Education

Taking Up Patricia Princehouse’s Gauntlet

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Patricia Princehouse — the philosophy professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, who has vilified ID and its supporters for years — has published a letter to the editor of USA Today (see below) in which she replies to Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel. The two journalists, one conservative and the other liberal, ran a column a few days earlier in which they wondered why the Darwinists were hiding from a fair debate on ID. Princehouse now writes that on behalf of the Darwinists, she accepts the challenge and sets the terms: “First week in January. Cleveland. Put up or shut up.”

Nothwithstanding the fact that Princehouse is in the Philosophy Department (not the Biology Department, as she claims below), and nothwithstanding the fact that it was the Darwinists who declined to show up for the Kansas hearings earlier this year — where they would have been cross-examined by John Calvert and Edward Sisson — I’m happy to take up Princehouse’s gauntlet and have emailed her to that effect.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-12-06-letters-common-ground_x.htm

Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel propose a public debate on the scientific merits of intelligent design, and Beckel wonders whether “the Darwinists will show up.”

You bet we will! In fact, we’ll host.

We challenge the top “intelligent-designists” to a debate of the scientific evidence for intelligent design, to be held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland the first week of January.

“Doubting Thomas” Cal’s nihilistic suggestion to subject the Bible to scientific analysis is too big a project for this event, but an hour or so sounds like just about how long it should take to dispatch any scientific claims for intelligent design.

The question is, will the designists show? Calls go out every day to present scientific data at scientific conferences. The designists are always busy that decade. Meanwhile, the scientific data supporting evolution continue to pour in on a daily basis and produce spinoff applications that create new medicine, more productive crops, cleaner water and better living for billions of people worldwide.

The Darwinists show up to work every day in thousands of labs around the globe. Mr. Thomas and Mr. Beckel, your guys are the ones who don’t show.

January. Cleveland. The “science” of ID. Put up or shut up.

Patricia Princehouse, Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland

10 Replies to “Taking Up Patricia Princehouse’s Gauntlet

  1. 1

    [Here’s an email I just received:]

    On your blog, you wrote:
    “Princehouse is in the Philosophy Department (not the Biology Department, as she claims below)” http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/581

    Although she is not listed on the Biology Faculty page, she is listed here:
    http://admission.case.edu/pdfs.....ryBiol.pdf

    She is listed as “Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology.”

    Elsewhere, she is listed as “Lecturer in Philosophy” and “Lecturer in History and Philosophy.”
    http://admission.case.edu/pdfs.....cience.pdf
    http://admission.case.edu/pdfs.....osophy.pdf

    [This is useful additional information, but it seems to me that this position in biology has merely been given to assist her in combat with ID proponents. I’ve never known Princehouse to be anything other than a philosopher. –WmAD]

  2. 2
    efst says:

    Coming from someone with a similar background (no biology PhD), this seems like a pot-kettle situation.

  3. 3
    Dan says:

    Is this a real challenge and will it be met? It seems to me that the ID folks always debate and they debate whomever is infront of them.

    Regards
    Dan

  4. 4
    crandaddy says:

    As always, we wish you the best, Bill. Keep us up to date as the situation developes.

  5. 5
    Red Reader says:

    From the tone of her letter, she is ready to employ the full arsenal of “evolutionary logic”.

    “…“Doubting Thomas” Cal’s nihilistic suggestion to subject the Bible to scientific analysis is too big a project for this event…” [Argument by demonization (ID is really “the bible”)]

    “…an hour or so sounds like just about how long it should take to dispatch any scientific claims for intelligent design.” [Argument from removable ignorance.]

    “The question is, will the designists show?” [Argument by bluster.]

    “Calls go out every day to present scientific data at scientific conferences.” [Argument by obscure reference.]

    “The designists are always busy that decade.” [Argument by omission (of relevant mention of numerous debates previously held (Miller vs. Nelson, for example)]

    “Meanwhile, the scientific data supporting evolution continue to pour in on a daily basis….” [Argument by definition (What is meant by “data”? just-so stories that show dinosaurs becoming birds?] [Argument by obscure reference (where does one find the {real} data flowing in on a daily basis?)]

    “…and produce spinoff applications that create new medicine, more productive crops, cleaner water and better living for billions of people worldwide.” [Argument by confusion of terms (micro vs macro evolution)]

    “The Darwinists show up to work every day in thousands of labs around the globe.” [Argument by omission (only “Darwinists” show up for work?]

    “January. Cleveland. The “science” of ID. Put up or shut up.” [More argument by definition (if it is science, it is Darwinism; if it is “science”, it is ID]

    “Patricia Princehouse, Department of Biology….” [Argument by misdirection]

    You will have your work cut out for you, Dr. Dembski.

  6. 6
    Josh Bozeman says:

    Let’s just say that this woman is clearly a joke. A joke that seems to be full of too much hate.

    I call on ALL those who support ID to bring their evidence to scientific conferences and such…and then I will try my best to help them out when they do so and come back to find that their jobs are in jeopardy, such was the case with Stenrberg, who merely had the audacity to support an article from someone he didn’t necessarily even agree with! We all know what happened to him. I have to wonder why these people always claim IDers never provide evidence, yet refuse to mention that anyone who puts forth evidence or even says they support the idea soon find themselves in job limbo, shunned by others in their field, attacked by fellow professors, etc.

    I’ve said this many times- it’s quite obvious that one side of this debate finds honesty a virtue, the other lacks it everytime they speak and seem to be okay with it…logically when one side cannot be honest, they’re probably wrong about their ideas to begin with. When you know you’re right and have the facts to back up your claims, you have no reason to lie…you only lie when you have no other choice.

  7. 7
    Dan says:

    Nice work Red

    Dan

  8. 8
    Usurper says:

    The chicks of darwinism–Barbara Forrest, Eugenie Scott and now this woman.

  9. 9
    Miles says:

    So how was the debate? Is a transcipt avaliable?

  10. 10
    Garamond says:

    The lecture is on youtube — search for “Ken Miller on Intelligent Design”. For whatever reason, nobody from the DI attended.

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