Thursday, February 18, 2016

Time for a New Slogan for the Discovery Institute

I'm not being flippant, but I want to ask a serious question.  Does Astrology equal Astronomy?  Are they two sides of one argument?  Should each be given equal weight when looking at the cosmos?  When Astronomers have a conference, should Astrologers be invited, after all it's only fair, right?

Of course you know my answer, and I hope your answer is the same.  Astrology has offered absolutely nothing in the study of the cosmos and to invite them to an Astronomy conference would be ridiculous!  It might be a bit entertaining, but still bordering on ludicrous!  Any Astronomer who invited them as anything but comic relief would probably get a chilly reception from their professional colleagues, and deservedly so!

So why is the Discovery Institute still so fired up about not being allowed to sponsor a table at the United Methodist Church General Conference?  The UMC has made it quite clear their position on Creationism-lite (aka Intelligent Design) and decided in accordance with that position.  And yet with a multitude of posts and even selecting the UMC as their 'Censor of the Year', the DI keeps whining.  The UMC has answered any question -- Creationism, in any form, hasn't offered anything in the way of science, so it doesn't belong in the science classroom!

What I find most telling is the DI isn't telling us why they should be invited, what would they be able to contribute, or what they have contributed that would add value to their addition to the conference.  The ONLY thing they are claiming is that the UMC should allow them to sponsor a table because, according to the DI,  the UMC's slogan is "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.".  Slogans are apparently very important to them.

Anyone ever see a magician do sleight-of-hand?  That's what we are seeing here.  Rather than telling us things that might actually make a difference, the DI is trying to use an appeal to some artificial level of fairness to force the UMC to change their position.  They are distracting us from their lack of actual contributions to anything that does concern the UMC and focusing us on their other hand with a appeal to something that has nothing to do with why they should be invited, a slogan.

I've said it before, if the KKK or NMBLA wanted to sponsor a table, should the UMC allow it?  I mean should everyone be sleeping better knowing the KKK slogan of

"You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!"(Wikipedia: Ku Klux Klan)
According to the DI they should be permitted, after all "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors", right?

OK, unless something strange happens I am not going to write about this subject, I think it's exhausted.  But I will ask the DI for one simple thing.  Other than the slogan, why should the UMC allow you to sponsor a table?  What can you contribute to their General Conference?  I would like a very specific answer, not some generic piece of fluff about fairness or openness.  What would you contribute?

I guess I do have one final thing to ask, what is the 'slogan' of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture?  The one on your website makes little sense:
"Discovering Intelligent Design
I mean depending on which DI mouthpiece you listen too, ID was 'discovered' in 1991 by Phillip E. Johnson or it was 'discovered' by Anaxagoras, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, well over 2000 years ago. In fact they reiterated that one again just yesterday (Excavating the Intellectual Roots of Intelligent Design).  You don't really have to click on their link, it's just one DI talking head repeating what another DI talking head posted last month.  Depending on whom you read, ID is either very new or very old, it all depends on whether or not they want you to think ID is relatively new and that's why they haven't made any serious headway in the sciences -- or -- that ID is ancient and they don't need to make any actual scientific contributions.  Either way what stands out about ID is that has yet to accomplish anything other than marketing.

As a result I think it's time for a new DI slogan. How about:
"The Discovery Institute: How NOT to do science in the 21st Century"
A possible alternative is a play on the KKK's slogan:
"You can sleep tonight knowing the Discovery Institute is doing absolutely nothing!"
Any other suggestions for the Discovery Institute?  Almost anything has to be better than "Discovering Intelligent Design!", I mean the answer to that one is pretty simple, just look up Creationism in the dictionary and there you are.

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