The Haters, Volume Seven: The Discovery Institute

Louis_Cypher's picture

The Discovery Institute was founded in 1990 by Bruce Chapman, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna, a Republican strategist, politician and ex Fellow of the arch conservative Hudson Institute.


The Philosophy of the Institute;

Mind, not matter, is the source and crown of creation, the wellspring of human achievement. Conceived by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and Christians, and elaborated in the American Founding, Western culture has encouraged creativity, enabled discovery and upheld the uniqueness and dignity of human beings.

Linking religious, political, and economic liberty, the Judeo-Christian culture has established the rule of law, codified respect for human rights and conceived constitutional democracy. It has engendered development of science and technology, as well as economic creativity and innovation.

In contrast, the contemporary materialistic worldview denies the intrinsic dignity and freedom of human beings and enfeebles scientific creativity and technological innovation. Its vision of a closing circle of human possibilities on a planet of limited horizons summons instead the deadening ideologies of scarcity, conflict, mutual suspicion and despair. 

Although the Institute dips its beak in diverse areas of Regional Transportation, advancing technology and deregulation of industry, it’s primary focus is in promoting creationism and disparaging evolution or ‘Darwinism’ as they refer to it.

To this end, Its leading subsidiary (referred to by Chapman as "our No. 1 project." ), is The Center for Science and Culture, established in 1996 by Phillip E. Johnson  largely to promote what is called the Wedge Strategy.

Johnson says;

The movement we now call the wedge made its public debut at a conference of scientists and philosophers held at Southern Methodist University in March 1992, following the publication of my book Darwin on Trial. The conference brought together key wedge and intelligent design figures, particularly Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, and myself.


What is the Wedge Strategy you ask? Let’s let Johnson explain; 

"This isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. It's about religion and philosophy."

"So the question is: "How to win?" That’s when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the "wedge" strategy: "Stick with the most important thing" —the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, "Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?" and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do." 

The whole thing reads like the screenplay for a bad conspiracy movie. A group of individuals with an agenda financed and supported by a shadowy, well funded Institute hatch a plot to foist a false controversy on the American people in order to cast a smoke screen about their real intentions, the replacement of accepted science with magic and the supernatural. I don’t think Dan Brown could do better.

All the while, they utilize an almost Orwellian ability to use doublespeak, claiming they are not creationist, not in fact religious and definitely not Christian. I would apply the Waterfowl Test to their claims i.e., “If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has little webbed feet and craps in the pond, it’s a DUCK.”

Thus far, they have met with limited success.

Slick promotion has helped, and a certain disregard for the concept of honesty. The group has hired the same PR firm responsible for the “Swift Boat” defamations that sank John Kerry’s presidential ambitions. Politicians and right wing pundits have adopted the “Teach the Controversy” meme as a rallying cry. The polls show that a majority of Americans have bought into it.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade or so, let me explain; The “Teach the Controversy” movement seeks to instil the patently false notion that there IS a controversy in the scientific community over the reality of evolution and the Theory of Evolution as originally proposed by Charles Darwin. Little things such as the fact that the vast, overwhelming majority of scientist accepts evolution as a fact and Darwin’s theory as the best explanation of that fact don’t seem to faze them.

Although they have scored victories in the realm of public opinion, the scientific community and the courts have dealt them some healthy blows.

In the case of Edwards v. Aguillard, the state of Louisiana tried to have a law that ‘creation science’ specifically as espoused in the supplementary textbook “Of Pandas and People” be taught as an alternative to evolution in its public high schools. The court ruled that ‘creation science’ was simply Judeo-Christian creationism, not science. This decision is what inspired the rather transparent ruse of substituting “Intelligent Design” for “creation science” in the textbooks. In other words, absolutely nothing changed but the label.

Then came Dover. The case Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District centered around the Dover School Boards adoption of the infamous “Of Pandas and People” into its curriculum. It was a case of high drama and low comedy as Johnson groused that the school board hadn’t dismissed the teaching of evolution altogether, Dembski prepared a brief, then quit and later sued to get paid for his time, leaving only Michael Behe as the defence’s key witness. It was an unmitigated disaster for the Discovery Institute when under cross examination, all of their carefully crafted lies came to light. Behe was forced to admit that ID had no scientific basis, no evidence whatsoever to back its premises and that the science behind it was on a par with Astrology. Judge Jones, himself a conservative Bush appointed, self described born again Christian ruled that Intelligent Design, like Creation Science before it was nothing but Christian creationism wrapped in pseudo science.

At the same time, because of Kitzmiller, The Kansas School Board, which had pushed through Pandas in its schools in a farcical series of hearings that had been boycotted by main stream scientists, quickly retreated, removing the book from the shelves.

The Institute has since waged a internet smear campaign against the judge and the state of Delaware…

Let’s be clear here, this is a group of people who take issue with what they call scientific naturalism or materialism and want to push for the acceptance of the supernatural in scientific and educational discourse. They have no qualms about using legal intimidation, slick and dishonest media campagns and outright lies to force their agenda of dragging us all kicking and screaming into the 14th century.

In short, they are at war with what the rest of us call reality.


LC >;-}>

Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.

ex-minister's picture

 This is the cream of slimy

 This is the cream of slimy groups. They deserve nothing but disdain. Lying for Jeebus. He must be proud.


Ken Miller who defended evolution in the Dover trial is brilliant. He put Behe to shame, ripping apart his stupid irreducible complexity argument. The Intelligent Design (ID) movement made their target as small as possible removing the baggage of Christianity/Genesis and it still is full of holes. Miller's book "Only a theory" is a must read. He also has some great videos out on youtube. 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

Philosophicus's picture


ex-minister wrote:

 This is the cream of slimy groups. They deserve nothing but disdain. Lying for Jeebus. He must be proud.


Ken Miller who defended evolution in the Dover trial is brilliant. He put Behe to shame, ripping apart his stupid irreducible complexity argument. The Intelligent Design (ID) movement made their target as small as possible removing the baggage of Christianity/Genesis and it still is full of holes. Miller's book "Only a theory" is a must read. He also has some great videos out on youtube. 


Ken Miller is awesome.  Here's a minute and a half clip from the BBC documentary, A War on Science  In the clip, Miller criticizes Dembski's mathematical criticism of the possibility of evolution happening.  The whole documentary was interesting, it's about the evolution vs. intelligent design debate.  

Here's a link to the full 50 minute documentary  When the documentary starts, you'll hear cool mysterious music that'll make you want to keep watching...  and the topic is interesting too! 

A lot of Christians and Muslims don't want people believing in evolution because so many people have been lead down the path of atheism because of it.  After all, why believe in a deity if nature can create life on it's own, with no mind required?  They don't point out enough that people believe in modern science as well as a particular religion, and that accepting science doesn't have to make you an atheist or a metaphysical naturalist.  Look at Ken Miller!

Vastet's picture

Creationists handicap

Creationists handicap themselves unknowingly. They believe that evolution is more than just a natural process to us, because their alternative is more than just creation. It is the source of their morality. They believe we derive ethics from the theory of the process, which is generally false. While evolution is responsible for ethics appearing in species, it is not on a personal scale any kind of ethical system, and we don't derive our morality from it. We derive our morality from those around us, and our experiences.

They can't understand the separation because their system doesn't have a separation. There is a mental block that prevents them from seeing the differences, because to them there is no difference.

But to us there is. How life got to today has little bearing on how we treat each other, excepting that the process gave us the ability to consider the question intellectually.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.