Phillip E. Johnson

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Phillip E. Johnson (born 1940) is an American retired law professor, author and intelligent design proponent. Johnson is considered the father of the intelligent design movement.



  • Scientists have long known that Darwinism is false. They have adhered to the myth out of self-interest and a zealous desire to put down God.
    • Interview with Claire Cooper, Legal Affairs Writer, published in "Berkeley Law Professor Finds Darwin Wanting: Author Calls Evolution 'Imaginative Story' ", Sacramento Bee, 3 June 1991, p. B5
  • This [origins debate] isn't really, and never has been, a debate about science, it's about religion and philosophy.
    • World Magazine, 30 November 1996
  • If we understand our own times, we will know that we should affirm the reality of God by challenging the domination of materialism and naturalism in the world of the mind. With the assistance of many friends I have developed a strategy for doing this. … We call our strategy the "wedge."
    • Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, 1997, pp. 91-92
  • The Intelligent Design movement starts with the recognition that "In the beginning was the Word," and "In the beginning God created." Establishing that point isn't enough, but it is absolutely essential to the rest of the gospel message.
    • Foreword to Creation, Evolution, & Modern Science (2000)


  • We are removing the most important cultural roadblock to accepting the role of God as creator.
    • Los Angeles Times (25 March 2001)
  • The subject is not just the theory of evolution, the subject is the reality of God.
    • Hank Hanegraaf's "Bible Answer Man" radio program (19 December 2001)
  • We're not trying to prove the character of God through science. That's a bad idea. What I'm trying to do is clear away the misunderstandings, the debris that prevent people from accepting that God who wants to accept them.
    • Hank Hanegraaf's "Bible Answer Man" radio program (19 December 2001)
  • So the question is: "How to win?" That's when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the "wedge" strategy: "Stick with the most important thing" — the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, "Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?" and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do.
    • Touchstone Magazine interview (June 2002)
  • Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.
    • American Family Radio (10 January 2003)
  • I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are quite convinced that it’s doable, but that’s for them to prove…No product is ready for competition in the educational world.


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