What we’re going to do in this post is present you with a partial list of the catastrophes experienced by the Discovery Institute. As the pic above this posts suggests, despite all the millions they’ve spent, and all their lobbying and public relations efforts, they still can’t get any respect.
When your Curmudgeon began this humble blog, we were primarily focused on the Discoveroids, because we regard them as Enemies of the Enlightenment. Their founding manifesto, the Wedge Document, describes their intent to completely transform our society 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 … .” We discussed that in detail here: What is the “Wedge Document”?
The woeful list of Discoveroid failures begins with their two-pronged effort to promote their anti-evolution Academic Freedom bills, which we analyzed here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws. That lobbying campaign was accompanied by the release of a “documentary” staring Ben Stein, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It was a box office flop, and it eventually ended up in bankruptcy court — see View the Bankruptcy Court Bids for “Expelled”. As you know, only two states have been foolish enough to enact the Discoveroids’ model law — Louisiana and Tennessee. All other states that considered it have rejected it.
We can’t overlook their various litigation efforts. There have been many of those, too many to mention here, but the most spectacular case was Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. It’s sufficient here to say that although a few of their cases resulted in out-of-court nuisance settlements, they have never actually won in court.
Then there’s their pathetic effort to penetrate the academic world in an effort to gain legitimacy for their “theory” of intelligent design. Other than various bible colleges, this too has been a total disaster. See Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment, about the short-lived Michael Polanyi Center at Baylor University, which was headed by William Dembski. Even their attempt to penetrate a small junior college failed — see Discoveroids’ Crazed Reaction to Amarillo College.
Who can forget their sad effort to establish a creationist movement on college campuses with their IDEA clubs, about which Wikipedia has a writeup: Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center. And then there was their futile attempt to oppose Darwin Day celebrations by declaring Not Darwin Day, It’s Academic Freedom Day. Like everything else they’ve tried, that one went nowhere.
The Discoveroids have failed at everything. The collapse of their grand crusade can be seen in search engine statistics. Check out this history of Google searches on “intelligent design”. It peaked during the Kitzmiller trial in 2005, and it’s been steadily — precipitously — trending downward ever since. Most of the hits you’ll get if you search on that phrase are about some company’s new product design, or an architect’s description of his new project. Except for the Discoveroids and their drooling fans, the entire subject of intelligent design is virtually dead.
The Discoveroids have been shut out of all legitimate science conferences. They can’t get papers about their “theory” published in legitimate science journals. They get no funding from government or from outfits like the Templeton Foundation. All they have is their blog, where they complain about the negative press coverage they get and the “discrimination” they endure at universities. It’s also where they continue their efforts at quote-mining, nit-picking evidence, blaming Darwin for all the evils in the world (except Islamic terrorists, because those people are creationists), and claiming all kinds of non-existent evidence for the miraculous works of their intelligent designer. Oh, besides their blog they persevere with creationist revivals at churches and bible colleges, and they crank out books and pamphlets, which they hawk at their website.
How long will they keep going? As long as their generous patrons continue to fund them, they’ll continue. When that dries up, as it must some day, it will be amusing to see where they go. Maybe they’ll end up as tour guides for ol’ Hambo’s creation museum.
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