Discovery Institute May Have Hit a New Low?

And here is one from Egnor, shared by Steven Meyer.

In addition to the conflation between “institutions that teach creation science” and “Christian colleges”, this paragraph stood out to me as particularly absurd:

It’s noteworthy that among developed countries the United States is both the most “creationist” nation and the uncontested leader in science. For myself, I think there’s a clear cause-and-effect relationship. Inference to God’s design is a powerful engine for scientific investigation, and has been since the Scientific Revolution, which was led largely by devoutly Christian scientists. In any case, it is certainly hard to credibly argue that “creationism” has held back science in any meaningful way. Compare the scientific productivity of the predominately Christian United States to the scientific productivity of the atheist Soviet Union. Compare the scientific productivity of largely Christian South Korea to atheist North Korea. Compare the scientific productivity of tiny largely Christian Taiwan to the scientific productivity of atheist China. Christianity is the most powerful engine of modern science in my view, and atheism is everywhere a science-killer (and people-killer, but that’s for another discussion).

That anyone could suggest with a straight face that a strong and direct cause of America’s high scientific output is the fact that a large proportion of the population are creationists… :exploding_head:


What I find interesting here is that OECs in ID are circling the wagons around YECs that won’t even tolerate OECs in their institutions. That is interesting, and speaks to where they see their audience and their base.


I find it predictable. ID has always been politics, not science.


That’s certainly interesting Dr. Swamidass I for one would like to see a survey of ID’s big tent OEC vs YEC is Adam and Eve literally historically true? Did evolution happen? Questions like that but I doubt that they would listen to us. But who knows?

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Wow. Aggressive egnorance.

The art of this thing, from the DI point of view, is to exploit what I have called the “level tones” problem: that if something ludicrous is said in a seemingly serious way by a seemingly serious person, speaking in level tones, it is liable to sound less crazy. David Duke was the original master of this, in modern American discourse, but the DI does seem to have taken his art to a new level.


Hi @swamidass,

Would you like to summarize exactly what you proposed in the WSJ article?

See for yourself:

Rutgers is a fine NJ institution with actually two law schools, one in Newark and one in Camden. Many fine lawyers from both. :grinning:

Maybe yes, maybe no. I think his point is right. Cancel culture for creationists leads to circling the wagons on any kind of scientific dissent. Despite what many here believe, I also don’t see science being hindered by creationism. Perhaps that’s my own bias, but learning more about creationism has made me more supportive of and interested in science. Maybe I’m weird, but maybe I’m not.


I actually had a lot of contemporaries at my firm who were Rutgers-Camden grads, and that’s the one I always think of because it was, as I said, just across the river. We all took the bar exam together in Pennsauken, not far from the Pennsauken Mart (or, as I called it, the “Dirtball Mall”). You could walk to Rutgers from Penn, if you were a walking nut like me (I did – also walked to Temple on one occasion, and very nearly to Villanova a few times). We also drew a number from Temple. After that, it was a smattering from here and there. But in the civil rights department we were comparatively Penn-heavy. Lawyers tend to sort into the hollerin’ types and the writin’ types, and in civil rights you need the latter.

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Let’s apply the flat earth test. Would learning more about flat earth theories have made you more supportive of and interested in science?


Except, I didn’t argue to cancel YECs. So they are making that up here, and that raises the question, why?


There’s no belief involved–it’s empirical.

If science was potentiated by creationism, there would be creationist biotech companies and fundamentalist schools would feature active research programs in their geology and biology departments; moreover, those should be better than secular ones. None of those things exist, so clearly science is hindered by creationism.

All of the evidence indicates that embracing IDcreationism produces a complete cessation (typically) or a dramatic reduction (rarely) in doing actual science, while shifting to producing rhetoric. Clearly science is hindered by creationism.

Your posts here do not suggest to me that you are supportive of science, particularly wrt the essential role of evidence.


I think you might enjoy that film I mentioned, Operation Abolition. Taking this stuff out of its present context, and seeing the same behavior sixty years ago, is instructive and eye-opening.

It’s a culture war. It has never been about scientific integrity except in the sense that they’re “agin’ it.” You are a cultured person, ergo, you are the enemy.

These people speak to one another in little nuggets – parables about the evils of modernity as they see them. Anything that they don’t like has to be analogized (though there often is, as with creationists in general, an inability to distinguish analogy from identity) to one of those principal evils. Right now, they can’t demonize the Russians because they are politically allied with the Russian cause. So they start talking about the Chinese when reviewing your piece. “Cancel culture” is another of these little parables/analogies/nuggets of the anti-culture side of the culture war. Although you have said nothing that remotely suggests that this is what you are on about, it’s just too juicy an idea for them to resist. EVERYTHING they don’t like has been “cancel culture” for the last year or so. Next year it’ll be something else, but this is the flavor of the day. It’s unlikely to have the staying power of red-baiting, so in a year they’ll still have you shooting protesters at Tiananmen Square in your free time, but they’ll have moved on from “cancel culture” to accusing you of something else you didn’t do.

The key: these people will NEVER be honest. Attempting to understand why they do what they do will be a fool’s errand unless and until one understands that their opposition to our culture requires that they lie always and continuously.


I’m not a expert nor a scientist on evolution or Intelligent Design however I wonder if the discovery Institute would shift gears or reform towards more emphasis on a positive philosophical and scientific case for Design and less of emphasis on anti evolutionism but still questioning certain parts of Neo Darwinian evolution (if that makes sense) for example debunking junk DNA while still accepting guided common decent. And question the materialistic origin of life theories and not doubt if apes and humans share a common ancestor You can question the Atheistic evolutionary science and philosophy without being called a creationist while being friendly to evolutionary creationism the book Evolution Still a Theory in crisis presents a version of evolutionary theory and intelligent Design coexisting together in harmony and Michael Denton isn’t religious however Stephen Meyer however is. He would be more at home with Reasons To Believe What are your guys thoughts?

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As I explained earlier, it sorta read that way to me. It seemed like it was asking for capitulation disguised as compromise. But I don’t understand the ins and outs of accreditation or these organizations, so mulling through the real world implications is not something I could do. But basically I had a similar negative eaction as when I read your first WSJ article.

But I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and initially decided not to comment. I think the impression of your words and your actual intentions don’t always align - something that may surprise you. I’m really not surprised at the responses. It’s how the words read to me.

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Why would junk DNA need to be debunked?

We only have multiple hypotheses about the origin of life, no theories at all.

What about those of us who are Christians and do science, and don’t buy into creationism?


What is this “Not Evolution Still a Theory” you refer to? From your context, it would appear to be some sort of manifesto, but I cannot find anything by that name on Google.


My bad I should of doing some more editing Evolution still a theory in crisis Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis (9781936599325): Denton, Michael: Books