Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #3

The excitement and tension are almost unbearable as the Discovery Institute slowly reveals their Top Ten triumphs of the past twelve months. As is usual in such a series, they’re working their way up from the bottom, and they’ll probably reach their Number One creationist news story on New Year’s day. We understand how valuable their list is, so for your permanent collection of creationist treasures, here’s their list so far, as reported by us:

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #4

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #5

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #6

Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #8 & #7

Curmudgeonly Christmas 2016 (#10 and #9)

We’re getting ever closer to learning what their Number One story is, because today they just posted #3 of Our Top Stories of 2016: Poll Shows Broad Support for Teaching Evidence For and Against Darwin. It’s a repeat of something that appeared at their creationist blog on 01 February 2016: For Darwin’s Birthday, Poll Shows Broad Support for Teaching Evidence For and Against Darwin’s Theory. When we first read it we wrote Discoveroids Poll on Teaching Intelligent Design.

It was about the results of a phony poll — no, that’s a bit harsh — a dubious poll conducted by the Discovery Institute, using the audience provided by SurveyMonkey (Wikipedia article). We said:

At the SurveyMonkey website, they tell us: “We’ve got millions of real people in our survey panel ready to tell you what they think.” In other words, although most people hang up when a polling outfit calls, SurveyMonkey has a population they’ve already selected that wants to be polled, and are eager to sound off on whatever is presented to them. Also, it seems that if you want to make a survey of this audience, you can write your own questions.

The Discoveroids’ post claimed, with our bold font:

Just in time for Charles Darwin’s birthday on February 12, a new nationwide survey reveals that 81 percent of American adults believe that “when teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution, biology teachers should cover both scientific evidence that supports the theory and scientific evidence critical of the theory.”

[…]

The poll was conducted by Discovery Institute using SurveyMonkey Audience, which randomly sampled the adult members of its nationally representative panel of more than 6 million U.S. residents.

About which we wrote:

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s how the Discoveroids worded the poll question? It assumes that there actually is “scientific evidence” critical of evolution. It’s not surprising that 81% of those who responded felt that such evidence shouldn’t be suppressed.

[…]

A more objectively-worded question would be whether biology teachers should cover only scientific evidence — period — without the built-in implication that some evidence is being suppressed.

We ended our post with this:

The only important consumers of this “information” are the generous patrons of the Discovery Institute, and we imagine that they’re thrilled with the results.

So there you are, dear reader. That’s the Discoveroids’ third-greatest event of the year. There are only two more to go in their Top Ten listing. What further wonders await us as their list approaches its climax? Stay tuned to this blog!

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

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13 responses to “Discoveroids’ Top Ten for 2016 — #3

  1. I seem to recall launching a Survey Monkey in response and the results were just as hilarious. Actually, they didn’t use Survey Monkey at all. Nope, they asked the question to their own staff. Here are the results:

    Question: Should schools teach IDiot stuff?

    Klinkleklankle: Sure. Darwin himself said “… yes …”

    Annie Green Screen: No. I mean, yes. Or maybe no.

    Westie: Commies! Get off my lawn!

    Luskin: (absentee ballot)

    Meyer: It all depends on what you mean by “teach.” Am I being asked this as an expert witness? I went to a fancy school. You probably can’t afford my fees, but feel free to pass the plate and I’ll take whatever you collect. Getting back to the question, the fact is, undeniably, that you can’t explain where information comes from. Or Vogons. Total mystery.

    Savvy Sarah: What was the question, again?

    Kevin-F-Minus: Why don’t you ask docbill? He’s got a SETI certificate.

  2. Just in time for Charles Darwin’s birthday on February 12, a new nationwide survey reveals that 81 percent of American adults believe that “when teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution, biology teachers should cover both scientific evidence that supports the theory and scientific evidence critical of the theory.

    Suppose the “question” (not assertion) involved the teaching of “science” that supports sectarian dogma but is nevertheless is dead wrong; egregiously wrong. How would the Survey of Monkeys turn out then?

    The Discoverhhoids – and all the other ID/creationists for that matter – have no clue that they get the science dead wrong at even the high school level; that’s how incompetent and poorly educated they are. ID/creationists, ever since Morris and Gish back in the 1970s, have been bending and breaking science to serve their sectarian beliefs; but the result of all these contortions is that they have concocted a sectarian pseudoscience that has absolutely nothing to do with the physical universe. So why are we supposed to teach it to the public?

    I suspect that if someone were to ask a Discoverhhoid, “Why teach your version of science?”, all they would get is a blank stare.

  3. Creationism is not even wrong.
    Except when they stick to the negative, that living things are not related by common descent – in that they are mistaken.
    But they do not have an alternative account for something about life on Earth. It isn’t that they have a mistaken account, they don’t have any account.
    To say that God, or intelligent designers, or something supernatural, are responsible for life – that does not take the place of scientific explanations. “God did it” does not describe a mistaken account for the Earth being round, rather than flat, or a pretzel-shape. “Intelligent designers are responsible for life” does not tell us what happens so that birds are like dinosaurs.

  4. I’ve got to agree with the Curmudgeon on this one. One can’t put much stock in polls as is painfully yet amusingly evident here.

  5. It’s difficult to poke fun at this. A poll is the DI’s 3rd best story of 2016. As much humor as I usually find in the shenanigans at the DI, I’m beginning to feel sorry for them.

    I’m trying to guess what the #1 story might be. Was a professor somewhere “Expelled” this year? Maybe something to do with the Texas Board of Education? One of their many dead scientists adoptions?

    Anyone venture a guess?

  6. I will make a guess as to what #1 will not be.
    It will not refer to an account of what happens so that things turn out as they do. Nothing in the way of an alternative to common descent with modification.

  7. michaelfugate

    Doug Axe’s book on intuition will be number 1.

  8. I’d still like to see a list of the things that intelligent design proponents think are evidence for evolution. I mean, besides antibiotic resistance. Is there enough to teach a course? A module? A lesson?

    I can’t believe they’re going to leave Tom Wolfe’s book off their list.

  9. Christine Janis

    “Doug Axe’s book on intuition will be number 1.”

    I just feel that you’re right about that.

    Meanwhile, a thought for the end of the year. Stephen Meyer and Benedict Cumberbatch —– separated at birth?

  10. @ Christine Janis: tomorrow (1 Jan) at 20:30, BBC1.

    Did you miss me?

  11. *I* support teaching the scientific evidence that contradicts Darwin’s theory of evolution, just as I suport the teaching of scientific evidence that contradicts Dalton’s theory of atoms. No, Darwin, most evolution is not driven by natural selection but by neutral drift; no, Dalton, water is H2O not HO.

    But somehow, I don’t think that’s quite what the DI have in mind.

  12. TomS says:

    Creationism is not even wrong.
    Except when they stick to the negative, that living things are not related by common descent – in that they are mistaken.
    But they do not have an alternative account for something about life on Earth. It isn’t that they have a mistaken account, they don’t have any account.

    But they do have an account; it’s just that they call it “scientific” although it isn’t science and support it with “evidence” that isn’t evidence.

  13. As far as I can tell, the closest that they have for an account for what happens is “things just turn out the way they are”, or “God can do anything, so he could do this.” They do not tell us what happens so that life turns out to have the pattern that it does, rather than like the pattern of the pattern of the periodic table, or alphabetical order. How does Noah’s Flood sort out the fossils to look like there was a change in life over time? God could make life using helium, plutonium and nutronium rather than hydrogen, oxygen and carbon.