The ideologues at the anti-evolution Discovery Institute put a lot of time and resources into pushing an agenda that would undermine the education of children across the country. Then they portray themselves and like-minded activists as somehow persecuted for doing so. They’re really shameless. Case in point: check out the editorial cartoon and quote from the Renaissance Era scientist and philosopher Galileo the Seattle-based organization tweeted on Friday:

The Discovery Institute, which promotes “intelligent design”/creationism as an alternative to evolution, and other creationists insist that the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution is flawed. In fact, they argue, the evidence will one day show they’re right — if only scientists will stop persecuting them for trying to find that evidence. We heard those arguments repeatedly during the debate over new science curriculum standards and textbooks in Texas. So the Institute’s use of the out-of-context quote from Galileo is hardly a surprise. That kind of “argument” is really all they’ve got.

But the portrayal of Galileo being criticized — like, supposedly, supporters of creationism today — neglects to tell the whole story. (Imagine that.) Galileo was indeed persecuted, especially for his insistence that Earth revolves around the sun instead of… Read More

Have they finally stopped pretending otherwise? Leaders in the “intelligent design”/creationism movement are promoting a Texas conference next month that explicitly ties “intelligent design” to “essential Christian doctrines.”

Supporters of “intelligent design” — or ID, the deceptive, pseudo-scientific “alternative” to evolutionary science — have long insisted that they aren’t promoting a religious concept like straight-up creationism. The “designer” responsible for life as we see it today, they say, isn’t necessarily God. Of course, their arguments have fooled no one: ID is creationism dressed up in a lab coat. That’s why a Republican-appointed federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover decision that “intelligent design” isn’t science and that teaching it in public school science classrooms is government promotion of religion.

So it was interesting to see how ID proponents are pitching a March 14-15 conference at Faith Bible Church in The Woodlands north of Houston. From the event’s webpage, see how proponents equate “essential Christian doctrines” with “design in nature” (intelligent design):

“Are science and Christian faith friends or enemies? Do advances in cosmology, biochemistry, paleontology, and genetics undermine essential Christian doctrines, or is there in fact compelling… Read More

On Tuesday morning, the Seattle-based Discovery Institute mourned the failure to undermine the teaching of evolution in new science textbooks for Texas public schools. But that declaration of defeat actually has come days before the State Board of Education‘s scheduled final vote Friday on whether to adopt those new textbooks.

We’re not ready to declare the fight over — during TFN’s 19-year history of monitoring the state board, we’ve seen board members pressure publishers into making last-minute changes to their textbooks numerous times. But it’s encouraging to see the Discovery Institute, the institutional home of the “intelligent design”/creationism movement, ready to throw in the towel. (It’s even more satisfying because the Discovery Institute hasn’t even bothered to show up for the debate this year. Are they declaring defeat based on our reporting or on what they’re hearing from creationists like board Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands?)

In a misleading blog post on Tuesday, the organization claims that the state board “looks set to approve science textbooks this week that fail to comply with state science standards requiring students to ‘analyze and evaluate’ core evolutionary claims.” The post quotes Stephen Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for… Read More

The Texas Freedom Network’s defense of sound science education was featured this weekend in a New York Times piece about the State Board of Education’s adoption of new biology textbooks — and, no surprise, anti-science pressure groups are hopping mad about it.

Check out this rant from the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based organization that promotes the anti-evolution nonsense called “intelligent design” (essentially creationism dressed up in a lab coat):

Regardless of whether one thinks there is a genuine debate in the scientific community over Darwinian theory, there most definitely is a political and educational debate in Texas over how evolution should be covered in science textbooks. If the Times still wants to be considered an impartial news source, its reporters ought to fairly represent the different sides of that public debate, not suppress the viewpoints they disagree with.

In the first place, contrary to the Discovery Institute’s suggestion, the debate over the teaching of evolution is political, not educational. An educational debate would focus on which details about evolution students should master so that they can understand what mainstream science says. In contrast, the debate right now is largely over whether anti-science politicians and other fanatics should… Read More

As the Texas State Board of Education prepares to adopt new science textbooks for public schools this year, we expect to see plenty of junk science thrown around by evolution deniers. And among the most prominent evolution deniers are the folks at the Discovery Institute — the Seattle-based outfit that promotes the concept of “intelligent design.”

For those who don’t already know, “intelligent design” proponents suggest that life as we know it is far too complex to have developed without the guidance of an “intelligent designer.” In 2005 a federal judge in Pennsylvania, after an exhaustive accounting of the evidence, wrote in Kitzmiller v. Dover that “the writings of leading [‘intelligent design’] proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity.” He even noted how proponents in the 1980s had simply replaced “creation” with “intelligent design” in written materials in light of court rulings that it was an unconstitutional promotion of religion for public schools to teach creationism as science. He wrote:

“The overwhelming evidence at trial established that [‘intelligent design’] is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.”

Well, that kind of talk makes… Read More