Discovery Institute Makes Progress in Brazil

Look what just popped up at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Brazil’s Mackenzie University to Launch New Center on Intelligent Design. It has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

This week, one of Brazil’s most prestigious private universities will launch an academic center on intelligent design in conjunction with Discovery Institute. This coming Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo will inaugurate Discovery Institute-Mackenzie, an interdisciplinary research center of the university that will foster scientific research into the evidence of intelligent design in nature as well as exploring the relationship between science and culture, including the relationship between science and faith.

Mackenzie Presbyterian University seems to be more than a bible college. They’re not strong on science (obviously) but they do have an engineering school. The Discoveroids gushingly tell us:

“This is a milestone in the debate over origins, and it testifies to the growing worldwide influence of both intelligent design and Discovery Institute,” said Discovery Institute’s President Steve Buri. Buri will attend the official inaugural festivities for the new center along with Lehigh University biochemistry professor (and CSC Senior Fellow) Michael Behe; molecular biologist and Biologic Institute Director Douglas Axe; and physicist and CSC Research Coordinator Brian Miller. A reception and meeting on Friday evening will be followed by an all-day intelligent design conference on Saturday featuring Behe, Axe, and Miller, in addition to Brazilian scientists.

It sounds like the typical Discoveroid revival meeting, the kind they have mostly at churches and bible colleges, but this time they’ve convinced a university to establish a permanent facility for them. The last time this happened was at Baylor University, a private Baptist school in Texas — see Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment. It only lasted around four years, because the rest of the faculty rebelled. Maybe the creationist center at Mackenzie will suffer a similar fate.

Then the Discoveroids say:

Discovery Institute-Mackenzie is a joint project of Mackenzie University and the Brazilian Society of Intelligent Design, which is headed by research chemist Dr. Marcos Eberlin. A member of the Brazilian National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Eberlin is one of the most renowned scientists in Brazil.

[…]

“There has been a phenomenal growth in the interest in intelligent design among young scientists in Brazil,” said Eberlin.

We don’t recall hearing much news about scientific research in Brazil. Perhaps this is the reason. The Eberlin quote continues:

“With the launch of Discovery Institute-Mackenzie, Brazil is poised to make a significant contribution to the intelligent design debate, not just in Brazil, but around the world.”

We are eagerly anticipating their significant contribution. The Discoveroids tell us:

CSC Associate Director John West [“Westie” to us] noted that Discovery Institute-Mackenzie is the result of several years of discussions with the leadership and faculty of Mackenzie University, culminating in an official agreement of cooperation signed last year.

There’s no mention of funding, which is crucial in such matters. Perhaps the Discoveroids’ generous patrons are helping with that. The Discoveroid post ends with a quote from Westie:

“Mackenzie University provides a strategic platform to reach the more than 200 million people in Brazil,” said West. “But more than that, it can provide a model for other academic institutions around the world about how an intelligent design perspective can encourage first-class scientific research as well as forge a constructive relationship between science and culture.”

It sounds glorious, but we suspect that Brazil will continue to be known primarily for the bossa nova and the beaches at Rio de Janeiro.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Discovery Institute Makes Progress in Brazil

  1. Michael Fugate

    Eberlin is a biblical creationist – no hiding behind unknown designers.
    http://saude.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,biologos-querem-reforcar-ensino-da-evolucao,866626 (it will translate to English).
    He has written an ebook which translates as: “We Were Planned: The greatest scientific discovery of all time!”

  2. Required class materials for all students are green screens, goggles and crayons. So will prospective students be vetted in a similarly rigorous fashion as they are when applying for the Dishonesty Institute’s summer barbecue get-together in Seattle?

  3. Ross Cameron

    In the old saying ‘One swallow does not make a summer’. Having a few nutty scientists on your books doesn`t equate to the millions of scientists world-wide who don`t subscribe to creo beliefs.

  4. Scientist

    Same old propaganda, more deluded religious folks. Their money would be better spent on Zika virus research.

  5. Since they’ve yet to “…encourage first-class scientific research…”, I’m underwhelmed.

  6. …an intelligent design perspective can encourage first-class scientific research as well as forge a constructive relationship between science and culture.

    An “intelligent design perspective” is 180° anti-science from start to finish. Creationists can’t abide by the results of many scientific fields, so they do their best to destroy those fields.

    Their ways are many but not very cunning. Trying to differentiate “true” sciences vs. “historical” sciences seems to be their latest attempt. Earlier attempts included “its just a theory.” They seem to forget that the theory of gravity and germ theory are also “just theories.”

    Trying to redefine scientific terms to better suit them is another of their favorite tricks. Example: trying to differentiate micro- vs. macro-evolution.

    So don’t wait up for “first-class scientific research” from creationists.

  7. Ceteris Paribus

    SC notes of Mackenzie Presbyterian University ” They’re not strong on science (obviously) but they do have an engineering school.

    In the field of “applied science”, it is not at all unusual to find well trained and sincere engineers who will openly profess some personal version of fundamentalism/creationism. The reason is simple – there is an old saying in the engineering world that “when you are out of formulas, you are out of engineers”.
    No reasonable engineer (who does not want to be sued for malpractice) goes out looking for new horizons to explore. Instead, they will dutifully accept the equations and tables in their engineering design manuals with the same passion that they accept the scriptures and commandments found in their holy bibles.

  8. To do research means that there is a theory. The creationists are not going to do research as long as they refuse to describe a theory. What happens, if it doesn’t involve evolution, so that there is the pattern of similarities and differences, the nested hierarchy, the tree of life? What rules are there that result in the ways things are, among the vast possibilities?

  9. RememberTheAyLmao

    “We don’t recall hearing much news about scientific research in Brazil. Perhaps this is the reason.”

    Or “perhaps” that’s just an incredibly petty and ignorant remark.

  10. Eberlin really is a distinguished scientist, with over 10,000 citations iin the scientific literature, a bit more than twice as many as me.

    Evangelical creationism, including 7th Day Adventism, has been making major inroads in Brazil recently. I was engaged in a disputation with an engineering professor there a few years ago: https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/rebutting-creationism-in-brazil/

  11. Paul Schoeckel

    I asked some of my coworkers in Hortolandia and Jundiai if ID makes sense when presented in Portuguese.
    First they asked what it was, then they said no.

  12. I just want to point out once again, that if one is to rely on a literal reading of the Bible, that there is nothing in the Bible which says anything about evolution. (Whether in favor of micro-evolution or against macro-evolution.)
    On the other hand, the plain words of the Bible have long been understood as supporting geocentrism. Up until the rise of modern science, the universal opinion has been that the Bible was telling us about the fixity of the Earth, and not telling us about change – or not – in the world of life. (The one statement about the lack of change over time is put in the mouth of a doubter, 2 Peter 3:4.)

  13. TomS says: “I just want to point out once again, that if one is to rely on a literal reading of the Bible, that there is nothing in the Bible which says anything about evolution.”

    Maybe. Maybe not. See Is Evolution in the Bible? (Part 2).

  14. I am aware that people are able to find a proof-text in the Bible to support anything that they care about.
    That is why I go back in history. Nobody before the rise of modern science, about the year 1500, ever said that the Bible said the Earth was a planet of the Solar System. Nobody said anything about the changes in genetics in populations of living things. Nobody said anything about descent with modification. Nobody said anything about speciation or extinction. Let alone anything about the barriers to micro-evolution.

  15. techreseller

    Seems strange to me. If ID is not religion based, Christian religion in particular, why the association with Christian schools? Just curious!