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Gil Dodgen, 12/29/50 to 4/24/16


Long time UD contributor Gil Dodgen has died.

From here:

A small episode from Gil Dodgen’s life might help you understand the sort of person he was: Picture a homeless kitten, lost and confused in Southern California traffic. A man sees her, stops his car in the middle of the street and rescues her, starting a lifelong companionship. Gil’s life was characterized by excellence in everything he did, combined with a deep sympathy for those around him.

Gil was born Dec. 29, 1950, in Moscow, was raised in Pullman and received bachelor’s degrees in music and French and a master’s in French from Washington State University. He met and married his college sweetheart, Janie Gay of Prosser, Wash., who was also studying French at WSU. They would have celebrated 40 years of marriage next February.

The couple moved to Southern California, where Gil combined his sense of adventure with his literary education by becoming the editor of Hang Gliding magazine. While using computers to publish the magazine, he developed a passion for programming and, entirely self-taught, ended by creating the world’s second-ranked computer checkers program, only surpassed by a program created by an entire computer science department with a team of graduate students.

Re-inventing himself again, Gil transformed his skill with computers and knowledge of aviation into a career as an aerospace software engineer, recently receiving an award from NASA for his contribution to the Orion spacecraft program.

Although music did not become Gil’s career, his love of music infused his life. He was a classical pianist and was proud to be a member of the praise band in the church that brought so much meaning to his life.

Gil died suddenly on April 24 of a pulmonary embolism. He is survived by his wife, Janie; and their two children, Tracy and Shelley, both of whom Gil and Janie raised to a happy adulthood. He is also survived by his parents, Harold and Harriet Dodgen of Pullman; a sister, Cynthia Dodgen Schraer of Anchorage; and a brother, Stephen Dodgen of Pullman.


A reader adds:

the obituary correctly notes that Gil played the piano for his church, and that music was a big part of his life. But I don’t think that the obituary really does justice to Gil’s piano career when it states:


“Although music did not become Gil’s career, his love of music infused his life. He was a classical pianist and was proud to be a member of the praise band in the church that brought so much meaning to his life.” (http://dnews.com/obituaries/obituary-gil-dodgen-formerly-of-pullman/article_7aa9f591-e1f8-59c5-8721-c3a91655134e.html)


That’s all true. But did you know that Gil was a very accomplished classical pianist who, at one time in his life, was quite a big deal in the classical piano world? He was so big that he even released three of his own albums.


Gil was kind enough to give me CD copies of his albums, titled “Gil Dodgen Plays Chopin and Liszt”, “Gil Dodgen Plays Gershwin”, and “The Romantic Piano, Gil Dodgen”. (You can find a Vinyl LP version of the first album mentioned for sale at Amazon at:




However, you don’t have to go to Amazon to get Gil’s music. Apparently he had his three albums digitally remastered and you can download them for free off of what seems to be his own personal website. His three albums are still available for free download as zip files at:




The specific URLs are:






If any of you are classical music fans, I highly recommend that you download his CDs. His CD “The Romantic Piano” includes some challenging pieces by Rachmaninoff–a testament to Gil’s skills!


I’ve had Gil’s music on my classical playlist for many years and still often enjoy listening, especially to his Gershwin. He really was a top quality pianist–although his piano skills, as great as they were, were probably outmatched by his humility. If you download these CDs and put them on your playlist, I am sure you will enjoy them.


Rest in Peace, our friend Gil Dodgen.




gpuccio: Excellent illustration. Thank you. Dionisio
Dionisio: Thank you for looking at it! I really think that is a great argument. If we look at clouds that resemble (say :) ) a weasel, but we think that we are being deluded into thinking that a real weasel is there, what should naturally happen is that, if we get nearer to the clouds, no illusion of a real weasel is left. But if we get nearer to the clouds, and we see further details of the weasel, the minute hair, the details of the eye and of the pupil, then something strange is happening. And if we get nearer and nearer, and we start seeing weasel tissues and cells, and the vascular system, and the nervous system, and so on... Will there be a moment that we really ask ourselves: but... maybe this is a real weasel, and not a cloud? :) gpuccio
gpuccio @21 Thank you for posting the link to that OP by Gil. In that same thread:
GilDodgen @3:
Darwinian and origin-of-life theorists are left with only increasingly fantastic speculation to support a conclusion that has already been reached, but which is increasingly in conflict with the trajectory of the evidence. In any other field of empirical science this would be considered a crisis for a theory. But OoL and Darwinian theory get a free pass, because the alternative is philosophically unacceptable.
gpuccio @5:
Not only as we deepen our understanding of the living world we find ever new complexity, order and intelligence, but I would also say that the level of complexity increses exponentially, so that each new level of understanding shows new and unexpected levels of mystery. That’s really beautiful.
Bob O'H: Thank you for your words. A recognition from the other side has special human value. :) gpuccio
I've been traveling, so only just caught up with the news. My col?dolences to Gil's family. He was one of (several) the people on the other side of this debate/argument I liked. Bob O'H
I have always considered the following post by Gil one of the best arguments for design in biology. I link it here to remember him, and because it really deserves to be read again, many times: https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/id-and-the-trajectory-of-observational-resolution/ gpuccio
Like many others here at UD, I never met Gil personally, but had a very high opinion of his writing and his character. He also once sent me some CD piano recordings he had made. I am very saddened to hear of his passing. Granville Sewell
I was shocked to hear that Gil has passed. I unfortunately did not have the pleasure to meet him in person, but on these pages he was a skilled debater, thoughtful thinker, and friend. Truly a remarkable individual. As I read through his obituary I couldn't help but wish that I might someday eke out even half of what he accomplished. He will be truly missed . . . and I look forward to finally meeting him in person. See you on the other side, Gil! Eric Anderson
Gil was really great. His intuition was beautifully expressed in his deep insights about design, and many other things. We will miss him. gpuccio
Gil was friendly and genuinely kind. I read part of his testimony tonight. When I searched for info about his faith, I was delighted to find his testimony! It was an excerpt from a book titled God Is! ... See parts of it here: https://goo.gl/aqCnbH JGuy
Gil (and Barry) Thank you so much for the music. What a (de)parting gift. Chopin, Liszt, Gershwin ... my favs. Charles
(sigh) I haved sorely missed Gil's posts here at UD. He no longer has to confront the vacuity he so detested. Looking forward to meeting you in glory... Charles
I did not know the man, but his talents were undeniable. Sincerest condlolences to his family, friends, and the staff at UD who knew him. rvb8
Gil was one of those rare people, a Renaissance man, gifted in both arts and sciences. Years ago, when I lived in Toronto, he would sometimes phone me late at night (it wasn't so late for him on the West Coast) to talk about arts subjects, literature, religion, and philosophy, etc. His early educational training was somewhat similar to mine. He probably enjoyed interacting with traditional* artsies who had laboured in actual bodies of knowledge. Yes, I will surely miss him too but he doubtless has better company now. * = People who have never taken a course whose name ended in "Studies." Who were expected to study literature in its original language, etc. Mostly vanished now, one fears. - O'Leary for News Requiescat in lucem pacis aeternitatis. News
Thanks Barry. RIP Gil. You will be missed here. Mung
I always appreciated reading Gil's posts and thoughts. He was always insightful. We'll miss his presence at UD. May the Lord bless his soul. Rest in peace, Gil. PaV
Gil was one of my favorite UD posters back in the day. I'm sorry I didn't get to know him better. Here is a list of the posts he authored here. johnnyb
Rest in Peace, Mr Dodgen. A wonderful man. I always enjoyed Gil's posts and especially his moving testimony. cmow
I always admired Gil for his astounding intellectual versatility, but he was much more than a very smart man. He made the world more beautiful with his sublime music. I know because I took the trouble to listen. He knew how to combine the big technique with sensitive artistic expression. More than that, he made the world a more noble place by rising above materialist atheism and sharing his story with his friends ---and his enemies. To me, that was the greatest thing of all. He was willing to endure all those personal attacks for the sake of truth. StephenB
Gil, thank you for everything. Upright BiPed
I am deeply saddened to hear of Gil's death. He was a courageous fighter for truth, and a very open-hearted person. I will keep his family in my prayers. vjtorley
Rest in Eternal Peace, good warrior. kairosfocus
Roger Williams plays "The Rose" and "Somewhere in Time" at the Crystal Cathedral https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNWWGYNrTtw Roger Williams - Autumn Leaves ( Piano ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OR5sBVirk Autumn Leaf's Laughter Oh please do tell us of your secret you majestic autumn leaves, of regal red, and shimmering golden yellow, Brilliantly coloring the landscapes of trees . Do you dare pass away in a rush of beauty while you are slowly dying? Pay ye no heed to all the other deaths so solemnly attended with tears and crying? or Does the essence in you somehow yearn jealously for a glorious life to come? And you somehow secretly know that death is not sad but fun? For I truly wish I could die like you and that I knew the secret of your story, so that my countenance should also light up and glow as my soul is delivered to behold God’s glory. So please autumn leaves which mock death with such defiant belly laughter, Do tell us your secret over death so that we may properly enter the hereafter. Johnny Cash and Rosanne Cash - September When It Comes - song about life and mortality http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2WilM6ljUg
Author Gil Dodgen Discusses His Loss of Faith in Adulthood Dodgen Daily (on Darwinian programming = nonsense) Fond remembrances from hang gliders The World Champion Checkers Story by Gil Dodgen His music Associate researcher at Evolutionary Informatics Lab News
That is very sad news and my heart goes out to his family. Gil's posts were a major draw for me and everything he said on the subject of Intelligent Design resonated deeply with me. He also had a refreshingly direct and assertive style that made his points all the more powerful. I have missed his contributions although, I think it's true to say that he said everything he wanted and needed to say. On to the next one, Gil. Chris Doyle
My thoughts are with his family - I'm going to listen again to some CDs he once kindly sent me... DiEb

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