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Phillip E. Johnson: A Lucky Ice Storm

Jay W. Richards

Editor’s note: Phillip E. Johnson, Berkeley law professor and author of Darwin on Trial and other books, died on November 2. Evolution News is currently sharing remembrances from Fellows of Discovery Institute. Dr. Richards’s current book is The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines.

My fondest memory of Phil is from a few days we spent together in the early 2000s. He and I were the speakers for a conference in Salem, Oregon. It was during the winter, the region was hit with an ice storm, and the airports were closed. So Phil and his wife Kathie flew to Seattle.

My wife Ginny, our daughter Gillian (then a toddler), and I met up with them and we travelled together by train to the conference, and then took the train back to Seattle two days later. Although I had been with Phil many times at conferences and meetings, our train rides together gave us hours of uninterrupted time to talk. (This was before smart phones!) I’m so thankful for that ice storm.

Photo credit: Casey Tucker on Unsplash.