Discovery Institute’s Oklahoma Revival: It’s On!

A month ago we told you that the Discovery Institute Plans Oklahoma Revival. We got that information from the blog of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

Now the glorious event is the subject of a write-up in The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City. There we read Oklahoma City church offers Discovery Institute’s presentation on intelligent design. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

“Darwin vs. Design,” presented by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, will explore intelligent design, the idea that, because life-forms are so complex, their creation cannot be explained by Darwinian evolutionary theory alone but instead indicates intentional creation, presumably divine.

“Presumably divine”? Well, of course, but the Discoveroids won’t like that. Their “theory” is claimed to be science, you know. Let’s read on:

Dr. William Reeves, an Oklahoma City periodontist, is a member of Crossings and Oklahomans for Better Science Education. He said he has been fascinated for many years by the so-called battle between science and religion over how the world was created.

“Crossings” refers to Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City, the site for the Discoveroids’ “scientific” presentation. Here’s their website. As for Reeves, the periodontist — who’s he? Have we found yet another creationist dentist? It would seem so. His organization, Oklahomans for Better Science Education, appears to be a creationist outfit. It shouldn’t be confused with the similarly-named Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, which tirelessly and so far successfully advocates for genuine science education.

One final excerpt from The Oklahoman:

He [Reeves, the creationist dentist] said he and other conference coordinators expect a good turnout for today’s event. Although the conference is not free, Reeves said the $5 cost should not prohibit people from attending. He said some people have preregistered, but registration also is being taken at the door.

Okay, you’ve had plenty of advance notice. Now get on over to Crossings Community Church and enjoy some of that good old fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

27 responses to “Discovery Institute’s Oklahoma Revival: It’s On!

  1. I wont get home from Canadia until 10 tonight.
    :(

  2. ERV says: “I wont get home from Canadia until 10 tonight.”

    Too bad, Abigail. Casey’s gonna be there and I know he was hoping to see you again.

  3. Abbie: The main session is tomorrow and you can go give ‘em hell! I am not going and give them one dime and will also keep my blood pressure low. BUT, I do expect reports from some going there. I had enough of them in their visits to the University of Oklahoma where they got shot down pretty weel, despite Jonathan Wells’ statements otherwise. If they planned this visit to influence legislation, they are too late; the three creationist bills in this legislative session are dormant and not likely to come up again. Also, I have seen enough of Silly Sally Kern and spouse in person lately – I can stand no more.; they will be there, I bet.

  4. Well, dang. Here I was doing yard work untill sundown. Won’t miss Saturday tho’. Look forward to Abbie’s contribution. Although, I’m guessing they’re going to limit the Q&A, because they remember how they got sliced and diced at OU not too long ago. Just no good answers to the intelligent questions. Just stupid answers to the stupid questions. A professor, and I’m sorry I can’t remember his name, stood up and asked “If I explain to you the evolution of the bacterial flagellum, will you promise never to use it agian as an example of irreducible complexity?” He then clearly described it. Demski (it was Demski,right? I’m old and I forget) was apoplectic. After “but, but, but……”, he invoked the Behe defense – “You haven’t described every point mutation required to arrive at a flagellum.” I think the response was “I don’t have to. That’s not how science works.” Do you think we’re going to hear about the irreducible complexity of the flagellum agian?
    8rox

  5. 8rox: It was Professor of Biochemistry Phillip Klebba that thoroughly lectured Dembski at OU. He was only one of two faculty members that demolished Dembski in the Q and A. I was very proud of the many students at that event that stood firm and did not allow Dembski to waffle around in his answers during the Q and A.

    Also there is now an active Darwin Student Society at OU and the local IDEA club has been defunct for two years. Indeed the IDEA club movement across the country has not done very well.

    On another point: In the article linked above to The Oklahoman (known locally as ‘The Daily Disappointment’) mention is made of Oklahomans for Better Science Education (OBSE). PLEASE note that this creationist outfit is not to be confused with Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE). OBSE came along after OESE was founded. We wonder if the similarity was just dumb or was an attempt to confuse. Except for having their name mentioned in the last two visits of the DI to Oklahoma, they have not been very active. Their web page has not been updated in a few years.

  6. “cannot be explained by Darwinian evolutionary theory alone”

    *sigh*

    At what point are these jack*sses going to realize that evolutionary biology isn’t about Darwin alone… it’s Darwin plus 150 years of biological science research.

    150 YEARS OF RESEARCH, JACK*SSES!!!!
    :(

  7. umm i’m thinking about going to one of these DI things

  8. I know Dr. Reeves personally and have always liked him, but I won’t be using his services anymore considering the fact he is using his position as a “Scientific Authority” (cause he’s a doctor and all) at Crossings to push a Creationist agenda into H.S. science which is more maddening when you realize he doesn’t even have kids in the public school system. The sad part is Crossings has always been pretty mainstream and that appears to be changing.

  9. Curmudgeon: “…enjoy some of that good old fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism.”

    You mean new age creationism. Where you can believe anything from a flat Earth to billions of years of common descent (with occasional designer tinkering), but discouraged from saying what you believe, lest it too be “critically analyzed.”

  10. J. Biggs: “I know Dr. Reeves personally…”

    Do you know what he thinks the evidence supports in terms of the age of life and common descent? IOW does he agree with mainstream science and some Discoveroids on both? And has he challenged any evolution-deniers who disagree with him?

  11. If anyone here went to the DI event, would you give us a report? How many were there, etc.? Our operative that planned to go had to work today.

  12. vhutchison says:

    If anyone here went to the DI event, would you give us a report?

    I second that request. But I’m confident that Casey will give an honest account at the Discoveroids’ blog.

  13. Why wait? I’ll give you a report now, and I wasn’t even there:

    [Begin report:] The overflow audience was thrilled to learn that there are no transitional fossils, the Cambrian explosion was obviously the work of the cosmic designer, and Darwin recanted on his deathbed — but he inspired Hitler nevertheless. [End of report.]

  14. SC, we agree on that (as always), but I’m interetsed in what may have transpired in the Q and A, if they had one, as they have on previous visits.

  15. Nothin from me. I couldnt go to todays session and pick up Arnie from doggie-day-care. I wanted my dog back more than I wanted to listen to the same crap again.

    However, I do know that Casey was asking about me.

    Apparently, he wanted to meet me.

    *blink*

    So either we all hallucinated the event where Casey and I met *AND I FLIPPED HIM OFF*, or he was being a slimy weasel, as usual, trying to simultaneously get info on me (YEAH! SHES HIDING IN THE MENS BATHROOM TO BEAT UP BEHE!) and appear nice and ‘open to debate’, so when I wasnt there, he could say “NOBUDY CAN ADRESS OUR CLAMS!”

  16. ERV says:

    so when I wasnt there, he could say “NOBUDY CAN ADRESS OUR CLAMS!”

    Even I wouldn’t want to adress his clams.

  17. Aw, c’mon, Curmie! A little white wine, butter, garlic, etc. over linguini?

    LOL! :P

  18. Curmudgeon: “I second that request. But I’m confident that Casey will give an honest account at the Discoveroids’ blog.”

    You think by now I’d learn not to read these while drinking my morning coffee.

    I do hope that some of your readers do attend and give an honest account. And ask lots of “what did the designer do, and when” questions. That, not questions about the designer’s identity, or demands for evidence of design, is what makes those weasels squirm.

  19. I found someone who attended and have asked for their comments. All I know now is Abbie’s comment above and that they mentioned Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education in a negative way. That is not unexpected, since they previously have called us ‘militant,’ etc. I expect DI to claim that the visit was a big success, as usual, even if it was not.

  20. vhutchison says:

    I expect DI to claim that the visit was a big success, as usual, even if it was not.

    Of course it was a success. Haven’t you heard? Darwinism is dead.

  21. Here is a quick report from hard-working Mike Fuller, President of local chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I made a few very minor changes from the email I received from Mike. As we expected, nothing new here. I am not sure that peridontist Reeves is founder of OBSE, but he is current President and they have upgraded their web site for the DI visit.

    “I was unable to attend the Friday session, and as far as I know at
    this point, no one else from AU was there. In the Saturday session, I was the only person from AU. I estimate approximately 150-200 people were there. The session began with a lecture by Jay Richards on cosmology. He started out with the contention that Intelligent Design did not rest on a theological basis and could be tested as well as any other hypotheses about the cosmos and life. Thus, it was as much of a scientific hypothesis as Darwinism. He said Darwin professed a materialistic view of life which was wedded to scientific evidence. Furthermore, he said that, under that view, material has always existed, but there is existing evidence which refutes this view. His evidence refuting materialism and evolution is based on the fact that our planet is habitable and the laws of nature are measurable. Since we have an expanding universe, there must have been a beginning. If there was a beginning there must have been a “cause”, because you can’t have an event without something causing it. Ipso facto, if there was a cause, someone had to cause it. He went on to say that life depends on physical constants and is sensitive to numerical values, which are very narrow in scope, and very minute changes would render life impossible. Thus, the cosmos is
    so “fine tuned”, it is impossible to believe life would exist purely
    by random chance, which leaves the only other explanation for the
    existence of life as having been done by a “designer”. (God of the
    gaps) He did not delve into where or how this “designer” came into
    existence. Further evidence of a designer can be seen by the fact
    that we experience total eclipses. He said the precise requirements
    for the size of the moon, sun and earth, plus the precise distances
    required to provide a total eclipse is just too precise to have
    happened by chance.

    “Michael Behe was the next speaker. His presentation dealt primarily
    with evidence of ID in biological sciences. According to him, ID can
    logically be deduced when the physical structures of life are closely
    examined. He said “everyone” agrees that certain aspects of biology
    “appear” to be designed. He presented several quotes from noted
    scientists to prove it. He said something to the effect that
    Darwinism rests on “undisciplined imagination”. He went into the
    “irreducible complexity” argument and presented the mouse trap and
    bacterial flagellum as examples that prove ID. (When will these
    people get some new material?) Bottom line, Behe said there is
    very little evidence for evolution, but there is strong evidence for ID.

    “The third and last speaker was Casey Luskin. He spent most of his
    time hammering at the “dogmatic Darwin lobby”. He presented numerous
    quotes from various scientists and scientific organizations which
    demonstrated the attempts to keep ID out of science classrooms (as if
    that was a bad thing). OESE was one of the organizations he cited. I
    can’t remember the exact quote, but it’s one I’ve heard before and it
    sounded perfectly appropriate (to me, not him). He criticized the
    National Science Foundation for efforts to promote the teaching of
    evolution to young school children. He spent quite a lot of time on
    explaining “academic freedom” and criticizing those who claim it was
    merely an attempt to interject religion into science classes. To him,
    this sort of belief was unjustified because that was not what academic
    freedom meant at all. He cited Louisiana as a state where an academic freedom bill had passed and no one had filed a lawsuit to remove it. He presented 3 things for people to do to overcome the unfair attacks against bringing ID into public school classrooms:
    1. Don’t opt out of learning about evolution. He said evolution
    should be taught as well as ID. Therefore, people needed to know
    about both “scientific” hypotheses.
    2. Think for yourself. Think critically and question authority. (I
    got a kick out of this because this is the same thing we advocate for
    true science and religious dogma.)
    3. Educate yourself about “credible scientific viewpoints” that
    dissent from Darwinism. He also advised the audience to contact a man by the name of Bill Reeves for more advice on how to hold back the anti ID’ers. Mr. Reeves is apparently the founder and manager of an organization called “Oklahomans for Better Science Education”. (sounds a lot like OESE, doesn’t it) He was there and was recognized by Luskin.

    All of the speakers continue to speak of ID as “science”. This blows
    my mind.””

  22. Thank you, Victor. An excellent report.

  23. Curmudgeon: “Of course it was a success. Haven’t you heard? Darwinism is dead.”

    Actually it’s dead and dying, falsified and unfalsifiable. And ID is science just like “Darwinism,” which is just another religion. ;-)

  24. @vhutchinson:

    Thanks for the report. What blows my mind is not the same old DI word games that I have heard for 14 years, but the fact that there’s no mention of anyone – critics or fans – forcing the ID scam artists to take a position on “what happened when.” Especially since Behe clearly and consistently has stated his agreement that mainstream science, despite all his “problems” with it, is correct about ~4 billion years of common descent with modification. And none of the other DI folk have challenged him publicly. It’s almost like we’re helping them prop up the big tent.

  25. Below is the letter I sent to the OK Gazette in response to an article it published about the ID/Creationism event at Crossings, which is also Mrs. Fallin’s church, when she chooses to attend. Here is the link to the Gazette article where you read the context of the quote from Dr. Reeves:

    http://www.okgazette.com/oklahoma/article-11109-creation-conversation.html

    And here is my letter:

    Editors:

    In the article “Creative Conversation” (March 23, Oklahoma Gazette) church organiser William Reeves is quoted saying, “…areas of science has significant cultural and religious implications, and, therefore, getting the science right is very important” as his church tries to find some loophole in the scientific method that will enable them to set their undocumented myths as superior to fact.

    Regardless of the tender sentiments of culture and religion, the facts of science exist whether or not people such as Mr. Reeves acknowledge those facts. The earth has revolved around the sun for uncountable cycles regardless of religious dogma to the contrary. There is no such thing as a witch despite the kangaroo trials that condemned thousands of women to horrific deaths by flame and torture. Diseases are caused by microbes, cured by medicines, not by casting out demons and conjuring spells. As a dentist, Mr. Reeves should know these things.

    The physical laws of the universe will not be cut to fit the thought patterns of Mr. Reeves’s church though it would seem some minds are mere stencils set to replicate the disproven mythologies of the Bronze Age.

    James Nimmo
    Oklahoma City

  26. Nicely done, James.

  27. Good response from Nimmo, a valuable ally in the continuing battle in Oklahoma and an active member of Americans United in the Oklahoma City chapter. Activists like him contribute significantly to our causes.