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William Dembski

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William Dembski

William A. Dembski is a mathematician, philosopher, and an advocate of intelligent design. He is currently a research professor in philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Since 1996 he has been a senior fellow with Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. He is also the executive director of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design ( Since the summer of 2007, his technical research on intelligent design has been done under the auspices of The Evolutionary Informatics Lab, run by Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University.

He was formerly the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology and the director of the Center for Theology and Science at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In May 2006 it was announced that Dr. Kurt Wise would take over for Dembski.[1] Before that he was an associate research professor in the conceptual foundations of science at Baylor University (1999-2005). He also 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. 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.

Dr. Dembski has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. He has published articles in mathematics, philosophy, and theology journals and is the author/editor of seven books.

William Dembski
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 22000
Fort Worth, Texas USA 76122
Phone: 817-923-1921 ext.4435


William Dembski does not consider himself a creationist.

"Given this account of creationism, am I a creationist? No. I do not regard Genesis as a scientific text. I have no vested theological interest in the age of the earth or the universe. I find the arguments of geologists persuasive when they argue for an earth that is 4.5 billion years old. What’s more, I find the arguments of astrophysicists persuasive when they argue for a universe that is approximately 14 billion years old. I believe they got it right. Even so, I refuse to be dogmatic here. I’m willing to listen to arguments to the contrary. Yet to date I’ve found none of the arguments for a young earth or a young universe convincing. Nature, as far as I’m concerned, has an integrity that enables it to be understood without recourse to revelatory texts. That said, I believe that nature points beyond itself to a transcendent reality, and that that reality is simultaneously reflected in a different idiom by the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments." [1]

He considers young-earth creation to be exegetically and theologically sound, but not scientifically.

The young-earth solution to reconciling the order of creation with natural history makes good exegetical and theological sense. Indeed, the overwhelming consensus of theologians up through the Reformation held to this view. I myself would adopt it in a heartbeat except that nature seems to present such strong evidence against it. I'm hardly alone in my reluctance to accept young-earth creationism. In our current mental environment, informed as it is by modern astrophysics and geology, the scientific community as a whole regards young-earth creationism as scientifically untenable.[2]

He proposes an interpretation where God transforms human-like beings and places them in the garden of Eden.

For the theodicy I am proposing to be compatible with evolution, God must not merely introduce existing human-like beings from outside the Garden. In addition, when they enter the Garden, God must transform their consciousness so that they become rational moral agents made in God’s image.[3]
Any evils humans experience outside the Garden before God breathes into them the breath of life would be experienced as natural evils in the same way that other animals experience them. The pain would be real, but it would not be experienced as divine justice in response to willful rebellion. Moreover, once God breathes the breath of life into them, we may assume that the first humans experienced an amnesia of their former animal life: Operating on a higher plane of consciousness once infused with the breath of life, they would transcend the lower plane of animal consciousness on which they had previously operated—though, after the Fall, they might be tempted to resort to that lower consciousness.[4]


Dr. Dembski's most recent book is a coedited collection with Michael Ruse for Cambridge University Press titled Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA.

Professional data


  • Ph.D. philosophy University of Illinois at Chicago (1996)
  • MDiv. Princeton Theological Seminary (1996)
  • M.A. philosophy University of Illinois at Chicago (1993)
  • Ph.D. mathematics University of Chicago (1988)
  • S.M. mathematics University of Chicago (1985)
  • M.S. statistics University of Illinois at Chicago (1983)
  • B.A. psychology University of Illinois at Chicago (1981)[5]


  • Discovery Institute—senior fellow
  • Wilberforce Forum—senior fellow
  • International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design —executive director
  • Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design—general editor
  • Foundation for Thought and Ethics—academic editor
  • American Mathematical Society
  • Evangelical Philosophical Society
  • American Scientific Affiliation[5]


  1. Intelligent Design Coming Clean: William A. Dembski Metaviews 098,, November 17, 2000.
  2. William A. Dembski, The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishing Group, 2009), 55.
  3. William A. Dembski, The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishing Group, 2009), 159.
  4. William A. Dembski, The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishing Group, 2009), 155.
  5. 5.0 5.1 William Dembski Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Additional Information

See Also