John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute

Archives

Living Amid a Pandemic

Wisdom from C.S. Lewis
“Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice.” C.S. Lewis It’s been a blissfully sunny week in Seattle — the kind of week Seattleites pine for after their gray and soggy winters. The official start of spring isn’t until today, but the cherry blossoms have already been out for a long time. Of course, it doesn’t Read More ›

Human Zoos

Human Zoos tells the shocking story of how thousands of indigenous peoples were put on public display in America in the early decades of the twentieth century. Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes, these native peoples were harassed and demeaned. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific Read More ›

Seeking Racial Reconciliation in the Heart of Texas at a Screening of Human Zoos

On a cold but sunny Sunday afternoon on Martin Luther King Day weekend, I found myself deep in the heart of Texas. I was visiting the town of Athens, 73 miles southeast of Dallas, for a screening of my documentary Human Zoos at First Baptist Church. The film has just been posted to YouTube after previously being shown on cable television and released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Amazon Prime. Human Zoos communicates Read More ›

Empowerment or Exploitation? P.T. Barnum and the “Man Monkey”

On this episode of ID the Future, CSC Associate Director John West exposes the darker side of P.T. Barnum. Maybe you’ve watched The Greatest Showman – but have you heard of Barnum’s “What Is It?” exhibit? Listen in for more about racist displays of human “freaks” and how the science of the day endorsed Social Darwinism. For more, watch the newly released documentary, Human Zoos, and visit HumanZoos.org. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast.

1906: Scientists Cage Man in Zoo Monkey House

On this episode of ID the Future, John West shares about pygmy Ota Benga, put on display in 1906 in the Bronx Zoo’s monkey house. Listen in to learn about how the New York Times, scientists, and ministers responded. Was Benga the only one treated like this? For more, watch the newly released documentary, Human Zoos, and visit HumanZoos.org.

Human Zoos Teaser Trailer

America's Forgotten History of Scientific Racism
In September 1906, nearly a quarter of a million people flocked to the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Many came for a startling new exhibit in the Zoo’s Monkey House. But it wasn’t a monkey they came to see. It was a man. His name was Ota Benga. A pygmy from the African Congo, Ota Benga was exhibited in Read More ›

The Problem with Theistic Evolution

The debate about biological origins continues to be hotly contested within the Christian church. Prominent organizations such as Biologos (USA) and Faraday Institute (UK) insist that Christians must yield to an unassailable scientific consensus in favor of contemporary evolutionary theory and modify traditional biblical ideas about the creation of life accordingly. They promote a view known as “theistic evolution” or Read More ›

The Tenth Anniversary of the Louisiana Science Education Act — and Why It Matters

On this episode of ID the Future, host Sarah Chaffee talks with Center for Science and Culture co-founder Dr. John West about the Louisiana Science Education Act, passed ten years ago this week. Dr. West explains why it mattered then for academic freedom, how it’s stood up to criticism in the ten years since then, and why it matters today — including the example it sets for other states as well-crafted, resilient, and science-friendly legislation, that even the ACLU has recognized it needs to support!

John West and Jerry Bowyer’s Revolutionary Talk, Pt. 2

On this episode of ID the Future, podcaster and Forbes contributor Jerry Bowyer concludes a conversation with John West about the intelligent design documentary film Revolutionary. They discuss German paleontologist Günter Bechly, who changed his mind about Darwinism after reading a book by the main protagonist of the film, Michael Behe. West also shares a fascinating postscript to that story. And West and Bowyer go on to discuss an upcoming Discovery Institute film, Human Zoos, which explores Darwin-inspired scientific racism in the early 20th century.

“Revolutionary Behe”: Part One of A Conversation Between Jerry Bowyer and John West on the Discovery Institute Documentary on Michael Behe

Jerry Bowyer of the Bowyer Briefing interviews the Discovery Institute’s John West about a recent documentary on the work of biochemist Michael Behe. Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box introduced the public to the wonders of biochemical machinery, and set materialist science on a frantic search to refute his theory of irreducible complexity, leading to a conclusion of intelligent design. It’s a search that’s failed in many ways since then, as the documentary reveals — and this discussion explains as well.

Walt Disney’s Views on Science and Its Dangers

On this episode of ID The Future, John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science & Culture and author of Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s talks about how science is portrayed in Walt Disney’s films and theme parks. Disney’s worldview was an interesting blend of 19th century morals with a 21st century vision for science and technology. A futurist, Disney was given to techno-utopianism and his works tended to reflect this, but have also bore warning messages about the dangers posed by both science and technology. John West explores these interests both in his exhibits and his film works.

Walt Disney’s Views on Evolution

On this episode of ID The Future, John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science & Culture and author of Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s talks about Walt Disney’s life-long fascination with evolution. By exploring the subtle messages promoted by Disney’s theme parks and animated features West shows that evolution rather than being a one-off was an recurring fascination of Disney’s. From the Magic Skyway created for the 1964 World’s Fair to the 1948 animated film Fantasia we see Disney’s recurrent contemplation of evolution. Fantasia explored worldviews from rationalism to materialism to animism. On first blush Fantasia’s “Rite of Spring” seems to promote Darwinian Materialism but is really an Read More ›

Theistic Evolution

A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique
Many prominent Christians insist that the church must yield to contemporary evolutionary theory and therefore modify traditional biblical ideas about the creation of life. They argue that God used ― albeit in an undetectable way ― evolutionary mechanisms to produce all forms of life. Featuring two dozen highly credentialed scientists, philosophers, and theologians from Europe and North America, this volume Read More ›

When We Should and Shouldn’t Be Skeptical of Science

An actor in Hollywood raises the important question of when people should and shouldn’t be skeptical of claims made in the name of science, inspiring a response from political scientist John West, author of Darwin Day in America. This conversation was taped live in Hollywood during a discussion after the final performance of Disinherit the Wind, a play that tells the story of a neurobiologist who sues his university for the right to challenge neo-Darwinian evolution.

Disinherit the Wind: Growing Up in a Darwinian State

A biology professor who grew up under communism shares what it was like to live in a society based on Darwin’s theory of evolution. He also discusses some amazing evidence of intelligent design in our cells. Biologist Jonathan Wells, author of Zombie Science, and political scientist John West, author of Darwin Day in America, both respond. This conversation was taped live in Hollywood during a discussion after the final performance of Disinherit the Wind, a play that tells the story of a neurobiologist who sues his university for the right to challenge neo-Darwinian evolution.

Revolutionary

Revolutionary tells the story of biochemist Michael Behe and the revolution he helped spark with his book Darwin’s Black Box, inspiring a new generation of scientists and thinkers who are challenging Darwinian evolution and exploring evidence in nature of intelligent design. Learn about Behe’s journey, how those opposed to his ideas tried to kill intelligent design in federal court, and how recent Read More ›

Are All Men Created Equal? The Darwinist Eugenics Crusade

On this episode of ID the Future, John G. West, associate director of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, explains the Darwinian basis for getting rid of the unfit. One way this manifested itself in the 20th century was in the eugenics movement’s disturbing push for compulsory sterilization. Listen in to learn about prominent scientists who supported these efforts, and the disturbing facts about how far they advanced toward making their ideas a reality. To learn more, read Darwin Day in America.