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Two Nature Articles Call for Rethink in Biology

ID the Future
Andrew McDiarmid
Casey Luskin
Audio File (22.2 mb)

It’s not just intelligent design theorists who are calling for a major rethink of biology and origin-of-life research. On this ID The Future, Casey Luskin speaks to host Andrew McDiarmid about two recent articles in the prestigious journal Nature that review major problems with current theories on the origin of life and the source of genetic complexity in living things.

In a recent Nature comment, biochemist Nick Lane and bioengineer Joana Xavier give a sobering assessment of the origin-of-life research field, advising fellow researchers that “brash claims for a breakthrough on the origin of life are unhelpful noise if they do not come in the context of a wider framework.” Lane and Xavier identify key issues in this fractured research field, including “the relentless pressure to publish, to secure funding, tenure or promotion.” They also summarize the major problems facing two of the most popular theories for the origin of the first life: the prebiotic soup model and the hydrothermal systems hypothesis. Dr. Luskin breaks down each of their points in detail.

Luskin also discusses another recent article in Nature from Oxford emeritus biologist Denis Noble calling for a major rethink of biology in a piece titled “It’s time to admit that genes are not the blueprint for life.” Noble argues that the view of biology often presented to the public is oversimplified and out of date. He says that life is “far more interesting and wonderful” than previously thought, and in a surprising twist, even acknowledges that it’s the organism that controls the genome!

As Luskin explains, these frank acknowledgements from evolutionary scientists are encouraging signs and serve to confirm what ID theorists have long argued: the need for a fundamentally new way of looking at the natural world.

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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.

Andrew McDiarmid

Director of Podcasting and Senior Fellow
Andrew McDiarmid is Director of Podcasting and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. He is also a contributing writer to He produces ID The Future, a podcast from the Center for Science & Culture that presents the case, research, and implications of intelligent design and explores the debate over evolution. He writes and speaks regularly on the impact of technology on human living. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Post, Houston Chronicle, The Daily Wire, San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, Newsmax, The American Spectator, The Federalist, and Technoskeptic Magazine. In addition to his roles at the Discovery Institute, he promotes his homeland as host of the Scottish culture and music podcast Simply Scottish, available anywhere podcasts are found. Andrew holds an MA in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University and a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Learn more about his work at
Denis Noble
epigenetic information
Evolutionary Biology
Joana Xavier
natural selection
Nature (journal)
Nick Lane
origin of life
Origin of Life Research