Here’s an interesting challenge: What do you do if: (a) you want to promote a totally nonsensical idea; and (b) you are given the funds with which to conduct a long-term campaign?
Most of us will never find ourselves in such a situation. For one thing, we wouldn’t want to promote nonsense, and then, of course, it’s difficult to imagine being provided with the funding required for such an endeavor. Nevertheless, that is exactly the situation of the Discovery Institute. By looking at their activities, we can find the answers — or at least their answers — to the challenge thus far.
One of the first things they did was to construct what they claimed was a scientific theory that they were championing — intelligent design. Then they developed a plan to promote it — The wedge strategy. They sought to infiltrate the academic world with their “scholarship” — see Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment — and they tried to popularize their incipient movement with a well-financed “documentary” — everyone remembers Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. There was also their campaign to legislate their “theory” into public school science classes by means of their Academic Freedom bills.
In spite of all their efforts, the Discoveroids have experienced 20 Years of Failure, a post in which we said:
The Discoveroids have failed at everything. Their grand crusade has gone absolutely nowhere. An interesting indicator can be seen in search engine statistics. Check out this history of Google searches on “intelligent design”. It peaked during the Kitzmiller trial in 2005, then it crashed, and it’s been steadily trending downward ever since.
Nevertheless, the Discoveroids’ generous patrons appear willing to continue funding the enterprise, so what more can they do to keep the money flowing? Doing something is essential, because by now their careers are totally dependent on promoting their “theory,” and they have no where else to go. Well, they could probably find jobs at bible colleges, or they could imitate ol’ Hambo and start a creationism museum, but that would be an admission of failure, which they see as a last resort.
The Discoveroids are obviously aware of their problem, so what have they been doing lately? Over the past couple of years they’ve been producing and promoting a number of videos. That’s easy to do, and there’s no necessity of submitting such things to the discipline of scientific peer review. They’ve also been writing books, the publication of which is likewise immune to any rational restraint. And most recently they’ve been building up a few of their “intellectual” giants. A typical example is the latest post at their creationist blog: Doug Axe, Up Close and Personal, which doesn’t merit any commentary here.
Today’s challenge, dear reader, is for you to suggest something — anything! — the Discoveroids can do to appease their generous patrons by appearing to make progress with their creationist campaign against science. The form of today’s challenge is that you must tell us, with reasonable brevity:
You know the rules: You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.
There may not be a winner of this contest, but if there is, your Curmudgeon will decide, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!
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