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!