Taking the Cake by Phillip E. Johnson

Taking the Cake

When my fiftieth birthday arrived in 1990, just before the publication of Darwin on Trial, my wife Kathie organized two surprise birthday parties, one in the morning for our Presbyterian church Bible study fellowship, and the other in the afternoon for my University of California law school faculty colleagues. Each party had its own specially decorated birthday cake. For the church group, the cartoon on the frosting was of the young David (me) slaying the giant Goliath (Darwinism).

Kathie thought that a more ironic theme would be appropriate for the secular professors, most of whom weren’t sure what to make of my emerging notoriety as the scourge of Darwinism, and so the afternoon cake displayed Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Almost fifteen years later, those two birthday cakes still pose an unavoidable question about the prospects of the intelligent design movement. Are we slaying giants, or tilting at windmills?

Can we possibly succeed in slaying the gigantic error at which we have aimed our logical slingshot, and thereby liberate the people of God from their bondage to the Philistine philosophy of scientific naturalism? Sometimes the mission we have undertaken seems almost impossible, because the Darwinists are backed by the financial power of the federal government and the major foundations, plus the cultural power of the academic elite and the national media.

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Phillip E. Johnson is Professor of Law (emeritus) at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Darwin on Trial, The Wedge of Truth, The Right Questions (InterVarsity Press), and other books challenging the naturalistic assumptions that dominate modern culture. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.

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