Designed Evolution? The Evidence Isn’t There

ID the Future
Casey Luskin
Emily Reeves
Audio File (11.5M)

Can intelligent design and evolution work together? It’s an intriguing idea that is welcomed by some, but does the scientific evidence support it? On this ID The Future, host Casey Luskin speaks with Dr. Emily Reeves to discuss her contribution to a recent paper critiquing theologian Dr. Rope Kojonen’s proposal that mainstream evolutionary biology and intelligent design have worked in harmony to produce the diversity of life we see on earth.

Dr. Reeves starts by summarizing the Compatibility of Evolution and Design (CED) argument before also summarizing her team’s response to it. “CED is a great work of scholarship,” says Reeves, “but I think its relevance really hinges on whether empirical evidence supports Kojonen’s version of how the design is implemented within evolutionary theory, and then, of course, whether design arguments…are really compatible with evolutionary theory.”

Reeves and Luskin go on to critique Dr. Kojonen’s conception of design. His model posits that the laws of nature have been front-loaded with design by an intelligent designer. But laws are not creative forces on their own – they only describe forces already in action. There’s no empirical evidence that the laws of nature could do the type of heavy lifting required to steer evolutionary processes toward success. As an example, Dr. Reeves describes how the law of gravity interacts with a growing plant. Gravity is used as a cue in the plant’s biology, but it doesn’t power the plant’s ability to grow.

Dig Deeper

This is part of an ongoing series of interviews responding to Dr. Kojonen’s proposal. Listen to more episodes below:

  • Listen to Dr. Stephen Dilley explain the philosophical and scientific problems with Dr. Kojonen’s model: Part 1 and Part 2

Emily Reeves

Research Scientist, Center for Science and Culture
Emily Reeves is a biochemist, metabolic nutritionist, and aspiring systems biologist. Her doctoral studies were completed at Texas A&M University in Biochemistry and Biophysics. Emily is currently an active clinician for metabolic nutrition and nutritional genomics at Nutriplexity. She enjoys identifying and designing nutritional intervention for subtle inborn errors of metabolism. She is also working with fellows of Discovery Institute and the greater scientific community to promote integration of engineering and biology. She spends her weekends adventuring with her husband, brewing kombucha, and running near Puget Sound.

Casey Luskin

Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.
Convergent Evolution
Evolutionary Biology
evolutionary theory
front-loaded design
Intelligent Design
laws of nature
laws of physics
natural selection
No categories
Rope Kojonen
theistic evolution