The Atheist Who Helped Shape Intelligent Design

Adolf Grünbaum, advice, Andrew McDiarmid, atheists, friendship, graduate students, ID The Future, Intelligent Design, mentors, Paul Nelson, Philosophy of Science, Podcast, truth-seeking, University of Pittsburgh, William Blake
It’s wonderful to remember mentors who helped shaped us, often in ways that might have surprised the influential person if he’d known about it beforehand. On a new episode of ID the Future, philosopher of science Paul Nelson talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about Dr. Nelson’s own mentor, atheist philosopher Adolf Grünbaum (1923-2018) at the University of Pittsburgh.  Nelson was an ex-art student turned philsophy graduate student when he met Grünbaum. Paul cites William Blake and his saying that “Opposition is true friendship.” It wasn’t from directly absorbing Grünbaum’s perspective that Nelson became a prominent figure in the ID movement, but rather from their friendship and the creative sparks that came from it, inspiring a lifelong search for truth.  Nelson discusses the difference between truth-seeking and point-scoring as different approaches…
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Watch: Preview Stephen Meyer’s New Book — The Return of the God Hypothesis

Adolf Grünbaum, atheists, Bertrand Russell, Christianity, cosmology, Dallas Conference on Science and Faith, Eric Metaxas, Evolution News, Faith & Science, Intelligent Design, Michael Behe, Paul Nelson, professors, publishing, religion, science, scientific atheism, Stephen Meyer, The Return of the God Hypothesis, United States
Stephen Meyer has finished his next book, The Return of the God Hypothesis, and (here is a bit of insider information) is currently awaiting copyedits from his publisher. The wheels of book publishing do not grind hastily. I’ve read the book, and it’s fantastic. If you are impatient to get your hands on it, you can get a bit of a preview in a presentation Dr. Meyer gave at the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science and Faith. You can watch that right now: It’s poignant to think that the conference, on January 25, was held just a few days after the first COVID-19 case in the United States was confirmed, in a man who had visited Wuhan. That was here in Washington State. In our present surreal, locked-down virus world,…
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“Safe to Question” — Another Graduate of Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design Shares Her Story

Ann Gauger, application, biological complexity, biology, Bruce Gordon, Daniel Reeves, deadline, engineers, graduate students, Guillermo Gonzalez, Intelligent Design, Iron Curtain, John West, mathematicians, Michael Behe, origins of life, Paul Nelson, philosophers, physicians, physicists, professors, Research, Soviet Union, Stephen Meyer, Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design, tipping point, undergraduates, William Dembski
Behind every Iron Curtain is a private network of dissenters, who come out into the light when the curtain falls. That was the case with the old Soviet Union. And so it is in the tightly policed world of evolutionary biology with its “great evolutionary firewall,” guarding against expressions of fundamental doubt about neo-Darwinian theory. Discovery Institute is populating a community of dissenters in academia with the annual all-expenses-paid Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design, to be held this year from July 10 to 18 in Seattle. The application deadline is March 4. Intended for current undergraduate and graduate students plus a few teachers and professors, the Seminars run on two parallel tracks:  The C.S. Lewis Fellows Program on Science and Society; and  The CSC Seminar on Intelligent Design in the…
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A Forest, Not a Tree? Nelson Asks Why Universal Common Descent Needn’t “Pay” for Failures

biologists, Brian Miller, Evolution, evolutionists, failed predictions, forest, ID The Future, Intelligent Design, Michael Behe, Michael Denton, naturalism, orchard, Paul Nelson, Podcast, scientific theories, Teilhard de Chardin, theistic evolution, Tree of Life, universal common descent, universal genetic code
Philosopher of biology Paul Nelson recalls the expectation, a scientific standard when he was an undergrad, that all living things would turn out to share a universal genetic code. How could they not if, as Darwin argued, there is only a single, universal tree of life? On a classic ID the Future podcast with host Brian Miller, Dr. Nelson discusses the implications of this failed prediction. Download the podcast or listen to it here. The question is a weighty one since it has emerged that there is no universally shared code, but, instead, many variants. When evolutionists realized this, they performed a sidestep, supposing that since the prediction flopped, it must be the case that the code can itself evolve. But this deft move allows universal common ancestry a luxury…
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“We Are Not of Our Own Devising” — Wells, Nelson Pay Tribute to Phil Johnson

berkeley, biology, California, Charles Darwin, common descent, Evolution, ID The Future, John Mark Reynolds, Jonathan Wells, Pajaro Dunes, Paul Nelson, Phillip E. Johnson
A new episode of ID the Future comes from a Berkeley, California, symposium honoring the recently deceased Phillip Johnson. Download the podcast or listen to it here. Biologist Jonathan Wells recalls how he met Johnson and the huge influence the latter had on Wells’s own research and writing. Then philosopher of biology Paul Nelson reminisces on Johnson’s keen intellect, his eye for hidden assumptions, his awareness that “we are not of our own devising,” and on the mountain range of new knowledge opening up to us in biology, one that scientists knew little about even thirty years ago and that Nelson says points strongly away from Darwin’s idea of common descent. Photo: John Mark Reynolds, Phil Johnson, and Paul Nelson, Pajaro Dunes, California, June 1998, by Suzanne Nelson. The post…
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Westminster Conference on Science and Faith, April 3-4 in Philadelphia: Design and the Designer

biology, Burke Museum, Center for Science & Culture, Chemistry, cosmology, Dallas, Daniel Reeves, Early Church, East Coast, Evolution, Faith & Science, foresight, Intelligent Design, John West, Marcos Eberlin, Melissa Cain Travis, orphan genes, Paul Nelson, Philadelphia, Stephen Meyer, Westminster Conference on Science and Faith
Here in Seattle, the University of Washington recently opened a spectacular and expensive ($106 million) new building for its natural history museum, the Burke Museum. A friend visited there yesterday — I have not yet had a chance to do so — and sent along photos. We were both struck by how the exhibits lay it on thick with regard to evolution as an unguided process. Large signs seem aggressive in advertising the curators’ position: “EVOLUTION ISN’T PLANNED,” declares one display. Another insists that life is “SHAPED BY NATURE,” and, by implication, by nothing else. The culture invests great energy and wealth to bombard us with messages like these. That’s the case even as, at deeper and deeper levels, science reveals evidence of a plan, foresight, a deliberately shaping force working…
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Dallas Conference Will Unveil Intelligent Design’s Original Edition

Bradley Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence, Brian Miller, Charles Thaxton, Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, Daniel Reeves, Darwin's Doubt, Discovery Institute Press, Douglas Axe, Faith & Science, Guillermo Gonzalez, Intelligent Design, James Tour, Jonathan Wells, Michael Behe, origin of life, original edition, Paul Nelson, Roger Olsen, Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer, The Mystery of Life’s Origin, Walter Bradley, William Dembski
We are just a couple of weeks out from the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, Saturday, January 25 in Denton, TX. Until today, though, we have withheld one important piece of information about the event: it will be the launch of a wonderful new book from Discovery Institute Press. Actually, it’s an updated, expanded edition of a classic: The Mystery of Life’s Origin: The Continuing Controversy, the 1984 Ur-text or original edition of the modern theory of intelligent design, now with new supplementary essays by scholars extending the work. This is very exciting for us because the three co-authors, biochemist Charles Thaxton, materials scientist Walter Bradley, and geochemist Roger Olsen, will all be on hand for a panel discussion. To Spark a Debate The new edition includes the…
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#1 of Our Top Stories of 2019: Informed by Discovery Authors, Yale’s David Gelernter Rejects Darwinism

Ben Shapiro, Charles Darwin, Darwin's Doubt, David Berlinski, David Gelernter, Debating Darwin's Doubt, Discovery Institute Press, Douglas Axe, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Marcos Eberlin, Michael Behe, National Academy of Sciences, Paul Nelson, Richard Lenski, Stephen Meyer, The Claremont Review of Books, The Deniable Darwin, Thomas Nagel, Tom Wolfe, Yale University
Editor’s note: The staff of Evolution News wish you a Happy New Year! We are counting down our top ten stories of 2019. If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment now to contribute to our work in bringing you news and analysis about evolution, intelligent design, and more every day of the year. There is no other voice, no other source of information, like ours. Thank you for your friendship and your support! The following article was originally published here on October 21, 2019. This is important. Yale University computer scientist David Gelernter is a polymath, a brilliant writer, artist, and thinker. Famed both for his specific scientific expertise, and for his cultural, political, and historical reflections, he’s also now a confessed Darwin skeptic. More than a…
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How Butterflies “Evolve” by Design

beauty, butterflies, caterpillar, cortex (gene), Douglas Blackiston, Drosophila, Elena Casey, Evolution, foresight, Georgetown University, Heliconius, helicopter, hotspot gene, Illustra Media, Intelligent Design, larvae, Lepidopterans, light waves, Martha Weiss, Metamorphosis, Model T, Monarch butterflies, moths, New Scientist, odors, Paul Nelson, photonic crystals, pigmentation, PLOS ONE, Royal Society Biology Letters, South America, tobacco hornworm moths, University of Liverpool, wing patterns
Butterflies, those universally loved flying works of art, offer many reasons to celebrate design in nature.  They showcase aesthetic beauty beyond the requirements of survival (see “Beauty, Darwin and Design,” featuring Paul Nelson).  Their migrations show foresight over multiple generations.  The one-gram Monarch butterflies astonish biologists with their exceptional endurance to survive hardships while flying thousands of miles on paper-thin wings (see “2-Minute Wonder: A Monarch’s Journey“). Their navigation systems exhibit stunning accuracy to arrive at locations they have never seen. Their keen senses can find the right host plants from miles away; they can smell very faint pheromones for mating; and they can distinguish precise angles of sunlight for orientation and timing of migration.  Their wing scales, organized into “photonic crystals,” give precision control of light waves to create…
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Memorial Symposium for Phillip Johnson

Center for Science & Culture, Discovery Institute, Douglas Axe, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, Intelligent Design, Jonathan Wells, Michael Behe, Paul Nelson, Phillip E. Johnson, scholars, scientists, Stephen Meyer, U.C. Berkeley
Following a private memorial service on November 23, Discovery Institute is pleased to host a brief public symposium in honor of the late Phillip E. Johnson — U.C. Berkeley law professor and Center for Science & Culture program advisor, who passed away earlier this month. You are invited to join us at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley from 4:00–5:30 pm on Saturday, November 23, to hear brief (10–15 minute) tributes from intelligent design scientists and scholars who have been directly impacted by Phil’s life and have since become the ID torch-bearers for our generation. Among those speaking will be Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Douglas Axe, Paul Nelson, and others. The presenters will share their unique perspectives on the impact of Phil’s work and subsequent growth of the ID research program in their respective fields of research. There is no…
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