Intelligent Design

W.E.Loennig Interview

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Wolf Ekkehard Loennig is certainly one of the leading ID biologists in the world, he studied mutations for 32 years, 25 at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Koeln, and has written many well-researched documents on intelligent design. You can see some of them here, as well as several peer-reviewed scientific publications favorable to ID. As the prototype of the biologist who should not exist, he has naturally endured a lot of persecution, but has survived and is more prolific than ever in retirement. Many of his writings are long and characterized by great attention to detail, loaded with technical references and footnotes, so they unfortunately tend to be a little difficult for the layman to follow.

However, Loennig recently did an interview with a German TV station which is available here. In this interview he covers all of the big issues in the Darwinism/ID debate, at a level that is very accessible to the non-scientist. In fact, this is the best summary of the issues in this debate, and the arguments for ID, that I have ever heard. He discusses the Cambrian explosion, the origin of life, human evolution, the myth of the 98% similarity between chimps and humans. He summarizes the attitude of most scientists toward ID: “Es kann nicht sein was nicht sein darf”—what must not be, cannot be! Regarding the question “who designed the designer” (9:00-12:00 approx.) he notes (in addition to the obvious and usual reply that we often infer design before we know anything about the designer) that for many years, until the Big Bang theory, materialists were happy to believe that the material universe, with all its forces and particles, had no beginning and thus no explanation for its existence was needed. Now that we know the universe is not eternal, why is it suddenly impossible to believe that its Creator is eternal and thus needs no explanation?

Another interesting part of the interview (24:00-28:30): Loennig notes that a few years ago scientists were all excited about the new plant species they hoped to create by speeding up evolution, by bombarding plants with radiation to increase mutation rates and using high-tech artificial selection techniques, they were confident they could help evolution along and produce interesting and useful new species. Despite almost unlimited financial support, nothing useful was ever produced, no new species, only “devolution” was observed and today these efforts have been completely abandoned throughout the world. Symbolically, he notes, at Loennig’s own Max Planck Institute the walls built to protect scientists from the radiation facilities have now been torn down.

Here is the bad news, however: as you may have already discovered, the interview is in German, and Dr. Loennig says he does not have time to produce an English transcript. My German is good enough to understand the interview, but not good enough to produce an English transcript of this 45-minute interview in a reasonable amount of time (maybe after I retire!). So I’m wondering if there is a bilingual German-speaking reader out there somewhere who would like to make a truly important contribution to the ID movement. This is really an important and powerful interview, it would be wonderful to have an English translation of at least a good portion of the interview (see my comment below), so listeners in the US and UK could benefit from it also!

5 Replies to “W.E.Loennig Interview

  1. 1
    Granville Sewell says:

    We now have one volunteer for the translation, if you are willing and able to help, please contact me first (sewell@utep.edu) to coordinate, you will only need to do half (or less) of the video now. I will certainly post the translation here at UD once finished, will see if we can get it posted elsewhere also.

  2. 2
    john_a_designer says:

    Why not use google translate?

    Here is a passage from one of Dr. Loennig’s online articles:

    Die Wirkung des Darwinismus auf die biologische Forschung wird von der großen Mehrheit der Biologen uneingeschränkt positiv beurteilt. Forscher aus verwandten Gebieten stimmen in der Regel zu. In den Jahrzehnten nach Erscheinen der ORIGIN-Arbeit (1859) hat sich de Zahl der Naturforscher vervielfacht, Biologie und Geologie bekamen Richtung und Ziel. Eine differenzierte Betrachtung anerkennt diesen stimulierenden Effekt, weist jedoch auf mehrere bedenkliche Punkte hin. So bemerkt R. E. D. Clark (1967, p.122): “The immediate effect of Darwinism was to stimulate biological research” – gibt dann aber zu bedenken:

    http://www.weloennig.de/mendel05.htm

    Here’s the translation in English via google:

    The impact of Darwinism on biological research is fully appreciated by the great majority of biologists. Researchers from related areas generally agree. In the decades following the publication of ORIGIN’s work (1859), the number of naturalists has multiplied, and biology and geology have been given direction and purpose. A differentiated view recognizes this stimulating effect, but points to several points of concern. For example, R. E. D. Clark (1967, p.122) notes: “The immediate effect of Darwinism was to stimulate biological research” – but then points out:

    My German is very rough. How does that look to you?

  3. 3
    Granville Sewell says:

    John,
    This is surprisingly good (only a couple of minor errors); however in this case there is no German written transcript and I assume Google can’t translate spoken German nearly so well. But maybe our translator may consider creating a German transcript and using Google to help then, I’ll point your comment out to him. (Or maybe just as easy to write it down in English as he listens to it.) Thanks for the suggestion, my experience with automatic translations has never been very positive, maybe Google is progressing rapidly lately!
    Granville

  4. 4
    ronvanwegen says:

    “It is incumbent upon all of us to now learn German” or “Es liegt an uns allen, jetzt Deutsch zu lernen”.

  5. 5

    Wow, thanks for doing this GS (and helpers).

    I look forward to reading the transcript.

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