Paleontologist Günter Bechly debated about intelligent design recently with computational biologist Joshua Swamidass — don’t miss that one — and now has a very interesting conversation with Marco Respinti of the Italian ID group, Centro Italiano per l’Intelligent Design. Dr. Bechly explains his change of mind about design in nature and what it cost him professionally as a curator at the State Museum for Natural History in Stuttgart.
As he says here, the evidence for ID, as he sees it, is “cumulative.” Meaning, I think, that there isn’t one single piece of evidence that clinched the case. Rather, the summation of evidence across a number of fields, including his own, is what persuaded him. Having opened his mind to the possibility of design, he saw it everywhere.
Bechly stresses that his view is motivated solely by scientific considerations. Yet colleagues at his institution tarred him as a “creationist,” made his work there impossible, and he ultimately resigned. He had thought that free speech still counted for something in Germany, even if it was threatened in the United States. Wikipedia sought to make him a nonperson, too, by erasing his entry. Yet here he is, a delightful and very persuasive communicator, and a remarkable testament to following your own intellect where it leads you. Watch now: