Discovery Institute vs. The Vatican and Fox News

Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield

It’s difficult to imagine the frustration being experienced by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids). For a long time, a prime source of funding has been unavailable to them. We’re speaking of 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.”

What’s the Templeton attitude toward Intelligent Design? They tell us here: Does the John Templeton Foundation support intelligent design? That’s a new link to a short version of their policy, which replaced an older pdf file. With bold added by us, it used to say:

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. …

The Discoveroids have a long and embarrassing history of being shunned by the Templeton folks. Now they’re being shut out of a Vatican conference on evolution. See: Discovery Institute: Spurned by the Vatican.

To make it worse, it turns out that one of the big sponsors of the Vatican conference is the Discoveroids’ old nemesis, the Templeton Foundation. The Discoveroids are calling it Templeton’s Darwin Conference in Rome, and they’re outraged that much of the funding for the Vatican conference is coming from the Templeton Foundation.

Although the Discoveroids have no science to show for all their activities, they have had some public relations successes. Forbes Magazine appears to have gone creationist. See: Open Letter to Steve Forbes. And a few state legislators always seem willing to introduce a version of the Discoveroids’ Academic Freedom Act into their state legislatures. None of those misguided bills have passed this year — so far. Last year, however, such a bill was signed by Louisiana’s creationist Governor, Bobby Jindal — see Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist.

But now, right in the middle of the Discoveroids’ humiliation of being shut out of the Vatican conference, Fox News reports on the situation, and look at their headline: Creationists Blast Vatican for Not Inviting Them to Evolution Conference. That’s right — “creationists” is in the title. The Fox story begins with these two paragraphs:

A Vatican-backed conference on evolution is under attack from people who weren’t invited to participate: those espousing creationism and intelligent design.

The Discovery Institute, the main organization supporting intelligent design research, says it was shut out from presenting its views because the meeting was funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation, a major U.S. nonprofit that has criticized the intelligent design movement.

The Discoveroids are exceedingly displeased — especially Bruce Chapman, President of the Discovery Institute (a/k/a the Discoveroids), Lord High Keeper of their Wedge strategy, and the ultimate leader of all cdesign proponentsists (described here: Missing link: “cdesign proponentsists”).

Chapman has briefly written of his displeasure in his own blog at the Discoveroid website: Owellian Rewrite Folks at Fox and AP. Here are some excerpts:

Fox runs a revised story from AP headlined “Creationists Blast Vatican….” The new lede [sic] changes the meaning (someone up there–in Rewrite–doesn’t like us) and makes this out to be a story about “creationists” and has the target “the Vatican”.

It’s quite amusing that the Discoveroids refer to a truthful headline as “Orwellian.” But then, what else should we expect from creationists? Here’s most of the rest of Chapman’s article:

Here you have a conference set up largely to attack intelligent design, and that denies its targets the chance to defend themselves. The funder [Templeton] has called the shots. I point out that this represents Templeton policy.

I am not a creationist. i [sic] quoted Pope Benedict XVI extensively and positively.

So how have “Creationists Blasted the Vatican”?

Sometimes the gods give us some richly humorous events, for no reason other than our pleasure. This is one of those times. Enjoy it.

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

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8 responses to “Discovery Institute vs. The Vatican and Fox News

  1. Curmy writes:

    Sometimes the gods give us some richly humorous events, for no reason other than our pleasure. This is one of those times. Enjoy it.

    Indeed! I’ve cracked open a bottle of 2003 Barolo to help the festivities.

    If I overindulge, I’ll repent on the morrow with a brace of Hail Marys — or maybe Bloody Marys, in more festive mood. Peccavi; mea maxima culpa!

  2. carlsonjok

    Without any hint of irony, the DI writes:

    Here you have a conference set up largely to attack intelligent design, and that denies its targets the chance to defend themselves.

    Having been present at the Academic Freedom Tent Revival at the University of Oklahoma, that is exactly what they tried to do to ERV after Casey Luskin attempted to character assassinate her.

  3. I can’t figure out why the Discoveroids don’t dispatch Casey Luskin to Rome to straighten those people out. They obviously need his guidance.

  4. John Phillips, FCD

    Who is this Owell they speak of 🙂

    It appears that they can’t even afford someone to proof read their releases for them or even use a spell-checker. Heck, even my cheapo, as in free, IeSpell spell-checker addon offers up the correct name.

  5. John Phillips says: “Who is this Owell they speak of :)”

    Darn! I missed that one. Good catch. Just goes to show how Chapman is totally losing it over this Vatican business.

  6. So Mr. Chapman has scouted out all the nefarious connections, found that the organizers of the conference all consider creation science and Intelligent Design as nothing more than pseudo-science, and is therefore convinced that, since their pockets are lined by the Templeton Foundation, this somehow proves that the views expressed at the conference on ID do not reflect “views of the Vatican” nor the views of the Pope, nor orthodox Catholic teaching.

    I think Mr. Chapman would serve his Church well by studying the teachings of his Church and by listening to her leaders on this matter, rather than exerting great effort to further his own “Discovery Institute” enterprise, even though it wold probably undercut the profits of the Institute. His pocketbook might get thinner, but his soul would be enlarged…

  7. Mr. Chapman isn’t concerned with the teachings of his church because he is doing god’s work against the infidels.

  8. Jeff Grace says: “His pocketbook might get thinner, but his soul would be enlarged…”

    It’s always comfortable when faith and prosperity go together. But when the two diverge, people usually follow the money.