Michael Newton Keas

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture

After earning a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Oklahoma, Mike Keas won research grants from such organizations as the National Science Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. He experienced some of the last historic moments behind the Berlin Wall as a Fulbright scholar in East Germany. Keas serves as lecturer in the history and philosophy of science at Biola University and on the board of directors of Ratio Christi, an alliance of apologetics clubs on college campuses. He has written numerous articles, including “Systematizing the Theoretical Virtues” in the top-tier philosophy journal Synthese. This essay analyzes twelve traits of reputable theories, and has generated dialogue across many fields. With a quarter-century of experience teaching science and its history to college students, Keas is qualified to lay out the facts to show how far the conventional wisdom about science and religion departs from reality. He has done so in the ISI book Unbelievable: 7 Myths about the History and Future of Science and Religion.

Archives

The Schizophrenic Mythology of Cosmos: Possible Worlds

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, Read More ›

Cosmos: Possible Worlds and the Copernican Demotion Myth

On this episode of ID the Future, host Jay Richards interviews historian of science Michael Keas about a new documentary claiming that Copernicus’s heliocentric model of the solar system “demoted” humans from the place of honor at the center of everything. Neil deGrasse Tyson champions this persistent myth in episode 8 of the new National Geographic series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. The reality is quite different. As Keas explains, in Copernicus’s day, the Earth was thought to be at the bottom of the universe, the “sump” where all the filth collected, while the starry heavens were considered the place of honor. Keas and Richards trace the history of the demotion myth and discuss how Copernicus, Kepler, and other luminaries of the Read More ›

Cosmos: Possible Worlds’ Religious Mythology

On this episode of ID the Future, science historian Michael Keas and philosopher Jay Richards continue their conversation about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new National Geographic series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. As Keas explains, Tyson’s story of ancient superstition evolving at last into modern medicine gets both ancient and modern medicine factually wrong. His long-running “history” of the warfare between science and religion also is historically mistaken, Keas, author of Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion insists. Curiously, Tyson has a future, quasi-religious myth of his own to promote: personal immortality through futuristic technology.

Cosmos: Possible Worlds’ ‘Most Plausible’ Creation Myths

On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards hosts science historian Michael Keas in another conversation about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. They talk this time about what the show itself calls its “most plausible creation myth… for the origin of life,” involving hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean floor — with no mention at all of the equally deep scientific problems with the idea. Tyson’s imagination wanders from there to a moon of Saturn to the Cambrian explosion, everywhere supposing that just because one or two necessary conditions exist for life, that’s all the explanation that’s needed. Richards and Keas ably explore why this is untrue. 

New Cosmos Series Plumps for Pantheism, Distorts History

On this episode of ID the Future, host and philosopher Jay Richards interviews science historian Michael Keas about the National Geographic channel’s new Cosmos series with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. In the Cosmos episode under discussion, the 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza is presented as an early advocate for science.

Charles Darwin vs. Richard Owen on Race

On this episode of ID the Future, Mike Keas interviews science historian and bioethicist Michael Flannery about his recent article on Charles Darwin and archrival Richard Owen. Owen was an evolutionist, too, but of a different stripe. Unlike Darwin, he believed that evolution was guided by teleology or purpose, and he saw humans as different from animals not only in degree but in kind. This led him to reject Darwin’s conclusion of a “hierarchy of races,” as well as Darwin’s expectation that the supposedly “less fit” races of humankind ultimately would be exterminated by the so-called “superior” white race. Most Darwinists today aren’t racist, but Darwinism did grease the skids into a dubious scientific racism that became widespread, encouraging racist Read More ›

Medicine, Religion, and Cosmos — Was Andrew Cuomo Wrong to Invoke God?

In a press conference yesterday about the coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo used notably religious language. He observed that healthcare workers are “doing God’s work” of caring for people. Was he mistaken in saying so? You might well think so from watching the Cosmos series on Fox and the National Geographic channels.

Baruch Spinoza Was No Science Hero

The Biggest Myth So Far in Cosmos 3.0
The third season of Cosmos has released four episodes so far, with more to come this Monday, on Fox and the National Geographic channel. The most consequential historical error to correct as yet concerns the treatment of Spinoza.

Three Big Ways Christianity Supported the Rise of Modern Science Explained by Historian Michael Keas

Are Christianity and science at war? Historian of science Michael Keas busts the stereotypes as he explores the historical relationship between Christianity and science, discussing three key ways Christian theology supported the development of modern science. Dr. Keas is author of the book Unbelievable: 7 Myths about the History and Future of Science and Religion, and a senior fellow with Read More ›

Are Christianity and Science Perpetually at War with Each Other

Historian of science Michael Keas explores the relationship between science and Christianity, discussing three big myths about the history of science and Christianity. Dr. Keas is author of Unbelievable: 7 Myths about the History and Future of Science and Religion. “There is a false idea circulating out there that science grows only when guided by godless thinking.” On the contrary, Read More ›

Kepler, Galileo, the Book of Nature, and the First Mathematician

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid talks with science historian Michael Keas on pioneering mathematical astronomer Johannes Kepler, based on Keas’ new work from ISI Books, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. Kepler studied theology before turning to math and science, and it was his belief in God that guided his extraordinary discoveries. “Without an architect who created the world,” he said, “there is no … power in mathematics to make anything material.” Scientists, in his view of God, were thinking the thoughts or ideas that God himself had thought any time they discovered some law or deep pattern in nature. Kepler is just one of a long list of great Read More ›

The Actual, Nuanced Story of Galileo Galilei

Revisiting Galileo's and the Catholic Church's role in judging the Ptolemaic, Tychonic and Copernican Systems
The Galileo myth posits that the great astronomer’s story illustrates the near-inevitable conflict between science and religion — or “faith and fact.” As science historian Michael Keas explains, the story is actually more complicated, nuanced, and interesting than the myth would have it. In Unbelievable, Professor Keas explores seven myths about the history of science and faith. It’s a great read. Read More ›

Michael Keas on Atheism’s Futurist Myth

On this episode of ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid and historian of science Michael Keas turn from the past to the future. With Keas’ new ISI book Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion as a launching point, Keas describes the surprisingly religious role played by much modern-day atheistic science fiction. Despite some notable exceptions, especially C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, “modern day atheism is becoming more and more indistinguishable from the occult, and science fiction is a part of that,” Keas tells us. And who are the gods of the new occult? Listen in and learn.

Giordano Bruno was a Martyr, Yes, but Not for Science

Science historian Michael Keys demolishes another myth about science and religion
Historian of science Michael Keas explodes the myth that Giordano Bruno was a martyr for science, as science popularizers such as Neil deGrasse Tyson make him out to be. Bruno was indeed burned at the stake in 1600 for disagreeing with the Roman Catholic Church — which Keas heartily agrees was a bad move on the Church’s part. But Bruno was not executed for his view that we live in a vast universe with vast numbers of planets.

Unbelievable: ET and the Futuristic Myth of a Material God

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid continues his conversation with science historian Michael Keas on myths of science and religion, based on Keas’ new work from ISI Books, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. This time the myth comes not from the past but the future. That is, it’s the supposedly scientific belief that ET is coming, and when it comes, it will look just like a god to us. It will replace earthly religion with an advanced, more ethical alternative, and we’ll finally achieve enlightenment. It’s just as much a myth as any other, yet it’s shaping people’s worldviews anyway. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast.

Unbelievable: The Cosmic Copernican Demotion That Wasn’t

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid again hears from science historian Michael Keas about another science myth exploded in Keas’ new ISI book Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. This time it’s the belief that Copernicus’s sun-centered cosmos demoted humans from our privileged position at the center. As another pioneering early astronomer, Galileo, noted, under the old astronomy the center was no privileged place. Instead it was viewed as the bottom of the universe, the “sump where the universe’s filth and ephemera collect.” So Copernicus’s discovery, if anything, elevated Earth’s place in the cosmos.

Unbelievable: The Myth of a Christian ‘Dark Ages’

The period from 500 to 1500 is often dismissed as an intellectually barren time, but in his new book, science historian Michael Keas sets the record straight. Historian of science, Michael Keas, tackles this and other science and religion myths in his new book, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion (2019, ISI Books).

The Flat Earth Myth

A Favorite myth of ID Critics
Critics of intelligent design think they’re clever when they draw comparisons between ID and belief in a flat Earth. Professor Jerry Coyne, for one, says that HarperCollins, publisher of Michael Behe’s forthcoming book, Darwin Devolves, “should be ashamed at [sic] itself for publishing the biology equivalent of flat-Earthism.” Professor Nathan Lents has ventilated a similar view.

Unbelievable

7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion
Scientists love to tell stories about the quest to understand the universe — stories that often have profound implications for belief or disbelief in God. These accounts make their way into science textbooks and popular culture. But more often than not, the stories are nothing but myths. Unbelievable explodes seven of the most popular and pernicious myths about science and religion. Read More ›

Out in November, New Book Debunks Myths of Science Versus Religion

Unbelievable: Debunking science and faith myths with Historian Mike Keas
Praising science as way to implicitly, or explicitly, club religion over the head is a familiar feature of our culture. It’s not new, either. Mike Keas examines the phenomenon in a forthcoming book, out in November, Unbelievable: Seven Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. Rob Crowther chatted with Dr. Keas, a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, at Read More ›