Ann Gauger: The Discoveroids Are Winning!

This is one of the most bizarre items ever posted at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: What If People Stopped Believing in Darwin? It was written by Ann Gauger, who seems to specialize in writing strange and weird Discoveroid posts.

Ann is best known for the clandestine nature of what she does and where she does it. She’s a “a senior research scientist” at the Discoveroids’ Biologic Institute. That’s the venerable facility to which the Discoveroids gave a “grant” of $291,300, as we pointed out in Discovery Institute: Their 2012 Tax Return.

The Discoveroids give some biographical information about Ann and their other top scientists here: Biologic Institute — People. Ann’s work is so sensitive that the interior of her lab must never be seen by outsiders. You can read all about that in Klinghoffer Defends Photo Trickery.

The work done in that secret facility sometimes appears in the Discoveroids’ captive “peer reviewed” journal, BIO-Complexity. The last time we wrote about Ann was when one of her writings was published in that esteemed journal — see The Discoveroids’ #1 Story for 2014 Is ….

That lab, plus the Discoveroids’ own “peer reviewed” vanity press operation (Discovery Institute Press) constitute their imitation of the accouterments of science, and have caused intelligent design to be described as a cargo cult.

Okay, you know what we’re dealing with, and you’re eager to learn what Ann has for us today. Here are some excerpts from her new post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

What if people stopped believing in Darwin? Let’s say they just suddenly stopped one day, awakening as from a brain fog of misty narratives and just-so stories?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s about as likely as a global flood, or the sun standing still in the sky, but it’s the sort of thing creationists dream about. All right, Ann, we’ll play along. What would change? Let’s read on:

Well, textbooks would change, for one. And a newfound humility might briefly sweep the halls of academic biology. Biology students might feel free to express their opinions on origins. The world would see a new flush of academic freedom.

Yeah, there would indeed be worldwide flush. Ann continues:

Guess what? It’s happening right now, but it’s happening slowly, not overnight.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s more:

That’s because more and more people are recognizing that evolutionary biology’s explanatory power is inversely proportional to its rigor. Yet there is still an enormous amount of pushback from people strongly invested in the Darwinian story.

Stubborn Darwinists — they’re such fools! Moving along:

Will people’s worldviews change? I doubt it. The old Darwinian paradigm is failing and scientists are in search of alternative explanations, ones that don’t involve nasty words like design and teleology. I think only those open to the possibility of an immaterial explanation of things, the idea of mind and information, would find their way to intelligent design.

She’s probably right. Only those whose minds are open to Oogity Boogity will find their way to the Discoveroids’ “theory.” This is Ann’s optimistic conclusion:

Most would cling to their worldviews despite the collapse of their favorite paradigm. They’d just start looking for another materialistic explanation. That’s why they say scientific revolutions happen one funeral at a time.

She’s right, of course. The Discoveroids’ generous patrons need to be patient and keep the funds flowing. They won’t achieve final victory until all of the old guard have died off. It’s going to be a long struggle. But the result will be glorious!

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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28 responses to “Ann Gauger: The Discoveroids Are Winning!

  1. “What if people stopped believing in Darwin?”
    Ann G is supposed to be a scientist, isn’t she? This question is wrong in so many respects. I only mention one. What does she mean with “believing in Darwin”? Something like “believing in Jesus”? Well, I never believed Darwin was some divine character or something.

    “ones that don’t involve nasty words like design and teleology”
    I’m not sure if the Darwinian paradigm is failing, but if it is yes, scientific theories doen’t involve nasty words like desing (by some supernatural entity) and teleology, because by definition those theories won’t be scientific anymore.

  2. “The Discoveroids’ generous patrons need to be patient and keep the funds flowing.” Right on – they have to keep publishing these prevarications to demonstrate that they are ‘winning’. The main funeral they should fear is the Ahmanson’s.

  3. She is using all the right words, just not necessarily in the right order. And she uses the have an open mind approach, usually reserved for Religious crackpots and homoepathy peddlars. Reading that makes me want to annoy Klingy and poo on the streets

  4. Well of course they are winning.

    They refute Darwinism several times per day. How could they not be winning?

    </sarcasm>

  5. Christine Janis

    “That’s why they say scientific revolutions happen one funeral at a time.”

    But given the age of Gauger (and her compatriots like Behe) it will be interesting to see how the upcoming funerals advance the “science” of ID.

  6. Following Ann’s “logic,” if all astronomical knowledge and observational tools were to disappear tomorrow, I’m sure we might be overcome with a short period of geocentrism until science caught back up.

  7. michaelfugate

    I could liken the DI to a male whose wife convinces him to see a urologist, but when he gets his ED treated, she has to send him back to treat his PE and then when that is better, she sighs and says how are we going to fix the depth of your argument – so to speak?

  8. That observation about the success of scientific theories is due to Max Planck, and has been cited by Thomas Kuhn. I believe that it has been shown to be wrong, FWIW. Some old guys are enthusiastic supporters of new ideas, and some of the last holdouts are among the younger generation.
    The ideas that “something is wrong with evolution … please”, and in particular, “evolution is on its last legs”, have been around for more than a century with no signs of improvement.

  9. Someone needs to warn Ann; Klinghoffer is getting tired of all this public defecation. She’ll need to take this article someplace more private…

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    Shrill sound like a Tea Partier calling for Obama’s impeachment. Ask them what offenses, exactly, to prosecute, and the come up with nothing specific.

  11. That’s what the physical sciences are missing, humility! Makes those fruit fly larvae really come into focus.

  12. Is the reason scientists at the ID institute think evolution is withering away because they never read any real science journals? Although long retired, I still subscribe to Science and Nature and I haven’t noticed any articles claiming the celestial cephalopod did it.

  13. Mike Elzinga

    This kind of thinking by Gauger is very similar to the fantasies going on in the minds of fundamentalists who imagine themselves out in the world, sword and shield in hand, slaying the “enemy” by dozens at each slice of their sword.

    Unfortunately, all this fantasizing takes place inside their heads. Not one of them has any significant awareness of what an external world and its secular inhabitants are like. They never take the time to look, let alone understand.

    The tiny glimpses of the real world and secular society that seep through their thick skulls, despite their efforts to keep it all out, get filtered through the pseudo psychology they extract from their holy book using techniques like “exegesis” and “hermeneutics” that are tools of interpretation in their hermetically sealed subculture.

  14. Just to take one small part of evolutionary biology, but one which rankles the deniers greatly –
    There is the undeniable observation that the human body is most similar to the bodies of chimps and other apes, among the huge number of other ways that life has existed, and in very many ways.
    There is the evolutionary explanation that this is due to common descent with modification.
    There has been no other suggestion, no alternative explanation, ever since the 19th century. I am confident that there has been no publication in the scientific literature which calls into question that evolutionary explanation – ever since when?

  15. Tom S

    I favor Tolkein’s theory. Sauron made orcs in mockery of elves, Satan made apes in mockery of humans. Refute that if you can!

  16. Are you sure it’s not the other way round? Satan made humans in mockery of bonobos?

  17. @Ted
    If you don’t object to taking that seriously, that reminds me of Gnosticism, and it isn’t the first time that creatonism has been likened to Gnosticism. (Langton Gilkey in his testimony in the Arkansas creationism trial.)

  18. Let us remember who Ann works for, the Biologics Institute, which is the pet apologetic ‘lab’ of the Discovery Institute (DI). When you factor that in, you know she’s not talking about evolution being out of the picture, but her religious alternative being the only game in town. That being said, it certainly changes the picture, because everyone knows how open-minded and accepting theists can be, right?

    One of her comments was a real corker:

    “Biology students might feel free to express their opinions on origins.”

    Since when does having a religious explanation for anything make people feel free to express their opinions? Annie’s point is that because of Darwin students don’t feel free to offer their opinion. What I think Ann means is that theists do not feel free to raise their non-scientific objections to evolution in science class. If Ann had said that I would heartily agree. Raising a religious objection to actual science IN science class is a waste of time and deserves to be shut down.

    Let me give you a for-instance. Suppose you are a member of a church-going family who for years went to the same church as many of your neighbors, you are involved in church activities, and lived in the area and raised your family there. Then you get more than a little annoyed when a cross gets burned in your son’s arm by his science teacher and you dare to question it. Not only that, but you learn that the ‘science’ teacher in question isn’t teaching science, but his very evangelical view of science. You have the audacity to complain. What happens?

    Well according to Ann, you should have been welcomed, your opinions and questioning should be encouraged, after all Christians are nothing but polite and accepting people, right?

    However the reality seems a bit different, as an article about the family who dared raise questions about John Freshwater in Mt Vernon Oh:

    “We’ve gotten phone calls, things in the mail, anonymous letters. They send scriptures and how you should raise your children, implying we’re not raising our children correctly. Everywhere we go I feel like people know it’s us so they don’t talk to us or they will say things. Even in church.” Eventually it was too much for the Dennis family. They moved 35 miles away.”

    This isn’t an isolated instance, do you recall the Dover Trial, or shall we call it by it’s usual name: “Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al”. What happened to Tammy Kitzmiller and her family? More examples of welcoming, openness, and acceptance? No, she and her daughters received hate mail, accusations of being atheists, her children confronted, confrontations in restaurants and in the street.

    Sure, religion does nothing but open people’s minds and hearts! Maybe other religions do, but apparently not Christianity. In a review of Lauri Lebo’s excellent book “Devil in Dover” from the Aetiology blog:

    ” . . .that even most of the biology teachers at Dover were church-going Christians, yet they were ostracized and bad-mouthed by those supporting the school board’s anti-evolution stance–rejected and slandered by Christians who seemingly had no problem attacking fellow believers.”

    I have to repeat this phrase: ” . . .no problem attacking fellow believers”. Which is why I have to laugh at her “Biology students might feel free to express their opinions on origins.”

  19. Derek Freyberg

    “I mean they stopped believing in things like the grand sweeping stories of eons of time giving rise to the vertebrate I,”
    Ann, you are talking about the willfully blind I, not the vertebrate I, aren’t you?

  20. “Right on – they have to keep publishing these prevarications to demonstrate that they are ‘winning’.”

    There’s much truth to that, as anyone in the “Stewardship Department” [the name which often applies to the fund-raising staff in many Christian non-profits, especially those involved with estate planning and endowments. Donors want to be assured that they are betting on a winning horse. Even if it is a cause they strongly believe in, they usually won’t donate to a sinking ship.

  21. Mike Elzinga

    Even if it is a cause they strongly believe in, they usually won’t donate to a sinking ship.

    Except in the case of Ken Ham’s “Ark Encounter;” a “ship” that would sink under any circumstances. One has to wonder if kids are being robbed of their allowances.

  22. Will people’s worldviews change? I doubt it. The old Darwinian paradigm is failing and scientists are in search of alternative explanations, ones that don’t involve nasty words like design and teleology. I think only those open to the possibility of an immaterial explanation of things, the idea of mind and information, would find their way to intelligent design.

    “Design” and “teleology” are, of course, not “nasty words” to evolution supporters; they’re simply irrelevant. And acceptance of “an immaterial explanation of things, the idea of mind and information” is as perfect an example of Oogity Boogity as might be hoped for–especially since Darwinists don’t reject either one, but rather see mind as a product of evolution and information, in the form of the genome, as essential to it.

    Creationists whine that information can’t appear out of nowhere, so therefore complex structures can’t develop from less complex ones without a creator. I guess that means that crystals are impossible, or else have to be assembled by a Creator.

    These people’s idea of a Creator, by the way, is of a being who must constantly intervene, everywhere and all the time, to keep the universe from going off the rails. Wouldn’t a more competent Designer simply set initial conditions such that his plan for things would unfold on its own, and then settle back and enjoy the show, intervening (if at all) only rarely? But they’re so stuck on the idea of God as a Sumerian-style all-powerful monarch that they can’t see that.

  23. Ted: (BTW — are you the “Ted” from Dilbert?)
    “I favor Tolkein’s theory. Sauron made orcs in mockery of elves, Satan made apes in mockery of humans. Refute that if you can!”

    And Poseidon made orcas to mock all primates.

  24. @Eric Lipps
    About the more competent Designer setting initial conditions, etc.
    On the one hand, we are told that things have been so finely tuned that they must be the work of an extremely competent agent.
    On the other hand, we are told that the laws of nature mean that it is next to impossible for things would work as they do.

  25. cnocspeireag

    The DI could rightly complain about your use of scare quotes in describing their esteemed organ, which is a genuinely peer reviewed journal. Many misunderstand the meaning of ‘peer review’ in this context. It means review of work by your academic equals.
    If you’re a bat[guano] crazy wackaloon, then other bat[guano] crazy wackaloons ARE your peers.

  26. michaelfugate

    Natural selection is a perfectly good designer – much better than humans.

  27. Holding The Line In Florida

    @cnocspeireag. “Bat (guano) crazy wackaloon”. I shall remember that one!

  28. Ann’s delusional, a creationist and not exactly a hottie so it’s basically three strikes and she’s out. Her comment, “What if people stopped believing in Darwin?” shows the depth of her ignorance. one that resembles a vast purulent pool of incoherent wishful thinking.