Discoveroids Insist They’re Not Creationists

The Discovery Institute is an organization with innumerable problems. One that has been with them from the beginning is their failed attempt to present themselves as a science think tank, rather than a pack of flaming creationists. Back in the first year of this humble blog we wrote Discovery Institute: “Don’t Call Us Creationists!”, in which Casey was complaining that Tom Brokaw kept saying that intelligent design was creationism.

That sort of thing (i.e., accurate perception of reality) has plagued the Discoveroids throughout their institutional existence. Three years later we wrote Discovery Institute: “Stop Calling Us Creationists!” Casey was complaining about Reuters, the British news agency, which made the same “mistake,” and wouldn’t issue a correction — even after the Discoveroids pointed out their “error.”

Somehow — in spite of the Discoveroids’ continuous objections, journalists keep doing the same thing. Today at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog they’re complaining again. Their new post is Fact-Check: Austin, TX, Newspaper Bungles Description of Discovery Institute; Reporter Won’t Correct Record. It was written by Sarah Chaffee (whom we call “Savvy Sarah”). Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

We’ve tangled with the Austin American Statesman in the past. Now the Texas paper is back, misrepresenting Discovery Institute. In her article, Creationism at Center of Debate Over High School Biology Curriculum, Madlin Mekelburg notes:

[Savvy Sarah quotes the newspaper, with her bold font and ellipsis:] Jonathan Witt, a fellow at the Discovery Institute, a creationist think tank, told the board he found the committee’s intent behind removing the four standards to be questionable …

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Sarah is outraged! She says:

Discovery Institute is an intelligent design think tank — not a creationist think tank. I explained this to Ms. Mekelburg in an email sent on the day after her article was published: [Sarah quotes her email.]

Because it’s so amusing, we’ll give you a bit of what Sarah wrote to the reporter:

Discovery Institute is not a creationist organization. Rather, it is “the institutional hub for scientists, educators, and inquiring minds who think that nature supplies compelling evidence of intelligent design.” … Creationism is typically associated with a literal reading of Genesis, a young age of the earth, and a belief that science can prove the supernatural. Intelligent design does not address how to interpret Genesis and most of the scientists supporting it accept an old age of the Earth and the universe. … I ask that you please correct this error. It would be accurate to state that Discovery Institute is an “intelligent design think tank.”

Well, what happened? Savvy Sarah tells us:

The following Monday, I followed up with the newspaper’s editors. I called the twice last week but have not heard back. It is concerning that this inquiry has gone entirely unaddressed.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then she gives us a big quote from something written three years ago by John West (whom we affectionately call “Westie”). He’s the director of the Discoveroids’ creationist think tank. We’ll skip that because we wrote about it at the time — see John West Is Still Angry. After that impressive rant from Westie, we come to Sarah’s closing remarks:

Austin American Statesman reporter Madlin Mekelburg could take a lesson in neutrality in reporting.

Amazing, isn’t it? After twenty years of ceaseless propaganda, costing between $2 million to $4 million every year, people still don’t understand the Discoveroids’ message. Or maybe they do.

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15 responses to “Discoveroids Insist They’re Not Creationists

  1. This is like Cartman yelling “I’m not fat, I’m big-boned!”

  2. michaelfugate

    In the Statesman article, Baylor (Baptist) organic chemist Charles Garner opines, “It’s because they (four evolution standards) have serious philosophical implications. That’s why. You can find any number of people that will tell you it was in their high school biology class they became atheists. … What that means is, you better present a very accurate view of evolution, in my opinion. You’re dealing with huge philosophical issues here, whether you want to or not, and that’s why evolution is such an important topic.”

    When the only choice is between science and biblical literacy, then many will pick science. The problem is with biblical literacy. Garner should be telling churches to stop teaching bad theology, instead of telling schools to teach bad science.

  3. If Sarah and her cohorts think that they can claim that the “Discovery Institute is an intelligent design think tank — not a creationist think tank” they need to explain who this “designer” actually is. Everything they say about said individual sounds like the work of a “god”, a creator. I seem to remember something about evaluating characteristics of a duck, “if it walks like a duck…

  4. There is a distinction between designing and making. (There is also a distinction between making and creating which some theologians make, but I’d rather not get into that.)
    Until the ID advocates want to tell us what they have in mind about design, the most that we have to with is the designs that we know about, and they are not enough to actually result in a product.
    The ID advocates show an interest in telling us what they are not.
    It would be interesting to hear something positive.

  5. “Creationism is typically associated with ….”
    Nope. That’s Young Earth Creationism.
    All creationism
    1. rejects Evolution Theory;
    2. uses the God of the Gaps argument;
    3. uses Paley’s False Watchmaker Analogy.

    The IDiots from Seattle does as well and hence is creationism.
    Old Earth Creationism adds scripture as “evidence” but accepts that our Universe is 13,7 billion of years old.
    Young Earth Creationism also adds scripture as “evidence” and maintains our Universe is about 6000 years old.
    Savvy Sarah, you’re a creationist.

  6. michaelfugate

    The DI and Savvy Sarah should be complaining about AiG and ICR rather than evolutionary biologists – even theistic ones. AiG and ICR are trying to force people to make a choice – “it is either science or the Bible”, they say – “you can’t accept both.”

  7. A quote from the “Goals” section of the wedge document. The second goal is:

    To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.

    Perhaps, to be more accurate in descriptions of the DI, the reporter should replace “creationist think tank” with “an organization whose goal is to (see above).” There is no thinking involved.

  8. michaelfugate

    A new breakthrough on diabetes:
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/dec/08/new-diabetes-treatment-could-eliminate-need-for-insulin-injections

    Researcher Martin Fussenegger said: “It’s hard to understand why ours should be better than something that evolved for millions of years. It shows that as engineers, thinking rationally, we can also do a very good job.”

    Did ID just get refuted? Or is the designer dumber than a human?

  9. @michaelfugate
    And there is another story neighboring that in the Guardian about dinosaur feathers preserved in amber.

  10. TomS, I’m working on that now.

  11. “creationist think tank”? “intelligent design think tank”? Ones the other since they are both the same. Also, “… septic tank” is a more accurate descriptor.

  12. Savvy Sarah:
    “Discovery Institute is not a creationist organization. Rather, it is “the institutional hub for scientists, educators, and inquiring minds who think that nature supplies compelling evidence of intelligent design.”

    Since when does thinking something is so make it so? Sarah, you can think whatever you wish — but without any evidence from nature to back up your thinkin’, you just can’t claim it’s so.

    The only “evidence” of an “intelligent Designer” that the Discovery Institute can point to is scripture. They call themselves a “think tank”. The only “thinking” they do is thinking up ways to discredit the work of tens of thousands of legit scientists who accept evolution.

  13. I humbly submit that you are chasing a red herring.
    There is nothing of positive substance to “intelligent design”, so there is no point to talking about evidence – or the lack of evidence – for it. The major subjects of discussion are
    1. How there is something wrong about evolutionary biology
    2. How there is a controversy

  14. Creationist Think Tank? I have to agree with Sarah here. They’re always going on about how our intuition should guide us. I’d describe them as a Creationist Feel Tank.

  15. More like a creationist dunk tank.