Discovery Institute Prepares for Kitzmas

We’re only nine days away from Kitzmas. This will be the tenth anniversary of the decision on 20 December 2005 by Judge John E. Jones III in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

Every year around this time the Discovery Institute posts about why the decision was all wrong, the judge was an idiot, and it doesn’t matter anyway because the “theory” of intelligent design is getting stronger all the time. Their bizarre behavior only adds to our holiday merriment.

This year they seem to have planned a barrage of ten — yes, ten! — posts explaining to their followers, and of course to their generous patrons, why Kitzmiller doesn’t mean a thing. The first of those posts appeared today: Ten Myths About Dover: #10, The Intelligent Design Movement Died After the Dover Decision. It was written by Sarah Chaffee, a name that means nothing to us. It begins with a prologue:

The Kitzmiller v. Dover decision has been the subject of much media attention and many misinterpretations from pro-Darwin lobby groups. With the tenth anniversary of Kitzmiller approaching on December 20, Evolution News [the Discoveroids’ creationist blog] offers a series of ten articles debunking common myths about the case.

They’re starting with number 10, and presumably they’re going to work their way up to number 1, which will be published on Kitzmas day. If they’re all as turgid and tedious as this one, we’ll probably ignore most of them. Anyway, this is the first so we’ll have a go at it. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

In December 2005, Judge John E. Jones ruled that intelligent design is not science, but religion. Critics predicted this would mean the end of the ID movement. Expert witness Kevin Padian and Nick Matzke of the National Center for Science Education, for example, wrote:

[We haven’t verified this quote, but it’s good:] It’s over for the Discovery Institute. Turn out the lights. The fat lady has sung. The emperor of ID has no clothes. The bluff is over. Oh sure, they’ll continue to pump out the blather. They’ll find more funding, at least for a while, from some committed ideologue or another. But no one with any objectivity will take them seriously any longer as scientists.

Then, for twenty long paragraphs, including a five-paragraph quote from Casey, we’re told that the Kitzmiller case (they call it Dover) had no such effect. We’ll give you some of the funnier highlights:

But in December 2015, the ID movement is not only still alive — it’s thriving. This holds true across the board, in education, science, and the public dialogue. Over the past decade, academic freedom and objective education on evolution have advanced, reflecting the growth of scientific research and scholarship critical of neo-Darwinian theory and supportive of intelligent design.

They’re thriving? We hadn’t noticed. But we’re given some examples:

Currently, ten states have science standards, laws, or other provisions that support the rights of teachers and/or students to critically analyze evolution: Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas. Louisiana passed its academic freedom policy, the Louisiana Science Education Act, in 2008. Tennessee followed in 2012. Neither of these policies has been challenged in court.

That’s politics and school board bureaucracy. Do they have anything else? Oh yes — they mention a few court cases that didn’t go to trial. They were settled. We discussed all of those at the time. The fact is that they haven’t won a single court case — and they’ve lost a few, e.g., Coppedge — see The David Coppedge Case: It’s Over. But they don’t mention that. What else have they got? We’re told:

And the film Expelled drew over 1.1 million viewers to movie theaters to learn about discrimination against scientific dissenters from Darwinism.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The last time we posted about that was over four years ago: View the Bankruptcy Court Bids for “Expelled”. Let’s read on:

Public outreach on intelligent design is also doing very well post-Dover.

Public outreach? That’s fine for a religious sect or a political movement, but that’s not how science is done. Then they talk about their books and videos, after which they say:

The ruling sure hasn’t stopped young people from getting excited about ID. Since Dover, over three hundred students — many of them graduate students who are pursuing careers in the sciences — have attended Discovery Institute’s Summer Seminar on ID. Intelligent design is making an impact on the rising generation of scientists, which means far from being over, ID has excellent prospects for the future.

Isn’t that sweet? They have the makings of a children’s crusade. We still haven’t seen anything of a scientific nature that their “theory” has accomplished. Perhaps they’ll get to it. Oh yeah, here it comes:

Finally and most importantly, science supporting ID continues to move forward. Several areas of research have seen groundbreaking progress, including work by the Evolutionary Informatics Lab (using computer models to test Darwinian evolution) and Biologic Institute (exploring evidence for ID in biology). To date, there are more than eighty peer-reviewed articles supportive of intelligent design, with over fifty of them published post-Dover.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Evolutionary Informatics Lab was an intelligent design shop that existed for a short time at Baylor University during Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment. It now exists as a website. Wikipedia has a write-up on it: Evolutionary Informatics Lab. As for Biologic Institute, that’s a division of the Discovery Institute, and its articles are “peer-reviewed” by Discoveroids.

Then there’s a huge quote from Casey, praising all of those “peer-reviewed articles.” We’ll skip that. The Discoveroid post ends with this:

Given how quickly ID scholarship is moving forward in so many areas — science, public policy, and culture — we can only anticipate how much stronger ID will be twenty years after Dover.

We’re all looking forward to that. And we’re also looking forward to the next nine installments in the Discoveroids’ Kitzmas series.

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

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20 responses to “Discovery Institute Prepares for Kitzmas

  1. michaelfugate

    Funny how he doesn’t mention what that ground-breaking “science” is. The pseudo-predictions of Meyer can’t make ID science and many hilariously equate “the designer” with the Christian God.

    The quote looks good – I added some onto the end from the original…

    It’s over for the Discovery Institute. Turn out the lights. The fat lady has sung. The emperor of ID has no clothes. The bluff is over. Oh sure, they’ll continue to pump out the blather. They’ll find more funding, at least for a while, from some committed ideologue or another. But no one with any objectivity will take them seriously any longer as scientists. They had their fair chance, and they blew it.

    And in the end, they couldn’t have done anything else. Because there is no science to ID; it’s just polemics. And now that’s been settled in Federal Court.

  2. Casey gloats:

    Currently, ten states have science standards, laws, or other provisions that support the rights of teachers and/or students to critically analyze evolution: Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas. Louisiana passed its academic freedom policy, the Louisiana Science Education Act, in 2008. Tennessee followed in 2012. Neither of these policies has been challenged in court.

    Yet.

    As for “critically analyzing” evolution, that’s basically a euphemism for peddling creationism as a superior alternative, a view held by no credible scientist. (Ben Carson doesn’t count; as Leonard McCoy might put it, he’s a doctor, not a scientist.) Whenever someone critically analyzes creationism, it comes off looking like the cartoon it is—and creationists cry foul.

  3. Barbara Forrest

    Yes, the ID movement is going great guns. William Dembski, the Discovery Institute’s chief intellectual, who devoted almost half his life to the cause, just quit.

  4. But what we don’t know, Barbara, is whether Dembski will take his design filter with him. If he does, the Discoveroids won’t be able to determine if anything is designed.

  5. Reminds me of the heady days when the “Big Bang” institute fought with the Steady State lobby to resolve whether the “Big Bang” theory could be taught in schools. Or the endless court challenges that finally resolved the issue of continental drift. It’s a good thing those theories had lawyers and politicians on their side, or they never would have been accepted.

    Someone should sue for the right to teach that Pluto is the ninth planet in high school science class. Someone should stand up to the experts.

  6. Discoverrhoid Sarah Chaffee:
    “The Kitzmiller v. Dover decision has been the subject of much media attention and many misinterpretations from pro-Darwin lobby groups.”

    Pro-Darwin lobby groups: 99.9% of the scientists in the biological sciences.
    Some lobby.

  7. Just a couple of the goals from the Wedge Document within 5 years (by 2003):

    •Ten CRSC Fellows teaching at major universities
    •Two universities where design theory has become the dominant view

    Oops!

  8. This is wonderful! As part of their annual War on Kitzmas™, the Discoveroids are turning their blog into a countdown Advent Calendar!

    Already their Seattle offices are ringing with the sound of Anti-Ktizmas carols, viz.:

    Wreck the net with blogs of folly!
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
    At man’s Reason fire a volley!
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
    Claim we now Darwin’s in peril,
    . Fa la la, la la la, la la la!
    So boil your brain to make it sterile!
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

    Seeing the blazing books before us!
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
    But spare the Bibles and the Torahs!
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
    Wallow we in thoughts obscure
    . Fa la la, la la la, la la la!
    While we shill our Wedge manure!
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

    Fast away all logic passes,
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
    “Sieg Heil!” to crap, ye mindless asses!
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
    Whine we all each Kitzmas season.
    . Fa la la, la la la, la la la!
    Heedless of all sense and reason!
    . Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

  9. Not that one should put too much weight on such ‘league tables’, but it’s nonetheless rather fun to see how the 10 states the DI cites as flagships for Creationist-friendly ‘science standards’ fare on US News’ table of How States Compare in the 2015 Best High Schools Rankings:

    Texas – 16
    Pennsylvania – 23
    South Carolina – 33
    New Mexico – 36
    Missouri – 38
    Tennessee – 42
    Louisiana – 43
    Minnesota – 47
    Mississippi – 49
    Alabama – 50

    IOW, none of the top 15 states have such legislation in place, and fully half of the states that do are in the bottom fifth.

    Just sayin’…

  10. On reflection, “Boil your brain to make it sterile!” would be more euphonious–but I wouldn't want to trouble the Great Hand of Correction for such a minor aesthetic issue…

    [*Voice from above*] That was easy. Fixing this post was a challenge.

  11. “It was written by Sarah Chaffee, a name that means nothing to us.”

    I looked her up, and found that she’s a Dishonesty Tute staffer who works in education and public outreach. She’s apparently a graduate of Patrick Henry College, an evangelical institution that specializes in admitting homeschooled kids. PHC requires prospective students to agree to a religious affirmation.

    I think we can safely conclude that, like nearly all the other IDiots, she has no training in, nor even knowledge of, any scientific field, much less biology.

  12. @Megalonyx: Nice work on “Deck the Halls”/”Wreck the Net”! But you, Sir, have way too much time on your hands!

    May I suggest some hobbies/quests? you could:
    1) Make it your life’s goal to photograph every extant species of bird;
    2) photograph every Messier object and every NGC object visible from your latitude;
    3) photograph every NGC object, regardless of latitude;
    4) and finally, design crossword puzzles.

    Whatever you choose, have fun!

  13. @Ed
    Whenever someone brings up the treatment of other-than-evolution science in schools, I think of the important stuff in schools.
    How did the rules of sports ever get fixed? A lower score counts as a win in golf and track (racing), why not in football and basketball? Did any school board give equal time to Calvin Ball? Not to mention, did you ever see the Greek and Roman religious ceremories in the Olympics?

  14. “over three hundred students”
    “over fifty of them published post-Dover”
    Are we supposed to be impressed somehow by those numbers?!
    The State University of Groningen, The Netherlands (no, I don’t blame you if haven’t heard of it – that’s kind of the point) alone has more than 500 students biology (without any IDiocy).
    In 2013 the scientific magazine Nature had 11 000 articles submitted. Less than 8% actually got published.

  15. Pope Retiredsciguy pontificates:

    you, Sir, have way too much time on your hands!

    What?! It should be painfully manifest that my filks require very little time, and far, far less thought.

    And as for your proposed alternative diversions–which would require knowledge and ability which are even more evidently lacking in my case–I beg leave to point out that the cloud-locked skies of dear old Blighty this time of year are not conducive to astronomical observations, even by those qualified to undertake them…

  16. Well bugger me with a cactus; [tale of html woe deleted]

    [*Voice from above*] As you wish, my son. It shall be done, when you least expect it.

  17. Megs:
    “Well bugger me with a cactus…”

    OUCH!!

  18. The whole truth
  19. The whole truth

    The “Anonymous” comment above is mine. For some unknown reason I’m having trouble signing in.

    On another note you all may find this to be interesting:

    http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2015/06/12/what-does-it-mean-to-teach-id/

  20. The whole truth asks: “SC, are you aware of this site?”

    Sure. It’s the Discoveroids.