Sept. 10: ‘Darwin and Intelligent Design’ forum

By Adriana Aumen, College of Arts & Sciences

ElliottSober-80PULLMAN, Wash. – The debate between Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and intelligent design will be examined by philosopher Elliott Sober during the 53rd Frank Fraser Potter Memorial Lecture in Philosophy and the Potter Talk on Thursday, Sept. 10, at Washington State University Pullman.

“What separates Professor Sober from other philosophers is his ability to break down complex issues in philosophy of science and explain them in a way that is accessible to a much wider audience,” said Joe Campbell, WSU professor of philosophy and Potter events organizer.

Sober will deliver the lecture, “Darwin and Intelligent Design,” at 7 p.m. in the CUB auditorium. He will lead the Potter Talk, “Did Darwin Write the ‘Origin’ Backwards?” at noon in Bryan Hall 308. Audience questions are welcome.

Philosophy professor Elliott Sober.

Both presentations will be based on material from Sober’s book “Did Darwin write the ‘Origin’ Backwards?” a collection of essays exploring Darwin’s iconic book, “On the Origin of Species.” Sober’s work examines Darwin’s discussion of God and how it squares with common views of Darwin as the champion of methodological naturalism.

Sober is the Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ( His research ranges from the highly abstract topic of simplicity to more practical topics in social psychology.

“Elliott Sober is one of the most respected philosophers in the discipline,” said Campbell. “He has won nine National Science Foundation grants and several other awards, honors and fellowships.” In 2014 he received the Philosophy of Science Association’s Carl Gustav Hempel Award and the University of Wisconsin’s Hilldale Award for his contributions to teaching, research and service.

The Potter events ( are sponsored by the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs ( in the WSU College of Arts and Sciences ( The Potter Talk is co-sponsored by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service ( ) at WSU.


Joe Campbell, WSU professor of philosophy, 509-335-9106,
Adriana Aumen, WSU College of Arts and Sciences communications, 509-335-5671,