This timeline is a work in progress. I plan to add to it as I have time. Please feel free to add comments on noteworthy events and publications. The focus on Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe and the events following publication of Darwin on Trial in 1991 and Darwin’s Black Box in 1996 are relatively well-known. I am most interested at the outset in listing the events and publications that led up to that.
1929 Edwin Hubble formulates the Redshift Distance Law of galaxies which laid an empirical foundation for the Big Bang Theory.
1955 Publication of paper by G. J. Whithrow in the British Journal of the Philosophy of Science in which he argued that a “variety of astronomical conditions must be met if a universe is to be habitable.”
1966 Wistar Symposium, Philadelphia, PA. Mathematicians and scientists from related fields gathered to evaluate whether Neo-Darwinism was feasible. Many of the meeting participants concluded that it was not.
1967 Michael Polanyi publishes “Life Transcending Physics and Chemistry,” in Chemical and Engineering News arguing that “machines are irreducible to physics and chemistry” and that “mechanistic structures of living beings appear to be likewise irreducible.”
1972 Gould and Eldredge propose the theory of punctuated equilibrium to explain the pattern of sudden appearance and stasis in the fossil record.
1973 Publication of Pierre-Paul Grassé’s, Evolution of Living Organisms (L’Evolution Du Vivant) arguing that Darwinism is undermined by the stasis of living fossils and that the effects of mutations on biological systems are harmful not beneficial and do not lead to new forms.
1973 Publication of “Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology” by Brandon Carter in Confrontation of Cosmological Theories with Observational Data; Proceedings of the Symposium, Krakow, Poland, September 10-12, 1973. (A75-21826 08-90) Dordrecht, D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1974, p. 291-298.
1977 Founding of Students for Origins Research (SOR) as “an alternative viewpoint” to young earth creationism, arguing based on scientific evidence alone, and not basing its positions on the authority of Scripture. This later became Access Research Network.
1980 Publication of The Panda’s Thumb, by Stephen Jay Gould, which contained the articles “The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change” and “Return of the Hopeful Monster.” This book helped educate the public on the pattern of sudden appearance and stasis in the fossil record and the extent to which the fossil record does not support gradualism.
1982 Publication of The Accidental Universe by Paul Davies. [More]
1984 Publication of The Mystery of Life’s Origin, by Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley and Rober Olsen.
1985 Publication of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, by Michael Denton.
1986 Publication of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, by John Barrow and Frank Tipler.
1986 Publication of The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design by Richard Dawkins. “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” This is the first book on evolution that Phillip Johnson read, and he could easily see the problems and weaknesses in Dawkins’ arguments. There had apparently been enough scientific literature supporting design that Dawkins felt the need to argue against it.
1991 Publication of Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson.
1993 Pajaro Dunes gathering of leading intelligent design proponents.
1996 Publication of Darwin’s Black Box, by Michael Behe.
1998 Publication of The Design Inference, by William Dembski.
2000 Publication of Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe by Peter Ward and Donald E. Brownlee.
2004 Publication of The Privileged Planet by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards.