* RSR Interviews Discovery Institute Scientists and Associates: (see below for today's show description)
- Michael Behe on Darwin Devolves (and finally on RSR :)
- Scientist Who Helped Explain Protein on RSR: Doug Axe
- Philosopher of Science Paul Nelson on Bird Flight
- Renowned Scientist Richard Sternberg on Junk DNA
- Ann Gauger on Darwin's enzyme problems and China cloning primates
- Dr. Stephen Meyer on Darwin's Doubt and Rebutting Critics of Darwin's Doubt
- Winston Ewert on the Creator's Coding Library
- Intelligent Design Uncensored Co-Author Jonathan Witt
- Illustra Media Producer Lad Allen on Living Waters: Intelligent Design in the Oceans
- Walter ReMine on the Biotic Message
- Fired Jet Propulsion Lab Administrator David Coppedge on RSR
- John West on Darwin Day in America
- Wesley Smith on human exceptionalism or else and on plants rights
- Illustra's Lad Allen on ORIGIN (and honoring James F. Coppedge)
- Michael Flannery on Alfred Russel Wallace and what's-his-name
- Illustra Media associate producer David Coppedge
Bonus: From Roche Healtcare, Molecular & Metabolism Pathways
* RSR Interviews with Opponents of the Discovery Institute:
- Eugenie Scott, physical anthropologist on junk DNA
- Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing and other absurdities
And Spats with:
- NASA astrobiologist Mary Voytek on water as the enemy of abiogenesis
- Jack Horner considering our $23,000 grant to carbon date his T. rex
- Aron Ra
- PZ Myers admiting Darwinism doesn't help him explain the trochlea
- Phil Plait regarding his own astronomy "evolution" terminology
- Jerry Coyne claiming only prokaryotes have Darwinian DNA challenges.
* Any On Air ID Disagreements? In October 2019, below, we decided to retroactively list any polite disagreements that Bob raised with his Discovery Institute affiliated guests. If you happen to listen to one of these classic interviews, and come across something to be added, please let us know at Bob@rsr.org.
* Bob's Debrief on DI's Alaska Cruise: Back from Alaska and loaded for bear, we discuss Seattle's Discovery Institute (DI), the world's leading advocate for intelligent design (ID). Real Science Radio host Bob Enyart, just back from his Alaska science trip, talks with co-host Fred Williams about the highlights. This great science cruise, hosted by DI to discuss ID, included speakers Stephen Meyer, John West, Paul Nelson, and Oxford's John Lennox.
* A Couple Encouraging Observations from the Discovery Institute Cruise: From Bob's informal survey of most of the attendees of the Discovery Institute's Alaskan Cruise, a solid 50% of the group's supporters are young-earth creationists. Also, just fyi, when Daniel Hedrick introduced Bob Enyart as the author of A Christian Answer to Euthyphro's Dilemma (also linked to by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati), it was heartening to hear that Dr. Lennox was aware of our article and answer. (Months earlier, Dr. Lennox' assistant had told Tom Healey, a retired rancher in Texas that: Enyart's article is sitting on John's desk.) We hope that Dr. Lennox may be one of those who helps to promote this article because it solves the FULL Euthyphro Dilemma and not just the part of the argument thrown out by atheists. We go beyond the typical apologist's response to answer the deeper included question of: How can God Himself know that He is good? (Hint: A unitarian deity like Allah, if he existed, would have a way of determining for certain that he were evil, if he were; but he could not determine for certain whether he were good.)
* Enyart's Spats with Darwinists, etc. See Bob's debates and spats with anti-creationists Eugenie Scott, Jerry Coyne, PZ Myers, Jack Horner, James Hannam, Aron Ra, Phil Plait, Michael Shermer, and Lawrence Krauss.
* Complexity vs. Simplicity: Sometimes, the simplest designs are just as impossible for materialists to explain. Further, the more complex an argument (or the basis of the argument) the more room for obfuscation. Thus RSR is developing a series of simplistic rebuttals to Darwinian evolution, mutation, and natural selection, including the Trochlea:
* Illustra Media Video Resources from RSR: These fabulous Illustra Media films undoubtedly fill the private libraries of thousands of enthusiasts exploring the creation/evolution/intelligent design controversy. Real Science Radio sells these high-quality videos to disseminate the scientific evidence against atheistic origins and to help support the continued broadcasting of RSR. If you love science, you'll love the Illustra Media titles:
- The Privileged Planet
- Unlocking the Mystery of Life,
- Darwin's Dilemma
- Flight: The Genius of Birds
- Design of Life Collection 2-films on Blu-ray (Flight & Metamorphosis)
- Intelligent Design Collection 3-films on DVD (Planet, Unlocking, & Dilemma)
* Fishy Limestone Risky Millstone: On toda's RSR program, the guys also discuss the latest Creation magazine, Bob's last two interviews with Liberty University's Richard Holland on God's relationship to time, and Bob's open theism debates with famed opponents (D. James Kennedy's Knox Prof. of New Testament Dr. Sam Lamerson, and James White) with the latter trying to win the second debate's aftermath by agreeing, shockingly, with R.C. Sproul Jr.'s horrific comment, that "God the Son does not now nor has He ever had two natures." This has devastated all of us here at BEL & Real Science Radio. (2019 Update: While Sproul Jr. has since been disfellowshipped on other grounds by the tight-knit reformed leadership community, they have not publicly rebuked White for his heretical statements. Please pray for everyone involved.)
For today's show RSR recommends
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* William Dembski on the Creation Movement: Have you seen this? As a founder of the Intelligent Design movement, Dembski replied to a review of one of his books by ICR's Henry Morris, writing:
Nonetheless, it was their literature that first got me thinking about how improbable it is to generate biological complexity and how this problem might be approached scientifically. A.E. Wilder-Smith was particularly important to me in this regard. Making rigorous his intuitive ideas about information has been the impetus for much of my research.
In his book Darwin and Design (Harvard University Press, 2003), Michael Ruse makes clear that the key question in the debate over biological evolution is not whether evolution is progressive but rather how biological complexity originated. Creationists have always, and rightly, kept this question at the forefront.
For these reasons, I regard Henry Morris as a great man. I’ve met most of the leading lights associated with his Institute for Creation Research (e.g., Duane Gish, John Morris, and John Baumgardner). Moreover, I corresponded in the 1980s with the late A.E. Wilder-Smith. Unlike many Darwinists and theistic evolutionists, young earth creationists have been extraordinarily gracious to me, and I’ve always tried to return the favor. I therefore regret never meeting Henry Morris in person. I hope still to do so in this life.
Despite my disagreements with Morris and young earth creationism, I regard those disagreements as far less serious than my disagreements with the Darwinian materialists.
* A Christian Answer to Euthyphro's Dilemma: As promised on today's program, here is Bob Enyart's article...
In a dialogue of Socrates with Euthyphro, a state's attorney heading to court in Athens to prosecute his own father, the Greek philosopher Plato reports an apparent dilemma for those who believe in God. Atheists argue that Euthyphro's Dilemma (see the full text, annotated, on our TOL site) shows that moral absolutes cannot logically flow from a divine being. As presented to the Christian:
1) Is something (like humility) good because God recognizes it as good? Or,
2) Is something good because God commands that it is good (as Socrates put it, because God loves it)?
Socrates’ dialogue with Euthyphro used these questions as the backdrop to show the logical contradictions in the Greek pantheon of gods. Even though Christian theology differs from Greek mythology, the atheist can still start his inquiry with these identical questions posed to the believer. Whether this argument still succeeds depends upon the force of this dilemma against the claims of Christianity. So, is something like kindness or honesty inherently good, and simply recognized by the Trinity as such, or does God make something, like kindness, good by deciding that it will be a good thing (that is, by approving, loving or commanding it)?
If God does not make something good by commanding it, but rather recognizes that which is good, what standard of righteousness does He use to make this judgment? If the standard is external to Himself, then it appears that contrary to Christian teaching, an authority superior to God would exist. If He Himself is the standard of righteousness, if by His will He decides whether some trait will be good, as though He could have decided otherwise, that appears arbitrary; and if His nature itself is claimed to define goodness itself, then how could God Himself even know whether He were good? Christians believe that God commands worship for a reason similar to why He commands a son to honor his father, because it is good for the son. But some non-Christians acknowledging no fear of the Creator assert that if a powerful being like the biblical God actually exists, perhaps he does not even realize it but He commands worship because He is selfish. Is there a valid response to this? Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is God the Son, and thus Christians should recognize that the Euthyphro Dilemma presents a valid question to be addressed, because the Gospel of John quotes Jesus Himself raising this concern. "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true [credible]." The New Testament presents a divine assertion, that God the Son urges others to obtain corroborating evidence to His claims. Thus by the recorded judgment of Jesus Christ Himself, if Euthyphro's dilemma is ultimately unanswerable then Christianity is falsified. Conversely, if Christianity is true then Euthyphro's Dilemma is answerable.
The skeptic, then, presents the Christian with two options: if God decides what kinds of traits will be considered “good,” then goodness itself appears arbitrary; otherwise, if goodness is not arbitrary but objective, then it appears that the “true” standard of righteousness would supersede God’s own authority. more...
A couple more RSR intelligent design memes...
* Picky Eggs: Research shows that if the egg (ovum) has corrupted copies of its reproductive genes, it attempts to select a sperm with good copies of those degraded genes. So the ovum apparently can discern, out of about 20,000 genes scattered among billions of nucleotides, whether or not a sperm possesses a good version of one of its own damaged reproductive genes. (The genome modifies its expression in three dimensions based on the temporal needs of the cell or even of the entire organism. So RSR expects that the X and Y chromosomes will have manipulated their contents to insure that those relevant reproductive genes will not be deeply buried within but will be readily available on their surfaces.) This astounding ability to screen the sperm for good genes is consistent with other examples of extremely robust reproductive quality control design features. So the ovum prefers and admits the sperm with the healthier genes. Wow. Here at RSR we predict that this ability (like countless other biological functions and pieces of biological information) is not being controlled by genetic information within the DNA molecule itself but by some kind of "epigenetic" process. And, as Randy Hayes often says, "How'd that evolve?" For, after all, unlike with genetic mutations, textbook neo-Darwinism doesn't even have a mechanism for explaining modifications to the exceedingly abundant and varied forms of non-genetic biological information.
* On Air Disagreements:
- Nauiloids, Slow Deposition, and the Earth's Age: With Stephen Meyer, Bob urged him to "Remember the Nautiloids." That was it, and so on air this was rather subtle although Steve knew Bob's reason for mentioning this, as explained at rsr.org/nautiloids, regarding the easily falsifiable claimed slow rate of limestone deposit (as at the Grand Canyon, allegedly 4,000 years per inch) and yet millions of "polystrate" fossils including vertically standing 18-inch long nautiloids are found everywhere.
- The Compiler: Winston Ewert claimed that the "compiler" that the Creator used to produce DNA was actually a kind of machine that God made, whereas Bob argued that God Himself compiled the code, from the coding libraries that He had previously written.
In October 2019 we decided to retroactively list any polite disagreements that we've raised with our Discovery Institute-affiliated guests. If you happen to listen to one of the classic interviews above and come across something to be added to this list, please let us know by emailing the topic, and the time in the interview that it was addressed, to Bob@rsr.org. Thanks!
* Off Air Disagreements:
- Stephen Meyer in Darwin's Doubt writes, "radiometric dating methods" are straightforward and do not "depend on a host of contingent factors" (p. 109) which I critique in my published book review and get a hearty laugh over when reading that claim on air to a PhD in nuclear chemistry.
- Stephen Meyer on the Discovery Institute's Alaskan cruise asked me to name one thing from Genesis that he doesn't accept. I replied, "That there were no thorns before Adam's sin." Steve, with some evidence of sadness, did not immediately contradict my observation.
- The Discovery Institute self-censors anti big bang discoveries. The way big science ignores anti Darwin discoveries, DI fellows are expected to ignore the kinds of discoveries listed at the #1 ranked article for Googling: big bang predictions. Having lunch in Seattle with RSR friend Daniel Hedrick and the Discovery Institute's podcast host, the affable Casey Luskin, on Pier 54 at Ivar's Fish Bar, Bob Enyart drew the following grid in back of John Lennox' Six Days that Divide the World. Can you guess the point that Daniel and Bob were making to Casey?
- Regarding the 3-to-1 "scheme" whereby three nucleotides indicate a particular kind of amino acid, Bob Enyart was talking on air with either Behe, Guager, Axe, or Sternberg (if we recall whom, we'll move this to the "On Air Disagreements" section), Bob pushed back gently on the notion that materiaists have published attempts to describe the genetic code. No one can accuse the Darwinist community of being overly gracious to the ID community, but repeatedly leaders in the Intelligent Design movement are overly gracious to evolutionists, including when they imply that materialists, while not succeeding, have at least proposed ideas for the origin of the genetic code. Here at Real Science Radio, we don't believe this to be the caes. (If you recall which ID scientist we discussed this with on air, please email the show and timestamp to Bob@rsr.org.) While in Oxford we dropped off into Prof. Dawkins' faculty inbox a glossy printed copy of RSR's 3-to-1 Evolution Challenge.
- Histone proteins, Michael Behe, and Stephen Meyer: In Darwin's Doubt, Dr. Meyer explains the failed Darwinist attempt to use sequencing to date divergence, for "the same or similar groups of molecules have generated dramatically different divergence times" (p. 107). He points out admissions from Dobzhansky protégé Francisco Ayala, who says that such evolutionary calculations are "fraught with danger." And Berkley's James Valentine joins others in acknowledging that "the accuracy of the molecular clock is still problematical, at least for phylum divergences, for the estimates vary by some 800 million years." Meyer then references a paper by Dr. Behe regarding DNA-packing histones, reporting that even with a dozen years of experiments in yeast showing that histones can tolerate dramatic deletions, regardless, across phyla histones remain highly conserved (i.e., minimally different). Meyer argues this against the Darwinists, showing their tendency to commit the cherry-picking fallacy, in this case by selectively ignoring data. But he doesn't mention that IDers are guilty of the same failure, regarding the same evidence no less! The evolutionists assume their own conclusion in that, as Meyer points out, histones "are never used as molecular clocks ... Because ... the small differences between histones yield an extremely recent divergence" (p. 107; emphasis added). By the way, how recently? Steve does not say. And neither did Michael in his paper offer an estimate for how long he believes plants and animals have existed with this extreme lack of mutation. Behe did point out, though, for example, that "the green pea differs from that of mammals by only two conservative substitutions in 102" (Behe, 1990, p. 374). Yet intelligent design, Meyer explains, does not rule out common ancestry (p. 339), for, allegedly, a billion years ago a designer could have engineered a split between plants and animals. But Meyer cannot have it both ways. He wields the histone evidence against Darwinists but only by committing an equally circular, selective data fallacy. As with the intelligent design movement generally, Meyer's book fails to acknowledge this extreme lack of mutations as at least apparent evidence against these phyla having lived for hundreds of millions of years.
- Of a theistic evolutionist, Dr. Meyer in Darwin's Doubt asks (p. 411), "But why attempt to reconcile traditional Christian theology with Darwinian theory, as [Francis] Collins tries to do, if the theory itself has begun to collapse?" The biblical creationist cannot but smile, as he thinks of Meyer's attempt, as a Christian, to reconcile the Darwinian epochs with dinosaur soft tissue, a million nautiloid fossils standing on their heads, and Carbon 14 everywhere it shouldn’t be.