Casey Luskin Leaves the Discovery Institute

There’s genuinely shocking news at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog. The title of their latest post speaks for itself: Welcoming Ann Gauger — and Farewell to Casey Luskin. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “Senior Fellow.” He says, with our bold font:

Would you like the bad news first, or the good? The last day of the calendar year is a time of transition, and not least for the staff of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. As Casey Luskin announced earlier [we’ll get to that in a moment], he is embarking on a new adventure, one that is exciting for him — but a major loss for us. At the same time, however, we have a major gain to celebrate: Biologist Ann Gauger of Biologic Institute has joined us as Director of Science Communication.

Gasp! Casey is out, and “Annie Green Screen” is in. Casey’s earlier announcement is the Discoveroid post immediately preceding Klinghoffer’s. It appeared exactly 31 minutes earlier, and it’s this: Big Announcement, and Reflections on a Great Decade. We’ll get back to it, but let’s see what else Klinghoffer says:

Casey is an incredibly knowledgeable writer and thinker on all matters pertaining to design in nature, what he knows being matched by how devotedly he works and how generously he shares his expertise. At the same gathering, John West said that by comparison Casey makes the rest of us look like slackers. Again, true. It will indeed be a challenge to compensate for his not being here.

We all depend on him. And we all love him. You’d have to know Casey to know what I mean, but he is just a very endearing personality, and it’s been a privilege to work with him — and to call him a friend.

Ah, Casey we hardly knew ye. Then Klinghoffer switches subjects:

We take consolation, though, in being joined by Ann Gauger, a scientist with soul.

That’s quite a compliment! He gushes about Annie for a few paragraphs, and closes by telling us:

what Casey Luskin and Ann Gauger, quite different people, nevertheless have in common. It’s something rare now in science, as in our culture: an openness to mystery, the sublime, the hidden, and a glowing passion to share that with others. Farewell, Casey! Welcome, Ann!

That’s what it takes to be a good creationist. Turning now to Casey’s earlier post, he said:

It is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I write this to announce that, as the year 2015 closes, I am leaving Discovery Institute. I am doing so in order to fulfill a lifelong goal of furthering my studies.

He then spends several paragraphs describing his exciting career as a Discoveroid — which we’ve observed from afar — and near the end he says:

In case you’re curious about the specifics of my future plans — all in good time. Suffice to say, I am leaving Discovery Institute on the best of terms, and have my colleagues’ full moral support for my next phase of life. I wish my friends at DI much success in the coming years, and I leave hugely enriched by my time working here.

So there you are, dear reader. It won’t be the same without Casey at the bat, but the Discoveroids will remain in business, and so will your Curmudgeon.

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

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29 responses to “Casey Luskin Leaves the Discovery Institute

  1. There is no joy in Mudville…

    This is a sad, sad day! No other Discoveroid has been half as much fun as our dear, dear Gerbil!

    I am gutted at this loss, and well-nigh inconsolable.

  2. Well, either the Disco Tute’s loss is AiG’s gain or Mike Huckabee has gotten himself a new chief of staff.

  3. The whole truth

    But Megalonyx, just think of how entertainingly tardiferous the spewage of the discotoot will be with gauger as their “Director of Science Communication” and with Patrick Henry College Asylum graduate sarah chaffee as their new mouthy-piece.

  4. Off topic, but, I learned a new word recently: ultracrepidarianism, the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge.

    No idea why I shared this weird thought, in a thread about the lawyer Casey Luskin.

  5. Oh, no! Please say it ain’t so!

  6. The ever cagey Gerbil is holding his cards close to his furry sunken chest. All in good time, he squeaks, all in good time. We should start a pool to guess the rodent’s future.

    Grad school in earth science, geology or paleontology? Not likely. He’s way past his expiration date to do anything with an advanced degree. He’d be in his 50’s before he got out. Nope, I’m not putting my money here.

    Hang out his legal shingle? Well, who knows? Stranger things have happened. But, he’s years out of school and the bar. He’s never clerked (to my knowledge) or practiced law. To boot, he’d have to “work” for a living. Not the Gerb’s style. I’m not putting my money here.

    Preacher school? Yeah, that’s the ticket! A nice, useless masters in theology or bible thumping. Then he could open the Gerbil Gospel Tabernacle of the Intelligent Designer. Let the fleecing begin! I’ll bet my hoard of plug nickels on this one!

  7. michaelfugate

    It’s something rare now in science, as in our culture: an openness to mystery, the sublime, the hidden, and a glowing passion to share that with others.

    It is a mystery why anyone would think ID is viable.

  8. Was the DI money pool about to dry up or has he found a bigger pool of moron donors?

  9. “At the same gathering, John West said that by comparison Casey makes the rest of us look like slackers.”

    Given that the bar was set so low to begin with, I can understand Klinghoffer’s assessment of all the remaining “talent” at the Dishonesty Institute, including Klinghoffer, and now departing Casey of course.

  10. michaelfugate

    It does make one wonder what a DI fellow does all day – Tetris? Solitaire?

  11. The whole truth offers kind condolences:

    just think of how entertainingly tardiferous the spewage of the discotoot will be with gauger as their “Director of Science Communication”

    When your kid’s beloved pet gerbil dies, it is every parent’s impulse to rush down to the pet store and buy a replacement for poor expired Twinkle.

    But that’s a well-intentioned mistake: there is just no shortcut through the mourning process. I’m in the initial stage, which is Denial: this cannot be! Anger will follow in due course, and eventually–with perseverance–Acceptance. But it is far too soon for that.

    I would like to propose that, after a decent interval, our Curmudgeon could host on this blog a special Gerbil Memorial Thread wherein we can together celebrate Luskin’s outstanding achievements in the fields of Sophistry, Delusion, and Olympic Class Reality Denial. And of course, in the Art of Spin. Why, our beloved Gerb could outspin a gyroscope.

    Again, I gnash my teeth and cry to the heavens, this cannot be! I’ve not even begun to come to terms with Dembski’s withdrawal from the fray, and now this Ossa is piled on Pelion!

    Casey, gone!? Casey, who saw in his mirror the awesome majesty of a true Jedi Lawyer: Gerb Lietalker! And how we thrilled as he would stride forth into combat weilding his light sabre (well, ok, more like a featherweight sabre) against the Darwin Side! But who now will enter the lists for the Disco’Tute? Klingy is a pathetic bully who fires off ‘open letters’ to the parents of Zack Koplin, Egnor is a foul-mouthed Jesuit Inquisitor, Westie only rages impotently with hollow threats of litigation against Nick Matzke–I mean, what a crop of pygmies!

    Fare thee well, O Gerb Lietalker! Thou wert the Baghdad Bob of Cdesign Proponentsists, and we shall not see thy like again!

  12. docbill1351 suggest that Luskin

    could open the Gerbil Gospel Tabernacle of the Intelligent Designer. Let the fleecing begin! I’ll bet my hoard of plug nickels on this one!

    I dunno. As the GOP enters a Presidential Election year while armed with a veritable ‘quiverfull’ of Creationist candidates, surely they can find a role for so capable a DrehenMeister?

  13. michaelfugate

    DocBill, Maybe a professorship at PHC or Liberty?

  14. So did he jump, or was he pushed? After all, Mr. Luskin recently uttered the heresy that the recently announced new hominid species Homo naledi was younger than Homo sapiens rather than having been created at the same time (presumably as a member of the “ape kind”). I’m sure his transgression was unintentional, but that wouldn’t cut much ice with his fellow medievalists. (“Burn, bllasphemer, burn!”)

  15. Eric poses:

    So did he jump, or was he pushed?

    I think the Gerb jumped. Lots of things, personal, could be in play. Perhaps his kids Googled, “Casey Luskin liar.” Maybe his wife got tired of his day job. Maybe the Gerb realized that he was never going to earn Meyer’s salary even though he did most of the work. Maybe he was tired of being called the Attack Gerbil.

    Who knows, perhaps he magically developed a sense of self-awareness and realized he had wasted his life being a pathetic little [edited out!].

    I don’t think the Disco Tute is so bankrupt that they are letting go a lowly paid functionary like the Gerb. Meyer probably makes 3 times Gerb’s salary. Maybe that rubbed the Gerb’s fur the wrong way.

    Faint praise to Luskin, (blessed be He forgive me), he was a fiery little rodent, given to lengthy, boring prose and much detail to misrepresentation of fact. Being replaced by a wet dish mop like Gauger must sting a bit. It really is a downshift for the Tooters to shoo the Gerb and bring in Green Screen Annie. I’m thinking of a meeting where they drew straws and Unlucky Ann lived up to her name.

    A generous person would wish the Attack Gerbil best wishes and success in his new ventures, alas, I am not that person.

  16. Leaving aside the question of whether Casey is Zack’s secret informant (which doesn’t seem likely), the big question is what kind of job a former Discoveroid can get. We considered this a few years ago in Curmudgeon’s Creative Challenge #2, where the question was: The typical Discoveroid’s next job will be _______.

  17. The whole truth

    The typical Discoveroid’s next job will be _______.

    spittoon cleaner

    associate professor of theocracy at Patrick Henry College

    ventriloquist’s dummy

    washing and folding Mitt Romney’s underwear

    script writer for David Rives’ videos

    banana peeler for Ray Comfort

    greeter at the Ark Park (wearing a holy ghost costume)

  18. Dave Luckett

    So out with the most quoted discoveroid, in with a non-scientist reality denier whose previous output only demonstrated that she was (a) inarticulate and (b) willing to countenance outright fraud, if only by silence. Casey had the gift of the gab, at least.

    Young Sarah has never been actually exposed to reality, and is now going to have to deal with it. She’s going to have to counter arguments from established objective fact. How’s she going to manage?

    It’s a punt to nowhere from the one-yard line, or as I would put it, bringing on a part-time spinner to bowl googlies at a centurion. Whatever, they’re in trouble, and I think they know it.

  19. Later in 2011, I was privileged to attend an ID-research conference at Cornell University where dozens of ID-friendly scientists presented their work.

    What happens when we present pure research papers at a science conference at a top university and then seek to have it published by a world-class scientific publisher? Do Darwin lobbyists applaud us? No.

    Wow. Casey, you attended a private meeting in Ithaca, not a science conference at a top university!
    The typical Discoveroid’s next job will be … campaign manager?

  20. @Dave Luckett
    or as I would put it, bringing on a part-time spinner to bowl googlies at a centurion

    That’s often quite an effective tactic, though. Look at the way Joe Root can take wickets in exactly such circs (albeit with offspin rather than googlies).

  21. This might have been my first “encounter” with Annie Green Screen. At a creationist gathering, the Wistar Retrospective Symposium, Annie Green gave a summary of work being done at the Biologic Institute, aka Green Screen Lab. Here’s what happened:

    (Ann Gauger, a microbiologist and employee of the Biologic Institute,) was then prompted by one of her colleagues to regale us with some new experimental finds. She gave what amounted to a second presentation, during which she discussed “leaky growth,” in microbial colonies at high densities, leading to horizontal transfer of genetic information, and announced that under such conditions she had actually found a novel variant that seemed to lead to enhanced colony growth. Gunther Wagner said, “So, a beneficial mutation happened right in your lab?” at which point the moderator halted questioning. We shuffled off for a coffee break with the admission hanging in the air that natural processes could not only produce new information, they could produce beneficial new information.

    Yeah, that happened.

  22. I just had a look at the DI’s original piece on their blog, which is graced by a photograph of Dr. Gauger.

    What is not clear to me: are the shelves of learned tomes in the background real, or another green-screened background?

  23. michaelfugate

    All the books are blurry…. are they all apologetics? marketing?

  24. “I am leaving Discovery Institute. I am doing so in order to fulfill a lifelong goal of furthering my studies.”
    Best wishes from MNb, Luskin. May you be so busy studying that we will never hear anything anymore from you.

  25. What is not clear to me: are the shelves of learned tomes in the background real, or another green-screened background?

    That’s the “Library” aka bookshelf aka Mine o’ Quotes.

    Note the quoteminer’s helmet and pick-axe in the corner.

  26. But where’s the caged canary to warn them when the atmosphere is toxic?

  27. We must not let the Gerb depart without a salute from the YouTube scientist and rouser of rabble, Thunderf00t.

  28. With the Gerbil gone, the DI will produce less material begging for widespread internet mockery. On the plus side: less mockery. On the minus side: less attention. Will their backers see this as overall good or bad?

  29. >“I am leaving Discovery Institute. I am doing so in order to fulfill a lifelong goal of furthering my studies.”

    So Long Casey. I hope you go further … and just keep on going …