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Introducing Walter Bradley: Friend, Hero, and Coauthor of The Mystery of Life’s Origin

Robert J. Marks II

Mystery of Life's Origin

Editor’s note: The following is adapted from remarks by Robert J. Marks at the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith. At the event, Stephen Meyer commented that The Mystery of Life’s Origin, by Walter Bradley and his colleagues, new released in an expanded form by Discovery Institute Press, inspired the current generation of leaders in the intelligent design community. Dr. Meyer said it was his hope there were those in the audience who would be similarly moved in the next generation. Dr. Marks concurred.

Greetings! I am Robert J. Marks and I am the Director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence. I am also a Distinguished Professor at Baylor University. The Bradley Center is the new kid on the block at Discovery Institute. We are pushing back against AI hype in the media. Will Skynet in the Terminator franchise become self-aware and take over the world? Is the brain the same as the mind? These topics and others are the covered at our website Mind Matters, where you can read informed news and opinion about natural and artificial intelligence.

A Profound Impact

But I am not here to talk about that. I am here to talk about this: The Mystery of Life’s Origin, written by Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley, and Roger Olsen, is celebrating its 35th anniversary. The impact of the book was profound. Steve Myer has already talked about how his career in ID was shaped through his  interaction with Charles Thaxton, one of the book’s coauthors. Discovery Senior Fellow Jay Richards and Doug Axe, Maxwell Professor of Molecular Biology at Biola University, were also profoundly influenced by the book. All three of the book’s authors are with us here today.

Through solid scientific analysis, Mystery showed there was no explanation for the origin of life. But that was 35 years ago. Has it held up? The answer is yes. The Bradley Center is proud to have sponsored the release of a new updated edition,  The Mystery of Life’s Origin: The Continuing Controversy,  that includes new chapters by James Tour, Brian Miller, Stephen Meyer, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Jonathan Wells. There is also a fascinating introduction by David Klinghoffer that discusses the history of the book including the central influence of John Buell in corralling the talent to put the initial book together. 

A Friend and a Hero

Before the Q&A with the authors of the original Mystery of Life’s Origin, we’ve asked coauthor Walter Bradley to offer a presentation. A biography of Walter Bradley is being prepared and will be released later this year. For the biography, we solicited testimonials from some whose lives have been changed by Dr. Bradley. Rather than give a further introduction, let me quote from some of these testimonials.

William Lane Craig of Reasonable Faith says, “Walter Bradley is one of the most extraordinary men I have ever known.”

Rice University synthetic organic chemist James Tour, who spoke here last year, says, “Professor Walter Bradley fearlessly led the charge for faculty to unabashedly stand up for their faith on campuses.”

Philosopher Jay W. Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet, says, “Walter Bradley woke me from my dogmatic slumber. That change of mind permanently altered my career trajectory.”

And Doug Axe, author of Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition that Life Is Designed, says that “Luminaries like Walter Bradley paved the way for me to dedicate my career to advancing design thinking in biology.”

So, as they say, without further ado, here is my good friend — and my hero — Dr. Walter Bradley.

Photo: Walter Bradley at the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, by Chris Morgan.