Brian Miller

Research Coordinator and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture

Dr. Brian Miller is Research Coordinator and Senior Fellow for the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute. He holds a B.S. in physics with a minor in engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in physics from Duke University. He speaks internationally on the topics of intelligent design and the impact of worldviews on society, and helps manage the ID 3.0 Research Program, having been a primary organizer of the Conference on Engineering in the Life Sciences (CELS). He also has consulted on organizational development and strategic planning, and he is a technical consultant for TheStartup, a virtual incubator dedicated to bringing innovation to the marketplace. He has contributed to multiple books and journals covering the debate over intelligent design, including The Mystery of Life's Origin: The Continuing Controversy, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith, and Inference Review. He is a regular contributor to Evolution News & Science Today, and the ID the Future Podcast.

Archives

The Optimal Design of Our Eyes

Does the vertebrate eye make more sense as the product of engineering or unguided evolutionary processes? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid concludes his two-part conversation with physicist Brian Miller about the intelligent design of the vertebrate eye. Did you know your brain gives you a glimpse of the future before you get to it? And what about the claim that human eyes are badly designed? Dr. Miller discusses all this and more. This is Part 2 of a two-part interview. Visit idthefuture.com for show notes and full archive!

Brian Miller on the Gift of Vision

The gift of our vision is easy to take for granted. Yet, the more we dig into this amazingly intricate system, the more grateful we might get. On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid begins a two-part conversation with physicist Brian Miller about the intelligent design of the vertebrate eye. Dr. Miller reviews the evolutionary scenario for the origins of human vision, explaining where it collapses for lack of empirical evidence. Then he explains why it's helpful to approach biological systems from an engineering standpoint. This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation.

The Miracle of Man: Reflections on The Westminster Conference

Is mankind an error-prone accident of nature or a masterpiece of engineering and intention? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid invites physicist Brian Miller to discuss highlights of the 2023 Westminster Conference on Science & Faith. If you didn't get to attend this year's event in person or via live-stream, Dr. Miller's got you covered! The theme was The Miracle of Man, and speakers explored the uniqueness of human beings in the fields of physiology, biology, paleontology, and genetics, as well as theology and philosophy. Dr. Miller reviews his own talk on the intelligent design of human vision. He also recaps other highlights of the event, including talks from Michael Denton on the fitness of the planet for human life, Michael Egnor on the experimental evidence showing our minds are different than our brains, and more. He concludes by reminding us of the benefits of in-person events. "The presentations spark ideas and present new evidence," says Miller. "Then people will take that and talk about it over dinner, over lunch, or over coffee. And it's just a beautiful time to make new connections."

The Return of Natural Theology

Influenced by a long line of materialist thinkers, Charles Darwin proposed the mechanism of natural selection as a substitute for God. But how does his theory’s explanatory power measure up to recent scientific discoveries? On this ID The Future, physicist Brian Miller discusses the resurgence of natural theology in modern science with Pat Flynn, co-host of the Philosophy for the People podcast. Natural theology advances arguments for God based on reason and the discoveries of science. It’s an ancient pursuit that fell out of favor in the 19th century as a materialist account of life’s origins took center stage. But scientific findings of the last century point to mind, not a mindless process, as the likeliest explanation for a life-friendly universe. As a result, the pendulum is swinging back to teleology, ushering in a new heyday for natural theology. In addition to giving an historical overview of natural theology, Dr. Miller and Flynn also discuss fundamental problems in origin of life studies that demand a better explanation than materialists can offer. Miller speaks plainly about the problem: “Here’s the fundamental challenge,” he says. “All natural processes tend to create greater disorder (entropy)…The origin of life requires chemicals to go into a state of both high order and high energy. That never happens without help!” This is Part 1 of a 2-part discussion. With thanks to Pat Flynn and the Philosophy for the People podcast for permission to share this interview.

How Modern Physics Reveals Purpose in the Universe

Scientists agree that our universe is finely tuned for the existence of life. But is the fine-tuning a happy accident or the result of foresight? On this ID The Future, host Brian Miller continues his conversation with Rabbi Elie Feder and Rabbi Aaron Zimmer, hosts of the Physics to God podcast. Feder has a PhD in mathematics and has published articles on graph theory. Zimmer has training in physics, and has studied mathematics, philosophy, and psychology. Both men also have extensive rabbinical training. Through their podcast, Feder and Zimmer invite both secular and religious listeners on a journey through modern physics as they offer rational arguments for an intelligent cause of the universe. In the conclusion to their discussion, Feder and Zimmer explain why the cosmological constant is one of their favorite examples of fine-tuning. They also share the importance of exploring the teleological causes, or purposes, of natural phenomena. To help listeners grasp the difference between efficient causes and teleological causes, they give the example of a carpenter who builds a table. Is the carpenter the cause of the existence of the table? Or is the idea of the table in the carpenter's mind the cause? Or both? Using modern physics, say Feder and Zimmer, an objective justification for the purpose of the universe can be made. Enjoy this provocative and illuminating discussion! Don't miss Part 1 of the conversation, available here: https://idthefuture.com/1787/

Physics to God: Rational Arguments for Design in the Universe

Do you recognize the number 1/137.035999206? It might seem arbitrary, but if the fine structure constant were any higher or lower than it is, you might not exist! On this episode of ID The Future, host Brian Miller kicks off an engaging conversation with Rabbi Elie Feder and Rabbi Aaron Zimmer, hosts of the Physics to God podcast. Feder has a PhD in mathematics and has published articles on graph theory. Zimmer has training in physics, and has studied mathematics, philosophy, and psychology. Both men also have extensive rabbinical training. Through their podcast, Feder and Zimmer invite both secular and religious listeners on a journey through modern physics as they offer rational arguments for an intelligent cause of the universe. In Part 1 of a two-part discussion, Feder and Zimmer share their background and the inspiration for their podcast. They also explain their focus on the constants of physics - specific numbers and values built into the laws of nature that are the same everywhere. What do these numbers mean? How are they measured? Why are they important? Do they hint at design, or are they "magic numbers that come to us with no understanding," as noted physicist Richard Feynman put it? A physicist himself, Miller is the perfect host to unpack the efforts of Feder and Zimmer. It's time to get more intimately acquainted with the strange and wonderful numbers that hold our universe together!