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Nancy Pearcey

Nancy Randolph Pearcey is the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute, where she teaches a worldview course based on the study guide edition of Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity ( In 2005, Total Truth won the ECPA Gold Medallion Award in the Christianity & Society category, in addition to an Award of Merit in the Christianity Today book awards.

A former agnostic, Pearcey studied violin in Heidelberg, Germany, in the early 1970s and then traveled to Switzerland to study Christian worldview under Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri Fellowship. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Distributed Studies degree (philosophy, German, music), she earned a master's degree in Biblical Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, then pursued further graduate work in the history of philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto (with emphases on ancient and Reformational philosophy).

Pearcey is currently a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, where the focus of her work is on the cultural and philosophical implications of the evolution controversy. A frequent public lecturer, Pearcey has spoken to actors and screenwriters in Hollywood; students and faculty at universities such as Dartmouth, Stanford, USC, and Princeton; scientists at national labs such as Sandia and Los Alamos; staffers at Congress and the White House; and various activist and church groups around the country, including the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. She has appeared on NPR, and a lecture based on Total Truth was broadcast by C-SPAN.

Pearcey began writing in 1977 for the nationally distributed Bible-Science Newsletter, where for 13 years she wrote pioneering in-depth monthly articles on issues related to science and Christian worldview. In 1991 she became the founding editor of "BreakPoint," a national daily radio commentary program, and continued as the program's executive editor for nearly nine years, heading up a team of writers. Under her leadership, the program grew into an influential organ for teaching a Christian worldview perspective on current events, with an estimated weekly audience of five million. She was also policy director and senior fellow of the Wilberforce Forum, and for five years coauthored a monthly column in Christianity Today.

Pearcey has served as a visiting scholar at Biola University's Torrey Honors Institute, managing editor of the science journal Origins & Design, an editorial board member for Salem Communications Network, and a commentator on Public Square Radio. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including the Washington Times, Human Events, First Things, Books & Culture, World, Pro Rege, Human Life Review, American Enterprise, The World & I, Homeschool Enrichment, Christianity Today, and the Regent University Law Review.

Pearcey has authored or contributed to several works, including The Soul of Science, which treats the history of science and Christianity, and the bestselling, award-winning How Now Shall We Live?She was invited to contribute the Foreword in The Right Questions, as well as chapters in Mere Creation, Of Pandas and People, Pro-Life Feminism, Genetic Ethics, Signs of Intelligence, Reading God's World, Uncommon Dissent, and a Phillip Johnson Festschrift titled Darwin's Nemesis.

Pearcey resides in Northern Virginia, where she and her husband are homeschooling the second of their two sons. She can be contacted at

  Nancy Pearcey
The Pearcey Report - News and Selected Articles
Total Truth Total Truth: Liberating
Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity
The Right Questions The Right Questions
Foreword by Nancy Pearcey
The Soul of Science The Soul of Science
Nancy Pearcey
Charles Thaxton
How Now Shall We Live? How Now Shall We Live?
Charles Colson
Nancy Pearcey

Mere Creation

Mere Creation
Science, Faith, and Intelligent Design

William Dembski, Editor

Uncommon Dissent

Uncommon Dissent
Intellectuals Who
Find Darwinism Unconvincing

William Dembski, Editor

Signs of Intelligence

Signs of Intelligence
Understanding Intelligent Design

Reading God's World

Reading God's World
The Scientific Vocation

  • The Creation Myth of Modern Political Philosophy
    Presented at the Sixth Annual Kuyper lecture; Sponsored by the Center for Public Justice, 2000. Naturalistic creation myths were around long before Charles Darwin. Read this eye-opening presentation, "The Creation Myth of Modern Political Philosophy," for a revealing account of how naturalism had already been made into the basis of political thought. File Date: 08.22.01
  • Phillip Johnson was Right
    For a special edition of World magazine (Feb. 24, 2001, Volume 16, Number 7), Nancy Pearcey was asked to predict how America would look after a century of legalized abortion. "For this special issue we'd like you to put yourself in the position of a person writing in 2073, on the 100th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade," the editors wrote. "You are free to be optimistic, pessimistic, or in-between.'" Pearcey chose to be optimistic and to project the ethical consequences if ID won the day in science. File Date: 3.15.01
  • Why Judges Make the Law: The Roots and Remedy of Judicial Imperialism
    The 2000 presidential election raised a profound question: Should judges interpret existing law or make new law? Most people don't realize that law schools have long taught that judges actually make new law, based on their own vision of good social policy. This activist view of the courts finds its philosophical justification in the application of Darwinism to legal philosophy. Learn more in this major essay published in Human Events, December 1, 2000. File Date: 3.01.01.
  • Michael Kinsley Out on a Limb: Stem-Cell Rationale Recalls Ideas of Debunked Scientist
    Syndicated columnist Michael Kinsley tries to use an out-dated evolutionary theory to support embryonic stem-cell research, and is roundly trounced in this article by Nancy Pearcey, which was published in Human Events. File Date: 9.22.00.
  • Our "Tailor-made" Universe: New Scientific Study Begs the Philosophical Question, "Who's the tailor?"
    Cosmology is at a surprising crossroads. The evidence for design in the physical universe is so strong that cosmologists today openly discuss philosophical questions, as Nancy Pearcey shows in this September 2, 2000 World article. File Date: 9.22.00.
  • Scopes in Reverse
    In the flurry of events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Scopes Trial, a striking irony was overlooked: Whereas in 1925 the teaching of evolution was banned from the classroom, today the teaching of anything but evolution is effectively banned from the classroom.  This commentary from the July 24, 2000 Washington Times is an eloquent plea for academic freedom. File Date: 8.02.00.
  • Copying the Human Script
    The race to decipher the code of life has ended--in a tie between two research groups. Now that the human genome project has succeeded, what does it imply for our understanding of life and its origin? Find out in this article by Nancy Pearcey, published in World magazine, Vol. 15, No. 27, July 8, 2000. File Date: 7.13.00.
  • Creation Mythology : Defenders of Darwinism resort to suppressing data and teaching outright falsehoods.
    Science is supposed to be self-correcting, but in some places educators are so nervous about any criticism of Neo-Darwinism that they are prohibiting teachers from informing students about recent corrections to the theory. This June 24, 2000 article from World magazine tells the story of two teachers who were penalized for their attempts to teach students the latest developments in evolutionary theory. File Date: 6.22.00.
  • We're Not in Kansas Anymore:
    Why secular scientists and media can't admit that Darwinism might be wrong.

    What's the best way for public schools to handle the evolution issue? In this cover article for Christianity Today, May 22, 2000, Pearcey analyzes what we learn from the Kansas controversy and shows how the concept of intelligent design has become the "big tent" for Christians and others concerned about the assumption of naturalistic philosophy in science and across the curriculum. File Date: 6.06.00.
  • Why Darwinism Matters - Washington DC Policy Briefing May 10, 2000
    It has become virtually a cottage industry today to apply Darwinism to every area of life, from morality to educational methodology to the law. Pearcey traces the effects of "applied Darwinism" in this paper, which was delivered at a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill on May 10, 2000. File Date: 7.31.00.
  • The Birds and the Bees: Pop Culture's Evolutionary Message
    Darwinism has been applied to every area of life, and has even filtered down to popular culture. What message are young people picking up today from pop music and books? And what can parents do to teach an alternative? For the answer, read this World Magazine article from April 22, 2000. File Date: 5.16.00.
  • Darwin's Dirty Secret
    One of the hottest topics among evolutionary biologists today is what evolution means for morality. This is precisely the question asked by a new field called "evolutionary psychology" (a newer version of what used to be called "sociobiology")--and it turns out that the implications for morality are sometimes nothing less than shocking. In this March 13, 2000 World Magazine article Pearcey discusses what one proponent of evolutionary psychology says about the evolution of rape. File Date: 3.20.00.
  • The Missing Link that Wasn't
    Darwinism has been beset in recent years by several reversals in key evidence supporting the theory. The most embarrassing was the "dinobird" that turned out to be a hoax. This article published in the March 10, 2000 issue of Human Events examines the hoax and reviews other surprising reversals. File Date: 3.20.00.
  • Century of Cruelty: Making Sense or Our Era
    For making sense of any of the modern ideologies, nothing works better than identifying its view of creation. One's view of ultimate origins shapes the rest of one's thinking, as Nancy Pearcey shows in this catalog of worldviews, published in Boundless (December 1999 ) and based on her book How Now Shall We Live? (coauthored by Chuck Colson). File Date: 9.22.00.
  • The Sky is Not Falling: Did Kansas Ban Evolution?
    Fall 1999. Ever since the Board of Education voted to exclude evolution from state guidelines, handwringing articles have decried the "gutting" of education by "enemies of science." In this article from Jubilee magazine, Pearcey clarifies the Kansas School Board decision. File Date: 9.30.99.
  • Design and the Discriminating Public
    In this August 1999 article from Touchstone Magazine, Pearcey discussess the appeal of design theory for the general public and explains why the public wants good material about origins. File Date: 10.14.99.
  • "You Guys Lost" Is Design a Closed Issue?
    Design theorists are sometimes criticized for flogging a dead horse, resurrecting a debate that was settled in the 19th century by Darwin. But was debate really settled? This article from Mere Creation looks at the historical record and finds that Darwin and his colleagues accepted his theory less because it was scientifically persuasive than because it was philosophically attractive. File Date: 11.10.99.
  • Opening the "Big Tent" in Science: The New Design Movement
    In this March 1997 World magazine article, Pearcey gives a brief discussion of the design movement, how it got started, and where it's headed. (Originally titled "The Evolution Backlash") File Date: 10.14.99.
  • DNA: The Message in the Molecule
    The exciting thing about the design movement is that it isn't merely a revival of the old arguments for design; instead, it takes into account the newest scientific research. In this June 1996 First Things article, Pearcey gives a succinct explanation of a novel argument for design from the structure of DNA, drawing on the insights of information theory. File Date: 5.11.00.
  • Darwin Endangered
    From Crisis Online, "Letters to the Editor", January 1996. Nancy Pearcey responds to a November 1995 CO article, with a commentary about the reasons behind emotional nature of the creation/evolution controversy. File Date: 10.26.99.
  • Is Love Enough? Recreating the Economic Base of the Family
    Design is not merely a scientific question. The reason origins questions excite such visceral responses is that they have profound moral and social implications. This January 1990 article gives a fascinating insight into the history of women's role within the family, and shows how Darwinism influenced early feminism. File Date: 11.10.99.

Public Square Radio

Public Square is an Internet talk program provided by Salem Communications, consisting of 60-second daily commentaries addressing current and critical issues, authored by members of Salem's editorial board: David Aikman, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Phillip Johnson, Terry Eastland, Albert Mohler, and Nancy R. Pearcey. For more information, and to hear recent broadcasts, go to

  • A New Foundation for Positive Cultural Change: Science and God in the Public Square
    In his latest book, The Wedge of Truth, Phil Johnson offers an intriguing new perspective on how the evolution controversy shapes today's "culture war"--and suggests the best intellectual strategy for fighting it. For more, read this in-depth review by Nancy Pearcey, published in Human Events, September 15, 2000. File Date: 9.23.00.

Reviews from Books & Culture

Reviews/Misc. From First Things Journal

  • Naturalism on Trial
    Review of Phillip Johnson's Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education. First Things, February 1996. File Date: 10.14.99
  • Briefly Noted: First Things December 1996
    Reviews of Margaret Wertheim's Pythagoras' Trousers: God, Physics, and the Gender Wars. First Things December 1996. File Date: 10.14.99
  • Briefly Noted: First Things June/July 1997
    Reviews of Willem Drees' Religion, Science, and Naturalism and Jeffrey C. Sobosan's The Turn of the Millennium: An Agenda for Christian Religion in an Age of Science. First Things June/July 1997. File Date: 10.14.99
  • Briefly Noted: First Things January 1998
    Review of Phillip Johnson's Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds. First Things January 1998. File Date: 10.14.99.
  • Briefly Noted: First Things May 1998
    Review of Howard L. Kaye's The Social Meaning of Modern Biology: From Social Darwinism to Sociobiology. First Things May 1998. File Date: 10.14.99.
  • Briefly Noted: First Things June/July 1998
    Review of Adrian Desmond's Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest. First Things June/July 1998, File date: 10.14.99.
  • The Fading of Positivist Belief
    Correspondence to First Things November 1995. File Date: 10.14.99.
  • A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation
    Peter Singer, the notorious Princeton professor, used to be against evolutionary psychology. Now he's for it, and wants all of us to become Darwinists in regard to human behavior. Find out why he changed his mind in this review, published in First Things October 2000. File Date: 6.22.01

Reviews from World Magazine

  • Wedge Issues - An Intelligent Discussion with Intelligent Design's Designer
    The person who has done most to revive and refine criticisms of Darwinian evolution in recent years is easily Phillip Johnson. His book, The Wedge of Truth, explains why evolution is having a destructive effect in ethics, philosophy, and even the humanities. This interview with Nancy Pearcey gives a brief and readable introduction to the book's themes. File Date: 8.02.00.

Biographical / Miscellaneous

  • Overcoming the Scandal of the Christian Mind
    From First Things, February 2000. Review by J. Budziszewski of the book, How Now Shall We Live? (Tyndale, 1999), coauthored with Chuck Colson. File Date: 6.23.00
  • What Went Wrong - And How to Fix It
    Human Events review of Nancy Pearcey and Charles Colson's book How Now Shall We Live? File Date: 2.03.00.
  • Human Events Spotlight
    From Human Events, October 1999. Profile of Nancy Pearcey with comments about her book, How Now Shall We Live? (Tyndale, 1999), coauthored with Chuck Colson. File Date: 10.26.99.
  • Facts and Values at Odds
    Exerpts from interview with Nancy Pearcey. Published in the Washington Times September 23, 2004. File Date: 9.29.04.

Reviews of the Book Total Truth

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