It was nearly 25 years ago that a former Yale law student with an appetite for science and a yen for skepticism put Charles Darwin to the test.


Lee Strobel expected the father of evolutionary theory to pass with flying colors. Instead, Darwinism failed miserably.


And so began a new spiritual journey for Strobel, who until 1981 considered God to be a four-letter word. An avowed atheist at the time, Strobel thought Christianity was a buzzword for someone who checked their intelligence at the door.


Now, he thinks Christians should start checking into a new catch phrase: intelligent design.


"Scientists should be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it leads - even if it leads to a conclusion that makes some people uncomfortable," Strobel writes in his latest book, The Case for a Creator, which this year made The New York Times Best Seller List.


No doubt some people, particularly scientists, are uncomfortable with intelligent design, the idea that the universe - and life - began not out of nothing but from God. Intelligent design runs counter to Darwin's theory of evolution, which removes God from the equation. But despite increasing proof that Darwinism is damaged science, it remains the dominant theory taught in school classrooms around the country.


Strobel wants to see that changed, and is encouraged that action is beginning to happen.


"I've been tracking it a bit and it's all over the place," he said recently. "There are proposals and bills in different legislatures. People are concerned that the (science) textbooks are outdated or skew the evidence toward Darwinism. What people should be saying is, 'Let's teach the whole story of Darwinism and disclose the shortcomings of Darwinian theory, and let's be open to the possibility of a creative designer.'"


That possibility is a certainty to Strobel, a former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune who turned to Christ in 1981 after noticing that his wife, Leslie, seemed happier as a new Christian.


Quickly, he reached the conclusion that "if Jesus weren't real, I would need to worship the person who created the character. Jesus is so far beyond what I can comprehend," he said.


A self-professed skeptic, Strobel set out to put his faith to the test by attempting to prove that belief in God is "good science." He questioned and quizzed scientific scholars on the strength and weaknesses of both Darwinism and intelligent design, and came away with an almost ironic conclusion.


"In my opinion, it takes more faith to believe in Darwinism and its underlying premise of naturalism than to believe in a creative designer," he commented.