Guess Who’s Returning to the Discovery Institute

This is difficult to write, because we don’t have a news article to which we can link. We do have a trusted source for this information, but it isn’t public yet. Nevertheless, because it’s of great importance we’re going to disclose it anyway.

Most of you know who Casey Luskin is. Wikipedia briefly mentions him in their article on the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. They say: “Luskin also writes for the Discovery Institute’s blog, offering critiques of evolution, which have been met with stiff criticism and rebuttal from the scientific community.”

That’s old information that somehow was never updated. Five years ago we wrote Casey Luskin Leaves the Discovery Institute, and he’s been missed ever since then. Indeed, he was a big favorite around here — see Casey Luskin Is Named a Curmudgeon Fellow.

Many of you have heard rumors that Casey is returning to the Discovery Institute. We have strong reason to believe that those rumors are true! We’ve seen what purports to be solid information — but it isn’t public yet. Nevertheless, we’ll pass it on to you.

As we understand it, there will be changes in the Discovery Institute’s leadership team. Steve Meyer wills remain the Director of the Center for Science and Culture. John West will be moving from his present post as Associate Director into what is presumably a newly created position — Managing Director. And they will be bringing on board a new Associate Director. Who will that new person be? That’s the really big news.

It’s Casey Luskin! He left the Discoveroids at the end of 2015 to pursue a PhD in Geology. Now, with his PhD in hand, he has decided to return to the Discoveroids. Perhaps (we’re speculating here) there were no other opportunities open to him, given his earlier career as a Discoveroid creationist. But for whatever reason, he decided to return.

And that’s the news — but it hasn’t been revealed to the public yet. If we’re wrong, it won’t be the first time, and we will confess that we were misled. But if it’s true, then you heard it here first.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

21 responses to “Guess Who’s Returning to the Discovery Institute

  1. How better to greet the return of that magnificent master maker of strawmen than with the words The Scarecrow (in the Wizard of Oz) had himself borrowed from Gilbert & Sullivan:

    O joy! O rapture!

  2. Oh and Savvy Sarah was doing so well.

  3. PhD in geology, eh? Wonder what he wrote his doctoral thesis on?

  4. @retiredsciguy, on magnetochemistry and plate tectonics in Southern Africa. No problem here. He is an Old Earth creationist and as far as I know accepts a conventional geological narrative, as do most of those associated with the DI; Paul Nelson is a noted exception, admitting to be a Young Earth creationist, although he insists that this is a separate matter from Intelligent Design

  5. Thank you, Dr. Braterman. His website didn’t state, nor did it state the university. I didn’t have the time at that moment to dig further — not that it matters much. Physical geology shouldn’t pose much of a problem of contradicting an Old Earth Creationist’s beliefs in contrast to, say, paleontology.

  6. I have a special soft spot for Casey. He was the first creationist to criticise me by name, way back in 2012, thereby convincing me of the value of what I was doing by campaigning on behalf of evolution

  7. Theodore J Lawry

    I don’t see the point of being an old earth creationist geologist, unless he intends to attack young earth creationists geology. There are a number of old earth creationists who do attack the young earthers, and quite effectively too. Somehow I doubt that the DI will let one of its own go on the attack against Noah’s Flood and 6,000 years. But I would enjoy being proved wrong!

  8. @TJ Lawry, you don’t understand! Now he’s a Real Scientist, and when he corrects, shall we say ,Nick Matzke about evolutionary genetics, Nick needs to listen respectfully

  9. What a waste. I thought he wised up (a leetle bit) when he took a hike.

    I remember the work I did finishing up my thesis at the Dawn of Modern Gadgets: electric typewriter and a Xerox machine! What will they think of next? Still it was working late every evening after work, every weekend for months, then getting it copied, hauled to the bookbinder, distributed to the college, and studying like mad for my oral defense.

    Now Casey will take those years of collecting data, writing it up and jumping through all those hoops and over those hurdles. And for what? To throw his career in the round file by working for the Tooters? Pretty sad, if you ask me.

    Funny story on the way to the forum, the most discussion I had during my orals was about how I handled half a chapter I forgot to include before I had seven copies NUMBERED and Xeroxed. I created pages numbered 123a, 123b, 123c, etc., typed up seven sets and inserted them before the books were bound. It was highly irregular, captain! Fortunately I got through without having to reprint and bind the entire set.

  10. @TheoJL: “There are a number of old earth creationists who do attack the young earthers, and quite effectively too.”
    Do you have links? While I’m pretty familiar with YECers and IDiots, much less so with OECers.

  11. Theodore J Lawry

    @FrankB Books
    1) The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah’s Flood Explain the Grand Canyon? Carol Hill (editor).Kregel Publications, 2016.
    2) The Bible, Rocks, and Time, Davis A. Young and Ralph F. Stearley, Intervarsity Press, 2008.
    3) Science and Earth History, The Evolution / Creation Controversy, Arthur N. Strahler, Prometheus Books, 1987.
    4) Creation and Evolution: The Facts and the Fallacies, Alan Hayward, Triangle, 1985.
    Books 3 and 4 are better than 1 & 2. Are they getting worse with time?

    The next two books by Daniel E. Wonderly can be downloaded free from Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute https://ibri.org/Books/

    God’s Time Records in Ancient Sediments,
    Neglect of Geologic Data: Sedimentary Strata Compared with Young-Earth Creationist Writings

    Then there is Glenn R Morton, He was very good, I expect you have heard of him. He is dead and one time deleted all his posts, but his stuff can be found in several places, try searching I think Babinsky’s website has his posts.
    .

  12. Thanks. I’m afraid I’m not going to read those four books, because I don’t waste my scarce money on creacrap. I’ll try the internet stuff you mentioned. No, I’ve never heard of GR Morton. The only OECer I know by name is Hugh Ross.

  13. Just took a quick look and googled a bit.

    http://www.oldearth.org/morton/how_God_used_evolution.htm

    “What I believe is that God set up the evolutionary system. And far from being due to chance, the rules of mutation would inevitably lead to us as happens when chance is united with rules and deterministically produces Sierpinski’s gasket.”
    Doesn’t sound like creationism at all to me.

    The Wonderly book from 2006 doesn’t contain anything, if the conclusion is representative, that’s unacceptable for IDiots and even evolutionary theists. So I’m not sure if OEC is a meaningful term for Morton and Wonderly. It’s also possible that we use different definitions. Here is mine (I don’t claim it’s the best or only possible one):

    1. an OECer, like all creacrappers, rejects evolution theory, accepts Paley’s False Watchmaker Analogy and the God of the Gaps argment;
    2. an OECer, like YECers, thinks that his favourite Holy Book contains scientific evidence for biology and geology *);
    3. an OECer, unlike YECers, accept 13,7 billion years.

    *) As the lines are blurred and IDiots belong to the most dishonest creacrappers ever it’s unsurprising that the Discotute is moving towards OEC. Possibly it’s only a matter of time before Kclunkcerduncker starts quoting from the Tanakh in his blogposts. Then the distinction between IDiocy and OEC will have disappeared.

  14. I have, and recommend, the first book on Theodore’s list; The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah’s Flood Explain the Grand Canyon? Carol Hill (editor).Kregel Publications, 2016.

    I am on first name terms of several of the authors, and am very surprised to see it listed as in any sense creationist. There are three chapters on the fossil record, the first of which expounds the concept of faunal succession, relates it to classification, and explicitly attacks the concept of a “Cambrian explosion”. No hint here of special creations. The second one, on plant fossils, uses the term “diversification”, thus explicitly accepting the concept of an evolutionary radiation. The third one is concerned with trace fossils, and hence mainly with refuting the idea that the Grand Canyon sediments could have been laid down catastrophically.

    I believe that the authors are all of them Christians, and I think that all of them would embrace the idea that the laws of nature were framed by God in such a way as to lead to biological evolution (Remember that this was Darwin’s view while he was writing Origin). I don’t know if any of them believe that God interfered with the process. It may well be that they do not make evolution more explicit, given there restricted objectives and the nature of their audience, but I see nothing in the books to support the idea that any of them reject the concept, and I know that some of them argue powerfully in its favour.

  15. As an example of an Old Earth creationist who attacks Young Earth doctrines, I would suggest Jonathanan McLatchie, who blogs at https://jonathanmclatchie.com/, and has been featured in Evolution News. I am sure that there are many others

  16. Theodore J Lawry

    @PaulB & @FrankB
    I agree that the many authors of the Grand Canyon book don’t quarrel with evolution much. My main beef is they could have really slammed the YECs but didn’t. I also think that Young and Stearly pulled their punches on several occasions, I think many mainstream Christians have a problem with that, afraid to annoy their “Brothers in Christ.”

    mclatchie’s website is not my cup of tea, all about theology, or so it appears.

    Wonderly doesn’t, he really goes into the geological evidence for an old earth, as do Hayward and Strahler.

    @FrankB I don’t think you found one of Morton’s best, try “Geological Challenges to a Young Earth”, See http://www.creationicc.org/Proceedings and go to 1986.

  17. @TJLawry, They choose to describe the young Earth model first, which is good practice in the context of academic debate, but in my opinion a mistake here, since what is stated first tends to stick hardiest. However, they know their intended (mainly Christian) audience better than I do.

    They then simply lay out the data, at a very useful level of detail, and show that Young Earth creationism does not account for them, but the standard scientific account does.

    I don’t see what you want more than that. As for “don’t quarrel with evolution much”, they work implicitly (and occasionally explicitly) within the standard evolutionary framework. No quarrel at all that I can see. I have the book, so if I have missed something, post the offending statement, and its page reference

  18. Theodore J Lawry

    @PaulB. My list was of geologists who dispute YECs. This discussion has been dominated by what I see as a non-issue: whether someone was a OEC or a Christion who accepts evol. What interests me is whether they would really present the case against YEC, particularly the Grand Canyon

    I totally disagree about “useful level of detail” For example, YECs need the GC to be cut very fast, so where is the evidence that they are wrong? Chapter 16?

    180 degree bends directly contradict a catastrophic flood, and the GC has several, but they are never mentioned. The Little GC Canyon winds like a drunken snake and must have been cut catastrophically too, considering how deep it is, but again, nothing is said.

    The GC is a conglomerate of tributary canyons, and not just the long ones that you can see on a map. The main canyon itself is mostly made of short tributary canyons which cut down all the way to the Colorado river in the Inner Gorge. A mighty Flood would cut down the Canyon, not sideways. To see this all you need is to look at some pictures, try Google Earth. And then there are the various Temples and Thrones, in the Canyon, why didn’t the Flood tear them away?

    If you really want to convince readers that YEC is wrong, you need to give them real evidence and arguments front and center, not drown the discussion in extraneous details many of which just happen to be your research

  19. @TJL: I understood you originally to be describing the authors of this book as Old Earth creationists. Have you now withdrawn this claim, or was I indeed guilty of a misunderstanding in thinking that you had made it? If so, we only disagree about how effectively the book achieves its aim of arguing for an old Earth, a relatively minor matter. But if you do in fact continue to describe the authors as Old Earth creationists, you are maligning good friends of mine in the face of the evidence

  20. @TheoJ: “what I see as a non-issue”
    OK, no problem, but my question was not about geologists (whether christian or not – I don’t care) who dispute YEC. My request was to mention a few links to Old Earth Creationists criticizing YEC. So that’s how I understood your answer to me.

    “If you really want to convince readers that YEC is wrong, you need to give them real evidence and arguments front and center.”
    Nope. If YECers are open-minded enough to consider such evidence and arguments reasonably they cease to be YECers. Many of the aren’t, which is why the decline goes so slowly.
    There is no miracle cure for YEC (and none for any other form of pseudo- and quackscience either). Presenting evidence and explaining scientific theories remain very important but we need to apply all possible strategies.
    OEC the way I define it (ie rejecting evolution theory, eg like Hugh Ross) is a form of pseudoscience as well. So it’s understandable that PaulB takes issue with your comments. Also turning a YECer into an OECer in my view can hardly be called progression. OECers are not my allies, while christian scientists are.

  21. Theodore J Lawry

    @Paul B No, I never meant to call your friends OECs, I gave PaulB a list of religious geologists who attack YEC, many of whom are OECs. If your friends are not, fine. What disturbs me about geologists is that unless they are religious, OEC or not, they can’t be bothered to fight YECs.

    @FrankB. READ what I said. “readers” are not YECs, in general, so your whole point about YECS being incorrigible, while largely correct, is irrelevant. I also think it defeatist.

    @Both, It is not a minor matter whether a book is ineffective, it is absolutely crucial. If we write a whole book supposedly giving intelligent laypersons science’s case, and we screw it up, that is worse than useless.