We don’t want to get our hopes too high, but we may be witnessing the slow collapse of the Discovery Institute. Visible signs began early. There were frequent requests for funds in various posts at their blog, followed by a list of their Top Ten accomplishments for the year that had to be extremely disappointing, even to them. And you’ve probably noticed that they have a full-screen pop-up requesting funds, which has greeted visitors to their creationist blog for an entire month.
More substantial indicators were the November departure of William Dembski — see William Dembski Is “Moving On”, and then the year-end departure of our favorite creationist — see Casey Luskin Leaves the Discovery Institute. Aside from those, we have no idea of how many lower-level employees have been let go. An additional sign of collapse is the mysterious activity of a departed and very disgruntled individual — see The Discovery Institute Has a Whistleblower.
But we shouldn’t start celebrating — not yet. It’s far too early for that. Employment opportunities for creationists are limited, and most of those people have nowhere else to go. When Jason Lisle left Hambo’s operation — for reasons never disclosed — he managed to find a job at the Institute for Creation Research, but that outfit can’t absorb all of the Discoveroids. What will they do?
Considering their skills, their only realistic alternatives are bible colleges, and it’s unlikely that they could all find jobs at such places at the same time. That’s why we think the Discoveroids will limp along on reduced funding for quite some time. They’ll reluctantly decide to persevere where they are, with reduced compensation if that becomes necessary.
Even if the Discoveroids do go out of business, it won’t be the end. Many of them will start their own creationist blogs. There must be hundreds of those things already, perhaps thousands; but they don’t have any impact on science or academia. Nevertheless, the Discoveroids have already done a lot of damage.
The Discoveroids’ Academic Freedom bills have been enacted in Louisiana and Tennessee, and an ark-load of idiot legislators keep introducing such things into their state legislatures, year after year. In addition to that, local school boards are loaded creationists, and their minds have already been polluted by the Discoveroids. School board elections are usually low turnout events, and small activist groups of creationists can always elect their favorite idiot to such positions.
So even if the Discovery Institute were to completely shut down, having achieved none of the goals outlined in their Wedge strategy, which we described in What is the “Wedge Document”?, they’ve created a mess, and we’ll be cleaning up after them for years to come. But without the Discoveroids, it won’t be any fun.
As for Casey, whatever he ends up doing, there’s one thing that can never be taken away from him — see Casey Luskin Is Named a Curmudgeon Fellow.
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