There were 677 worldwide scheduled celebrations of the theory of evolution on February 12, 2009, the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin.  Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary took a different approach as William Dembski, research professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Cultural Engagement, presented the viable alternative of Intelligent Design.

Few scholars can compare to Dembski’s academic achievements. In addition to holding a B.A. in psychology, an M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he also earned a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a master of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has also done postdoctoral work in mathematics, physics and computer science. 

Dembski referred to the theory of evolution as a “hypothesis” instead of a theory, claiming that evolution has very little evidence. He compared the “overwhelming evidence” of evolution to a vacuum cleaner, which picks up high levels of dirt, but cannot pick up the primary foundation. Scholars may be able to find comparable fossils of primates and humans, but that simply derives mammal to mammal. No fossil can explain the transition of a starfish to a human.

Rather than admitting these weaknesses, most institutions simply choose to dismiss them, as proven in the 2008 documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which highlighted scholars who were removed from leave their academic positions because of their belief in intelligent design. Dembski was one of those featured in the film.

Intelligent design looks at patterns in the world, such as DNA, and determines if they point to intelligence but does not directly lead to the source behind everything. It simply provides a possible explanation to the weaknesses in evolution.

“Intelligent design is not creationism,” Dembski said. “It’s engineering.”

The issue is bigger than the desire for intelligent design to be taught. Students deserve to have complete information about every developed theory to be able to make an informed decision. However, this trend seems to be growing. As early as next month, the weaknesses of evolution may be pulled from the science textbooks for primary and secondary education in the state of Texas.

The College at Southwestern is one of the only remaining undergraduate programs that teaches intelligent design but also requires students to read Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. The College at Southwestern seeks to lead students in the study of all worldviews so that every idea may be evaluated according to a biblical worldview. 

To hear Dembski’s message in its entirety, you may visit the chapel archives at