In the 1980s, FTE hired, retained and partnered with scores of heavily-credentialed scientists. Three of FTE's landmark publications instrumental in helping to launch the ID movement are The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories; Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins; and Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?, the proceedings of an unprecedented scholarly debate between prominent Darwinists and leading ID theorists in 1992. This event and these publications helped bring intelligent design to the forefront of scientific debate on theories of life's origins.
FTE's first book, Mystery, was published to wide acclaim in 1984, winning praise in The Jnl. of College Science Teaching, The Yale Jnl. of Biology and Medicine, and numerous other scholarly journals. Mystery soon became the best-selling advanced college level textbook on the origin of life. Prof. Harold Morowitz, leading authority on the thermodynamics of living systems and head of an origin-of-life research group at George Mason University, commended the text, remarking that it "has a considerable scientific thrust."
Following the publication of Mystery, FTE produced the supplemental high school biology textbook, Of Pandas and People, which presented the scientific rationale for ID. Although critics accused ID of being a cover for religion, the New York Times Magazine noted, "Of Pandas and People describes the origins of life as 'an intelligent plan by an intelligent agent,' but scrupulously avoids speculation about who or what that agent might be." Indeed, Pandas repeatedly explains why science itself cannot tell us who or what the designer is.
Today, FTE is on the threshold of releasing its most ambitious book yet, titled, The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems. The book's co-authors are mathematician William A. Dembski and developmental biologist Jonathan Wells. Both are leading ID theorists and Senior Fellows of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. Compelling and clearly written, the book promises to have a deep and lasting impact on student and adult readers alike.
From early in its history, FTE has made the fruits of its dialogue more widely available to students as well. FTE's publications and products have included textbooks on other subject areas (American history and abstinence education) along with teacher's guides, student workbooks, science journal reviews, graduate-level textbooks, articles in science teacher journals, and symposium proceedings. More than 150,000 of FTE's books have been or are being used in public, private, and home schools nationwide and internationally. FTE's web site is www.fteonline.com.
The nonprofit organization is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and operates under the direction of founder and president, Jon A. Buell.
In 1992, in association with the C.S. Lewis Society and Dallas Christian Leadership, Jon Buell and FTE crafted the platform for a revolutionary exchange of views in a symposium between leading Darwinists and ID theorists. The extraordinary event sent shockwaves through the scientific and educational communities, and was mentioned or discussed in the scientific press for years. Prof. Phillip E. Johnson, leader of the intelligent design movement, has pointed to the seminal role of this historic meeting that took place on the campus at Southern Methodist University.
Buell is a graduate of the Stanford Publishing Course (advanced level). He was an invited participant in the White House Conference on Education. He has served as a director of International Impact, and has served on a task force for the Dallas Independent School District. Buell holds memberships in the American Scientific Affiliation and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He is an editor, publisher, and speaker.