Discovery Institute Says: Invest in Creationism

It’s already too late to shield your irony detectors. They’ve all been blown out. The cause of this global catastrophe is a new post from 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).

The Discoveroids’ post is Millions to Chase a Myth. They’re not discussing their own bizarre mission to pursue their wedge strategy — which declares that their purpose is “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” It specifically says:

Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

It also says:

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. … [T]he Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

They also maintain that they’re not creationists. No one believes them, but that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

Considering the insidious nature of the Discoveroid enterprise, which we identified at the beginning of this humble blog (see Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment). their new post is especially ironic. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and their links omitted:

Would you put millions of dollars on a quest that has proved fruitless for 150 years?

What? Are they referring to their patrons, who donate millions yearly to support the Discoveroids’ efforts to suppress the theory of evolution? (See Discovery Institute Tax Returns: 2008 & 2009.) Actually, no. Their own bizarre crusade isn’t the myth their title is talking about. They’re referring to a bit of science which is being undertaken. They explain:

Harry Lonsdale, a retired chemist and entrepreneur, did. Last year, he launched the “Origin of Life Challenge” and called on scientists to propose explanations for how life came from non-life, promising them rich rewards for finding answers to “this puzzling question.”

What’s wrong with that? Let’s read on:

If it sounds strange to find someone attempting to kick-start this kind of research, maybe that’s because you were taught to believe that Stanley Miller had it all wrapped up fifty years ago with his famous spark-discharge experiment, one of the Icons of Evolution that adorns high-school science textbooks. It is indeed surprising to read now the frank admission that “How life first developed is a poorly-understood process.”

Are you following this? The Discoveroids are pretending that it’s a long-suppressed secret that we haven’t yet completely figured out the origin of life. At the same time they’re mocking us because we don’t yet have all the answers. They, of course, have no answers at all, but that doesn’t trouble them for a moment. We continue:

It’s so poorly understood that one of Lonsdale’s referees, astrobiologist Chris McKay from NASA’s Ames Research Center, commented, “The scientific study of the origin of life is still early enough that there’s not even a consensus on how to approach the problem.” What? Didn’t Darwin propose a warm little pond?

It’s times like this when a Discoveroid-watcher has to wonder: Are they really that clueless, or are they just brutally cynical in the certainty that their followers are that clueless? Anyway, then they talk about the lack of public funding for such research, and they remark:

This little trade secret (that private funding is rare) might tip off savvy investors that the “Origin of Life Challenge” is a bad bet.

A bad bet? It’s probably better than doing research into the mysterious activities of the intelligent designer. Here’s more, and this may be what over-loaded your irony detector:

Of course, Lonsdale is free to do whatever he wants with his own money. No doubt the alchemists of the 16th century would have eagerly accepted private funding from a rich baron. But when researchers are still at square one after 150 years, outsiders might be justified in considering more promising ways to get a return on investment.

Amazing. Biologists are still at square one since Darwin. That’s in sharp contrast to the Discoveroids, whose trail-blazing research is really making progress. Oh yeah — they’re solving problems left and right! But for the ultimate irony, check out their concluding paragraph:

If any investors want to send even a small portion of Lonsdale’s promised funding to support biomimetics projects or intelligent design organizations, such as Biologic Institute, Discovery Institute or Illustra Media, they can rest assured it won’t take 150 years to show some returns.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Discoveroids are going to show returns? They gave a recap of their “progress” a couple of years ago, and here’s what we wrote about it: Discovery Institute’s Recap: $20 Million For This?

So the lesson for today, dear reader, is really quite simple. Why spend your money on biological research, when investing in creation science is so much more promising? Okay, we’re done here; now go out and buy a new irony detector.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Discovery Institute Says: Invest in Creationism

  1. Jack Hogan

    If any investors want to send even a small portion of Lonsdale’s promised funding to support biomimetics projects or intelligent design organizations, such as Biologic Institute, Discovery Institute or Illustra Media, they can rest assured it won’t take 150 years to show some returns.

    IIRC, Illustra Media is Coppedge’s organization. Since DI probably lost his hopeless case they are throwing him a bone.

    Note they do not claim anyone is doing ID “research”. Probably because there is no such thing and they cannot solicit “investment” in it.

  2. docbill1351

    Yes, by all means invest in Illustra Media because we all know the best cutting edge science comes out of film studios. The list is quite impressive:

    Ray guns
    Warp drive
    Hyperdrive
    Transporters
    Body suits
    Force fields
    Anti-gravity
    Tri-corders
    Holodecks
    Androids
    Planetary exploration and new civilizations!

    However, I jest! Serious research has come out of the Biologic Institute under the direction of Dougie “Howzer” Axe. Did you know that if you take a ball-and-stick model of a protein, shine a light on it and turn it just so, that by standing on your head and squinting the shadow it makes looks almost like a Chinese character, somewhat, but only if you squint, therefore,

    (drum roll)

    I N T E L L I G E N T D E S I G N ™

    Yes, it’s twue, it’s twue!

  3. I think you took it easy on them, SC. The full article is rife with dishonesty, misleading statements, and the usual snarky comments. The title, referring to origin of life research as “chasing a myth”, also identifies the DI as creationists, no matter how they want to spin it.

    It’s rather telling that the DI spends absolutely zero on research into the origin of life, even though that is ostensibly central to their claim that life was designed. They clearly hate it when this kind of research is funded – after all, what would happen if the research paid off?

    The news story they link to is actually rather interesting. Whether or not someone manages to create a replicating RNA-like molecule, we are bound to know more than when we started. This is the opposite of ID activities, in which the reduction of knowledge is the goal.

  4. NeonNoodle

    “Yes, it’s twue, it’s true!”

    I propose that any more AiG columns about sex should be accompanied by a little icon of “Lili Von Shtupp” (circa 1974), verifying its authenticity.

  5. It is for DI posts such as this one that I remind everyone of the immortal words of Doc Bill, posted a few years ago:

    Nay, against this most uncivil hoard we must use uncivil means and that means, yes, tools of the Spanish Inquisition because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. We must use mockery, gales of laughter, pointing, sarcasm, derision and the occasional fart in their direction.

  6. ‘or are they just brutally cynical in the certainty that their followers are that clueless?’

    Did you really have to ask?

    But I can see the type of research into abiogenesis that would take place at the DI.

    Just picture the flask with all the required ingredients, the incense in the air, the priests kneeling around it and hear the chant of the prayers.

    The result – no life, it didn’t work.

    The conclusion – Amazing, god must have done it.

  7. DI whine: “But when researchers are still at square one after 150 years…”

    That’s the bait and switch I wrote about here. So please use Dembski’s own advice against him and “don’t take the bait.”

    Of couse we’re no closer that ever to scientifically concluding whether there is or isn’t a Creator/designer. If that’e even possible. But in terms of determining “what happened when” and proximate causes, science is ever converging on answers that they never sought out, and in which never had any vested interest. Meanwhile all the scam artists do is increasingly evade questions about their mutually contradictory “theories” and play bait-and-switch word games at every opportunity.

  8. Jim Thomerson

    As to Darwin’s warm little pond, that was reasonable speculation at the time. Remember that nucleic acids were first discovered in 1869, ten years after first publication of The Origin. So Darwin could not consider if the first self replicating molecule was DNA or RNA, much less the role of reverse transcriptase. 😉

  9. But when researchers are still at square one after 150 years, outsiders might be justified in considering more promising ways to get a return on investment.

    Newtonian Mechanics: 1687.
    General relativity: 1916.

    That’s 229 years we were at ‘square one’ in terms of explaining Mecurcy’s anomalous orbit.

    Thank goodness no real scientist actually follows DI’s advice. If we quit looking at a hard problems, humanity would still be using leaches by candelight to ‘cure’ the bubonic plague.