Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Remembering Jon Buell (d. March 14, 2020)

The 2020 update

From Bill Dembski:

I learned with sadness yesterday that my good friend and colleague Jon Buell passed away on Saturday (3/14/20). I had been Jon’s academic editor for The Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), a Dallas publisher of books aimed at un-indoctrinating high school and college age students. He hired me in 1997 and I stayed on in that position until my family’s move from Texas to Iowa in 2012. …

Jon’s role in the intelligent design movement was seminal. He was the moving force behind the publication of The Mystery of Life’s Origin, which appeared first in 1984 and appeared as a 35th anniversary edition greatly expanded and updated in January of this year.

That Jon was able to get Mystery to see the light of day was a miracle. Convinced that a materialistic understanding of biological origins was completely wrong, Jon sought to undermine this view at its weakest point, namely, the origin of life. To that end, he gathered together top researchers who could address the problem and convincingly argue for the futility of materialistic origin of life scenarios, namely, Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley, and Roger Olsen.

Bill Dembski, “The Passing of Jon Buell” at billdembski.com

About origin of life, he seems to have been right. The field is going nowhere at top speed.

And from Evolution News and Science Today:

An international conference hosted by Jon in Dallas in 1985 would prove to be particularly consequential. As David Klinghoffer writes in the new introduction to Mystery:

“It was the sort of event where a young geophysicist in the oil business, with no plans for the weekend, could wander in almost by chance. In his 2009 book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, Stephen Meyer records the date, February 10, 1985, a Saturday, because what he heard ‘changed the course of my professional life. By the end of the year, I was preparing to move to the University of Cambridge in England, in part to investigate questions I first encountered on that day.’”

Meyer in his three books, Signature, Darwin’s Doubt, and the forthcoming The Return of the God Hypothesis, pays tribute to the influence of The Mystery of Life’s Origin.

In the late 1990s, Buell hired a young mathematician and philosopher, William Dembski, as the Foundation’s academic editor. Dembski calls Mystery of the Origin of Life a “groundbreaker” both for the scientific case it makes and for “breaking into the secular academic market.”

Remembering Our Friend Jon Buell, Intelligent Design’s “Matchmaker”” at Evolution News and Science Today

Some people have made things happen, some responded to what was happening, while others are still asking, “What happened?”

R.I.P. Jon Buell.Truthfreedom
March 24, 2020
11:51 AM

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