Discovery Institute: IDEA Clubs Flopped?

ABOUT three months ago, we saw this article at the blog of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids): Turning Darwin Day Into Academic Freedom Day.

We considered it a possibility that the Discoveroids were encouraging activist creationist cells on college campuses whose function would be to disrupt Darwin Day celebratory events. In response, we wrote: Discovery Institute: Planning Darwin Anniversary Disruptions?

Well, Darwin Day has come and gone. What happened?

The Discoveroids’ anti-Darwin Day website is still up: Academic Freedom Day. So is the website of their IDEA Center (IDEA = Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness), the parent group for their campus activist cells. There’s also a Wikipedia article about them: Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center, which suggests that the whole IDEA club thing may be moribund.

We’ve seen no news reports about creationist hooligans causing trouble at any Darwin Day events. Nevertheless, your Curmudgeon went searching for news of their campus creationism cells — oops, we mean IDEA clubs — thinking that if they were ever going to get any coverage in the media, it would have been during the Darwin Day festivities which just ended. We Googled news stories for “Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness” and found only three items, one of which is in French. We’ll ignore that one.

The second item is from PR Newswire, a news service friendly to the Discoveroids: Discovery Institute Honors Charles Darwin With Academic Freedom Day. That’s little more than a repeat of this article on the Discoveroids’ blog.

The third item appears in the Norman Transcript, from Oklahoma: Science and religion topic of event Saturday. For all the public relations skills of the Discoveroids, this is the only current news item we found regarding their IDEA clubs, at a time when they should have been highly visible. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Religion and science will be discussed at an event Saturday hosted by the University of Oklahoma Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Club. “Designed for Faith: Science and Religion in Conversation” will be 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church. Admission is $5.

The story is dated February 06. There’s no follow-up, just the announcement of what was then a planned event to be held at a church, hosted by an IDEA club. Let’s read on:

The IDEA club also has an event coming up Feb. 20. Discovery Institute’s Academic Freedom Day will feature two speakers 6-8:30 p.m. in the Robert S. Kerr Auditorium at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Hey! A second event is yet to come. It’s a veritable groundswell! We continue:

Dr. John G. West, senior fellow and associate director of Discovery Institute, will present “Seven Myths about the Darwin Debate.” He is the author of “Darwin Day in America.”

Wow! You don’t want to miss that. But wait — there’s more:

Casey Luskin, co-founder of the IDEA Center, will present “The Truth about Kitzmiller v. Dover and Academic Freedom.” Luskin is coauthor of “Traipsing into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision.”

Casey himself, the co-founder of the IDEA Center will be speaking! And he’s still single-handedly appealing the Dover decision. It’s not too late to make your arrangements to be there.

Anyway, that’s the entire range of IDEA club activities that we could learn about. Two Discoveroid heavyweights will be involved with the activities of one club. It’s probably their only active club, so there’s no danger that they’ll be spreading their talent too thinly.

The Discoveroids’ plans for a nationwide, campus-based anti-science movement appear to have fizzled out, along with Casey’s dreams of being a creationist youth leader. But as Miss Scarlet always said: “Tomorrow is another day!”

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

5 responses to “Discovery Institute: IDEA Clubs Flopped?

  1. As far as I can tell, this is the only functioning IDEA club. An off-campus club in Madison, South Dakota was in the planning stages (read: one guy was talking about forming one) but I’ve heard absolutely nothing further.

  2. It gets better. If you do a whois on the website for the IDEA Club Oklahoma that is sponsoring Academic Freedom Day, you find that it was registered to a Mario Lopez at The Apologia Project in San Diego, California.

  3. They’ve also put together a debate between Dembski and Michael Ruse on 27 Feb, and brought Dembski to the university in Sept 07 to speak on ID and take unlimited Q&A, which he did. It’s a fairly active club, though I’m sure there are not too many like it.

  4. I was remiss not to cite Allen MacNeill’s thorough review of all the non-existent IDEA clubs.

  5. James says: “I was remiss not to cite …”

    I remember that one. Poor Casey.