Discovery Institute Plans Oklahoma Revival

Buffoon Award

This is exciting, dear reader. At 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), we find this thrilling notice: Darwin v. Design Conference Coming to Oklahoma to Address Debate Over Science and God.

Debate over science and God? How very odd. The Discoveroids always insist that they’re involved in a campaign to promote their — ahem! — scientific theory of intelligent design. But then, we must remember that the last time we wrote about a Discoveroid revival was Discovery Institute Plans Another Revival at Biola. As you know, Biola University is a California bible college founded in 1908 as the Bible Institute Of Los Angeles. The Discoveroids have a lot of their “science” revivals at venues like that.

This Discoveroid announcement is special because it’s written by John West. Most of you know who he is (we affectionately call him “Westie”). It’s in his honor that we have adorned this post with our jolly Buffoon logo, because he’s a winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award. Westie is Associate Director of the Discoveroids’ creationist “think tank,” which consumes almost half of the Discovery Institute’s’ $4 million budget (see Their 2007 Tax Return). That makes him one of the chief Keepers of their wedge strategy.

With that introduction, let’s see some excerpts from Westie’s announcement. The bold font was added by us:

During the past decade, an increasing number of so-called “new atheists” have argued that human beings and the rest of nature are the products of chance and necessity rather than intelligent design.

Why does Westie start this announcement by talking about atheists? What does that have to do with the Discoveroids’ “scientific” theory? Just for fun, let’s see how many times he refers to atheists or atheism in this announcement. In addition to what we just quoted, here’s what we found:

These “new atheists” typically base their ideas on Darwinian evolution … . The message of the new atheists has spread far and wide. Just two years ago, thousands of students flocked to a lecture by leading new atheist Richard Dawkins at the University of Oklahoma. Dawkins famously contends that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”. … The good news is that the new atheists are wrong. …

That’s six times. Very scientific. Okay, let’s get into the meat of Westie’s announcement:

Far from establishing a blind and purposeless universe, the findings of science increasingly provide powerful evidence that we live in a purpose-driven universe of incredible beauty and design.

They have evidence — powerful evidence — of a purpose-driven universe? Wow! Let’s read on:

On March 25-26 Oklahomans will have the chance to explore this evidence for themselves as four national experts come to Oklahoma to address the growing intersection between science and faith.

Four “national experts” are coming to Oklahoma! We told you this was exciting. Who are these national experts? That’s disclosed in the final paragraph of Westie’s announcement. The names are in bold in the original:

Dr. Michael Behe, renowned biochemist and author of the books Darwin’s Black Box and The Edge of Evolution, will speak about the incredible design in the nanotechnology of the cell. Dr. Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet, will talk about how earth itself was intelligently designed for life and for scientific discovery. Dr. John West, author of Darwin Day in America and co-editor of The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia, will document the widespread impact of Darwin’s theory on society and faith. And lawyer Casey Luskin, co-author of Traipsing into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision will outline positive steps you can take to stand for truth for you and your family.

Behe, Richards, Westie himself, and Casey — those are the four national experts. Hey, you don’t want to miss this. You have a month to make your plans, so get busy.

Oh, wait — there’s no link where you can register. Also, it’s difficult to figure out where this great event will be, but if you search very hard you’ll see it in a graphic. It’s at the Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. Here’s their website. Now you know all, so mark those days in your calendar!

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

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18 responses to “Discovery Institute Plans Oklahoma Revival

  1. Gabriel Hanna

    Oklahoma again? I’m surprised that Behe shows his face anywhere in that state before Abbie Smith gets her Ph. D.

  2. The Dishonesty Institoot must like Oklahoma, although their previous visits to OU were not particularly successful despite the DI claims to the contrary . We believe that this event may be intended to support the creationist bills in the Legislature? Opponents have already planned to go and oppose them in any Q and A (e.g., Abbie Smith on her ERV blog). I do not plan to go at this point and give them the $5 admission fee and have my blood pressure elevated, but some on our side will try to oppose during the Q and A, if they even allow one.

  3. Victor says:

    Opponents have already planned to go and oppose them in any Q and A (e.g., Abbie Smith on her ERV blog).

    I hope Abbie doesn’t flip another bird at Casey.

  4. John West has a PHD so why don’t you include the doctor title in his name? To quote Joan Crawford. “Why can’t you give me ( DR. John West ) the respect that I’m entitled to? Why can’t you treat me like I would be treated by any stranger on the street?

  5. Curtis asks:

    John West has a PHD so why don’t you include the doctor title in his name?

    The degree is in political science, and he doesn’t use it in his byline. Why do you ask?

  6. The DI dead dog and one trick pony show is BACK in Oklahoma, and at another church! Now, isn’t that special!

    “Two day conference” is actually two hours on Friday and four hours on Saturday. Not exactly a “conference” either since it’s just Johnny-boy Westie and the other malfeasants on the stage.

    By the way, the money from the $5 admission goes to buying the Boy Gerbil wood shavings for his cage.

    Seriously, though, you have to think this through. Mikey Behe, professor of chemistry, author of the acclaimed Darwin’s Black Box and other books, lead defense expert at Kitzmiller, one of two intelligent design creationism “theorists,” arguably, next to Dembski, a leading light of the intelligent design creationism movement, is going to fly all the way from Pennsylvania to OKC to stay at some old Marriott for the weekend and deliver about a one hour lecture to an half-empty church basement of Sally Kern supporters who stink of Domino’s pizza and Mountain Dew.

    I wonder if Bueller will be there?

  7. Curmudgeon: “Why does Westie start this announcement by talking about atheists?”

    That’s their usual bait. the switch comes when they admit that theistic evolutionists are their main opponent. Which makes it especially ironic that West, and nearly every anti-evolution activist, would write favorably about (& quote mine?) the conveniently-deceased C. S. Lewis. From what I read, Lewis would be a TE if alive today, and not a fan of the ID scam.

  8. I think I’ll skip. Not only do I not want to fork over a fiver to those charlatans, I certainly don’t want to spend another $40 in gas driving back and forth. I’m an environmentalist, donchaknow.

  9. Casey and West will probably be politicking prior to the “conference” with their friends in the OK legislature and whatever other groups they might have influence or relations with. I’m sure they will also work the local media as much as possible. It would be interesting to know how many days they will in town for the 6 hour “conference”.

    It’s hard to tell from their web site what this particular church believes with respect to evolution. They are obviously bible based, and creationist, but they don’t refer to Genesis anywhere that I can find, so I don’t think they are YEC. Possibly they are theistic evolutionists?

  10. I know quite a few people who attend Crossings which is non-denominational I believe. In fact I have several friends who have attended the school there and whose children now attend. I was told that they teach evolution in their Biology section and it was never considered contraversial or argued about. My friend said she learned at school that science and faith address different things. It makes me wonder how well this presentation will be recieved.

  11. Ed, it seems likely that this conference is part of a “leveraged flyout.” The DI gets the local church to foot the bill, then they use the time in OK City to lobby and engage the local media. Presto, instant subsidy.

  12. @Doc Bill: Now, why did you have to bring Mt Dew (truly the Nectar of the Gods) into this?

  13. If the DI schduled this visit to influence legislation this year, they are too late. Creationist HB 1551 was voted down in committee this week and SB 554 is dead, I just learned for sure an hour ago! SB will not be heard in committee as the deadline has past and the Senate Ed Committee will not meet next Monday. This leaves HB 1001 (‘Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act’). We will wait and see, but it too may not get a hearing in the House Common Education Committee. If so, for 12 years in a row, Oklahoma, unlike LA and TX, will have escaped the DI influence.

  14. Victor says: “and SB 554 is dead,”

    That’s Josh Brecheen’s bill. Dead you say? Splendid news!

  15. Yes, Josh Breechen: “Since science is religion …..”

  16. What, SB 554 got plowed under? How ironic.

    Headlines: Creationist Farmer Plows into Tree of Life.

  17. It is always possible that these bills could come up again during this session as amendments to other bills or in a shell bill (introduced, numbered with no title or conternt). Maybe unlikely, but it happens. Also the Lege often does not follow their own rules. There is also some underground conflict between ‘mainline’ Republicans and Tea Party members (including Kern and Brecheen) that could come into play. We will keep watch and hope we have time to respond, if something happens to let the bills re-emerge in another form. Politics stinks!

  18. Keep an eye on Brecheen, Victor. He won’t give up.