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When philosophy makes a difference in the world

In today’s blog we explore the Intelligent Design movement with Dr. Barbara Forrest, PhD in Philosophy from Tulane University, Professor of Philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University, and key witness in the Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District trial in 2005.

Question 1

David: The Merriam-Webster dictionary and google both define Intelligent Design (ID) as a “theory”. Wikipedia refers to it as a “pseudoscientific argument”. You call it a “religious belief”. Does this stem from the direct connection you uncovered between ID and creationism, and can you explain why the use of the word “theory” is inappropriate?

Barbara: The statements of ID proponents themselves show that ID is a religious belief predicated on the supernatural. For example, in 1996, when the Discovery Institute’s (DI) Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (ID movement de facto headquarters, now the Center for Science and Culture — CSC) was seeking adherents and donors in order to promote ID, Phillip Johnson, the movement’s now-deceased founder, defined ID in religious terms: “My colleagues and I speak of ‘theistic realism’ — or sometimes, ‘mere creation’ — as the defining concept of our movement. This means that we affirm that God is objectively real as Creator, and that the reality of God is tangibly recorded in evidence accessible to science, particularly in biology.” In 1999, William Dembski, ID’s chief intellectual, defined ID in not only religious but also explicitly Christian terms with a reference to the New Testament: “The world is a mirror representing the divine life. The mechanical philosophy was ever blind to this fact. Intelligent design, on the other hand, readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.”

There are many other statements confirming that ID proponents themselves view it as creationism, which is a religious belief. And, of course, long after I and others had already documented that in our analyses of ID, I found additional, decisive evidence of it in early drafts of the ID textbook Of Pandas and People. I had to review these drafts as part of my expert witness testimony in Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District (2005). Pandas was being written as an explicitly creationist textbook until the U.S. Supreme Court declared the teaching of creationism unconstitutional in 1987, after which the editors replaced the term “creationism” and its variations with “intelligent design” prior to publication in 1989.

The use of the word “theory” in the scientific sense is therefore inappropriate as a definition of ID. A true scientific theory is an explanatory system comprising established facts, confirmed hypotheses, and scientific laws. As such, a theory unifies a large body of data, enabling scientists to explain that data. ID, as its proponents themselves define it, cannot do this since it rests on religious supernaturalism. ID proponents consistently reject methodological naturalism, in which scientists use empirical methods to construct natural explanations of natural phenomena, as the procedural protocol that guides scientific inquiry. Once methodological naturalism is rejected, the only alternative explanation of natural phenomena is the supernatural. Methodological naturalism has a proven track record of success in explaining the natural world, whereas supernaturalism has no track record at all. So the logical implication of ID proponents’ rejection of naturalism is their invocation of the supernatural, and the supernatural, for them, is the Christian God, as Dembski’s statement made abundantly clear in 1999.

Question 2:

David: Has awareness of the methods of science improved in this country over the last decade and a half?

Barbara: Unfortunately, Americans’ awareness of scientific methodology per se has improved little over the last fifteen years. The level of vaccine resistance both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic is compelling evidence of the low science literacy among some Americans (although other factors, i.e., politics and religion, also explain vaccine resistance). However, based on recent findings of the Pew Research Center and the National Science Foundation, Americans’ understanding of scientific methodology, while not stellar, is relatively stable — that is, it isn’t getting worse!

A 2019 Pew Research Center report showed that roughly half of American adults correctly recognized a hypothesis about a common, everyday problem. For example, 60% correctly understood the need for a control group to test a new drug, and 52% correctly identified a scientific hypothesis about a problem involving computers. Moreover, 67% understood that scientific methodology is “iterative,” meaning that scientific investigations do not yield final, unchangeable truths but require continual testing and updating of results.

More recently, the 2020 Science and Engineering Indicators report, compiled every two years by the National Science Board under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, found that Americans’ understanding of scientific reasoning and processes remained relatively stable between 1999 and 2018. Whereas in 1999, 64% of Americans correctly answered questions about probability, 65% correctly answered such questions in 2018. Less encouraging was the finding that whereas 21% correctly described the process of scientific study in 1999, in 2018 the improvement was marginal, with only 24% correctly doing so.

These statistics are disheartening given the urgency of increasing public science literacy. However, there is reason for optimism based on statistics from the last few years. Twenty states, representing more than 36% of American students, have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize understanding science’s methods as well as its results. Twenty-four states, representing 35%, base their science standards on the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, on which the NGSS were based. My state of Louisiana is among the latter, and we have very good, mandatory standards that were adopted in 2017.

Moreover, acceptance of evolution appears to be on the upswing. According to Gallup polls over the last 40 years, the number of Americans who are creationists hovers between 47% and 38%, with the most recent finding in 2019 putting it at 40%. So creationism is consistently a minority (although sometimes a plurality) view. However, the most recent Pew Research survey in 2019 showed that about 81% of Americans accept that humans have evolved over time. The percentage is higher than in Gallup polls because Pew included a question allowing for evolution to occur through “processes guided or allowed by God or a higher power.” Given this option, 48% chose it, indicating that more Americans accept evolution when they see it as compatible with their religious beliefs. Another 33% believed that purely natural processes guided evolution. Only 18% rejected evolution outright.

Among specific demographic sectors, recent changes rooted in shifting religious demographics provide even more reason to be hopeful. The population of white evangelical Protestants, who form the largest support base for creationism, has declined, while the religiously unaffiliated population has grown rapidly. The religiously unaffiliated are largely young and supportive of evolution — 73% between 18-29 accept it — which implies that they are supportive of science in general. The most recent data of which I am aware comes from an August 16, 2021, article in Public Understanding of Science (see reference below) showing that during the last ten years, the number of Americans who agree with the statement, “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals,” increased from 40% to 54%. The researchers found that “increasing enrollment in baccalaureate-level programs, exposure to college-level science courses, a declining level of religious fundamentalism, and a rising level of civic scientific literacy are responsible for the increased level of public acceptance.” These statistics indicate that, while the United States still has much work to do concerning science literacy, acceptance of science is improving.

Question 3:

David: Are there places where creationists have been successful in getting ID taught in high school science classes?

Barbara: Fortunately, the short answer is “no,” at least as regards policy. None of the public, formal efforts to get ID into high school science classes has succeeded. Nonetheless, in the United States, it is a sure bet that individual teachers somewhere are teaching ID or other forms of creationism on their own initiative. A 2020 study showed that even though the percentage of teachers who “emphasize the broad consensus that evolution is a fact” has increased significantly, a total of 14% still “agree” (11%) and “strongly agree” (3%) that “that intelligent design is a valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species.” Unless a student reports the teaching of creationism and parents protest it, such incidents remain behind classroom doors. Teaching ID or any other form of creationism is, of course, unconstitutional because the U. S. Supreme Court’s 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard ruling prohibits teaching creationism in public schools. Consequently, creationists have been unsuccessful in getting ID formally added to high school science curricula anywhere in the country — not that they haven’t tried!

DI’s “Wedge Strategy,” outlined in a 1998 fundraising document that laid out the goals for advancing ID over the next twenty years, included getting “ten states [to] begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula & include design theory.” ID proponents made high-profile efforts in Ohio in 2002 and Kansas in 2005 either to promote the inclusion of ID overtly or to undermine instruction about evolution in state science standards. Those efforts failed after, and thanks to, protracted, time-consuming efforts by pro-science activists.

In 2004, the Dover, PA, school board adopted a policy requiring science teachers to read to stu dents a statement promoting both ID and the textbook, Of Pandas and People. Teachers refused, and parents sued the school board, producing the landmark case Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District (2005). Federal Judge John E. Jones III ruled that teaching ID in public schools is unconstitutional and placed a permanent injunction against the Dover school district. Although his ruling is binding only in the Third Circuit, his decision reverberated nationwide, forestalling several subsequent attempts elsewhere to promote ID in public schools.

DI subsequently regrouped and began promoting model “academic freedom” legislation for adoption by state legislatures. In such legislation, evolutionary theory is attacked through the use of code language, for example, allowing teachers to have students engage in “critical analysis” of evolution or assess its purported “strengths and weaknesses,” among other terms. (Climate science is often also attacked via the inclusion of “global warming” as a target of these tactics.) Louisiana enacted the first such law as the “Louisiana Science Education Act” in June 2008, followed by a similar law in Tennessee in 2012. Pro-science activists tried energetically but unsuccessfully to defeat these bills. However, the laws are permissive rather than mandatory, and teachers are totally free to ignore them. So far, there have been no reports of ID being taught in public schools based on either of them.

Question 4:

David: A few years ago, I read about ID showing up in a college astronomy classroom. How widespread is this phenomenon in colleges and universities nationwide?

Barbara: You may be referring to the case of Eric Hedin, a now-retired associate professor of astronomy and physics at Ball State University who was investigated for teaching ID there. Hedin had been teaching an Honors College science class entitled “The Boundaries of Science,” in which his syllabus included readings by ID creationists Michael Behe, William Dembski, and Stephen Meyer, as well as Christian apologists C. S. Lewis and Lee Strobel. BSU is a public university, and in 2013 the Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote to the BSU administration about possible constitutional violations. An investigation was conducted, and, based on its findings, BSU President Jo Ann Gora stated in July 2013 that ID could not be taught in BSU science classes. She correctly noted that “teaching intelligent design as a scientific theory is not a matter of academic freedom — it is an issue of academic integrity.”

Hedin retired from BSU and now teaches at Biola University, formerly the “Bible Institute of Los Angeles,” which is notable for its support of creationism and hiring of ID proponents such as Douglas Axe, founding director of DI’s putative research arm, the Biologic Institute (BI; see below for more information about this organization). Biola is an appropriate place for Hedin. He is now free, as his Biola departmental biography states, to teach “physics and astronomy in a way that highlights the harmony and design of nature” and to show how the “laws of physics work together in remarkable concert to provide a universe that . . . invites discovery of the hidden wisdom of its Creator.”

The Hedin incident was a high-profile case because it is so rare. Public universities simply don’t tolerate the injection of creationism into science classes. Even the Dept. of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University, the private institution where ID proponent Michael Behe teaches, has for years posted a disclaimer on its website stating that Behe’s views “are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department” because “intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.” Behe’s faculty page also includes a disclaimer stating that his views on ID “are not endorsed either by Lehigh University in general or by the Department of Biological Sciences in particular.”

Consequently, after almost a quarter-century, DI has not achieved its Wedge Strategy goals “to see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science” and to have “ten CRSC Fellows teaching at major universities.” That failure is a testament to ID’s true identity as creationism rather than real science.

Question 5:

David: On a spectrum that sees deceitfulness at one end and ignorance or disinformation on the other, do you have a sense of where most science denial lives?

Barbara: Based on nearly a quarter-century of involvement with the creationism issue, I would say that some denial is rooted in genuine, unintentional ignorance, while some is due to willful ignorance that is almost always rooted in either religion, politics, or both. Concerning specific areas of science, such as evolution and climate change, conservative religion and/or politics play central roles. (Adherents of moderate and progressive forms of religion and politics typically accept evolution and acknowledge the reality of human-caused climate change.) When conservative religion and politics are fused with scientific illiteracy, science denial is the result.

Statistics such as those I cited above show that most Americans, whether unintentionally or willfully, are either ignorant or misinformed concerning a good deal of basic science. Numerous studies confirm this. These studies also buttress anecdotal information that is obtained informally. For example, we all know people who have absorbed misinformation about the coronavirus, usually from ill-informed family members or the Internet. It is also common for people to say, for instance, that they need antibiotics for a cold, indicating that they don’t know the difference between viruses and bacteria. Such examples reflect ignorance and/or misinformation rather than deceitfulness. (Note that I am using the term “misinformation” rather than “disinformation,” the term in your question. The former term includes unintentional error, while the latter denotes intentional deceit.)

Still another form of denial is rooted in the cynical exploitation of ignorance, and this form is deceitful and dangerous. It, too, is typically rooted in either religion, politics, or both. However, regardless of what motivates science denial — whether deceit or genuine ignorance — the fusion of denial with religion and politics is harmful. The most glaring example at the moment is the amply documented cases of people who reject the reality of the coronavirus and/or refuse to be vaccinated against it.

My own experience and scholarship indicate that the people more properly characterized as deceitful are those who exploit others who are ignorant or misinformed, the latter having used religion and politics to fill the void caused by their lack of actual scientific knowledge. The deceitful exploiters are typically well-educated people who are in a position to distinguish between good science and pseudoscience such as creationism but, for religious and/or political reasons, have devoted their lives to promoting pseudoscience — and have been enabled by lucrative funding from donors who are willing to finance their activities.

Creationists are a prime example of this, and climate science deniers must be included as well. DI promotes anti-evolution disinformation, while organizations such as the Heartland Institute target climate science. Both belong on the deceitful end of the spectrum. These people know full well what sound science shows about evolution and climate change but are willing to hornswoggle their rank-and-file supporters to achieve their ulterior ends (and, I should add, make their livings). Climate science denial is driven by dislike of environmental and financial regulations, with the goal of dismantling them. As with all creationists, DI’s animus against evolution is rooted in religion. ID creationists view the naturalistic methodology of science, in which the supernatural is omitted as an explanation of natural phenomena, as the source of what they consider the moral decay of modern society.

The Wedge Strategy specifies that ID proponents want to “replace materialistic [i.e., modern scientific] explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” They see the materialism of science as “devastating,” asserting that “materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards.” (This is an old creationist complaint that pre-dates ID.) The aim of the Wedge Strategy is therefore “nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.” Portraying modern science as the disease and ID as the cure, DI in 1998 pitched ID to potential donors with the goals of “see[ing] intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.” After twenty years, ID would become “the dominant perspective in science.” Needless to say — after twenty-three years — none of this has come to fruition.

Two decades of analysis of ID by scientists and scholars, along with the utter sterility of ID proponents’ putative research program, have shown the farcical nature of this strategy. DI’s “research lab,” the Biologic Institute (BI), founded in 2005 with the goal of “opening new frontiers for scientific discovery,” produced little more than a website and a self-published “journal,” BIO-Complexity, edited by, and publishing mainly work written by, a roster of DI creationists and their sympathizers. In fact, BI is now defunct, with its revenues reduced to virtually zero. After financing its operations for more than a decade, DI has awarded it no money since 2018.

ID proponent and BI founding director Douglas Axe, named in the 1998 Wedge Strategy as a recipient of “front line research funding” from DI for Axe’s “research laboratory in molecular biology,” now teaches, appropriately and predictably, at Biola University, an institution whose theological position is precisely aligned with the Wedge Strategy. Biola’s website states that “God created all things and set in place the laws of nature, not according to random chance but according to his perfect, miraculous and purposeful plan. Our understanding of the origin of life is enhanced by scientific observation, but not limited to material processes. The existence of the world cannot be explained adequately apart from the intelligent exercise of God’s supernatural power.”

Ultimately, BI’s program of science denial, i.e., the denial of evolution by natural processes, was an exercise in scientific sterility. Nonetheless, having vacated the lab premises and moved on to Biola, Axe is teaching an online course offered through DI’s “DiscoveryU” in which, for a fee of $100, enrollees can learn how he “investigates evidence for intelligent design in molecular biology.”

Question 6:

David: Are there new strategies coming from places like the Discovery Institute that people should be aware of?

Barbara: We must first distinguish between content, strategy, and marketing. Content-wise, neither DI nor any other creationist group has anything new. They keep advancing the same discredited ideas because they have nothing else. For example, CSC Director Stephen Meyer — who had an opportunity to defend ID in federal court as an expert witness for the Dover Area School Board in the Kitzmiller trial but backed out rather than testify — has resurrected his 1999 article “The Return of the God Hypothesis” as a 2021 book, Return of the God Hypothesis. Admitting what critics noted decades ago, he now identifies the intelligent designer as God, as confirmed on DI’s website: “Now [Meyer] provides an evidence-based answer to perhaps the ultimate mystery of the universe. In so doing, he reveals a stunning conclusion: the data support not just the existence of an intelligent designer of some kind — but the existence of a personal God.” Although this admission will certainly not advance ID as a scientific theory, it may draw creationists from other camps to the ID movement. Perhaps to that end, Meyer promotes his God hypothesis in venues such as the tabloid New York Post and video interviews on overtly Christian programs such as “Apologetics Profile.” Such activity is merely a continuation of the Wedge Strategy, which has always depended on outreach to evangelical Christians.

Nonetheless, DI has crafted new promotional, i.e., marketing, angles. Although its “academic freedom” program merely reprises a decades-old effort to sell creationism as necessary to the academic freedom of teachers and students, DI’s model legislation targets instruction about both evolution and “global warming,” appealing to climate science deniers. Invoking the persecuted skeptics mantra that DI uses in complaining about the rejection of ID by mainstream science, CSC Senior Fellow Jay Richards has written that the “supposed ‘consensus’ on catastrophic climate change” is being used to “shut up skeptical non-scientists.”

The coronavirus pandemic has also drawn DI’s attention. So, in addition to creationism, DI now peddles both anti-climate science and coronavirus propaganda. Richards and Douglas Axe co-authored a 2020 book, The Price of Panic, in which they criticize “the tyranny of experts.” They refer to infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci as a “single-minded technocrat” who exaggerated the projected Covid mortality rate for the sake of his career: “For career safety, it’s much better to overstate than to understate the risk. Put yourself in Dr. Fauci’s place. Imagine you predict that a hundred thousand people will die but only a thousand really do. The result? Everyone will be relieved and soon forget that you overshot. But predict a thousand deaths and then get a hundred thousand? Time to find another job and hire police protection.” In March 2020, at the very beginning of the nation-wide spread of Covid, Dr. Fauci estimated that from 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from Covid. As we know, he was not exaggerating. As of August 18, 2021, the number of deaths attributed to Covid is actually even higher at 614,531.

DI is also implementing a new “research” plan, “Intelligent Design 3.0,” by financially supporting outside scientists in an effort to produce “design-inspired” research. Since Meyer describes ID 3.0 as “projects we’re planting in major universities” (see reference #11 below), ID 3.0 bears watching by reputable universities who care about where their researchers’ funding comes from, which, in this case, is a creationist think tank with no record of scientific accomplishment but a long record of attacking science education. DI’s 2017, 2018, and 2019 IRS 990 forms (the most recent available) list lucrative contributions for “Scientific Research” to a number of universities, two of which are major Texas institutions. Baylor University has so far received a total of at least $190,755 (2018 and 2019), while Rice University has received a total of at least $761,542 (2017, 2018, and 2019).

DI’s website describes ID 3.0 as “an effort not to make the scientific case for ID directly but, instead, to use design insights to open up avenues for new scientific discoveries.” This description is an admission of DI’s in-house scientists’ failure to establish the scientific authenticity of ID after a quarter-century, which includes more than a decade of support for the Biologic Institute. ID 3.0 will certainly not accomplish what DI’s own molecular biologist Douglas Axe failed to do. The relevant question is what the beneficiaries of DI’s money will do for DI, which surely expects a return on its investment.

The Baylor funding listed in DI’s 990 forms is going to Robert J. Marks II, who, in addition to being a Baylor faculty member, is the director and a senior fellow of DI’s Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence. The Bradley Center’s mission is “to investigate, critically examine, and apply the conceptual foundations, theoretical findings, technological breakthroughs, practical applications, and philosophical implications connected to the distinction between natural and artificial intelligence, and notably between human versus machine intelligence.” Marks, who has a long-standing relationship with DI, has included in his Baylor curriculum vitae funding from DI in the amount of $288,790 for the period 2018-2021 to support a research project entitled “Artificial and Natural Intelligence: Identifying & Applying the Difference.”

Meyer spoke at length about the ID 3.0 initiative at a 2018 meeting entitled “Intelligent Design 3.0” hosted by Fieldstead and Company, which has been a lucrative funding source for DI itself. He described ID 1.0 as comprising the books by Phillip Johnson and others “advancing the idea of ID and critiquing Darwinism in a rigorous, intellectual way.” ID 2.0 was DI’s funding of books such as Michael Behe’s 1996 Darwin’s Black Box and William Dembski’s 1998 The Design Inference that “laid out our core case, our argument, for intelligent design.” Notably, in neither ID 1.0 nor 2.0 did Meyer include scientific research, which is the first item listed in Phase I of DI’s Wedge Strategy.

Meyer told his Fieldstead audience that “behind the scenes” DI is funding a European scientist whose identity he could not reveal because “it would not help the scientist to have our support for him known.” However, he divulged the name of another American scientist rec eiving ID 3.0 funding: James Tour, a Rice University chemistry professor who is the beneficiary of the lucrative funding listed in DI’s IRS 990 forms. Tour is listed as a co-author of a 2019 article in ACS Nano that acknowledges a grant from DI. According to Meyer, Tour, whom Meyer called an “evolution skeptic,” had already written articles “expressing skepticism about evolution at a chemical level.” DI therefore offered to fund his research, “for which he’d lost money from the National Science Foundation,” and Tour approached the president of Rice University (David Leebron) about DI’s proposal. In Meyer’s account, Tour informed the president that he would like to accept the grant, telling him that “these Discovery guys are radioactive, but they’re doing good science.” The president consulted the biology department, who, Meyer said, “had already pitched a fit.” Nonetheless, after he “had some conversations” and “did his own research,” he gave Tour his approval.

Tour already had a relationship with DI. In 2001 Tour signed DI’s “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism,” a list of people whose signature denotes their skepticism of natural evolutionary processes. He contributed to the 2020 edition of a 1984 creationist book, The Mystery of Life’s Origin, which has always been integral to DI’s promotion of ID, having been originally co-authored by founding members of the ID creationist movement Walter Bradley and Charles Thaxton. Meyer described Tour to his Fieldstead audience as “very friendly to what we’re doing.” Along with his Rice University credentials, he is featured prominently on DI’s website in an assortment of ID-friendly videos (see reference #20 below). He was a speaker at DI’s annual Dallas Conference on Science and Faith, giving a 2019 talk at Park Cities Baptist Church in which he cast doubt on the work of mainstream scientists. He closed with a Bible verse telling students who have been “inundated with misinformation” by their professors that “you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all you heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:3). This is a classic creationist tactic that is used to inoculate students against mainstream science.

Calling Tour’s research “design-inspired” and “implicitly design-friendly,” Meyer told the Fieldstead audience that DI is pursuing fifteen such research projects. His comments suggest that DI has resorted to directly funding ID-friendly scientists in universities both in the U.S. and abroad who will publish research for which DI can then claim credit. Exploiting the reputations of universities such as Baylor and Rice, DI will thus acquire bragging rights that they can use to keep donor funding flowing despite their own scientists’ failure to meet the first of DI’s Wedge Strategy “Twenty Year Goals,” namely, “To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.” That goal was to have been met in 2018, the same year Meyer delivered his Fieldstead presentation.

David: Thank you Professor!

Acknowledgement: Dr. Barbara Forrest would like to thank Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center for Science Education, for kindly reading a draft of this work.

References associated with Question 1:

1. Phillip E. Johnson, “Starting a Conversation about Evolution,” Access Research Network, 1996,

2. William Dembski, “Signs of Intelligence, A Primer on the Discernment of Intelligent Design,” Touchstone, July/August 1999. The quote is also in William A. Dembski, “Signs of Intelligence: A Primer on the Discernment of Intelligent Design,” in Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design, ed. William A. Dembski and James M. Kushiner (Brazos Press 2001), pp. 191-192.

3. National Center for Science Education, “Cdesign Proponentsists,” September 25, 2008,

References associated with Question 2:

1. Pew Research Center, “What Americans Know About Science,” March 28, 2019,

2. National Science Board Science and Engineering Indicators 2020, “Reasoning and Understanding the Scientific Process,” in Science and Technology: Public Attitudes, Knowledge, and Interest, May 15, 2020

3. National Science Teaching Association, “K-12 Science Standards Adoption,” 2014,

4. Megan Brenan, “40% of Americans Believe in Creationism,” Gallup, July 26, 2019,

5. David Masci, “For Darwin Day, 6 Facts About the Evolution Debate,” February 11, 2019, Pew Research Center,

6. Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox, America’s Changing Religious Identity: Findings from the 2016 American Values Atlas, Public Religion Research Institute, September 6, 2017,

7. Pew Research Center, “America’s Changing Religious Landscape,” May 12, 2015,

8. Pew Research Center, “Americans, Politics and Science Issues,” July 1, 2015,

9. Jon D. Miller, Eugenie C. Scott, Mark S. Ackerman et al. “Public Acceptance of Evolution in the United States, 1985-2020,” Public Understanding of Science, August 16, 2021,

References associated with Question 3:

1. Eric Plutzer, Glenn Branch, and Ann Reid, “Teaching Evolution in U.S Public Schools: A Continuing Challenge,” Evolution: Education and Outreach, June 9, 2020,

2. United States Supreme Court, Edwards v. Aguillard, 1987,

3. Discovery Institute, “The Wedge,” 1998,

4. Geoff Brumfiel, “Kansas Backs Lessons Critical of Evolution,” Nature, August 17, 2005,

5. Vicki D. Johnson, “A Contemporary Controversy in American Education: Including Intelligent Design in the Science Curriculum,” Educational Forum, Spring 2006,

6. PBS, “Board vs. Teachers,” NOVA,

7. Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, December 20, 2005,

8. Joshua Rosenau, “Louisiana Enacts a New Creationist Law,” Reports of the National Center for Science Education, July-August 2008,

9. National Center for Science Education, “Monkey Bill Enacted in Tennessee,” April 10, 2012,

References associated with Question 4:

1. Freedom from Religion Foundation, letter to Jo Ann Gora, President, Ball State University, May 15, 2013,

2. Scott Jaschik, “Science or Religion?,” Inside Higher Ed, May 17, 2013,

3. Freedom from Religion Foundation, “FFRF Commends Ball State’s Support of Science and Academic Integrity,” July 31, 2013,

4. Biola University, “Eric Hedin,”

5. Biologic Institute, “People,”

6. Biola University, “Douglas Axe,”

7. Department of Biological Sciences, “Department Position on Evolution and ‘Intelligent Design’,” Lehigh University,

8. Michael Behe, “Research,” Lehigh University,

References associated with Question 5:

1. Washington Secretary of State, Corporations and Charities Division, “Biologic Institute,”

2. Anika Smith, “Biologic Institute,” Evolution News, April 23, 2008,

3. “Editorial Team,” BIO-Complexity,

4. Barbara Forrest, “Intelligent Design,” in Creationism in Europe, ed. Stefaan Blancke, Hans Henrik Hjermitslev, and Peter C. Kjaergaard (Johns Hopkins University Press 2014), 216-18.

5. Cause IQ, “Biologic Institute,” 2021,,841670187.

6. Matt Young, “Biologic Institute Closes,” Panda’s Thumb, May 23, 2021,

7., “Biologic Institute,” IRS 990: 2018 and 2019,

8. Discovery Institute, “Postdoctoral Research Fellow Douglas Axe,” Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, January 14, 1998, Internet Archive at

9. Biola University, “Douglas Axe,”

10. Biola University, “Biola University’s Theological Positions,”

11. DiscoveryU, “Douglas Axe Investigates Molecular Biology and Intelligent Design,” 2021,

References associated with Question 6:

1. Wesley Elsberry, “Can I Keep a Witness?,” Reports of the National Center for Science Education, January-April 2006,

2. Stephen C. Meyer, “The Return of the God Hypothesis,” 1999, Access Research Network,

3. Discovery Institute, “Return of the God Hypothesis,”

4. Stephen C. Meyer, “Why God Is Still the Best Scientific Theory to Explain Our Life on Earth, New York Post, July 17, 2021,

5. Apologetics Profile Podcast, “Conversation with Stephen Meyer: ‘Return of the God Hypothesis’ [Part 1],” June 7, 2021,

6. Center for Science and Culture, “Model Academic Freedom Bill,”

7. Jay Richards, “Politics Disguised as Science: When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’,” The Stream, April 19, 2017,

8. Douglas Axe, William M. Briggs, and Jay W. Richards, “The Rise of the Experts,” in The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe (Regnery Publishing 2020).

9. Bobby Allyn, “Fauci Estimates that 100,000 to 200,000 Americans Could Die from the Coronavirus,” National Public Radio, March 29, 2020,

10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Covid-19 Mortality Overcview,” August 18, 2021,

11. Stephen C. Meyer, “Intelligent Design and the Coming Revolution in Bioinformatics and Biotechnology,” Intelligent Design 3.0, Fieldstead and Company, Irvine, CA, March 9, 2018, Video available at

12., “Discovery Institute,” IRS 990: 2017, 2018, and 2019,

13. David Klinghoffer, “Now It Can Be Told: Intelligent Design 3.0” Evolution News, December 23, 2019,

14. Discovery Institute, “Robert J. Marks II,” Staff and Fellows, Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence,

15. Discovery Institute, “Mission,” Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence,”

16. Baylor University, “Dr. Robert J. Marks II,” School of Engineering and Computer Science,

17. Robert J. Marks II, Curriculum Vitae, June 15, 2019, p. 79,

18. Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross, Creationism’s Trojan Horse, rev. ed. (Oxford University Press 2007), 265-267.

19. Rice University, “James Tour,” The People of Rice: Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni,

20. Discovery Institute, “James Tour: Professor of Chemistry, of Computer Science, and of Materials Science and Nano-Engineering,”

21. Thushara Galbadage et al., “Molecular Nanomachines Disrupt Bacterial Cell Wall, Increasing Sensitivity of Extensively Drug-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae to Meropenem,” ACS Nano 2019 13 (12), 14377-14387. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.9b07836,

22. James Tour, “Origin of Life, Intelligent Design, Evolution, Creation and Faith,” Evolution/Creation, August 2019,

23. Discovery Institute, “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism,”

24. Charles B. Thaxton, Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen, ed., The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories (Lewis and Stanley 1984),

25. James Tour, “We’re Still Clueless about the Origin of Life,” in The Mystery of Life’s Origin: The Continuing Controversy, ed. Charles B. Thaxton et al. (Discovery Institute Press 2020),

26. Discovery Institute, “The Mystery of Life’s Origin,”

27. Discovery Institute, “Dallas Conference on Science and Faith Is a Hit, as Meyer, Metaxas, Tour Welcome Surprise Guest,” Evolution News, January 21, 2019,

28. Discovery Institute, “Draft Schedule: Dallas Conference on Science and Faith,” January 18-19, 2019, Park Cities Baptist Church,

29. James Tour, “The Mystery of the Origin of Life,” Dallas Conference on Science and Faith, January 19, 2019,

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