Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design[1] is a 2004 book by Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross on the origins of intelligent design, specifically the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture and its wedge strategy. The authors are highly critical of what they refer to as intelligent design creationism,[2] and document the intelligent design movement's fundamentalist Christian origins and funding.

Creationism's Trojan Horse
Book Forrest.JPG
AuthorsBarbara Forrest
Paul R. Gross
SubjectIntelligent design movement
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
231.7/652 21
LC ClassBS659 .F67 2004

The book grew out of an essay, "The Wedge at Work: How Intelligent Design Creationism Is Wedging Its Way into the Cultural and Academic Mainstream"[3] which Forrest wrote for the book Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics[4] (2001) edited by Robert T. Pennock. It is published by Oxford University Press and has a foreword by Steven Weinberg.


Michael Cavanaugh, President of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science called the book "chilling", saying that "It lets one see how totalitarian religious thought can begin to take hold even of a multi-cultural free society."[5] Karl Giberson, editor-in-chief of the Templeton Foundation's Science & Theology News chose it as the July's Editor's Choice and described it as a "remarkable analysis".[6] Allan H. Harvey reviewed the book for Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, the journal of the American Scientific Affiliation and criticized the authors' understanding of Christian theology, but wrote that "its thoroughness makes Creationism's Trojan Horse worth reading for those who are concerned about the movement's influence on public opinion and science education."[7]

There were also positive reviews in the scientific literature, by Steve Olson in Science,[8] by Rudolf A. Raff in Evolution & Development,[9] by Barry Palevitz in Bioscience[10] and by Lawrence S. Lerner in Physics & Society.[11]

Chris Mooney reviewed the book for his CSICOP column and used it to compare ID creationism with young Earth creationism.[12] Biologist Bruce Grant described the authors as "heroes", saying their work was "the most thorough introduction to that enemy [intelligent design creationism]".[13]

The book also had endorsements from Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Ursula Goodenough, Massimo Pigliucci, Eugenie C. Scott and Steven Pinker.

Response by the Discovery InstituteEdit

The main subject of the book, the Discovery Institute, was highly critical of Creationism's Trojan Horse. Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute wrote a review in the theology journal Philosophia Christi published by the Evangelical Philosophical Society and said that it had "erroneous reasoning" and that "on every page of the book, there is a tone of paranoia."[14]

Witt and John G. West of the Discovery Institute also had an article published in the November 2004 edition of Science & Theology News entitled "Unraveling The Threads of Darwinist Paranoia".[15] A month later, Forrest and Gross wrote in Science & Theology News, with a reply by Witt and West.[16] Ian Musgrave contributed a letter to the editor in the February 2005 edition replying to West and Witt's reply.[17]

Research for Kitzmiller v. DoverEdit

The research which Forrest in particular did led to her appearing as an expert witness for the plaintiffs at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District intelligent design trial,[18][19] in which intelligent design was ruled to be religious creationism and not science, and thus could not be taught as science in public school classrooms of Dover, Pennsylvania because of the Establishment clause of the US Constitution.[20]

During the trial, pre-publication drafts of the textbook at the center of the controversy Of Pandas and People were uncovered which revealed its creationist origins and how it had changed from using creationist terminology to using intelligent design terminology as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Edwards v. Aguillard. This formed an important part of Forrest's testimony.[21]

A few days before Forrest's testimony, the Discovery Institute published its own "brief history of the scientific theory of intelligent design" by Jonathan Witt, in which he attempts to diminish the importance of Edwards v. Aguillard, claiming instead that the origin of intelligent design was much older.[22]



  1. ^ ISBN 0-19-515742-7
  2. ^ Introduction to Creationism's Trojan Horse Archived 2006-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ The Wedge at Work: How Intelligent Design Creationism Is Wedging Its Way into the Cultural and Academic Mainstream, Barbara Forrest
  4. ^ ISBN 0-262-66124-1
  5. ^ IRAS President reviews Creationism’s Trojan Horse Archived 2006-11-05 at the Wayback Machine Matt Brauer, The Panda's Thumb weblog, March 25, 2004
  6. ^ ID movement assaulted in aggressive new polemic Archived 2015-02-20 at, Karl Giberson, Science & Theology News, July 1, 2004.
  7. ^ Review of Forrest and Gross, Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, Allan H. Harvey, June 2005 issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, (vol. 57, No. 2, p. 157).
  8. ^ Evolution and Creationism: Shapes of a Wedge, Steve Olson, Science 7 May 2004: 825-826
  9. ^ The creationist Hydra grows a new head—a review of Unintelligent Design by Mark Perakh and Creationism's Trojan Horse by Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross[permanent dead link], Rudolf A. Raff, Evolution & Development 6:4, 289-291 (2004)
  10. ^ Review in Bioscience Archived 2006-10-06 at the Wayback Machine by Barry Palevitz
  11. ^ Review in Physics & Society Archived 2006-10-06 at the Wayback Machine by Lawrence S. Lerner
  12. ^ IDing ID: Is "Intelligent Design" theory really "Creation Science" version 2.0? Not exactly, but the parallels are certainly suggestive Archived 2006-10-07 at the Wayback Machine, Chris Mooney August 9, 2004
  13. ^ Intentional Deception: Intelligent Design Creationism by Bruce S. Grant, June 1, 2004.
  14. ^ Review Archived 2006-10-08 at the Wayback Machine by Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute in Philosophia Christi
  15. ^ Unraveling The Threads of Darwinist Paranoia, John G. West and Jonathan Witt, Discovery Institute, November 2004.
  16. ^ Intelligent design has distinctly evolutionary nature Archived 2015-04-05 at the Wayback Machine, Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross Science & Theology News, December 2004, with a reply When anti-ID vitriol prevails, scientific debate loses by John G. West and Jonathan Witt
  17. ^ ID lacks creditable scholarship Archived 2015-02-20 at, Ian Musgrave, letter to Science & Theology News
  18. ^ Expert Witness Report Archived 2008-10-28 at the Wayback Machine for Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Barbara Forrest
  19. ^ Testimony of Barbara Forrest, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
  20. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover decision
  21. ^ I guess ID really was “Creationism’s Trojan Horse” after all Archived 2008-06-24 at the Wayback Machine, Nick Matzke, October 13, 2005, The Panda's Thumb
  22. ^ The Origin of Intelligent Design: A brief history of the scientific theory of intelligent design, Jonathan Witt, Discovery Institute

External linksEdit