July 17, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

Coppedge Book Is Back Online

Long overdue, we have just re-uploaded Dr James F Coppedge’s
classic, Evolution: Possible or Impossible? to our website

 

The book Evolution: Possible or Impossible? by Dr James F. Coppedge influenced many people since it was first published in 1973. Creation-Evolution Headlines kept an online version available for many years, but it “fell through the cracks” after the last two website upgrades. It is now available again in PDF form.

Read it here: http://crev.info/epoi

The book is no longer in print, although the CEH Editor has several boxes of remaining copies. We hope this PDF version will be able to reach a wider audience.

Read new material “About the Book” and “About the Author” on the opening page.

We ask that this book not be re-posted or distributed elsewhere. Readers are free to link to the online edition.

This Book as a Prelude to the Intelligent Design Movement

Dr Coppedge’s book was one of the first to use the phrase “intelligent design” long before the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM) made it the calling card for Darwin skeptics. The phrase appears 4 times, but there are many similar phrases in the book: intelligent Designer (2), intelligent Creator (2), intelligent source (2), intelligent plan or planning (5), intelligent inventor (1), intelligent cause (1), intelligent creation (1), intelligent being (1), intelligent purpose (1), intelligent Power (1), and a number of other phrases like “a Designer possessing awesome intelligence.” Other ID words such as purpose, code and information also appear frequently in the book.

The great difficulty in writing on this subject is choosing from the multitude of remarkable systems which exemplify a degree of intelligent design that is unmistakable to open-minded reason. —James F Coppedge, p 223)

Indeed, the contrast between what intelligence can achieve and what chance can achieve is a central theme of the book. Although Dr Coppedge was certainly a believer in the God of the Bible, and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout his life, he showed in his book that the argument for intelligent design stands on its own without the brand of creationism that begins with Genesis.

Perhaps we get the gist of the idea that chance is not very capable when we need an ordered result. Consider the difference intelligence makes—even a limited intelligence. Give an eight-year-old the coins, and ask the child to arrange and pick up each one in order and return it. Chance is blind, and has no intelligence. The child is not thus limited. The child can do it in a few moments. Chance takes 1,500 years-just to count to ten once. (Coppedge, p. 51)

In this, Dr Coppedge showed significant foresight into an argument that leaders of the IDM (Phil Johnson, Mike Behe, Bill Dembski, etc.) would be elucidating in the 1980s, 90s and 2000s: the identity of the Designer is a separate question from the inference to design using evidence and logic.

Nor does this eliminate the need for the Bible in apologetics. God’s word stands without philosophy or human reason. Many people today, however, will not listen to such an approach. They will, however, respect science and math. That’s fine; Dr Coppedge delivers science and math, as do most books in the IDM. The fact that many Biblical creationists use IDM arguments such as probability and irreducible complexity demonstrates the power of ID arguments.

We hope the availability of this long-out-of-print book, approaching its 50th anniversary in 2023, will reach a new generation of seekers into the meaning of life.

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