice: from the mathematical laws of nature, to the fine-tuning of the universe, to the irreducible complexity of living things, mind seems integral to the world.  Perhaps the world is waiting for science to evolve and  finally embrace , rather than ignore, the facts of our most unusual existence.  Is intelligent design science?   It looks it will have to be in one form or another.

Is Intelligent Design Science?

On my upcoming radio show, Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, webtalkradio.net, scheduled for posting on July 29, 2013, I interview Professor Michael Behe of Lehigh University and author of the controversial book, Darwin’s Black Box.  This book, which the back cover says helped launch the intelligent design movement, contains a devastating attack on Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  We are conditioned to reject the intelligent design movement as unscientific (if not unAmerican) and to believe that the Darwinian camp, led by Richard Dawkins (of Blind Watchmaker fame), must be right.  While taking this stance, I would guess many people have not really  examined for themselves natural selection or Behe’s version of intelligent design.  And this may be the biggest problem facing opponents of Darwin: it doesn’t matter what the facts show, to be a true scientist one must be a materialist (matter, not mind, is fundamental) and reject any role of intelligence in the make-up of the physical world and of life.  But advocates of this position have never explained why science and mind are mutually exclusive.  Further, the universe seems to be telling us we have no choice: from the mathematical laws of nature, to the fine-tuning of the universe, to the irreducible complexity of living things, mind seems integral to the world.  Perhaps the world is waiting for science to evolve and  finally embrace , rather than ignore, the facts of our most unusual existence.  Is intelligent design science?   It looks it will have to be in one form or another.

Is Intelligent Design Science?

On my upcoming radio show, Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, webtalkradio.net, scheduled for posting on July 29, 2013, I interview Professor Michael Behe of Lehigh University and author of the controversial book, Darwin’s Black Box.  This book, which the back cover says helped launch the intelligent design movement, contains a devastating attack on Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  We are conditioned to reject the intelligent design movement as unscientific (if not unAmerican) and to believe that the Darwinian camp, led by Richard Dawkins (of Blind Watchmaker fame), must be right.  While taking this stance, I would guess many people have not really  examined for themselves natural selection or Behe’s version of intelligent design.  And this may be the biggest problem facing opponents of Darwin: it doesn’t matter what the facts show, to be a true scientist one must be a materialist (matter, not mind, is fundamental) and reject any role of intelligence in the make-up of the physical world and of life.  But advocates of this position have never explained why science and mind are mutually exclusive.  Further, the universe seems to be telling us we have no choice: from the mathematical laws of nature, to the fine-tuning of the universe, to the irreducible complexity of living things, mind seems integral to the world.  Perhaps the world is waiting for science to evolve and  finally embrace , rather than ignore, the facts of our most unusual existence.  Is intelligent design science?   It looks it will have to be in one form or another.

Is Intelligent Design Science?

On my upcoming radio show, Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, webtalkradio.net, scheduled for posting on July 29, 2013, I interview Professor Michael Behe of Lehigh University and author of the controversial book, Darwin’s Black Box.  This book, which the back cover says helped launch the intelligent design movement, contains a devastating attack on Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  We are conditioned to reject the intelligent design movement as unscientific (if not unAmerican) and to believe that the Darwinian camp, led by Richard Dawkins (of Blind Watchmaker fame), must be right.  While taking this stance, I would guess many people have not really  examined for themselves natural selection or Behe’s version of intelligent design.  And this may be the biggest problem facing opponents of Darwin: it doesn’t matter what the facts show, to be a true scientist one must be a materialist (matter, not mind, is fundamental) and reject any role of intelligence in the make-up of the physical world and of life.  But advocates of this position have never explained why science and mind are mutually exclusive.  Further, the universe seems to be telling us we have no choice: from the mathematical laws of nature, to the fine-tuning of the universe, to the irreducible complexity of living things, mind seems integral to the world.  Perhaps the world is waiting for science to evolve and  finally embrace , rather than ignore, the facts of our most unusual existence.  Is intelligent design science?   It looks it will have to be in one form or another.

Is Intelligent Design Science?

On my upcoming radio show, Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, webtalkradio.net, scheduled for posting on July 29, 2013, I interview Professor Michael Behe of Lehigh University and author of the controversial book, Darwin’s Black Box.  This book, which the back cover says helped launch the intelligent design movement, contains a devastating attack on Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  We are conditioned to reject the intelligent design movement as unscientific (if not unAmerican) and to believe that the Darwinian camp, led by Richard Dawkins (of Blind Watchmaker fame), must be right.  While taking this stance, I would guess many people have not really  examined for themselves natural selection or Behe’s version of intelligent design.  And this may be the biggest problem facing opponents of Darwin: it doesn’t matter what the facts show, to be a true scientist one must be a materialist (matter, not mind, is fundamental) and reject any role of intelligence in the make-up of the physical world and of life.  But advocates of this position have never explained why science and mind are mutually exclusive.  Further, the universe seems to be telling us we have no choice: from the mathematical laws of nature, to the fine-tuning of the universe, to the irreducible complexity of living things, mind seems integral to the world.  Perhaps the world is waiting for science to evolve and  finally embrace , rather than ignore, the facts of our most unusual existence.  Is intelligent design science?   It looks it will have to be in one form or another.

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion – The Higgs (God) Particle Made Easy – Almost

In 1993, Noble prize-winning physicist, Leon Lederman, published a book entitled, The God Particle. The book was about a particle, hypothesized most prominently by Peter Higgs, which is associated with a field that permeates the universe and gives mass to the elementary particles in the Standard Model of particle physics. On July 4, 2012, physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, the world’s largest particle accelerator, announced they had discovered signs of a new particle that looks an “awful lot like the long sought after” Higgs particle. So does this mean that the secret to the universe has now been revealed and that with the God particle in its sights, there is nothing left for particle physics to discover? Or does this discovery simply convert the mystery of particle mass into the mystery of the properties of the Higgs field? Learn what the Higgs particle really is and what the recent discovery really means in this episode, where host Philip Mereton talks with John Gunion, Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of California at Davis, and co-author of the The Higgs Hunter’s Guide.

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion – Is the Multiverse the Final Answer?

An unavoidable fact of science is that the universe is finely-tuned to allow life to exist. Fundamental forces and constants, from the rest mass of the electron to the sun’s distance from the Earth and the strength of “dark energy,” appear to be adjusted to ensure a stable universe and the possibility of life. Scientists, faced with this fine-tuning, confront the age-old dilemma of whether to bring a supreme being into the picture or to seek a “natural” explanation. But science’s natural explanation for the fine-tuning problem is a humdinger: an increasingly number of physicists are jumping on the multiverse bandwagon, supporting the idea that our universe is just one of a near infinite series of other universes, forming a vast landscape of other worlds. On this show, guest Bernard Carr, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London, and editor of the book, Universe or Multiverse, joins host Philip Mereton in a conversation on the development of the multiverse and whether this amazing idea is science’s final answer to why the cosmos appears so finely-tuned.

The Eternal Question of Life and Death

The classic Hindu text, the Bhagavad-Gita, tells the story of the five sons of the deceased King Pandu, who are exiled to the forest through the treachery of a jealous cousin.  Thirsting for water, the five brothers come upon a crystal lake; as they prepare to take a drink, a voice comes out of the forest and says, “before you drink, first answer my question.”  The first four sons ignore the voice, take a drink and fall dead.  The fifth son, Yudhisthira, stops, and listens to the questions.   The voice asks, “of all the world’s wonders, which is the most wonderful?”  Yudhisthira answers: “That no man, though he sees others dying all around him, believes he himself will not die.”  The voice was of the god Dharma, who proceeded to bring the four brothers back to life.

This story either speaks to something eternal in us, or shows that most people cannot face death.  But maybe this is the same thing, for the concept of death must be hard for an eternal creature. To approach this question, we first must define what “we” are, with the two leading choices being a machine or a mind.  If we are fundamentally machines, then we will surely pass away into the grave, left with only a hope that something spiritual in us will live on.  But if we are fundamentally mind, then eternity comes a bit closer.

In his book, Is There Life After Death: The Extraordinary Science of What Happens After We Die,  Anthony Peake offers a new perspective on the mysteries of life and death.  I discuss these timeless questions and others with Anthony Peake in a radio show entitled, “A Life After Death,” on Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, which you can download here.

The Eternal Question of Life and Death

The classic Hindu text, the Bhagavad-Gita, tells the story of the five sons of the deceased King Pandu, who are exiled to the forest through the treachery of a jealous cousin.  Thirsting for water, the five brothers come upon a crystal lake; as they prepare to take a drink, a voice comes out of the forest and says, “before you drink, first answer my question.”  The first four sons ignore the voice, take a drink and fall dead.  The fifth son, Yudhisthira, stops, and listens to the questions.   The voice asks, “of all the world’s wonders, which is the most wonderful?”  Yudhisthira answers: “That no man, though he sees others dying all around him, believes he himself will not die.”  The voice was of the god Dharma, who proceeded to bring the four brothers back to life.

This story either speaks to something eternal in us, or shows that most people cannot face death.  But maybe this is the same thing, for the concept of death must be hard for an eternal creature. To approach this question, we first must define what “we” are, with the two leading choices being a machine or a mind.  If we are fundamentally machines, then we will surely pass away into the grave, left with only a hope that something spiritual in us will live on.  But if we are fundamentally mind, then eternity comes a bit closer.

In his book, Is There Life After Death: The Extraordinary Science of What Happens After We Die,  Anthony Peake offers a new perspective on the mysteries of life and death.  I discuss these timeless questions and others with Anthony Peake in a radio show entitled, “A Life After Death,” on Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, which you can download here.

Conversations Beyond Science and Religion – Beyond the Inflationary Big Bang

The universe began with the Big Bang, right? But how did this chaotic, random event lead to an ordered, balanced universe? Recognizing this problem, in the 1980′s, cosmologists developed a new theory called the inflationary Big Bang. This new model called for the early universe to inflate at super-warp speed in the blink of an eye; if this occurred, cosmologists said, it would be possible for the Big Bang to have produced the universe we live in without needing finely-tuned initial conditions. So the inflationary Big Bang made its way into college textbooks, television documentaries, and popular science books. Professor Paul Steinhardt, of Princeton University, is one of the leading theorists who refined the inflationary model into the form it appears today. In a recent Scientific American article, however, Professor Steinhardt raises serious doubts over the inflationary model, showing that it actually requires more fine-tuning than the original Big Bang theory. So where does cosmology go from here? On this show, Professor Steinhardt, along with host Philip Mereton, traces the development of the Big Bang theory and discusses what lies ahead for cosmology.