When left to their own devices, the laws of nature tend toward death, not life. So what does it take for life to exist? On a new episode of ID the Future, host Eric Anderson talks with physician Howard Glicksman about some of the remarkable engineering challenges that have to be solved to produce and maintain living organisms such as ourselves. Glicksman is co-author with systems engineer Steve Laufmann of the recent book Your Designed Body, an exploration of the extraordinary system of systems that encompasses thousands of ingenious and interdependent engineering solutions to keep us alive and ticking. In the “just so” stories of the Darwinian narrative, these engineering solutions simply evolved. They emerged and got conserved. Voila! But in this chat, Anderson and Glicksman explain that it takes more than the laws of nature to keep us from dying. “Chemicals on their own don’t have any desire or tendency to turn into living organisms,” says Anderson. “They tend to degrade, they tend to break down, they tend to go back to their basic constituents.” Glicksman and Anderson discuss examples, including how the human body handles friction, heat transfer, and the crucial task of maintaining chemical balance at the cellular level. And where does all this essential innovation come from? Glicksman points to an intelligent cause that transcends matter and energy. Download the podcast or listen to it here.
This conversation is just one of many we are making available detailing an exciting new perspective in biology, one informed by the principles of engineering. Here are links to a few more episodes and articles on this emerging view:
- PODCAST: “Is Adaptation Actually a Fight to Stay the Same?“
- PODCAST: “The Human Body as a Marvel of Engineering“
- PODCAST: “Engineering, Not Evolution, Explains the Body“
- ARTICLE: “Engineering Principles Explain Biological Systems Better than Evolutionary Theory“
- ARTICLE: “Pentadactyl Whale Flipper Is an Engineering Masterstroke“