Discovery Institute: More Propaganda Misuse of “Academic Freedom”

The Discovery Institute, who told everybody for years that they should “wedge” “intelligent design” creationism into the public schools (and even went so far as repeatedly suggesting that various administrators and officials “follow the law” when referring to the vestiges of the failed Santorum Amendment buried in the “No Child Left Behind” conference report), are hard at work to get most of the very same arguments into the public schools. The new effort promotes a misused label of “academic freedom”; see for yourself at

The website design utilizes a pop-art retro cartoon look, and features a snippet from Charles Darwin:

“A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”

Of course, the DI doesn’t take note of the context. I’ve discussed this before.

And an antievolution site without a quote-mine of Darwin would be incomplete, so obviously Gornoski’s site dishes it up in the header of his theme. Darwin’s message was that his book was too short to collect all of the opposing arguments, too, not that he would be seeking that fair result. In our modern situation, the clear message is that science classes have too little time to spend on teaching students both science and anti-science as if they were the same thing. Evolutionary science has passed muster through rigorous test and scrutiny; the “weaknesses” that the DI promotes are just the same old discredited tosh that has been seen from religiously motivated antievolutionists for decades and centuries. Evolutionary science is accountable through the record of hard work of scientists seen in the scientific literature, and antievolutionary drivel is not.

As an example of just how mendacious our merry band of antievolutionists from Seattle are, check out their page on the site concerning online resources. Do they take the quoted snippet in the way they want others to take it? Of course not. Every single link is to credulous “intelligent design” creationism or other religiously-motivated antievolution advocacy, and none whatever to criticisms of their arguments, though many such sites are available.

Note also that many of the resources are explicitly about “intelligent design” creationism advocacy. The Discovery Institute has been steadily denying that they were advocating IDC to various and sundry boards of education and the like; it’s good to see such clear proof from them directly that they were lying when they made those denials. METHINKS IT IS LIKE A CONFESSION.

Hat tip to Greg Laden.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

7 thoughts on “Discovery Institute: More Propaganda Misuse of “Academic Freedom”

  • 2009/01/11 at 3:14 pm

    What I don’t understand is why the ID proponents on these sites never mention “Chariot of the Gods,” which is that other theory of intelligent design. It involves alien designers and is non-religious. It even undermines traditional religion. (Never mind, I think I do understand.)

  • 2009/01/12 at 2:09 pm

    Karen S.

    The actual title was Chariot of the Gods? The question mark makes all the difference. Whenever Von Daniken was really cornered, he’d apparently point to that question mark as absolving him of all sins, since he was only asking a question, not making a statement. The ID community could learn from him.

  • 2009/01/13 at 1:37 am

    Intelligent design is not creationism. They advocate “intelligent agents” working over the same amount of time that evolution claims to have worked, not God. Secondly, Texas science standards had “strengths and weakness” language for years, yet no ID was being taught.

    As far as evolution passing the test…There is not one viable hypothesis that can be tested for proposed mechanisms. That is flunking the test in my book.

  • 2009/01/13 at 9:44 am

    Wow… that’s a bunch of whoppers, Michael.

    “Intelligent design” is a label for a subset of arguments from the ensemble previously called “creation science”, which was a subset of the arguments previously called “creationism”. It certainly is creationism, and this was demonstrated vividly in the courtroom back in 2005. Of course you have to dispute that statement; we understand that if you admit to it being creationism you can’t have another chance at court.

    Also from the 2005 case, the IDC advocates on the stand tried the “it is not necessarily God” tactic and got … nowhere. As someone noted, the “designer” is merely someone with the ability to create universes and set their operational parameters as part of their skillset.

    You weren’t paying attention… Texas hasn’t been sued over teaching religious antievolution in that time. That says nothing about what has been taught.

    It appears that you are also wholly ignorant of the scientific literature on evolutionary science. I’d recommend Futuyma’s intro textbook as a starting place.

  • 2010/06/08 at 10:12 am

    Micheal sez …

    “Intelligent design is not creationism.”

    I have a question Micheal, is(are) the Designer(s) creator(s) ?

    Do the claims of “nudging things along” “somehow” and in “someway” imply they are not responsible for performing actual “creation(s) of anything” ?

    If not, and these as yet completely unidentified “Designer(s)” have indeed created things, shouldn’t we then teach kids about these “creator(s)” and it’s(their) creation(s)?

    I’m having trouble trying to come up with a name for these studies, if you have any ideas please do let me know. We need something “catchy”.

  • 2010/06/08 at 10:37 am


    I just realized, after I had commented, that this article is over a year old.

    Way to go Snicker, lol.

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