John G. West

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

Archives

Can a Conference Change a Life?

A young woman hired as part of the film crew for the event began crying. Later, she told us that listening to the conversation helped heal the brokenness caused by her college professors.

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.

An Educator Wants to Know: Should Public Schools Teach Intelligent Design?

On this episode of ID: The Future, an educator asks whether teachers in public schools should teach intelligent design. Listen to the replies from Discovery Institute Senior Fellows John West, author of Darwin Day in America, and Jonathan Wells, author of Zombie Science, along with playwright Matt Chait. 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.

Responses to Criticisms of Icons of Evolution

In 2000, Discovery Institute biologist Jonathan Wells published his book Icons of Evolution, which documented widespread inaccuracies and junk science in the treatment of evolution in many biology textbooks. This pathbreaking book resulted in significant corrections to many textbooks, although many of the “icons” described by Wells are still used in some textbooks. Here you can read about the continuing debate provoked by this now classic work.

Dissent of Man

A review of Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, by Thomas Nagel and Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution, by Rebecca Stott
If someone had predicted a year ago that Oxford University Press would publish a book with the subtitle Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False, I might have wondered what alternate universe he was inhabiting. But Oxford did publish it, and the aftershocks among the intellectual elite have yet to abate. The book’s author, philosopher Thomas Read More ›

The Magician’s Twin

C.S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism
More than a half century ago, famed writer C.S. Lewis warned about how science (a good thing) could be twisted in order to attack religion, undermine ethics, and limit human freedom. In this documentary "The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism," leading scholars explore Lewis's prophetic warnings about the abuse of science and how Lewis's concerns are increasingly relevant for us today.

The Magician’s Twin

Beloved for his Narnian tales for children and his books of Christian apologetics for adults, best-selling author C.S. Lewis also was a prophetic critic of the growing power of scientism in modern society, the misguided effort to apply science to areas outside its proper bounds. In this wide-ranging book of essays edited by John G. West, contemporary writers probe Lewis’s Read More ›

The Doctrine of Creation

Dr. John West argues that God’s creation of the world is not a secondary doctrine as theistic evolutionists would suggest. He argues from Irenaeus, the Nicene Creed, and the gospel of John that to deny the specific and intentional creation of the world by God is a blatant misreading of Christian tradition.