On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads an excerpt from the new book The Miracle of the Cell by Michael Denton. Denton, a biochemist from Perth, Australia, and senior fellow of Discover Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, introduces the wonders of the cell as “the universal constructor set of life.” The diversity of cells — their variety of form, function, and locomotion — is beyond describing, with some cells almost seeming sentient, even ingenious. As Denton notes, our growing knowledge of the cell’s staggering sophistication has provoked the name “the third infinity.” And this quick flyby of the cell is just an excerpt from the book’s introductory chapter. There Denton lays the groundwork for the book’s deeper dive into the extraordinary fine tuning of the chemical elements of life, a prior fitness that, according to Denton, points not only to intelligent design but to “a primal blueprint.”
On this episode of ID the Future, Jay Richards speaks with James Barham, who’s just edited a new edition of Scottish Enlightenment philosopher Thomas Reid (1710-1796), Lectures on Natural Theology. One of the most readable of all philosophers, Reid is well known for his “common-sense philosophy.” Were he living today, says Barham, he would have certainly been part of the intelligent design movement. Though it’s commonly thought that David Hume refuted Reid’s design arguments, Reid actually produced these lectures after Hume’s death, tracing his design argument back to Plato and Cicero, and did not find Hume’s key anti-design arguments at all persuasive, much less daunting or difficult to rebut. Barham also provides some interesting historical bits about how these lectures came to be written down, and some of the advantages this new resource on Thomas Reid offers over earlier Reid scholarship.
Scott Turner is a biologist and physiologist, a professor at State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry and visiting professor at Cambridge. In this episode from the vault, Rob Crowther interviews him about his book Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something Alive and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed To Explain It. Turner argues that modern Darwinism has reached a scientific dead end, unable to tell us what life is, treats many of its features — including purpose and desire — virtually as illusions. There’s a better way to view life, says Turner.