I really enjoyed geologist Casey Luskin’s debate today with science historian Adam Shapiro on the question, “Is Intelligent Design Advancing or in Retreat?” Hosted by Justin Brierley, the conversation highlights the ways that ID has advanced greatly in the strength of its evidence and arguments, in the research it inspires and supports, and the measure of its influence among scientists (including Nobel Prize winners) and non-scientists. Dr. Luskin details the ID 3.0 research project, peer-reviewed publications in science journals, and more.
Dr. Shapiro is a thoughtful and respectful interlocutor, and he knows a lot about William Paley, who died in 1805. Paley, I’m sure, figures prominently in Shapiro’s new co-authored book, Science and Religion, from the Oxford University Press series of “Very Short Introductions.” Shapiro has perused Evolution News and has some kinds words, for which I thank him. He’s admittedly not a scientist and did not try in the least to engage Luskin on the merits of current ID scientific publications.
There is an exchange that I found very telling. At about 54 minutes in, Shapiro delivers a highly caricatured portrait of intelligent design, as an argument from amazement: “the world is so amazing, [thus] there is a designer behind it.” You can see Luskin shaking his head, understandably, as Shapiro is saying this. When Casey gets his turn to reply, he encourages viewers to pause the video on YouTube, rewind, and see whether that’s remotely like the argument from complex and specified information that he, Casey, had just made.
And of course it’s not. “If that is what intelligent design were arguing,” says Luskin, “I would disagree with it as well, Adam.” Ha, that is quite the revealing moment.