creation side by side with evolution. (In this case Scripture or even religious doctrine would violate the separation of church and state.)
The first project materialized as The Mystery of Life’s Origin (Thaxton et al., 1984), written by Charles B. Thaxton, Walter Bradley, and Roger B. Olsen, three conservative evangelicals who accepted an old earth but who were firmly against a natural origin of life or any substantial biological evolution. The book presented the problem of the origin of life as a scientifically unsolvable mystery and, in a postscript, endorsed divine creation as a better answer. Although ID proponents point to The Mystery of Life’s Origin as being the foundational publication for the movement that came to be called intelligent design, it was just one of many books written in the early 1980s that represented attempts by believers in biblical inerrancy to develop a creationist science that avoided the pitfalls of more traditional creation science, such as hostility to an old earth (Pun, 1982; Wiester, 1983; Lester et al., 1984; Pitman, 1984).
Much as had the creation scientists, the authors of The Mystery of Life’s Origin proposed that the origin of life was not simply an extraordinarily difficult problem upon which the research community had not yet reached consensus. Instead, it was a problem that was categorically unsolvable by appeal to natural causes: The first cell was simply too complex to have been produced through natural—equated with “chance” or unguided—processes. Dean Kenyon, then a biologist at San Francisco State University, wrote in the introduction, “… it is fundamentally implausible that unassisted matter and energy organized themselves into living systems” (Thaxton et al., 1984). The authors proposed that in the absence of any possible natural causes, the origin of life must therefore be the result of intelligent agency. The agent, they hastened to add, did not have to be God: it could be, perhaps, an intelligent alien.
Even before The Mystery of Life’s Origin was published, FTE’s Buell had begun work on the second project mentioned above: the “two-model high school biology textbook.” This was published in 1989 as Of Pandas and People, later described by Buell as “the first place where the phrase “intelligent design’ appeared in its present use” (Buell, 2004). (Buell’s remark occurs in his preface to the third edition of Of Pandas and People, temporarily available on Dembski’s web site in 2004.) Credit for authorship was given to Percival William Davis and Dean Kenyon. Davis was described as a biology instructor, and Kenyon as a biology professor. These descriptions, while true, left unsaid the fact that both were traditional creation scientists. Davis was the coauthor of a creationist book (Frair and Davis, 1967) and articles in the Creation Research Society Quarterly (Davis, 1965; Howe and Davis, 1971). Kenyon in 1981 had been scheduled as a defense (i.e., creation science) witness in the McLean trial (although he