Professor Phillip Johnson, a brilliant founder of the “intelligent design” challenge to Darwinian evolution, recently passed away at age 79.
After graduating from Harvard and University of Chicago Law School, Phil served a clerkship for Chief Justice Earl Warren. He taught law for more than 30 years at University of California, Berkeley, before his deep Christian faith led him to question the assumptions behind random evolution. Darwin sought to explain the transition from primitive unicellular organisms to human beings, but had nothing to say on how any form of life emerged from dead rock.
Intelligent design doesn’t offer definitive answers, but does dare to ask crucial questions. I got to know Phil through Seattle’s Discovery Institute, and as founding members of the Salem Editorial Board. His ideas haven’t vanquished all opposing arguments, but over 30 years they’ve opened minds around the world and greatly advanced a needed debate.