In Episode 3 of The Phil Vischer Podcast, the crew discusses pop culture and Lady Gaga before interviewing Wake Forest biophysicist Jed Macosko.
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Jed Macosko is a leading physicist at Wake Forest University whose dedication to making science more appealing to middle-schoolers and masters’ candidates alike has been celebrated by other scholars and the White House. With research interests spanning biophysics, thermodynamics and drug discovery, Macosko helped develop a video game that teaches middle school students advanced cellular science, and more importantly, how to love it.
I stumbled onto the podcast this week, and I’m hooked. I appreciate your relaxed (but funny and thoughtful) style. What a great alternative to dour radio preachers or the ‘morning zoo’ stuff I switch back and forth between during my commute to work.
Thanks so much for having me on the show. It was super fun to see your new studio and to hang out with you, Skye, Christian and Bill.
This morning, I finally had a chance to listen to the podcast. It was really entertaining listening to you, Skye and Christian during the first 20 minutes of the show. And as I listened to the discussion that you, Skye and I had for the next 40 minutes, I thought it might be nice for people to have a little summary of what we covered and a couple of links we mentioned. I’ll have to do this in successive replies, since Word Press won’t let me do it all in one.
studiodaily.comStarting with the links, here is the one to the Inner Life of the Cell video. And people can also watch a longer version here.
amazon.comamazon.comamazon.comThe links to books are The Edge of Evolution and Darwins Black Box and Mere Creation and Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. To read both sides, someone might want to read The Language God by Francis Collins and Darwin on Trial by Phil Johnson.
As for the summary, we talked about how the Big Tent strategy of Phil Johnson starts with the question “Is the universe designed or not?” We discussed how that question takes the many, many camps within the Christian world and unites them to each other and to other people who also believe the universe is designed. The bad guys, then, are the ones who don’t think any part of the universe is designed, which means all of us who previously were at each other’s throats can be the good guys!
I mentioned that the only problem with the Big Tent strategy is when a person says they think the universe is designed, but then act day-to-day like it’s not designed. You rightly called this person a “methodological naturalist”, and I argued that this kind of attitude makes for really bad science.
Obviously it’s a good idea to assume that there’s no monster in your kids’ closet when they ask you to investigate. But it’s a bad idea, and bad for science, to assume that there is no detectable divine intervention in anything that has happened in our natural universe. Understanding the universe without accounting for God’s intervention is like trying to balance a chemical equation by removing one of the reagents from the list. You might be able to balance things out, but the answer will definitely be wrong.
We talked about how some people object, saying that accounting for God’s intervention is a conversation stopper. But I said that this objection amounts to a sound bite with no real substance, since much of atheistic science assumes a design, albeit illusionary, in order to do good science. Also, most great scientists of the past 500 years assumed a design and used that assumption to make their discoveries.
One last thing we talked about was how to protect kids from the “first to present his case seems right” syndrome (referring to Prov. 18:17). For example, when they go off to college and hear professors saying things that contradict what they learned in church and that sound very convincing. I recommended giving kids multiple layers, or reasons, for believing what the Bible says is true. Then, even if a smooth talking professor or peer blows apart one of the kid’s layers (like what happens to the heat shield on a reentering spacecraft as described here) the other layers will still help the kid stick to what is true. Usually, in time, “another comes forward and questions” the smooth talking professors and helps the kid see that their layers were solid after all. But until that happens, it’s good if our kids don’t just have one layer!
These were just some of the points we discussed, and I thought that perhaps a written summary of them might be useful. I’d be glad if Skye posted the link to the Amy Sherman book he mentioned. Maybe it would be good if you elaborated on what you meant when you talked about how Darwin said Caucasians would replace all other races but that we should fight against that. It was an interesting statement you made, but we never discussed it.
Thanks again for the opportunity to be on your show. I look forward to the next time!
All the best,
P.S. The links to some of the books didn’t work, so I’m trying again:
The links to books are The Edge of Evolution and Darwins Black Box and Mere Creation.
amazon.comamazon.comamazon.comThe links to books that didn’t work the first time are The Edge of Evolution and Darwins Black Box and Mere Creation
Thanks for the links, Jed!!!
wfu.edu@didi1004 feel free to email me if you need any additional information. My email is at the “contact me” link at http://www.wfu.edu/~macoskjc/People.htm
Any updated e-mail?
I wanted to send you an e-mail but the link you posted didn’t work.
Thanks a million.