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How Marcos Eberlin Discovered Intelligent Design

David Klinghoffer

World-class chemist Marcos Eberlin was in Seattle this week and I had the opportunity to pose some questions to him. His new book is Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose. First, I asked how he initially learned of the theory of ID:

Today, Dr. Eberlin is probably the leading proponent of intelligent design in Brazil. But he’s hardly the only one, with a branch of Discovery Institute in São Paulo now going strong at Mackenzie Presbyterian University. His journey in our direction started in 2008 when he was teaching at Brazil’s top university, the University of Campinas, which is also one of the finest in Latin America. Intrigued by Eberlin’s response to a prominent magazine’s cover story about Darwin, “The Man Who Killed God,” his students challenged him to give his next lecture on design versus evolution. He cheerfully agreed and decided to make a study of the arguments for ID. Very quickly he found himself debating a leading evolutionist before a university audience. “I killed the guy,” laughs Marcos, who is a delightful man as you’ll see here.

In the book, Eberlin describes features of life, chemistry, and the cosmos that, to have come into existence, demand an explanation involving “foresight,” careful planning on the part of a master engineer, chemist, and astrophysicist. If just one of these features — cell membranes, for instance — is truly beyond the reach of aimless material causes, then the game is up for strict materialist origins theories.