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“Cookies on the Bottom Shelf”: Interrogating Jonathan Wells

Jonathan Wells

We celebrated the release of Jonathan Wells’s new book Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution last month at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. A new episode of ID the Future offers excerpts from the Q&A afterward with Wells and Center for Science & Culture associate director John West. Download it here, or listen to it here.

Quite apart from Dr. Wells and Dr. West, the questioners are impressive – thoughtful and well informed. The discussion touches on speciation as a problem for Darwinian theory, the rise and fall of the “Junk DNA” myth, the mystery of information in the cell that is not in DNA – and the internationalization of intelligent design.

The last point we’ve noted here recently, with ID-related events at universities from São Paulo, Brazil, to Istanbul, Turkey. As Dr. Wells says, ID research in the U.S. largely has to keep its head down. We know where it’s happening, of course. In the United States, however, there’s a limit to how much you can get away with in questioning evolutionary notions. What a shame that is for our academic community.

An added observation that John West makes is that Jonathan Wells has an unusual gift as a scientist, besides his willingness to think outside the Darwin box. That is the ability to make complex ideas readily comprehensible, as readers of Evolution News know already. (See his post of this morning for an example.)

One of the questioners in the Q&A has a delightful metaphor for this: Jonathan “puts the cookies on the bottom shelf.” Exactly.

Photo: Jonathan Wells and John West, by Andrew McDiarmid.