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Press Release

Flier Describing the Book (pdf)

2004 edition (see 2007 paperback below)

Trojan Horse Hard Copy Cover

"Combating creationism in its various guises continues to divert limited resources away from public education, and takes time away from enjoyable scholarship. But what choice do we have? To fight effectively, we must know our enemy. The most thorough introduction to that enemy is Creationism’s Trojan Horse. Its authors are heroes."
— Bruce Grant,  Skeptic, "Intentional Deception: Intelligent Design Creationism," E-Skeptic Hotline #22

Creationism's Trojan Horse:

The Wedge of Intelligent Design

Barbara Forrest & Paul R. Gross

Oxford University Press 2004

Now available in 2007 paperback edition
with update chapter including Dover trial

Decision in Favor of Plaintiffs
Judge John E. Jones III, Middle District of Pennsylvania
Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District

Post-Kitzmiller Interviews with Barbara Forrest:

Culture Shocks, December 21, 2005

Science Friday, December 23, 2005

Infidel Guy interview  Infidel Guy,  January 2006
•  Related Documents

"The 'Vise Strategy' Undone:
Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District,"

CSICOP Creation & Intelligent  Design Watch,
Summer 2006

Glenn Branch, "Understanding Creationism after Kitzmiller"
, March 2007

New as of June 2007Website Updates as of October 2007
  • Forrest/Gross in KoertgePaul R. Gross, "The Devolution of God," Free Inquiry June-July 2010, review of The Evolution God by Robert Wright, 2009.
  • New Audio Interview FilesPaul R. Gross, "Nuance and Honor," in A Lady of Distinctions: Susan Haack: The Philosopher Responds to her Critics (Prometheus Books, 2007),  191-201.
  • Paperback Creationism's Trojan HorsePaperback edition of  Creationism's Trojan Horse, Oxford University Press, 2007: New update chapter including Dover trial!
  • VideosOnline videos featuring Barbara Forrest

Creationism's Trojan Horse Paperback

Media Contact Information

Download sample chapter:
Table of Contents
1. How the Wedge Began
2. The Wedge Document: A Design for Design
3. Searching for the Science
4. Paleontology Lite and Copernican Discoveries
5. A Conspiracy Hunter and a Newton
6. Everything Except Science I
7. Everything Except Science II
8. Wedging into Power Politics
9. Religion First—and Last
10. Afterword: Update on the Wedge   —   New Chapter — includes Dover trial

"The old adage 'Be careful what you wish for' came true with a vengeance for the Wedge on December 20, 2005, when John E. Jones III, federal judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, issued his opinion in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover [PA] Area School District:  teaching ID is unconstitutional. We knew ID creationists wanted a test case. A Wedge Document Goal has been to 'pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula.' Less than a year after our book was issued, they got their wish." 

from ch. 10, Creationism's Trojan Horse, 2007

"Now reissued with a new foreword and a new chapter discussing events since the book’s original publication, Creationism’s Trojan Horse continues to be the best exposé of the intelligent design movement available. And it is needed: As Forrest and Gross comment in their new chapter, 'Though wounded, the Wedge will be with us until enough Americans abandon antievolution foolishness to make their efforts unprofitable' (p. 334)."

Glenn Branch, "Understanding Creationism after Kitzmiller," BioScience, March 2007

"Forrest and Gross recount in great detail . . . the strategies and tactics of the [intelligent design creationist] movement. . . . In equally fine detail, Forrest and Gross describe and document IDC's well-organized, persistent campaign to insinuate IDC into public-school curricula. . . .  A parallel aim of the IDC movement has been to establish academic credibility, and Forrest and Gross describe how they have pursued a variety of approaches to this end."

— Lawrence S. Lerner, author of Good Science, Bad Science: Teaching Evolution in the States, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 2000, in review of Creationism's Trojan Horse, Physics & Society, January 2005

In Creationism's Trojan Horse, Forrest and Gross examine in full detail the claims and operations of the “Intelligent Design” movement, the most recent manifestation of American creationism. Explaining and analyzing what “design theorists” call their “Wedge Strategy,” they document the Wedge’s aggressive political and public relations campaigning. The most notable feature of the movement’s purportedly new scientific paradigm is an abject failure to produce scientific data in support of its claims or even a coherent research program. Instead, the Wedge maintains a crowded nationwide schedule of lectures, popular publications for its mostly conservative Christian constituency, and media appearances, all sustained by generous funding from religious benefactors. The Wedge has intruded itself efficiently into educational politics at local, state, and national levels.

Forrest and Gross detail efforts of intelligent design proponents to influence science standards in Kansas and Ohio, and to influence federal education legislation through the so-called “Santorum amendment” of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. They demonstrate the continuity of intelligent design with traditional creationism, including all the scientific claims, exposing its religious core and purposes. By displaying the movement’s alliance with Religious Right extremism, the book reveals the significance of William Dembski’s statement that the intelligent design movement’s challenge to the “evolutionary naturalism of Darwin” is “ground zero of the culture war.”

Statement from Michael Cavanaugh, President, Institute on Religion in an Age of Science
  • Reviews
Science, "Shapes of a Wedge," by Steve Olson, May 7, 2004

The Beacon, newsletter of the Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education (CESE), June 2004, p. 3: Review by Bill MacPherson

Skeptic, E-Skeptic Hotline #22: "Intentional Deception: Intelligent Design Creationism," by Dr. Bruce S. Grant, Emeritus Professor of Biology, College of William and Mary

Evolution & Development
6:4, 289-291 (2004): "The Creationist Hydra Grows a New Head," by Rudolf A. Raff, Dept. of Biology and Indiana Molecular Biology Institute, Indiana University

— "IDing ID," by Chris Mooney in "Doubt and About," August 9, 2004

Tristero weblog, "The Wedge," by Richard Einhorn, October 15, 2004

  Physics & Society, review of Creationism's Trojan Horse, by Lawrence Lerner,  January 2005, pp. 16-18

  Bioscience, "Intelligent Design's Empty but Explosive Black Box," by Barry Palevitz, March 2005

Tradition and Society, 32 (2), 2005-2006, review of  Creationism's Trojan Horse, by Phil Mullins for the Polanyi Society
  • Online videos featuring Barbara Forrest
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, "Should Schools Teach Intelligent Design?" Science Wars (Barbara Forrest at 2:39:34), Washington, DC, October 21, 2005

Columbia Political Union, The Politics of Intelligent Design,” with Joel Cracraft, Barbara Forrest, Nick Matzke, and Rev. John Rankin, Columbia University, New York, NY, February 27, 2006

Allison Hoffman, independent filmmaker, "Evolution vs. Creationism," Listen to the Scientists, Anaheim, CA, April 6, 2006

•    “Listen to the Scientists” (Forrest at 9:29)

•    “History of Evolution vs. Creationism” (Forrest at 8:40)

•    “Purposes and Goals of Creationism” 

•    “Science Teachers Challenged” 

•    “Epistemology” 

BBC,  War on Science,”

Massachusetts School of Law, “Evolution and Intelligent Design: The Science, the Debate, and the Legal Landscape,”
Educational Forum, with Kenneth Miller and David DeWolf, October 29, 2006

Center for Inquiry Community and Student Leadership Conference, Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse: A Closer Look at Intelligent Design,” Amherst, NY, June 16, 2007
  • Online audio interviews

NPR's Weekend Edition,  "Intelligent Design and the Theory of Evolution," featuring Barbara Forrest,
May 2, 2004.

NPR's  Science Friday, post-Kitzmiller interview with Barbara Forrest, December 23, 2005

Point of Inquiry, D. J. Grothe interview with Barbara Forrest, February 16, 2007

PowerPoint Radio, "In the Beginning: A Look at Creation & Evolution," interview with Barbara Forrest,
November 21, 2004 (includes paleontologist David R. Schwimmer, Columbus State University; John Calvert, Intelligent Design Network; and Casey Luskin, Discovery Institute)

Ring of Fire Radio, Air America 

• Robert F. Kennedy Jr., interview about intelligent design with Barbara ForrestPart One, February 12, 2005

Part Two, February 12, 2005
  • Online written interviews and chats

More by Forrest & Gross

Jointly Authored

Intelligent Design Creationism

Barbara Forrest



Curriculum Vitae (July 2007)

Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

Legal Analysis

Paul R. Gross

Forrest and Gross

Media contact info: 

Forrest E-mail:  bforrest AT
(Change AT to @.)
Gross E-mail:     prghome at

About the Authors

Barbara Forrest earned a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1988 and is professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University. Her research on intelligent design for Creationism's Trojan Horse was first published as an article, “The Wedge at Work: How Intelligent Design Creationism Is Wedging Its Way into the Cultural and Academic Mainstream,” in Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, ed. Robert T. Pennock, MIT Press, 2001.  She was one of the six expert witnesses for the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit filed over intelligent design creationism, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. The transcripts of her testimony and other trial documents are available from the National Center for Science Education's Kitzmiller website. Her expert witness report is also available (pdf).  She is the 2006 co-recipient with Kenneth R. Miller of the Association for Cell Biology's Public Service Award.

Paul R. Gross’s Ph.D. in Zoology was awarded in 1954. He is University Professor of Life Sciences, emeritus, at the University of Virginia, and holds honorary degrees from the Medical College of Ohio and Brown University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With Norman Levitt, he authored Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science, Johns Hopkins, 1994.

Forrest CV, July 2007

Why We Wrote This Book

Religious  interference in American science and science education is an old story. But intelligent design proponents’ cultivation of support for efforts to eliminate evolution from public school science, or to disparage it, and to secure recognition of creationists’ claims of scientific legitimacy, are today enjoying unprecedented, nationwide success. For the first time, such claims seem to many lay observers to have become respectable. In fact, however, they are no more respectable as scholarly inquiry, or specifically as biological science, than were their discredited “creation science” predecessors. Unfortunately, this is not widely understood. Nor is the seamless continuity of “Intelligent Design Theory” with other recognized forms of creationism. Having examined in detail claims made by members of the “Wedge,” we saw it as our professional and civic obligation to scholarship and science to prepare a fully documented account of their anti-evolution agenda. We came to understand that, for the well-being of science and science education, the seamless continuity of intelligent design and traditional creationism must be demonstrated for our colleagues and the knowledgeable public. The narrowness of Wedge strategists’ religious aims, which do not reflect the values of the broader, more tolerant religious community, must be exposed, as must ID’s pervasively sham methods of inquiry. People who value science and the benefits of life in an enlightened society must be alerted to the Wedge’s political, cultural, and religious ambitions.

What You Can Do (Besides Reading Our Book)

•  Defend public science education:
Join the National Center for Science Education

•  Defend church-state separation: Join Americans United for Separation of Church & State

•  Stay abreast of the issue by visiting these websites:

The Panda’s Thumb at

Ignorant Design at

Find out about ID’s attempts to infiltrate public science education:

Alabama Citizens for Science Education at

Burlington-Edison (WA) Committee for Science Education at

Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education at

Georgia Citizens for Integrity in Science Education at

Kansas Citizens for Science at

Michigan Citizens for Science at

New Mexicans for Science & Reason at

Ohio Citizens for Science at

Texas Citizens for Science at

Special Features

Richard  Gelwick, "Polanyi Scholarship and the Former Baylor Polanyi Center"

We are pleased to offer an essay by Prof. Richard Gelwick concerning the establishment of the Michael Polanyi Center, an intelligent design creationist think tank, at Baylor University in 1999. Now retired, Prof. Gelwick is a founding member of The Polanyi  Society and wrote the first doctoral dissertation about Polanyi's work. He maintains an active interest in matters relating to Polanyi and is a regular participant in Polanyi Society meetings. He continues to publish scholarly articles, the most current of which is "Michael Polanyi's Daring Epistemology and the Hunger for Teleology," Zygon, March 2005.

Current Articles of Interest
  • Richard Dawkins, "Inferior Design," review of Michael Behe's The Edge of Evolution, July 1, 2007:  "I had expected to be as irritated by Michael Behe’s second book as by his first. I had not expected to feel sorry for him."
  • Jerry Coyne, "The Great Mutator," review of Michael Behe's The Edge of Evolution, June 18, 2007:  "Who, precisely, was the Designer? Here Behe weasels a bit, as he should given the federal judiciary's dislike of religion in the science classroom. He mentions that the Christian God is only one of several possibilities. But you can bet that it was not Brahma, or the Bushmen's Kaang, or a space alien."

The State of State Science Standards 2005

Under the auspices of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Paul R. Gross, Ursula Goodenough, Lawrence S. Lerner, Martha Schwartz, Richards Schwartz, and Chester E. Finn, Jr., have repeated Lerner's 2000 evaluation of state science standards.

"Nuance and Honor"

Essay in honor of Susan Haack in A Lady of Distinctions: Susan Haack: The Philosopher Responds to her Critics. (Prometheus Books, 2007),  191-201.  Used with the kind permission of Prometheus Press.


“Intelligent Design ‘theory’ (ID) has been well described as Creationism in a cheap Tuxedo.  One of its luminaries, we are told, has ‘angrily denied that ID is stealth creationism.’ He’s right. There's no stealth about it. It  is creationism. Unfortunately, ID ‘theorists’ have a streetwise political professionalism to outweigh the amateurishness of their science, and we therefore cannot ignore them. Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross meticulously document their pretensions, destroy their arguments, and expose their true motivation. An excellent and sadly necessary book.” — Professor Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene and A Devil's Chaplain

“This is the definitive work on modern creationism, an exhaustively detailed and compelling exposure of the attempt--by the well-known process in nature called by biologists ‘aggressive mimicry’--to corrupt science in the service of sectarian religion. In the process, the book explores the larger and seemingly endless struggle between religion-based tribal values and science-based universal values.”  — Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor, Harvard University

“Forrest and Gross have combined scrupulous standards of documentation with a fluid and lively narrative to generate an engrossing and chilling account of how a few people have been able to wreak havoc with science education. A must-read for anyone interested in how America can be hijacked.” —  Ursula Goodenough, Professor of Biology, Washington University and author of The Sacred Depths of Nature

“A scholarly and penetrating analysis of why intelligent design is simply a form of creationism, and why both are in turn a form of religious ideology, with nothing to do with serious science. A must read for educators, scientists, and policy makers. A wake up call for everybody else.” — Massimo Pigliucci, Professor, University of Tennessee, author of Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science

“With all the rigor and detail of Ronald Numbers’s The Creationists but with the passion and verve of Richard Dawkins or Stephen Jay Gould, Creationism's Trojan Horse incisively analyzes the latest evolutionary step of creationism: ‘intelligent design.’ Forrest and Gross’s history and critique of intelligent design creationism is both authoritative and fascinating, painstakingly researched and compellingly argued. Creationism's Trojan Horse will be the standard work on intelligent design creationism for years to come.” — Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director, National Center for Science Education

Creationism's Trojan Horse documents the disturbing movement to sneak religious dogma back into science education, driven by the vague fear that Americans can’t handle the truth. Educators, scientists, and politicians would do well to understand this movement and its tactics, and this book is a superb and timely analysis.” — Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate

Help a New Orleans business!  Buy Creationism's Trojan Horse online at  Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA, Independent Bookseller
Also available now in paperback at

Statement from Michael Cavanaugh

President,  Institute on Religion in an Age of Science

This book is chilling. It lets one see how totalitarian religious thought can begin to take hold even of a multi-cultural free society.  We already knew that religious fundamentalists and many evangelicals think teaching evolutionary principles is not only erroneous, but evil. We knew they objected to teaching evolution in the schools. We knew they had concocted various intellectual constructs to deny the truth of evolution, and we knew that the most recent of these constructs, "Intelligent Design," was subtle and sophisticated enough to attract the attention of many ordinary citizens.  

Since 1954, with the founding of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (of which I am the current president), many scientists and religion scholars have countered such claims by enthusiastically accepting mainstream science and exploring the implications for a modern understanding, for example in journals like Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science.  Our effort has been to affirm the advances of science while preserving the ethical and philosophical insights of traditional religious traditions.  And we thought we were doing our part at helping keep the society on track.  

Then comes this book.  It shows what we did NOT already know, namely that there is a concerted and organized plan, "The Wedge Strategy," whereby this putative "scientific" construct called Intelligent Design seeks to give itself a patina of respectability, thereby to make politicians look more credible when they try to remove legitimate science from our schools. But there is no mistaking the true goal of this movement—the Discovery Institute, through its Center for Science and Culture, seeks to "renew" American culture through the enshrinement of evangelical religious doctrines as public policy. This is a development that every person interested in the science/religion dialogue needs to be aware of and needs to give serious thought to. It is not just the general wedge strategy that needs to be understood, but the detailed tactical maneuvers as well; thus, this is a book that must be read thoroughly, and not just skimmed.  Fortunately it is easy and compelling reading, and many of us will want to put copies in the hands of those in a position—whether academically or politically or otherwise—to make a difference in the future of science education.  

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