William A. Dembski

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute

A noted mathematician and philosopher, William A. Dembski was a founding Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture from 1996 until 2016. His most recent book relating to intelligent design is Being as Communion: A Metaphysics of Information (2014).

Dr. Dembski was previously the Phillip E. Johnson Research Professor of Culture and Science at Southern Evangelical Seminary; a Research Professor in Philosophy at Southwestern Seminary, where he directed its Center for Cultural Engagement; the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Theology and Science at Southern Seminary, where he founded its Center for Theology and Science; and an Associate Research Professor in the Conceptual Foundations of Science at Baylor University, where he headed the first intelligent design think-tank at a major research university: The Michael Polanyi Center.

Dr. Dembski has taught at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University. Dr. Dembski is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he earned a B.A. in psychology, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in philosophy. He also received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1988 and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1996. He has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships.

Dr. Dembski has published articles in mathematics, philosophy, and theology journals and is the author/editor of more than twenty books. In The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities (Cambridge University Press, 1998), he examines the design argument in a post-Darwinian context and analyzes the connections linking chance, probability, and intelligent causation. The sequel to this book, No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence, appeared with Rowman & Littlefield in 2002 and critiques Darwinian and other naturalistic accounts of evolution. Dr. Dembski has edited several influential anthologies, including The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science (ISI, 2011, co-edited with Bruce Gordon), Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing (ISI, 2004) and Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA (Cambridge University Press, 2004, co-edited with Michael Ruse). His most comprehensive treatment of intelligent design to date, co-authored with Jonathan Wells, is titled The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems.

As interest in intelligent design has grown in the wider culture, Dr. Dembski has assumed the role of public intellectual. In addition to lecturing around the world at colleges and universities, he appears on radio and television. His work has been cited in newspaper and magazine articles, including three front page stories in the New York Times as well as the August 15, 2005 Time magazine cover story on intelligent design. He has appeared on the BBC, NPR (Diane Rehm, etc.), PBS (Inside the Law with Jack Ford; Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson), CSPAN2, CNN, Fox News, ABC Nightline, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.