Friday, October 06, 2006

Research Funded by the Discovery Institute

This press release description came courtesy of Yahoo news. It is noteworthy in that the Discovery Institute has been criticized for not supporting research. From the news report:


"Discovery Institute Has Put Over $4 Million Towards Scientific and Academic Research into Evolution and Intelligent Design in the Past Decade
Thursday October 5, 9:00 am ET


SEATTLE, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Institute launched the Center for Science and Culture in 1996, recognizing the need for an institutional home for the emerging scientific theory of intelligent design. Even though the nascent theory of intelligent design was already being discussed by individual scientists around the world, it was not until the Center for Science and Culture was established that scientists were given the resources to research what has become the most exciting scientific story since the Big Bang.

The Center provides funding and support for scientists and scholars whose research challenges various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory and develops the scientific theory known as intelligent design. Saturday, October 21st, the Institute will host a ten year anniversary dinner to honor the achievements of the Center for Science & Culture, along with its Fellows and staff.

"In 1996, it was almost impossible to receive funding to do scientific research related to intelligent design," says Bruce Chapman, President of Discovery Institute. "And, in addition to a lack of funding and resources, it was clear that scientists working on intelligent design were facing more and more persecution and harassment, making it difficult for them to conduct research."

"So we started the Center, and now, just ten years later, we've put over $4 million directly into scientific and scholarly research on intelligent design and evolution."


In the last ten years the CSC has:

-- Supported research and writing by more than 50 scientists and scholars
in the sciences, social sciences and humanities.
-- Supported scientists and philosophers of science working on specific
journal articles, monographs, and books in such areas as biology,
biochemistry, cosmology, physics, probability theory, philosophy of
mind, and philosophy of science.
-- Financially supported a number of scientific and academic conferences,
including the International Symposium on the Origins of Animal Body
Plans in Chengjiang, China, the Nature of Nature conference at Baylor
University, and intelligent design conference at Yale University."

4 Comments:

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Ed Darrell said...

First, note that it's a press release from the Discovery Institute. That you got it as a post from Yahoo doesn't change that. The piece is pure fluffery from Discovery Institute.

Second, the phrasing leaves large loopholes -- large enough to drive a tractor-trailor combination through. It says that the Institute has supported "research and writing." That should not be interpreted to mean scientific research, however. There are no labs at Discovery Institute. To the best of their accounting so far, there is not a shred of evidence that a single dime has been spent on laboratory work. What they mean by "research" is that they pay for Jonathan Wells to go into a library and find material to misquote. Then they support the writing of the misquotes.

I would love to learn differently, but we've seen such stuff from these guys before. I note that no news organization bothered to pick up the release -- a clue that reporters who have been burned by the group before will not be burned again.

Do you seriously think there will be any publications from this "research?" In the Arkansas trial in 1981, creationists argued that they couldn't get a fair shake at the big science journals, or at any science journal. They argued that the reason there were no creationist papers in science journals -- which would have legitimated the stuff -- was because science journals rejected such papers out of hand. Realizing this would be a key point in the case, the judge agreed to allow such articles to be inserted into the court record. But to the invitation to present articles supporting creationism that had been rejected by science journals, no one replied. There was not a single such article.

Still true. Every paper supporting intelligent design that has ever been submitted to science journals has been published -- both of them.

DI's claim that scientists are discriminated against is false. It's been litigated, in 1981, and again in Dover last year. Both times, creationists were unable to support the claim with any credible evidence.

That DI now puts the stuff out in a press release, avoiding even the blase editing of a daily or weekly newspaper, does not make it any more correct. Instead, the method of publication in press release only confirms what we already know: There is no science in ID that any reputable scientist would attest to.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger William Bradford said...

Ed, pointing out the paucity of ID papers is fair game but I would bear in mind the adage "Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it." I believe the shortage of "ID research" is temporary and will be remedied within a short period of time. It was just a few years ago that ID itself was barely a known quantity. Stay tuned.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger luna_the_cat said...

The Discovery Institute was founded in 1990, 16 years ago, and has an annual budget which is frankly the envy of many operational labs. Nevertheless, there is far more peer-reviewed literature in support of cold fusion out there. It frankly is a bit of a lousy record.

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Jim said...

Bradford said:
Ed, pointing out the paucity of ID papers is fair game but I would bear in mind the adage "Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it." I believe the shortage of "ID research" is temporary and will be remedied within a short period of time. It was just a few years ago that ID itself was barely a known quantity. Stay tuned.
Yes. You just wait. It's coming any time now, and then you'll be sorry.

Does anyone else think it strange that Bradford cites a DI press release (what the DI actually spends most of its money on)that trumpets $4 million worth of research, and then laments the paucity of research?

 

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