Intelligent Design — A Progress Report

From time to time it’s good to step back and look at the big picture. How are things going for the Discovery Institute and their “theory” that the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — magically created the universe, life, and you?

As we did back in 2013 — see The Collapse of Intelligent Design? — let’s look at the latest search engine statistics. Check out the history of Google searches on “intelligent design”.

The picture is dramatic. Interest in the Discovery Institute’s “theory” peaked during the Kitzmiller trial in 2005, and it’s been steadily — precipitously — trending downward ever since. It’s now 2% of what it was in December of 2005. What happened?

Just before Kitzmiller, it seemed as if the Discoveroids were on an upward trend. You know about their manifesto — the Wedge Document. That’s a link to the Wikipedia article which describes it. You can read the actual document at the NCSE website: The Wedge Document.

The Wedge Document states in its “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary” that the intelligent design movement’s goal is to replace science as currently practiced with “theistic and Christian science.” Also, among the intelligent design movement’s “Governing Goals” are to “defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies” and “to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” Listed among their “Twenty Year Goals” is: “To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.”

Despite their grandiose goals, the Discoveroids have failed. Totally. Their grand crusade has gone absolutely nowhere. You may recall Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment. It was in 1999, when the Discoveroids actually had a center established at Baylor to study and teach their version of creationism. But the faculty rebelled, and the center was dismantled.

Nevertheless, the Discoveroids kept plugging away. They had what seemed like momentum due to their so-called “documentary” Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, starring Ben Stein. But the firm that produced the thing ultimately ended up in bankruptcy — see View the Bankruptcy Court Bids for “Expelled”.

In 2008, the Discoveroids had their first legislative success — see Louisiana Senate Passes House’s Creationism Bill. The Democrat controlled legislature overwhelmingly passed the badly misnamed Louisiana Science Education Act. No other state has been so foolish, except for Tennessee. Year after year they keep trying — there’s no shortage of idiots in state legislatures — but they’ve had no other legislative success.

Nevertheless, the Discoveroids’ generous patrons keep the funds flowing, and the Discoveroids keep blogging, producing podcasts, and writing vanity press books. They won’t stop until the money dries up. Eventually that will happen — but things may drag on for years until then.

Meanwhile, be of good cheer, dear reader. The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but reality ultimately prevails. That’s what natural selection is all about.

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

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11 responses to “Intelligent Design — A Progress Report

  1. The Wedge Document dates from 1998, which means that its long-range goals – twenty years – come of age next year.

    A couple of their projects are so far away that I don’t quite remember what they were talking about.
    Paleontology Research program (Dr. Paul Chien et al.)
    Molecular Biology Research Program (Dr. Douglas Axe et al.)

    It mentions a book to appear by Paul Nelson which offers “a powerful alternative” to material explanation. What became of that? I am not aware of even an attempt at an alternative, not even a weak one.

  2. And let’s not forget “Dr” Nathaniel Jeanson’s new “Replacing Darwin…” BS. Old Hambo Con-Man is really pushing that now.

    The hubris….

  3. “It mentions a book to appear by Paul Nelson which offers “a powerful alternative” to material explanation. ”

    Ontological (?) depth maybe?

  4. Michael Fugate

    Paul Chien – not a paleontologist…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Chien
    He is seemingly retired – no longer on USF website.

    Paul Nelson – has he ever had a job? Just curious.
    The DI’s token YEC?

  5. New Mexico is trying to eliminate global warming, evolution, etc. from their revised state standards.
    Proposed New Mexico science standards omit global warming
    https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/new-mexico-education-secretary-defends-science-overhaul/
    State quiet on origins of proposed school science standards
    https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/state-quiet-on-origins-of-proposed-school-science-standards/

  6. I recall seeing more YECs enter the DI, not too long after Dover, but I can’t seem to locate the announcement any more.

  7. Ah. here: Matti Leisola, Colin Reeves and Stuart Burgess, all three YECs.

    I remarked elsewhere at the time that the DI obviously had dropped the mask of totally not religious, oh no sir because young-earth creationism goes way farther than the slippery “some features of evolution point to intelligent design” .

  8. ….why did that last comment about Leisola et alii go into moderation??

    [*Voice from above*] It’s a mystery!

  9. Even in 1999, a significant Discoveroid goal was stopped in its tracks. Recall the Chinese fossil conference that year from which they hoped to get a proceedings volume with their advocates’ silly scribblings alongside articles done by real paleontologists.

  10. Michael Fugate

    I am wondering if it isn’t a regress report.

    Thanks Draken, I didn’t know so many were YECs.

    “Prof. Burgess is also an outspoken Christian and biblical creationist. In 2016, he was again in the headlines when his contribution to the chain drives of all Team GB’s track bikes (i.e. for racing in the velodrome) helped them to a world-beating medal haul in Rio, both at the Summer Olympics (6 Golds) and the Paralympics (8 Golds).”

  11. Good news from New Mexico:
    Facing Public Outcry, New Mexico Restores Evolution and Global Warming to Science Standards
    Students will learn the age of the Earth, too.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/new-mexico-reversal-science-education-standards-climate-change/