Science & Faith
CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Mike Keas

Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute http://www.discovery.org/csc, Professor of History & Philosophy of Science (College at Southwestern http://college.swbts.edu), & teaches at http://www.biola.edu/scienceandreligion

Posted 3/13/14 at 6:20 PM | Mike Keas |

19 comments

Neil deGrasse Tyson Revives Sagan's Cosmos TV Series: Naturalistic Religion for the Masses

"The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be." That's how Sunday's premiere of the new TV series Cosmos began. This echo of Carl Sagan's famous statement of naturalistic faith is the organizing assumption for this new series, now hosted by the best known planetarium director in the country, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

For ENV's responses to the Cosmos premiere, see:

The historically inaccurate material on Bruno that dominates the premiere episode has been debunked mutliple times by historians of science. See, for example, Jole Shackelford's essay about the myth "That Giordano Bruno Was the First Martyr of Modern Science" in the book Galileo Goes to Jail: And Other Myths About Science and Religion, edited by Ronald L. Numbers, 59-67 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009). Although this book's essay on intelligent design is inadequate, the other essays, like this one on Bruno, are well done. Jay Richards' blog linked above gives you the essential information you need about what really happened to Bruno, and why. FULL POST

Posted 2/19/14 at 10:39 PM | Mike Keas |

1 comment

The War on Humans: Documentary Released February 18th

The War on Humans, an important documentary from Discovery Institute that explores the growing disparagement of the value of human beings, is now available for viewing. The ebook by the same title is also available for $1.99 (Kindle or Nook).

About the Ebook
The environmental movement has helped produce significant improvements in the world around us—from cleaner air to the preservation of natural wonders such as Yellowstone. But in recent years, environmental activists have arisen who regard humans as Public Enemy #1. In this provocative e-book, Wesley J. Smith exposes efforts by radical activists to reduce the human population by up to 90% and to grant legal rights to animals, plants, and Mother Earth. Smith argues that the ultimate victims of this misanthropic crusade will be the poorest and most vulnerable among us, and he urges us to defend both human dignity and the natural environment before it is too late. FULL POST

Posted 1/30/14 at 8:50 PM | Mike Keas |

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The New War on Humans and February/April 2014 Events that Oppose this War

The new War on Humans website asks:

Are humans the enemy? Should pigs and plants be given constitutional rights? The War on Humans e-book and companion documentary explore how a new generation of activists are pushing a radical agenda whose ultimate victims may be the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

On Monday, February 3, watch the free premiere of The War on Humans, a provocative documentary from Discovery Institute that explores the growing disparagement of the value of human beings -- in the name of saving the planet. The premiere will be at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. Register now. Or, watch the full documentary at YouTube when it premieres during the week of February 17, 2014. Find the documentary YouTube link at the War on Humans website when it is available. Watch the trailer now (scroll one screen down to find it there). FULL POST

Posted 1/6/14 at 10:03 AM | Mike Keas |

19 comments

Top-Ten Evolution & Intelligent Design Stories of 2013

Evolution News & Views, a leading news source on evolution and intelligent design, lists all of its Top-Ten Evolution Stories of 2013 here, except story #1, which is posted here. This top-ten list should be familiar to my readers at CP, because I have reported on all of them when they were happening, except for a few which I shall mention below. I encourage you to read all of those stories unfamiliar to you as we reflect on the year 2013 with hindsight. To read all the top-ten stories, use the two links above.

  1. Responding to Charles Marshall's Review of Darwin's Doubt
  2. What George Church, Famed Harvard Geneticist, Says About Darwin's Doubt
  3. Darwin's Doubt Debuts at #7 on New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List
  4. Ball State President Imposes Gag Order on Intelligent Design
  5. Introducing a New Intelligent Design Curriculum, Discovering Intelligent Design
  6. How "Freethought" Bullies Threatened College into Cancelling Intelligent Design Course
  7. New Scientific Volume Challenges Neo-Darwinism, Survives Censorship Attempt
  8. Lenski's Long-Term Evolution Experiment, 25 Years and Counting
  9. Science Nationalized: Unleashing the Next Generation Science Standards
  10. Michael Denton's Peer-Reviewed Paper on the Fitness of the Biosphere

Here are the stories that I did not report here at CP: FULL POST

Posted 12/21/13 at 9:12 AM | Mike Keas |

137 comments

Socrates in the City: Stephen Meyer & Eric Metaxas Discuss Darwin's Doubt

"Charles Darwin, the scientific method, Danny DeVito, and Cher all manage to find a place in this mind-boggling and entertaining conversation between Eric Metaxas and Stephen Meyer." That's how the "Socrates in the City" (SITC) folks described this must-watch video that they just posted. Watch it here. SITC host Eric Metaxas resides in NYC, where the SITC studio is also located.

David Klinghoffer also notes the following about this video.

As always, Metaxas is hilarious. I've said before he makes me think of Woody Allen if the latter were a better-looking and better-dressed Evangelical Christian. In the introduction, Eric makes a fuss that Tom Wolfe -- yes, that Tom Wolfe -- came out to hear Steve Meyer talk about Darwin's Doubt. FULL POST

Posted 12/7/13 at 11:46 AM | Mike Keas |

15 comments

UC Berkeley's Marshall Debates Meyer on Darwin's Doubt: Respectful Discussion of Intelligent Design

On November 30, 2013, two scholars demonstrated how to respectfully debate the merits of intelligent design in the natural sciences. Regardless of who you think "won" this remarkably friendly debate, perhaps we can all agree that Stephen Meyer and Charles Marshall model well how to engage in civil discourse over one of the most polarizing discussions in science today. Philosopher of science Stephen Meyer debated UC Berkeley paleontologist Charles Marshall on the Cambrian explosion and its treatment in Meyer's book Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. Hosted and moderated by Justin Brierley of Britain's Premier Christian Radio, this exchange is a milestone of civility in debate about science and its philosophical underpinnings. Listen to it yourself (on a Mac, control-click the link to download the MP3).

Before you begin listening, examine this Listener's Guide to the Meyer-Marshall Radio Debate (and follow its weblinks) to get oriented. Here are some highlights from this Guide to which you should pay special attention in order to get the most of your listening experience.

FULL POST

Posted 11/30/13 at 10:10 PM | Mike Keas |

102 comments

Intelligent Design for Christmas: Shopping List for Books & DVDs

You should consult this Christmas shopping list for books and DVDs about the scientific theory of intelligent design. The list includes links to various places to purchase items that will spark great conversations with friends and relatives. Here are some of the items on that list about which I have blogged over the past year.

Books

Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, by Stephen C. Meyer. Landing at #7 on the New York Times bestseller List, Darwin's Doubt had an explosive debut this summer. Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the theory of intelligent design is ultimately the best explanation for the origin of the Cambrian animals.

Discovering Intelligent Design, by Gary Kemper, Hallie Kemper, and Casey Luskin. This highly anticipated curriculum for homeschoolers and private school students was greeted with enthusiasm by parents and educators alike when it was released in May of this year. The multimedia curriculum -- complete with textbook, workbook with learning activities, and corresponding DVD -- explores various facets of intelligent design including the origin and development of the universe, the origin of biological complexity, the fossil record's dearth of unambiguous evidence for universal common descent, and the broader cultural debate over ID. The curriculum is recommended for middle school ages and up. The textbook by itself is a great introduction to ID for a general audience. FULL POST

Posted 11/23/13 at 8:12 PM | Mike Keas |

42 comments

Biomimetics: Design in Nature Mimicked by Human Engineers

Biomimetics is devoted to building technologies that mimic biochemical processes in living organisms. Human engineers have much to learn from the wonders of design in the biological world. Some recent advancements in this field also remind us of how biological designs are best explained as real, as opposed to only apparent, intelligent design.

Photo credit: University of Alabama

Intelligent Designs in Nature Make Engineers Envious

A news item from the University of Alabama shows Dr. Amy Lang studiously gazing at a Monarch butterfly on the wing. She has reason to stay focused. She just got a $280,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the scales on butterfly wings to find ways to improve flight aerodynamics for MAVs (micro area vehicles).

Butterflies don't require the scales to fly, but Dr. Lang knows they help the insects fly better. "The butterfly scales are beautifully arranged on the wing, and how the scales are arranged is where the aerodynamic benefit comes in," she says. This "unique micro pattern ... reduces drag and likely increases thrust and lift during flapping and glided flight." When the scales are removed, the butterfly has to flap its wings 10 percent more to maintain the same flight. Read more. FULL POST

Posted 11/18/13 at 9:37 PM | Mike Keas |

32 comments

New Documentary Explores C.S. Lewis's Struggle with Arguments for Intelligent Design

Wikipedia: C.S. Lewis

A new documentary has just been released in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis's death (November 22, 1963). Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia and many literary-philosophical works, engaged in a life-long struggle to find meaningful design and enduring purpose in a world filled with cruelty, pain, and imperfection.

The documentary "C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design" premieres today on the NRB cable and satellite network and the YouTube C.S. Lewis Channel. The documentary unpacks portions of a book edited by Dr. John West titled The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society.

"C.S. Lewis is well-known for defending the existence of God, but he actually struggled for much of his life to see purpose in a universe that often seemed cold and heartless," says West. "In 'C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design,' we explore the fascinating story of how Lewis became persuaded that design in nature was real." FULL POST

Posted 11/14/13 at 9:52 AM | Mike Keas |

18 comments

Intelligently Designed in the Lab: Biotech Guru Craig Venter Asks "What is Life?"

Apple Maps (Mavericks) 3D rendering of the Venter Institute (showing early construction)

What is life? How did it originate? If we could build a simple organism artificially in the lab, would we better understand the answers to these questions? Craig Venter thinks so, and he often speaks in public as if he and his scientific team were striving to do just that, and much more.

Biotech guru Craig Venter addressed such pressing issues in his October 2013 book, Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life. Meanwhile his new San Diego biotech facility celebrated its grand opening on November 9, 2013. Former Vice President Al Gore graced the event with a speech (see the party pics here). "We cannot think of a more appropriate person to commemorate the opening of our net zero carbon, ultra green genomics lab than Al Gore," announced Venter. (Venter is probably unaware that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased inconveniently by about one percent per decade since 1979, despite Al Gore's Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning expectations to the contrary). FULL POST

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