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In Appreciation of Ide Trotter

Photo: Ide Trotter, PhD, Princeton-trained chemical engineer and Darwin skeptic, delivers testimony before the Texas State Board of Education.

In my five years of working with the Center for Science and Culture I have been fortunate to meet some very gifted scientists, authors, academicians, public policy makers, entrepreneurs, theologians, philosophers, and other thought leaders. To this day, I don’t believe I have met any more special or more gifted than Ide Trotter.

When I first met Ide at a private dinner in January 2018, I had been working with the CSC for just two months. Even then, according to Ide himself and those who knew him best, his memory was showing evidence of gradual decline. Regardless, I was immediately aware of three of his qualities: a razor-sharp intellect, a deep, kindhearted love of the people in his life, and an even deeper faith.

A Renaissance Man

Over the next few years, I spent time with him in several settings and learned more of the things enumerated in his obituary. He was truly a Renaissance man and had a resumé that would impress anyone. 

Yet despite his achievements and even when his mental capacities were not at their best, his humility, kindness, loyalty, and even his sense of humor never seemed to suffer. He encouraged and respected the employees at the senior living facilities where he lived and the fellow residents with whom he interacted. In conversations with me or with CSC Fellows, his knowledge of intelligent design, the sorts of questions he asked, and the answers he offered, continued to demonstrate a remarkable awareness and acumen about the scientific support for theism and the intellectual gaps in materialistic philosophy.

A Fitting Capstone

One memory stands out for me. It was the evening in August 2021 that he was honored by family, friends, ID scholars Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, and Walter Bradley along with James Tour in a fitting capstone to a life well lived. Memories, tributes, and laughs were in abundance and some tears were shed as well. Not long after this event, his health took a sharper decline. 

Yet in those last months, I would continue to be amazed at the fact that I would often see reading materials in his room and would learn through his family that he continued watching Discovery Institute events online. Even in the final visits I had with him, his wit, his self-deprecating humor, and his gratitude for each day of life were ever present. The very last time I saw him he was at lunch with fellow residents, joyfully grateful for being with them and grateful for my visit.

I will miss him and will be forever thankful for my times with him.

Editor’s note: Dr. Trotter’s family asks that rather than offerings of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Center for Science and Culture, among other good causes.