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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.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



Adolf GrünbaumadviceAndrew McDiarmidatheistsfriendshipgraduate studentsID the Futureintelligent designmentorsPaul Nelsonphilosophy of sciencepodcasttruth-seekingUniversity of PittsburghWilliam Blake