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The Atheist Who Helped Shape Intelligent Design

Adolf Grünbaum

It’s wonderful to remember mentors who helped shaped us, often in ways that might have surprised the influential person if he’d known about it beforehand. On a new episode of ID the Future, philosopher of science Paul Nelson talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about Dr. Nelson’s own mentor, atheist philosopher Adolf Grünbaum (1923-2018) at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Nelson was an ex-art student turned philosophy undergraduate when he met Grünbaum. Paul cites William Blake and his saying that “Opposition is true friendship.” It wasn’t from directly absorbing Grünbaum’s perspective that Nelson became a prominent figure in the ID movement, but rather from their friendship and the creative sparks that came from it, inspiring a lifelong search for truth. 

Nelson discusses the difference between truth-seeking and point-scoring as different approaches in navigating scientific and other controversies. It’s important advice. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Photo at the top: Adolf Grünbaum, a screenshot from “GrunbaumEngage,” a tribute by the Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh.