Discovery Institute | Advancing a culture of purpose, creativity, and ...bla, bla, bla!

"Discovery Institute's mission is to advance a culture of purpose, c..."

I don't think the mission of science is to advance a culture of purpose, but a culture of exploration & discovery. 

"Discovery Institute Still Undermining Science | The Huffington Post

"The Seattle-based Discovery Institute, America’s tiny but loud voice for Intelligent Design, is once again trotting out their thoroughly discredited argument that good science education requires that our public schools 'teach the controversy.

"America’s public schools should present the 'strengths and weaknesses' of evolution, as well as alternative explanations for our origins. They charge that academic freedom demands that teachers be encouraged, or perhaps even required to present both sides of any scientific controversy:

"At Discovery Institute, we advocate teaching the controversy about evolution. That is for several reasons. Students should learn the full range of evidence on evolution. Teaching the controversy aids in developing critical thinking. And it trains students to think like scientists.'

“DI supports “research, sponsors educational (scientific) programs, and production of articles, books, and multimedia content.'

DI's claims are not scientifically based, but dependent on belief in superhuman power.

We are not victims; we have the cognitive ability as well as physical ability to examine situations, to name problems and conflicts, to explore options, to take action, and to evaluate if what we do works or if we need to move to Plan B or rethink the problem from the first step. 

We may have to adjust our goals, given the reality of the problem.  There are things we can do to impact climate change, and it requires worldwide participation to be effective. We may have to come to terms with this being the end of life as we know it and make plans to live as healthy and happy as possible until the end. 

I wonder how the Native Americans dealt with the realization that their pattern of life was ending,   not for the better?  Or the Jews when they understood they were on the way to the gas chambers? Or the Japanese when they boarded the buses taking them to the concentration camps? All these cultures left behind all they worked for, including their property?

I don't benefit by being depressed, afraid, angry, or feeling grief. I do benefit from doing all I can to create the best life possible for my family, friends, the environment, the Earth and me. I also benefit by keeping informed of the real conditions facing me and making the best choices I can to meet my fate, whatever it is.

Given all that grand philosophizing, I am angry!

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I have always found this "teach the controversy " notion to be utterly ridiculous on non-scientific grounds. We all pretty much agree the evolutionary "science" here is specious and politically motivated garbage. As a trained evolutionary biologist I can confidently say that THERE IS NO CONTROVERSY! But beyond that  there  are arguments in general that void any claim to validity for "teaching the controversy". Since the concept is firmly rooted in christian biblical belief to teach ID in the public school system violates the constitutional separation of church and state. Such has been ruled repeatedly by both state and federal supreme courts. Perhaps most important is the fact that their teachings are protected under federal law by the very same freedom of religion concepts and laws that prevent their intrusion into the public school systems. Their churches are quite simply, educational institutions, in and of themselves, that operate 24/7 to spew out their dark age superstitions as "knowledge". Those institutions receive protection of free speech - no one can censor their teachings. They receive physical protection from persecution by law enforcement on tax payer money. They receive uncensored access to public media to broadcast their dogma. Now, as a professor of biology and an active scientist I would love to have such privilege, access to media, monetary support and civic protection as do the "teach the controversy" people who yammer for equal time. To them I would say :"Fine, I also want 24/7 institutions to teach the modern science of evolution to be spread globally and equally as are the churches". 

The argument for equal time is utterly without validity on any grounds. They already have far more than that, they have 24/7 institutions called churches.

PS: I also want equal time, hour for hour,  in the church to teach the science of evolution. Only fair by the "tech the controversy" claim right?

Right.

"THERE IS NO CONTROVERSY!" I agree

Given that religion serves as an education tool that indoctrinates people into a state of fear and self-loathing in order control the masses, how can those who do not believe in supernatural people or events effectively challenge believers? Also, given that peaceful nations fall to demigods and their hoards of followers in the political arena, can one even hope to bring about peaceful change in the religious one? 

Amidst all this, I have a few questions for the Discovery Institute, and none of them are rhetorical:

  • What actual scientific research are you pursuing to verify the hypotheses your organization promotes?
  • What peer-reviewed papers have you published regarding the above-mentioned hypotheses?
  • If you are indeed a scientific organization, why is the statement of faith your website displays necessary?
  • Is the Discovery Institute really doing ANYTHING other than attempting to sully the public's view of science, the scientific method, and specifically evolution science?

At the risk of being preemptive, I'd be willing to bet the answers to these questions are, in order:

  • None
  • None
  • Because we aren't really a scientific research organization
  • No

Alternative answers and/or explanations are herewith solicited.

Excellent questions! I will ask them each and every time someone opens the religion/non-believer conversation with me again. I am not a helpless victim in these events, I have the power of thought and welcome the opportunity to ask them.

Joan, not to be overly discouraging, but I predict that most of your attempts at dialog will end in frustration since you're almost always trying to have a rational conversation with a nonrational nonthinking person whose mind cannot be changed due to years of inculcation and reinforcement. It shocks me sometimes to realize how many intellectually stunted people there are, or if not impaired in some way, at least willfully blind to logic. I'd bet that most of us understand their religion better than they do.

Andrew, I know you are right,  I am "almost always trying to have a rational conversation with a nonrational nonthinking person."

When faced with a challenge, the only way I know to meet it is through reasoning. I know no other way. 

We may have to come to terms with this being the end of life as we know it ...

Regarding climate change, I do agree that Hierarchical Fossil-Fuel based civilization is self-limiting. As I see it we have one chance to reinvent ourselves for sustainability. As long as we're locked into a self image and social order based on competition and domination, corruption and inequality will constantly reemerge. When your self esteem is based on comparison, it's unimaginable to have two-way information flow, which is the only way to keep elites from hiding their crimes. To have two-way communication, in which the most powerful are most scrutinized, people must be egalitarian and tolerant of difference. We won't be able to work together, with honesty and trusted negotiation, to solve global-scale problems without ensuring openness and vulnerability - free from trolls and elite impunity. Alex Jones, and the current administration too, exemplify everything that's holding humanity back from stepping up to that mutual regard and wisdom. Nobody imagines the kind of characters we'll need to become, not that I've seen in the media or literature. It's as if we have to get in touch with our Bonobo-selves instead of our Chimpanzee-selves, to leap out of fossil-fuel dependency.

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