This being a slow news day, we can spend a bit of time on some background chores. Today we’d like to re-visit the way we describe the neo-Luddite, 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).
To do that, we need to take the foregoing mess apart and look at each element. The first part — “neo-Luddite” — is something we recently added after we posted this: Creationists — the New Luddites. A few of you didn’t think it was appropriate, but we decided to use it.
Next: “neo-theocrats”: There’s no doubt that the Discoveroids are theocrats, as that’s virtually explicit in their manifesto known as the Wedge Document. That’s a link to the Wikipedia article which describes it. You can read the actual document at the Discoveroids’ website here: The Wedge (pdf file), and you can read it in text form here: The Wedge Strategy. Another copy is at the NCSE website: The Wedge Document.
The Wedge Document states in its “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary” that the intelligent design movement’s goal is to replace science as currently practiced with “theistic and Christian science.” Also, among the intelligent design movement’s “Governing Goals” are to “defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies” and “to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.”
Further, Phase II explains that alongside a focus on influential opinion-makers, “we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Christians. We will do this primarily through apologetics seminars. We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidence that support the faith, as well as to ‘popularize’ our ideas in the broader culture.”
Listed among their “Twenty Year Goals” is: “To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.”
So there’s no doubt that the Discoveroids are theocrats. As for our calling them “neo-theocrats,” that’s our way of mimicking their continuous use of the term “neo-Darwinism,” an expression which literally means something (referring to the synthesis of Darwin’s theory with genetics), but it seems to be employed by the Discoveroids only to give the theory of evolution some kind of creepy-sounding label. We intend to keep using “neo-theocrats.”
Next, “creationist public relations and lobbying operation”: That’s self-explanatory, and because it’s exactly what they are (rather then a “think tank,” which is how they describe themselves) we’re going to keep it.
Finally, we call them cdesign proponentsists. That’s a link, and as most of you know, it refers to a key piece of evidence that was presented in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, which Wikipedia explains here: Pandas and “cdesign proponentsists”.
But we’re not satisfied. A while ago we wrote What Is the Discovery Institute?, in which we concluded that the Discovery Institute is properly understood as a creationist ministry that should be called the Church of the Intelligent Designer.
In that same post we said they were concern trolls, specifically science concern trolls — because they profess to be so “concerned” about good science education, “critical thinking,” academic freedom, viewpoint discrimination, and teaching the “strengths and [alleged] weakness” of evolution. We concluded by saying that the Discoveroids are properly described as the Church of the Intelligent Designer, and concern trolling is their principal method of evangelizing.
We like that, but it never found its way into our customary descriptive paragraph. So perhaps it’s time for some revision. We’re now thinking of referring to them as the Evangelical Church of the Unnamed Designer, a creationist ministry — but that requires some explanation.
“Evangelical” is because of their obsession with spreading the word and attracting converts (technically that’s proselytism, but evangelical somehow sounds better and it’s close enough). Also, we’re thinking of using “Unnamed” Designer rather than “Intelligent” Designer. He’s not “Nameless,” just Unnamed. As you know the Discoveroids are privately unanimous that their magical designer is Yahweh, but they never acknowledge that publicly because they think that if they keep the designer’s identity a secret — as if they could — they can then deny being creationists and somehow sneak their scrubbed version of creationism past the courts and into the public schools.
Okay, this is what our new description of the Discoveroids will look like: they’re the neo-Luddite, 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), a/k/a the Evangelical Church of the Unnamed Designer, a creationist ministry.
It’s long, it’s clumsy, and it’s virtually impossible to memorize. Nevertheless, we like it because it’s accurate. But we could use some input from you, dear reader, so let us know what you think.
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