What’s Happening To The Discovery Institute?

Four days ago we wrote Discovery Institute Banned by Methodists, in which we mentioned that besides the press release we were blogging about, there were two posts on the subject at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog.

Since then, as of the time we’re posting this, there have been nine more posts at their blog on the same subject, for a total of eleven — all within a period of four days. It seems, shall we say, a wee bit excessive. What’s going on?

One religious denomination is having a private conference, and they have refused to let the Discoveroids have an exhibition table. So what? The Discoveroids would undoubtedly be welcomed at a Southern Baptist convention, and at the conventions of several other denominations. As we’ve documented over the years, they’re always conducting creationist revival meetings — ahem, science conferences — at various bible colleges and churches. So what if the Methodists don’t want them? They should be accustomed to such things.

They must be aware that no legitimate science organization will give them the time of day, and aside from the Methodists, many other denominations don’t want them either — see the National Center for Science Education’s list of Statements from Religious Organizations that support evolution. Why all the frenzy about the Methodists? What’s the big deal? They seem to be exhibiting a collective failure to grasp things in a rational perspective.

Ooops — we spoke too soon. They just posted yet another time in which they raised the issue — For Darwin Day, February 12, Give Us Your Nominations for Censor of the Year! In that one, Klinghoffer strongly suggests that the Methodists deserve the honor of being named Discoveroid “Censor of the Year.” That’s their twelfth post about this in four days.

Your Curmudgeon is genuinely puzzled by the Discoveroids’ behavior. There must be a reason for this, but we can’t figure it out. Can you, dear reader?

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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29 responses to “What’s Happening To The Discovery Institute?

  1. First, the Tooters were banninated from science classrooms.

    Now the Tooters are banninated from a church basement.

    They are now homeless. Homeless in Seattle. No wonder the Gerbil jumped from the ship; it’s sinking fast.

    Well, they’ve got less than a year to blame their demise on Obama. They’d better get crackin’ !

  2. Discoveroids finally flaming out?

  3. Well, they want to show to the world (and their donors) that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

    Amusingly, they are failing at doing so.

  4. At a guess, one of them’s Methodist.

  5. What’s going on?

    They are having a tantrum. That’s what’s going on.

    I won’t try to give a rational explanation. Tantrums are outside the world of rational explanations. But if you are at a sufficient distance, they can be entertaining to watch.

  6. dweller42: My guess is that it’s Casey Luskin’s replacement. She’s using her new position of power to change hearts and minds.

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    Churches and denominations tend to get overrun with outside groups seeking their support, or access to their members. They draw the lines pretty close to home, outside ministries especially are held to a different standard.

  8. michaelfugate

    I think their new librarian masquerading as a scholar and university professor hack claimed to be a Methodist….

  9. If I had a vote, I’d vote for the DI as Censor of the Year.

    No, not because they don’t let “evolutionists” talk about evolution.

    But because they are not letting any description of “Intelligent Design” be published. All that they can talk about is how bad evolution, natural selection, natural explanations, etc. are. They are censoring themselves.

  10. As Shakespeare said, “Though this be madness, yet there is Methodists in it.”

  11. Mark Germano, you might be right, there.

  12. Westie just posted about it again. That’s thirteen posts in four days.

  13. They whine and whine about the public schools not admitting them with their pseudodscience junk. It’s very refreshing now to see even church denominations rejecting their fictional pulp, and it’s likewise refreshing to see them red in the face at this outrageous, treasonous act by a religious group not accepting them.

  14. DavidK says: “It’s very refreshing now to see even church denominations rejecting their fictional pulp …”

    I’ve always said that scientists shouldn’t waste their time debating with creationists. The true debate over evolution should be confined to theology. Those denominations that accept evolution should debate with those that reject it. And that’s what seems to be happening here. Let the debate continue!

  15. First of all, there should be debates between various factions of creationists. The geocentrists against the flat-earthers, the old-earthers against the young-earthers, erectus-are-apes against erectus-are-humans, …

  16. My Whine-O-Meter clocks Westie in at about 755 MilliGerbils/Paragraph.

  17. The DI clearly thinks if they yell loud enough they’ll get their way. I haven’t read the recent missives, so they already be doing it, but at some point they’ll begin hinting at a “viewpoint discrimination” lawsuit.

  18. Westie knows this is a very, very bad development for the Tooters.

    It’s not so much that the Methodists have kicked the Tooters out of church, but they’ve kicked them out of church because Methodists support science and they’re telling the world, “ID AIN’T SCIENCE!”

    That’s the cold, cold message. Other churches will see this and follow suit. The Tooters are already in bad books with Baptists. Catholics don’t give them a nod, either. Mormons won’t touch them. Hambo hates their guts. Muslims won’t have anything to do with them. Forget the Jews.

    What’s left, really? Just a bunch of non-denominational Bible thumpers preaching out of trailers – maybe.

    Westie’s plea is, “Help us, Wesley-John, you’re our only hope!”

  19. Whats going on with the ‘tuters
    A. A new more virulent funding group?
    B. Head Ratketeer Chap Hatchet has proudly taken his Richard Dawkins nickname seriously (goodbye Gerbil)! and has decided to enhance his reputation as the company axe man, putting the fear of the designer into Klinkldoofus.
    C. Religious hysteria
    D. All of the above

  20. Warren Johnson

    With your amazing curmudgeonly powers, can you identify who the main contributors are to the DI? In recent years, not back at the beginning. And what their churchly connections might be? In other words, can you follow the money?

  21. Charles Deetz ;)

    Maybe the Gerbil was the voice of reason at the DI, at without him, there is no one to redirect and keep the others on task?

  22. Mike Elzinga

    Well; it wasn’t very hard to take that same email list that the Discovery Institute used in instigating its harrassment campaign against the UMC and write a letter myself.

    I urged the UMC to stand their ground in denying the DI an “information booth” at the General Conference. I also pointed out the history of the ID/creationist movement – emphasizing the pseudoscience of ID/creationism – and referenced the materials and court cases at the National Center for Science Education.

    I suspect that my voice will carry far more weight than the weight of all the DI leaders and their drooling stooges combined.

  23. The whole truth

    By making such a HUGE stink about being denied a table at a church conference the discotooters are further proving that their agenda is religious. If their agenda were strictly scientific, as they claim, they would not care about pushing their so-called ‘theory’ at a church conference.

    Their behavior also demonstrates their malignant narcissism, in that they are demanding that they be welcome to spew their ID crap at a gathering where they have no right to demand anything. The tooters and their ilk are incorrigible tyrants.

  24. I agree, it shows how completely dependent they are on religious support — precisely because they are a religious group despite their protestations.

    But if they can’t count on mainline Protestants like Methodists for support, then where is support for milquetoast “intelligent design” going to come from? The Baptists, Adventists, and Pentecostals are firmly in the full-blown 6,000-year creationist camp. The Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans accept and promote mainstream evolutionary science.

    ID has lost its ecological niche and is one wealthy donor away from extinction.

  25. Barbara Forrest

    I am a bit late to this thread, but I think I can help explain the frenzied attack on the United Methodist Church and the subsequent flurry of blog posts: the Discovery Institute is losing money — a lot of money. Therefore, they had to gin up a crisis in order to try to improve the funding stream. Ginning up fake crises is one of DI’s standard tactics; it is a standard strategy of the Religious Right. Based on the two most recent IRS 990s available at Guidestar.org, DI lost almost a million dollars between 2012 and 2013. To be precise, DI’s “revenue less expenses” in 2013 was -906,712. Note the minus sign. The recent departures of two of their highest-profile people, Casey Luskin and William Dembski, are probably related to this deficit. A DI staffer, Donald McLauglin (http://www.discovery.org/p/611), and one of their CSC fellows, Michael Flannery (http://www.discovery.org/p/471) are both United Methodists, which presented an opportunity to manufacture this brouhaha. Put all this together, and the situation becomes understandable. They are hurting financially, so a little hysteria was required.

  26. Hi, Barbara. We’ve been aware of their apparent financial woes, and the departure of Casey and Dembski. I agree that inventing a phony controversy makes sense, sort of like the way preachers cash in by ranting about the war on Christmas. But … the Methodists? It seems like a bizarre choice for a controversy. However, nothing else makes sense, so you could be right.

  27. Barbara Forrest

    One wouldn’t think DI would have taken on the Smithsonian either, but they did.😉

  28. If I were a management consultant, my suggestion would be that the DI is too abstract. They need something visual, something tactile, something that they can put on a show, maybe a theme park. That doesn’t mean that they have to abandon their core principle of not describing what they are talking about – they can demonstrate the horrors of natural explanations.

  29. Humans, when drowning, grab at anything they believe has any chance of bringing their head above water for a breath of air. The Di is drowning.