Discovery Institute: They Get No Respect!

Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield

Like Rodney Dangerfield, the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) can’t get any respect.

Consider the John Templeton Foundation, which says that it “has roughly $1.5 billion in assets. In 2007, we gave out approximately $70 million in grant awards.” They describe their mission as being:

… to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity.

What’s their attitude toward Intelligent Design? They tell us here: Does the John Templeton Foundation support intelligent design? That’s a new link to a short statement that replaces an older pdf file which said, with bold added by us:

The John Templeton Foundation does not support research or programs that deny large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge. In addition, we do not support political agendas such as movements to determine (one way or the other) what qualified educators should or should not teach in public schools. …

It is therefore possible that, from time to time, the Foundation will support well-designed projects or research that some others may label as “intelligent design.” … Our expectation is that the products of Templeton-funded research will appear in high-quality and peer-reviewed journals. If your project takes an anti-evolutionist position scientifically, or seeks to engage in political advocacy concerning evolution or anti-evolution, it is unlikely to pass through the initial filters and external expert review process of the John Templeton Foundation.

So Templeton essentially shuts out the Discoveroids. They give away $70 million a year, but nothing goes to the boys in Seattle.

Then there was the recent five-day conference on evolution held by the Pontifical Academy of Science, from which the Discoveroids were excluded. See: Vatican Congress on Evolution to Exclude Creationism.

And now, the Discoveroids — after trying to get in, or so we’re told — were spurned even by the University of Central Florida, which had invited Jerry Coyne and Eugenie Scott to speak at their “Darwin Bicentennial Seminar Series.”

The Discoveroids are so miffed at this latest affront to their intellectual dignity that they’ve posted a rant about it at their blog, written by Robert Crowther: In Debate Over Evolution and Intelligent Design, Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds. Crowther says, with bold added by us:

Recently, I saw the [sic] they [Jerry Coyne and Eugenie Scott] would both be speaking at the University of Central Florida, at the behest of the university’s biology department. The topic? For Coyne it was intelligent design, and for Scott it was academic freedom (seriously). So, I thought I’d inquire as to whether or not UCF would be balancing these anti-ID lectures with views from the other side. Here’s the response I got:

We’re informed that the Discoveroids did more than inquire about “balance” — they asked for a seat at the table. We don’t know that for certain, however.

Okay, this is supposed to be from the university’s response, at least according to Crowther. The bold was added by him:

This seminar series seeks to bring outstanding scientists to UCF to discuss how Darwin and evolution have influenced our understanding of nature. As have many other academic institutions, UCF has organized a series of lectures during the Darwin bicentennial as an opportunity to provide public education on evolution as the foundation of the biological sciences.

Scientists at UCF agree with the position expressed in the National Academy of Sciences publication, Science, Evolution, and Creationism, that there is no scientific controversy about the basic facts of evolution. Therefore, the Biology Department will not include a discussion about intelligent design in this series.

Although I understand your passion about this subject, I hope you understand the position taken by the UCF scientists who have organized this seminar series.

Ka-Powie! So how does Crowther react? The title of his blog article includes the phrase: “Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds,” and he wraps up the article saying:

Darwinists simply don’t want students to be able to learn about both the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution …

Were we to emulate the Discoveroids’ style, we might fire off a letter like this to Queen Elizabeth:

Your Majesty: We understand you’re having a big bash at your palace, to which all the swells have been invited. Perhaps one of your oafish staffers forgot to invite me, but surely you require my presence.

And when some junior household secretary politely responds that they’ve made no mistake, we’d blog about the Queen’s “hypocrisy” in purporting to run a classy operation, while refusing to invite the Curmudgeon.

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5 responses to “Discovery Institute: They Get No Respect!

  1. The response was too verbose. They should have stopped the letter after This seminar series seeks to bring outstanding scientists to UCF.

  2. retiredsciguy

    carlsonjok wrote:
    “They should have stopped the letter after This seminar series seeks to bring outstanding scientists to UCF.”

    Can I hear an AMEN, Brother!

  3. Any chance of getting Crowther to list the weaknesses of Darwinian evolution he wants students to consider?

    Any chance we can get him to tell us the difference between Darwinian evolution and – eh hm – regular biological non-intelligent designer directed evolution?

    Oh, silly me, of course we can’t get them to answer either question, it would pin them down to fixed goal posts.

    Next time any of you here are poking around in the muck and goo looking for that overthrown baseball, ask Crowther when you find him where the ID research went.

  4. You’re having a hot streak today, Tundra Boy!

  5. I seem to have missed it, where do the Discoveroids discuss the strengths and weaknesses of intelligent design? They are so big on wanting “Darwinists” to do it.