For his 50th birthday, Phillip Johnson's friends and family presented him with a cake topped with an icing portrait of the retired criminal law professor as Don Quixote.
A clever analogy, friend and colleague James Gordley remembers thinking, but a trifle unfair.
"Whatever Phil is tilting at, it's not windmills," Gordley, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said of his longtime friend.
Indeed, many of Johnson's supporters might say a more appropriate analogy would be that of David and Goliath: one man - 50 years old at the time - taking on the cultural titan that is Darwin's theory of evolution.Johnson, 65, is often referred to as the father of intelligent design - the concept that the world of living things is too complex to have been created through random genetic mutation, as dictated by Darwin, and that a higher power must have been involved.
Fifteen years after his book ignited debate on the subject, Johnson still accepts speaking engagements to discuss intelligent design with new audiences. Though not a trained scientist, Johnson said the issue warrants discussion beyond the scientific field.Continue Reading at