Luskin: “I am leaving Discovery Institute”

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Luskin.jpg

From yesterday’s announcement on ENV:

It is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I write this to announce that, as the year 2015 closes, I am leaving Discovery Institute. I am doing so in order to fulfill a lifelong goal of furthering my studies. My colleagues, who entirely support this decision, are people of the utmost integrity and they have been incredibly generous and welcoming to me and my family. I know we will miss each other. Working here over the past ten years has been a wonderful experience for which I am extremely grateful.

I think this will be good for Casey. Who knows, next time he reviews a show on TV about the science of evolution, he’ll now have time to actually watch the entire episode before writing a critique.

Discuss.

136 Comments

Furthering his studies? I wasn’t aware he had begun them. Does he plan to actually learn some biology?

Paul Braterman has some worthwhile additional commentary.

And, the Sensuous Curmudgeon adds that Luskin is being replaced with Ann “Green Screen” Gauger.

I am leaving Discovery Institute. I am doing so in order to fulfill a lifelong goal of furthering my studies.

Much like FL and Beyers occasionally do, a creationist once again utters a truth without realizing it.

Attack gerbils leave a sinking ship.

Glen Davidson

For those wondering about the “Green Screen”, it’s because the Discovery institute doesn’t have anything even remotely close to a biology lab, so they just bought an image of one from Shutterstock.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that the truth doesn’t always win out in the short term, but it does in the longer term.

Yeah, too bad, eh Casey?

Glen Davidson

It’s looking as ID isn’t always a good career move for those younger than Phillip Johnson (born 1940).

Behe is a transitional form (born 1952). He was already ensconced in his tenured job when he turned to ID. He either gained (got some book sales and now has to work less because he’s on a leash) or lost (disgraced, no legitimate accomplishments, no academic advancement possible), depending on his own personal goals. If his goal was to get some money in the mid-nineties and game the system by sticking Lehigh with a tenured professor who does nothing, he succeeded. If his goal was to do anything else, he failed.

Dembski (1960) is the most prominent figure to try to make a living out of post-Edwards ID. Unlike the slightly older Behe, he was a relatively junior faculty member when threw himself into ID style evolution denial. He’s floundered around and as we all know recently announced that he’ll be giving up ID for some kind of late to the party bitcoin scheme.

You’d have to be a fool to think that Casey Luskin’s departure is entirely voluntary. In ten years at a do-nothing job, he could have earned all kinds of degrees. There are many, many people in many serious evening, weekend, or online programs who work their fingers to the bone at their day job. They’d love to be paid for a do-nothing “think tank” day job instead of having to do a real day job.

Either funding was reduced and they’re tossing people overboard using a “last in first out” inventory management style, or Casey was deemed to be ineffective.

I assume he’s either going to law school to be a crazy right wing lawyer or going to do a PhD in something so that he can claim that his PhD in biochem proves that all other biochemists are wrong, or that his PhD in some applied end math/computer thing means that he can “disprove evolution from above”.

Could someone somewhere actually be paying attention to the deadlines that the DI created for themselves. These were the Five Year Objectives in 1998 (from http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Text_o[…]dge_Strategy). That’s “by 2003”. Well, 2015 just ended.

FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

A major public debate between design theorists and Darwinists (by 2003)

Thirty published books on design and its cultural implications (sex, gender issues, medicine, law, and religion)

One hundred scientific, academic and technical articles by our fellows

Significant coverage in national media:

Cover story on major news magazine such as Time or Newsweek

PBS show such as Nova treating design theory fairly

Regular press coverage on developments in design theory

Favorable op-ed pieces and columns on the design movement by 3rd party media

Spiritual & cultural renewal:

Mainline renewal movements begin to appropriate insights from design theory, and to repudiate theologies influenced by materialism

Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation & repudiate(s) Darwinism

Seminaries increasingly recognize & repudiate naturalistic presuppositions

Positive uptake in public opinion polls on issues such as sexuality, abortion and belief in God

Ten states begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula; include design theory

Scientific achievements:

An active design movement in Israel, the UK and other influential countries outside the US

Ten CRSC Fellows teaching at major universities

Two universities where design theory has become the dominant view

Design becomes a key concept in the social sciences

Legal reform movements base legislative proposals on design theory

First Dembski now this. Signs of the whole thing falling apart (financially)? Or is this simply the equivalent of old guard making way for some new guard?

Interesting to see what he will do. Either he is after a real job or he just wants to gain some letters after his name and produce books of pap like the other ID fellows do.

eric said:

First Dembski now this. Signs of the whole thing falling apart (financially)? Or is this simply the equivalent of old guard making way for some new guard?

I’m hoping for “whole thing falling apart”. It seems that Casey is being replaced by Ann Gauger, who already works for the DI, not by some sharp young whippersnapper.

harold said:

eric said:

First Dembski now this. Signs of the whole thing falling apart (financially)? Or is this simply the equivalent of old guard making way for some new guard?

I’m hoping for “whole thing falling apart”. It seems that Casey is being replaced by Ann Gauger, who already works for the DI, not by some sharp young whippersnapper.

Is there a new guard? Luskin mentions meeting some in his farewell post but there doesn’t seem to be any new names around.

MichaelJ said:

harold said:

eric said:

First Dembski now this. Signs of the whole thing falling apart (financially)? Or is this simply the equivalent of old guard making way for some new guard?

I’m hoping for “whole thing falling apart”. It seems that Casey is being replaced by Ann Gauger, who already works for the DI, not by some sharp young whippersnapper.

Is there a new guard? Luskin mentions meeting some in his farewell post but there doesn’t seem to be any new names around.

I think David Klinghoffer has demonstrated that he is more than capable of continuing as Luskin’s successor as the DI Minister of Propaganda. For example, here’s his latest appraisal of Dr. Neil de Grasse Tyson:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/1[…]g102021.html

On a more serious note, he does note that Ann Gauger is the new Director of Science Communication:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/1[…]g102021.html

Am sure that Gauger will be as insightful as Luskin.… and if you honestly believe that, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

The TOOT has also been joined by one Sarah Chaffee, a fairly recent graduate from Patrick Henry College, who is called their “Program Officer, Education and Public Policy”, whatever that means. I can’t remember the, er, discipline in which her degree was awarded - certainly not any science, because PHC doesn’t teach any. She is already writing posts for the DI’s blog. These are literate, at least. One can only presume that she is being paid for it.

Possibly she is more articulate than Ann Gauger.

I recently took a look at the CSC Staff list (http://www.discovery.org/id/contact/#staff - I think I was trying to work out who Chaffee was) and was surprised at how many people (most of whom I’d never heard of) it included. I noticed at least one volunteer position, but most appear to be on the payroll – so Casey’s departure does not appear to be about funding drying up. Klinghoffer has been their chief poo-flinger on ENV for quite a while now (a few years?), so can hardly be described as Luskin’s “successor”. Maybe he just got bored/burnt-out with ineffectually poo-pooing the entire fields of Evolutionary Biology, Paleontology, etc?

hrafn said:

I recently took a look at the CSC Staff list (http://www.discovery.org/id/contact/#staff - I think I was trying to work out who Chaffee was) and was surprised at how many people (most of whom I’d never heard of) it included. I noticed at least one volunteer position, but most appear to be on the payroll – so Casey’s departure does not appear to be about funding drying up. Klinghoffer has been their chief poo-flinger on ENV for quite a while now (a few years?), so can hardly be described as Luskin’s “successor”. Maybe he just got bored/burnt-out with ineffectually poo-pooing the entire fields of Evolutionary Biology, Paleontology, etc?

I know that about Klinghoffer, not least because he once referred to me in third person as an “obsessed Darwinist”. Just being sarcastic, simply because he becomes the main “flamethrower” at the DI, now that Luskin has left.

John said:I know that about Klinghoffer, not least because he once referred to me in third person as an “obsessed Darwinist”. Just being sarcastic, simply because he becomes the main “flamethrower” at the DI, now that Luskin has left.

Whereas my point was that Klinghoffer was the DI’s “main flamethrower” all along, possibly because he appears to have no constraints on his flaming. Luskin on the other hand was their flamethrower-constrained-by-at-least-attempting-to-sound-sciencey. It’ll be interesting to see if Gauger attempts to carry on that role – though I must admit, I have to wonder why they continue to bother – the scientific community really isn’t buying, and Klinghoffer’s schtick would appear better suited for providing red meat to the culture warriors.

hrafn said:

John said:I know that about Klinghoffer, not least because he once referred to me in third person as an “obsessed Darwinist”. Just being sarcastic, simply because he becomes the main “flamethrower” at the DI, now that Luskin has left.

Whereas my point was that Klinghoffer was the DI’s “main flamethrower” all along, possibly because he appears to have no constraints on his flaming. Luskin on the other hand was their flamethrower-constrained-by-at-least-attempting-to-sound-sciencey. It’ll be interesting to see if Gauger attempts to carry on that role – though I must admit, I have to wonder why they continue to bother – the scientific community really isn’t buying, and Klinghoffer’s schtick would appear better suited for providing red meat to the culture warriors.

On second thought, I concur with your assessment of Klinghoffer as the DI’s “main flamethrower”. (As a quick aside, he made that reference to me as an “obsessed Darwinist” in one of his flamethrowing blogs.) He’s certainly become quite adroit in his flamethrowing rhetoric; an observation I make of course with ample sarcasm.

hrafn said:

I recently took a look at the CSC Staff list (http://www.discovery.org/id/contact/#staff - I think I was trying to work out who Chaffee was) and was surprised at how many people (most of whom I’d never heard of) it included. I noticed at least one volunteer position, but most appear to be on the payroll – so Casey’s departure does not appear to be about funding drying up. Klinghoffer has been their chief poo-flinger on ENV for quite a while now (a few years?), so can hardly be described as Luskin’s “successor”. Maybe he just got bored/burnt-out with ineffectually poo-pooing the entire fields of Evolutionary Biology, Paleontology, etc?

There is no evidence that funding is drying up, nor, however, that it is increasing much either.

I very much doubt that his departure was voluntary. He isn’t even going to a job. He may be leaving because he was denied a promotion. He may have been flat out fired for something (that’s my guess, given the exaggerated claims to the contrary). My best guess is that, even if funding is not down, the tenth anniversary of Dover reminded donors that Dover was massive failure and absolutely nothing of any relevance has happened since then, They went from having their guys on TV to a lost court case to ten years of nothing. My personal guess is that complaints about the general lack of progress were made, a scapegoat had to be sacrificed, and it was Casey. An alternate, and not mutually exclusive possibility, is that Casey was caught in some type of dogmatic impurity.

Patrick Henry College is literally for people who think that Liberty University is too liberal. It’s also located near DC and when the Bush administration was in power its few hundred home-schooled students provided a massive proportion of interns. If Ms Chaffee is being paid it signals a move away from bothering much with the ruse. Her series of articles, which I saw and found to be written in a mediocre sophomore style, but that’s just me, did shamelessly repeat the canards that ID isn’t religious and so on. But seriously, out of all the recent college graduates in the country, the only one you could find to make those claims is a non-science graduate from a politically charged Bible school of a few hundred students, whose faculty are required to swear that they are YEC Biblical literalists? And that’s supposed to be a coincidence?

The DI suffers from the disadvantage that it serves disguised creationism. Ken Ham serves up all natural undiluted creationism with no artificial flavoring. The DI approach is ONLY preferable to the YEC’s who fund it if it is pushing evolution denial into places where Ken Ham can’t push it. They’d MUCH rather have Ken Ham stuff in public school science class, they just know they can’t.

Maybe Luskin is going to be honest and let it all hang out, maybe he’ll join forces with Ham’s AIG!

I’d have to agree with most of what harold said. The one major point of disagreement would be on “dogmatic impurity”. The IDM’s ‘big tent’ never really gave a damn what you believed (agnostic, Moonie, Muslim, Jew, whatever), as long as you were up for evolution-basing. I think the only heresy that would get Luskin canned would be full-blown Theistic Evolutionism (which seems unlikely).

The donors-demand-a-change scenario does seem plausible. The question is, does this include a new strategy, or are the just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic? I don’t see Chaffee adding much – Klinghoffer already had the red-meat polemics nailed. And what little I’ve seen of Gauger, I don’t really see her having more of an impact than Luskin. What I think the DI really need, if they want to improve their dog & pony show’s profile, is a full-blown barnstorming facts-be-damned showman along the lines of Duane Gish. If any of the current DI crowd could carry that off, I’d suspect it would be Jonathan Wells – but whilst they may let a Moonie into their ‘big tent’, I rather doubt if they (or their donors) would be happy with one as their Ring Leader.

Maybe he got a conscience.

Now that would be a miracle.

Glen Davidson

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Maybe he got a conscience.

Now that would be a miracle.

Luskin always struck me as being a (bumbling) misguided crusader, rather than a self-conscious charlatan. So I’d suspect that he needs self-awareness and introspection more than “a conscience”.

hrafn said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Maybe he got a conscience.

Now that would be a miracle.

Luskin always struck me as being a (bumbling) misguided crusader, rather than a self-conscious charlatan. So I’d suspect that he needs self-awareness and introspection more than “a conscience”.

He went after Zack Kopplin in a debate aired live on the Michael Medved Show. (I believe Medved is still on the board of advisors.) Trying to humanize him is akin to asking which of these - Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin or Pol Pot - was the worst mass murderer in the 20th Century.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Maybe he got a conscience.

Now that would be a miracle.

Glen Davidson

Highly unlikely that “he got a conscience” given his laudatory final essay in praise of the Dishonesty Institute’s efforts since the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover ruling. One could say that his support of the DI agenda is indeed an example of personal “intelligent design”, and not one associated with a miracle.

Matt G said:

Furthering his studies? I wasn’t aware he had begun them. Does he plan to actually learn some biology?

Silly me, I assumed he was talking about law.

hrafn said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Maybe he got a conscience.

Now that would be a miracle.

Luskin always struck me as being a (bumbling) misguided crusader, rather than a self-conscious charlatan. So I’d suspect that he needs self-awareness and introspection more than “a conscience”.

Oh, I expect that they all manage to avoid much self-awareness, but DIers are generally not stupid enough not to know that their pronouncements lack veracity. They’re shown to be wrong often enough, after all, and the lack of any grounding for so much of what they say is almost certainly something that they recognize enough to avoid truly thinking about it.

I’d bet almost all of them are aware enough not to think about what they “shouldn’t think about,” and to justify what they know to be untruth by the “extreme importance” of their “Big Truths.” Many followers are naive enough not to have to work around the truth, but I can’t believe that most of the DIots are not that naive, including Luskin. Too frequently, Luskin’s too contradictory and too carefully opposite of the truth, to be considered to be naive enough not to know better, although he may avoid thinking through the ethics and morality of his untruths.

Read his parting shot, if you have doubts. Could anyone who passed the LSAT really write that pack of lies without having some awareness that it’s less than truthful? Does he really believe that ID is benefiting from great research, and that the 60 publications (most of which is tripe for public consumption) he touts have much of anything to do with science? No, he’s too good at writing lies not to know better, or he’d make more truly naive mistakes. He’s writing for donors and marks, and he knows it, no matter how much he may avoid thinking morally about what he’s doing.

Glen Davidson

Oops, should have been: “Many followers are naive enough not to have to work around the truth, but I can’t believe that most of the DIots are that naive,” (taking out the “not” that was third word from the last).

Glen Davidson

How many smart and educated people subscribe to a form of subjectivism, relativism, or nihilism?

People who misguidedly think they’re ‘doing the right thing’ are generally far more destructive than self-conscious charlatans. I’ve never seen evidence to the contrary that Hitler did not genuinely think that he was Germany’s savior – and look how that turned out. I don’t think Luskin’s (and the rest of the DI’s) issue so much is ‘naivety’ as a combination of compartmentalisation and groupthink keeping any cognitive dissonance manageable (I’d think this would be fairly common in Rightwing Authoritarian circles). O’course after all this time, it’s possible that this balancing act is beginning to fray (sorry about the mixed metaphor), and this has caused him to jump or be pushed before he completely unravels.

Science Avenger said:

harold said:

it is much, much easier for a typical reader to immediately grasp that the ID/creationist ideas are stupid, than for them to follow a defense of evolution.

Indeed, I’ve found this to be true of climate deniers as well. Simply make them spell out exactly what they think is actually going on, in detail, and their case immediately becomes untenable, even to a layman.

I also think I’ve come up with a devestating new rhetorical weapon, which is still in the testing phase, and it should work as well with evolution deniers as climate deniers: ask them to critique their own side. Ask them what argument made by their allies makes them cringe, makes them want to say “shut up, you aren’t helping”. Any scientifically-minded honest person should be able to do this without much trouble. I certainly can with any issue I feel strongly about.

So far its been fun watching them squirm, and desperately try to return the discussion to why they think AGW is wrong. This, of course, is what we’d expect from someone who hasn’t really thought the issue through, or is so married to their position that they really don’t care what the truth is, blindly supporting anything or anyone they perceive as an ally. Like the OEC who avoids arguing with the YEC over earth’s age, the “not warming crowd” is loathe to argue with the “warming but not our fault” crowd, not to mention many people make both arguments simultaneously, not grasping the contradiction.

Yes, this causes me to note two things -

1) The nature of science and other valid reason-based fields of scholarly inquiry is that people expect and prepare for skeptical examination of their claims, suggestion of alternate explanations of the data, and so on. Creationists and other reality deniers are the exact opposite; they assume that if all scientists don’t always claim to believe exactly the same thing at all times, that this is a weakness of science.

2) A paradoxical fact is that if you want a creationist to go away, you can achieve it by engaging with them and asking them direct questions. This is the exact opposite of how it works in most other situations. The unfortunate corollary is that if you want them to answer questions, you can’t get them to. But often that’s just as useful as getting them to answer.

One has to sympathize with the DI for a moment– having to pay $100,000 a year to someone whose best known nickname is Attack Gerbil has to be humiliating.

John said:

harold said:

The difference between the DI and AiG (which I believe has about five times the budget of the DI) is that AiG doesn’t bother to disguise the message the in a silly attempt to get around Edwards.In the long run, there may or may not be any consequences from the identity crisis, but the DI does have an identity crisis.

Its raison d’etre isn’t to keep testifying to the already faithful home schooling crowd. That’s what AiG and ICR do, and do better.

The DI promised in the Wedge Document that, if creationists would make the sacrifice of accepting a watered-down, deceptive version of creationism, the DI would make evolution denial the mainstream position, “destroying materialism” in the process. That didn’t happen and to all extents and purposes they seem to have stopped trying. Not only did they stop trying after Dover, but they even whine that Dover shouldn’t have happened.

Again, there may never be any real world consequences, but the DI has failed, in a way that Ken Ham hasn’t.

Wish I could share your optimism on all of these counts, with one notable exception. Within the home-schooling movement there’s been a bit of drift towards genuine science. I remember talking to evolutionary biologist Sean B. Carroll several years ago afer a talk he gave, and he pointed out to me that the videos he’s been overseeing for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have been gaining some interest within the home-school community. I’ve also seen some anecdotal evidence in which home-schoolers are becoming more interested in teaching their kids valid science, not the junk emanating from DI, ICR and AiG.

If there is such a trend, it would most likely be that home schoolers are discovering that ID/creationism is not simply a matter of “the same data, different interpretations” but is instead gastly wrong science at the middle and high school levels.

As far back as the late 1970s and 80s, when I was still giving talks on this, we were emphasizing that the “scientific” creationists were butchering the science instead of “reinterpreting the data;” and that made a big impression on church group audiences.

When “scientific” creationism morphed into ID after 1987, apparently the “more scholarly writings” coming out of the “reinvented” ID/creationist movement made it appear that their “PhDs” actually knew some science. Few recognized the fact that all those butchered concepts from Henry Morris and Duane Gish were simply carried over, without modification, into ID. Different “science;” same butchering.

Dave Wisker said:

One has to sympathize with the DI for a moment– having to pay $100,000 a year to someone whose best known nickname is Attack Gerbil has to be humiliating.

It may not matter and I may never know but I suspect some rearranging of the deck chairs may be going on.

Luskin is a lawyer “with a Masters in geology”.

It’s not uncommon to hire legitimate lawyers with extra training in some field of science for legal disputes about technical things.

His qualifications probably implied, at least to the suckers, that his presence was somehow related to that defining goal of the DI, teaching disguised creationism in public schools.

One thing that never happened in his long and leisurely tenure at the DI was a change in the legal status of sectarian science denial in public schools.

Whether he got sick of making an easy 100K and quit for a more rigorous and ascetic lifestyle, as most here believe, or whether he left with a footprint on his rear end and the gushing is hypocritical PR propaganda, as I’m inclined to suspect, there has been no real replacement for his position yet.

I can’t help feeling some kind of “ten year review since Dover” happened and there was some source of dissatisfaction.

It will be at least interesting to see what comes next.

Will it be a more aggressive offensive on the legal front?

A gradual shift to YEC without pretense of suitability for public school, a la AiG and ICR?

Just a slow and tranquil sail into tacitly conceded irrelevance?

Time will tell.

But to replace him, wouldn’t they have to identify what he did that was of any benefit to, well, anybody?

Henry J said:

But to replace him, wouldn’t they have to identify what he did that was of any benefit to, well, anybody?

What he did, or his replacement will have to do, is merely provide a perceived benefit to the deep-pocket donor. Whether it does the Movement, or anybody else, any actual good is irrelevant. If Ahmanson thinks his agenda is being prosecuted, the checks will keep coming.

If Ahmanson thinks his agenda is being prosecuted, the checks will keep coming.

And if he wises up, or dies without leaving them a foundation or trust of some type, the whole thing could come tumbling down. I wonder who owns the building they are located in? Please designer, let it be rented or going to an Ahmanson heir who has no attachment to them.

harold said:

I can’t help feeling some kind of “ten year review since Dover” happened and there was some source of dissatisfaction.

There was also the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center co-founded by Luskin to establish “IDEA” clubs in colleges and high schools. (high schools!) An ambitious project and a resounding failure.

And, there was the “Casey Luskin Graduate Award” for promotion of ID and IDEA clubs or some such nonsense. The first recipient of the award was …

… you guessed it: Casey Luskin!

Seriously, folks, you can’t make this stuff up!

The second recipient of the award was probably Hannah Maxson (Cornell ‘07), the president of the short-lived Cornell IDEA club, but not confirmed because the Disco Tute made the award in private to “protect the reputation of the recipient” or something like that. Evil darwinists, doncha know.

The only thing remaining of IDEA today is a fossilized website with mostly dead links that appears to have succumbed in 2009.

The second recipient of the award was probably Hannah Maxson (Cornell ‘07), the president of the short-lived Cornell IDEA club, but not confirmed because the Disco Tute made the award in private to “protect the reputation of the recipient” or something like that.

I certainly wouldn’t want my name associated with Casey Luskin.

That’s the perfect fate for the Casey Luskin award, though, hide the fact that you ever received such a piece of trash.

Glen Davidson

Doc Bill said:

harold said:

I can’t help feeling some kind of “ten year review since Dover” happened and there was some source of dissatisfaction.

There was also the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center co-founded by Luskin to establish “IDEA” clubs in colleges and high schools. (high schools!) An ambitious project and a resounding failure.

And, there was the “Casey Luskin Graduate Award” for promotion of ID and IDEA clubs or some such nonsense. The first recipient of the award was …

… you guessed it: Casey Luskin!

Seriously, folks, you can’t make this stuff up!

The second recipient of the award was probably Hannah Maxson (Cornell ‘07), the president of the short-lived Cornell IDEA club, but not confirmed because the Disco Tute made the award in private to “protect the reputation of the recipient” or something like that. Evil darwinists, doncha know.

The only thing remaining of IDEA today is a fossilized website with mostly dead links that appears to have succumbed in 2009.

Thank you for reminding me of this.

Incidentally, this is not an uncommon pattern -

Buck goes around fundraising, claiming that his start up company or anti-materialist institute or whatever will accomplish something incredible, indeed, almost certainly impossible.

Bubba gives Buck a lot of money to run the foundation.

Buck could just take Bubba’s money and skip town, but he’s a long term investor, so he sets up a foundation and pays himself the big bucks as head honcho. Buck hires Dale, the lowest ranked and lowest paid member of his organization.

Buck never does anything, except sometimes hit up Bubba and other people for money.

Whatever work is actually done is done by Dale, who sweats bullets every day trying to make Buck’s promises to Bubba come true. Of course Dale is trying to accomplish the impossible.

Eventually Bubba says “Hey Buck, it’s been quite a few years now, where’s that gravity reversal machine?”

Buck says “It’s all Dale’s fault that we don’t have one. He was supposed to build the machine. Dale, do you have that machine right now? Didn’t think so, you’re fired. You can’t hold me responsible for Dale’s failings.”

Sometimes Bubba catches on, and sometimes he doesn’t.

I’m not saying that a scenario like this unfolded at the DI, I’m just saying that this kind of scenario unfolds fairly often.

From the IDEA web site - a massive example of “You can’t make this up”.…

“Does one have to be an expert in science, intelligent design or evolution to start an IDEA Club?”

The answer? “NO! Definitely not!”

http://www.ideacenter.org/clubs/start.php

harold said:

From the IDEA web site - a massive example of “You can’t make this up”.…

“Does one have to be an expert in science, intelligent design or evolution to start an IDEA Club?”

The answer? “NO! Definitely not!”

http://www.ideacenter.org/clubs/start.php

But you need to believe in a higher power.…

Michael Fugate said:

harold said:

From the IDEA web site - a massive example of “You can’t make this up”.…

“Does one have to be an expert in science, intelligent design or evolution to start an IDEA Club?”

The answer? “NO! Definitely not!”

http://www.ideacenter.org/clubs/start.php

But you need to believe in a higher power.…

Would that be a big block V8, or would a turbo 6 do? Maybe there’ll be one lying around in an Oklahoma auto wrecking yard after a GW triggered tornado.

harold said:

Dave Wisker said:

One has to sympathize with the DI for a moment– having to pay $100,000 a year to someone whose best known nickname is Attack Gerbil has to be humiliating.

It may not matter and I may never know but I suspect some rearranging of the deck chairs may be going on.

Luskin is a lawyer “with a Masters in geology”.

It’s not uncommon to hire legitimate lawyers with extra training in some field of science for legal disputes about technical things.

His qualifications probably implied, at least to the suckers, that his presence was somehow related to that defining goal of the DI, teaching disguised creationism in public schools.

One thing that never happened in his long and leisurely tenure at the DI was a change in the legal status of sectarian science denial in public schools.

Whether he got sick of making an easy 100K and quit for a more rigorous and ascetic lifestyle, as most here believe, or whether he left with a footprint on his rear end and the gushing is hypocritical PR propaganda, as I’m inclined to suspect, there has been no real replacement for his position yet.

I can’t help feeling some kind of “ten year review since Dover” happened and there was some source of dissatisfaction.

It will be at least interesting to see what comes next.

Will it be a more aggressive offensive on the legal front?

A gradual shift to YEC without pretense of suitability for public school, a la AiG and ICR?

Just a slow and tranquil sail into tacitly conceded irrelevance?

Time will tell.

To me it looks like #1 on their agenda is to protect and preserve that old time religion. They would be happy to see evolution going away.

Michael Fugate said:

harold said:

From the IDEA web site - a massive example of “You can’t make this up”.…

“Does one have to be an expert in science, intelligent design or evolution to start an IDEA Club?”

The answer? “NO! Definitely not!”

http://www.ideacenter.org/clubs/start.php

But you need to believe in a higher power.…

Correct, Michael. The IDEA clubs initially required officers to be Christians. Yeah, it was right there in their bylaws. Any old heathen could join, but only Christians could be officers.

It actually took longer than one might expect for that little gem of discrimination to be noticed by school administrators, but it was and the clause was removed.

Check it out from the Disco Tute manual, How to Do IDEA Klub Good:

4) We also require that club leaders be Christians as the IDEA Center Leadership believes, for religious reasons unrelated to intelligent design theory, that the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible.

Riiiiiiight, for reasons unrelated to rational thought.

4) We also require that club leaders be Christians as the IDEA Center Leadership believes, for religious reasons unrelated to intelligent design theory, that the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible.

And there you have the entire half-assed pseudo-legalistic rationale for the existence of ID and the DI.

The idea that if you call unsupported religious dogma “intelligent designer theory” and claim, while demonstrating the opposite as strongly as possible with every breath you take, that “intelligent design theory” “isn’t religious”, you can trick judges into letting you teach it.

For what it’s worth, I think the idea was always that teachers, principals, and judges would be in on the gag.

The idea was always that if teaching ID could not be legally prevented, it would happen. Political/religious science denial would be the default. The idea of school officials choosing not to teach crap even if it was legal to teach it never entered their minds.

The disturbed nutjob in charge of UD at the time of Dover, Scott something, actually openly stated that he expected Dover to be a victory for ID because Judge Jones was a “conservative Republican appointed by George W. hisself”. Faux folksy language from the original if I recall.

Not because of the merits of ID. Because the judge was a Republican.

It’s because authoritarians can’t understand the abstract principle of “justice”.

They can understand concrete rules, and they can understand tricks.

They thought that if they came up with a really stupid, clumsy, obvious trick to sort of get around the most concrete possible interpretation of Edwards, they had won.

The arrogance and assumption of their position as default is pretty astounding.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on January 1, 2016 12:34 PM.

Dodging Darwin: How Ken Ham’s Ark is slowly embracing evolution was the previous entry in this blog.

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