FREE Webinar series - 2020-21
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You can view the previous webinars on YouTube:
Dr Michael Denton
Michael Denton holds an M.D. from Bristol University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from King’s College, London. A Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute's Centre for Science and Culture in Seattle USA - and we are grateful to Discovery Institute for the use of the image above - he has had a crucial impact on the debate over Darwinian evolution. He currently lives in Perth, Australia.
His most prominent book, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, coined a most appropriate phrase for current evolutionary theory. It is credited with having inspired both Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe to investigate scientific problems with Darwinian evolution. His book showed that severe cracks exist in the foundations of Darwinism in areas related to homology, palaeontology, and molecular biology.
Although originally published more than 30 years ago, the core argument that much of the complexity of the biological world cannot be accounted for in terms of cumulative selection has stood the test of time, as witnessed by the growing scepticism in the scientific community that micro-evolution can be extrapolated to macro-evolution.
In this presentation Dr Denton shows that all the major successive innovations in the history of life, such as the origin of the living cell, of photosynthesis, of the circulation, of high acuity vision, and of oxidative metabolism were only possible because of a very remarkable ensemble of prior environmental fitness in the nature of things which enabled their actualization. In the case of the origin of the cell, for example, this was only possible because of the pre-existing fitness of the properties of carbon and other atoms for specific biochemical functions, as described in Dr Denton’s recent book The Miracle of the Cell. The same applies to photosynthesis, as this crucial second advance was only possible because of the fitness of sunlight for photochemistry and the transparency of the atmosphere to visual light. The circulation was only possible because of the properties of water, terrestrial life because of the hydrological cycle, and so forth.
Dr Denton’s conclusion is that the only rational inference from the evidence is that the succession of innovations during the history of life on Earth was already 'pre specified' in a primal blueprint and that life on earth was in some sense 'meant to be’ from the beginning of creation.
Hominid Fossils and Human Origins
Dr Casey Luskin
Dr Casey Luskin presented his webinar on Monday April 19th 2021.
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.
In his role at Discovery Institute, Dr. Luskin works as Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture, where he helps direct the ID 3.0 Research Program, and assists and defends scientists, educators, and students who seek to freely study, research, and teach about the scientific debate over Darwinian evolution and ID.
David has been a practicing lawyer for over 25 years, with particular experience and expertise in the areas of commercial litigation and family law. In his spare time he pursues his interests in music and sport, with his claim to fame being that he is a former World Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling champion!
A keen advocate of the theory of Intelligent Design, David has for many years been interested in the issues surrounding theories of origins, together with their philosophical and religious implications. Having given numerous talks on the subject, and taken part in many debates, he finally found time to put pen to paper in 2020 when he completed his book entitled:
‘Taken Without Consent; How Atheists Have Hijacked Science.’ **
The talk will start by covering some of the areas dealt with in the book. It will then move on to develop some of those areas and to consider in particular the theory of Intelligent Design and whether it is a legitimate scientific theory.
The latter will include an examination of the judgment in the Dover trial.
** The book is described in more detail here. Some downloadable excerpts are available on that page.
It is a "humorous, interesting, and accessible book on Darwinian Evolution. It addresses one of life’s fundamental questions: ‘How did we get here?’ and examines the most commonly accepted answer, that which is known as Darwinian Evolution. The book concludes by considering why Darwinian Evolution holds such a prominent, almost unassailable position in the scientific community and addresses the charge that the pursuit of true scientific knowledge has been usurped by a faith-based position, a commitment to atheism, and a refusal to allow the evidence to speak for itself."
Dr Paul A Nelson
Orphan Genes and Why They Matter ?
Paul A. Nelson is a philosopher of biology who has been involved in the intelligent design debate internationally for three decades. Paul studied at the Universities of Pittsburgh and of Chicago, where he received his PhD in the philosophy of biology and evolutionary theory. He is currently a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute, Seattle, and an Adjunct Faculty member in the Master of Arts Program in Science and Religion at Biola University, California.
As an early associate of Professor Phillip Johnson of UC-Berkeley, author of the bestselling critique, Darwin on Trial, Paul was an organizer of the Mere Creation conference (1996) where the modern intelligent design research community first formed. His research interests include the relationship between developmental biology and our knowledge of the history of life, the theory of intelligent design, and the interaction of science and theology. Paul lectures frequently at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Europe. He is a contributor to broadcast media, to scholarly and popular journals, and has written book chapters for several publications, including works published by Inter-Varsity Press and Cambridge University Press. He is also one of the authors of the biology textbook Explore Evolution and has appeared in several films on intelligent design for Illustra Media. He lives in Glenview, Illinois.
Dr Günter Bechly
Discontinuities in the fossil record
Günter Bechly is a German paleo-entomologist who specializes in the fossil history and systematics of insects, the most diverse group of animals. He served as curator for amber and fossil insects in the department of palaeontology at the State Museum of Natural History (SMNS) in Stuttgart, Germany. He is also a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Centre for Science and Culture in Seattle USA. Dr Bechly earned his Ph.D. in geosciences from Eberhard-Karls University in Tübingen, Germany. He also has an interesting story to tell about his journey to Intelligent Design. It can be found at https://freescience.today/story/gunter-bechly/ He may talk about some of that in the forthcoming webinar.
Professor James Tour and Dr Stephen Mayer
The Mystery of Life's Origin
Prof James Tour is a distinguished synthetic chemist who has been responsible for ground-breaking research in the production of new carbon-based materials. He has engaged extensively in the debate about the various theories advanced to attempt to explain the chemical origin of life. He is also a contributor to the revised edition of The Mystery of Life’s Origin, by Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen which first appeared in 1992 and caused a stir in academic circles as it revealed the total inadequacy of accepted hypotheses.
Dr Stephen Meyer is the author of the highly praised Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt and has also contributed to the revised version of The Mystery of Life’s Origin. His forthcoming book The Return of the God Hypothesis is expected in Spring 2021.
Both presenters are accomplished and compelling communicators.
Dr Douglas Axe
How Four-Year-Olds Grasp Design Better Than Most Biology Professors
The provocative title reflects the theme of Dr Axe's recent book, ‘Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed’.
Douglas Axe, PhD, is the director of Biologic Institute, a non-profit research organization launched by Discovery Institute in Seattle. He is also Maxwell Professor of Molecular Biology, School of Science, Technology and Health at Biola University, La Mirada, California.
His work and ideas have been featured in many scientific journals, including the Journal of Molecular Biology, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature, and in such books as Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt by Stephen Meyer.