Sunday, June 13, 2010

What does the Biologic Institute do?

You might remember the Biologic Institute, the lab set up by the Discovery Institute to 'do' the Intelligent Design work that so many critics have been asking for. In the Wedge Document there were three avenues of attack for Phillip E. Johnson's minions at the Discovery Institute. The one avenue -- in fact the ONLY avenue -- that could give the Intelligent Design movement some degree of scientific legitimacy was to actually do the science, to follow the scientific method and support their ideas. For years instead of doing anything on down that avenue, they persisted in marketing and whining. Well in 2005 I guess the criticism finally hit home and they opened their own pet lab and, as I and many others have said, it has been conspicuously silent.

Last week PZ Meyers ran an interesting blog post about what they are actually doing. The end result seems to be . . . not much. Gee, what a surprise. Now what really surprises me is the incredibly minuscule budget they have. I mean $300K for everything including salaries? That would barely purchase one year of services form a decent computer programmer and this is an organization that is doing 'computational biology'? Plus their asset lists only two Mac's. Yet their director pulls in nearly 1/3'rd -- not bad for an organization that is heavy on promise and light on actual results.

Based on their 990 form I do have three questions. Why are they tax-exempt anyway? With how incredibly complex this form is, why did they need to file for an extension? And what do they actually expect to accomplish with three directors and only one research scientist? Actually I think they are living up to expectations.

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