In an unsurprisingly ill-informed column in USA Today, top banana Cal Thomas and second banana Bob Beckel, doing their version of Laurel and Hardy, made a proposal:
Cal: Some Christians are trying to water down what they really believe for the wrong reasons. It would be better for them to exit the government schools so they can teach their beliefs without compromise. For those who remain — like you — and want intelligent design taught alongside evolution, why not have a series of televised debates so the public could make up its own mind?
Bob: That’s a start. The scientific community has gone out of its way to depict intelligent design as a religious view. Most people have no idea that serious scientists believe there is a strong case for intelligent design. These scientists have been denied a forum, and a series of public debates would be educational and give the intelligent design researchers a chance to tell their side.
Cal: Surely C-SPAN would carry the debate if the scientists were prominent enough. Anyone opposing the debate would be rightly labeled a censor and anti-academic freedom. That should make the liberals choke. Sound like a good idea to you, Bob (except the part about choking liberals)?
Bob: I’m all for it. I just wonder if the Darwinists will show up.
Cal: Maybe we can offer them some bananas as an incentive. As they eat them, they can contemplate their heritage.
They’re answered in a letter in today’s USA Today:
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
Note that the offer is to host a debate on the scientific evidence for intelligent design. Not evolution bashing, not ID of the gaps, but actual affirmative evidence, if any there be, for intelligent design in biology. Wonder if the ID creationists will shake themselves free from the Disco Institute labs in which they’re beavering away at the ID research program and show up.