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Discovery Institute

The Discovery Institute (DI) is a politically conservative[4][5][6] non-profit think tank based in Seattle, Washington, that advocates the pseudoscientific concept[7][8][9] of intelligent design (ID). Its "Teach the Controversy" campaign aims to permit teaching of anti-evolution, intelligent-design beliefs in United States public high school science courses in place of accepted scientific theories, positing that a scientific controversy exists over these subjects.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Discovery Institute
Discovery Institute.svg
Founded1990; 29 years ago (1990).[1]
Incorporated in 1991[2]
TypeIRS exemption status: 501(c)(3)
Key people
Steven J. Buri, President
US$4,074,669 (2013)[3]
Expenses$4,981,381 (2013)[3]
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Discovery Institute PressEdit

Discovery Institute Press is the Institute's publishing arm[95] and has published intelligent design books by its fellows including David Berlinski's Deniable Darwin & Other Essays (2010), Jonathan Wells' The Myth of Junk DNA (2011) and an edited volume titled Signature Of Controversy, which contains apologetic works in defense of the Institute's Center for Science and Culture director Stephen C. Meyer.

Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific IntegrityEdit

The Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI), formally registered as PSSI International Inc, is a United States 501(c)(3) nonprofit anti-evolution organization promoting the pseudoscience of intelligent design associated with the Discovery Institute, based in Clearwater, Florida. While in the past, the organization sponsored events promoting intelligent design and fundamentalist Christianity, it is currently largely inactive.[96] The PSSI was established in early 2006 by Rich Akin.[97] Geoffrey Simmons, M.D., Discovery Institute fellow, is one of the Directors of the PSSI.

The PSSI created a public list of medical professionals who dissent from Darwinism. This list is used by the Discovery Institute in its anti-evolution campaigns. The list is used in support of the Discovery Institute claims that intelligent design is scientifically valid while asserting that evolution lacks broad scientific support.[98]

The PSSI, which was active between 2006 - 2008, held a "Doctors Doubting Darwin" rally at the University of South Florida's Sun Dome in September 2006. Attendance was estimated at 3,500 to 4,000 people by a local reporter.[99] Apologetic organizations promoting the event had hoped to fill all 7,700 seats in the Sun Dome.[100][101] This meeting featured the Discovery Institute's Jonathan Wells and fellow Michael Behe, and received local radio coverage. This rally was opposed by the Florida Citizens for Science organization.[102][103]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Media Backgrounder: Intelligent Design Article Sparks Controversy". Center for Science and Culture. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. September 7, 2004. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  2. ^ "Form 990 for DISCOVERY INSTITUTE (91-1521697) for 12/2010" (PDF). Bulk.Resource.Org. Sebastopol, CA: Public.Resource.Org. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Charity Navigator Rating - Discovery Institute". Charity Navigator. Glen Rock, NJ: Charity Navigator. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Wilgoren, Jodi (August 21, 2005). "Politicized Scholars Put Evolution on the Defensive". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  5. ^ "Intelligent Design: Creationism's Trojan Horse - A Conversation With Barbara Forrest". Church & State (Unabridged interview). Washington, D.C.: Americans United for Separation of Church and State. February 2005. ISSN 2163-3746. Retrieved May 27, 2014. Patricia O'Connell Killen, a religion professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma whose work centers around the regional religious identity of the Pacific Northwest, recently wrote that 'religiously inspired think tanks such as the conservative evangelical Discovery Institute' are part of the 'religious landscape' of that area.
  6. ^ Jones, Thomas (November 1, 2001). "Short Cuts". London Review of Books. 23 (21): 22. ISSN 0260-9592. Retrieved June 24, 2010. The Discovery Institute is a conservative Christian think-tank – although some of its fellows are quick to deny they are either of those things...
  7. ^ Boudry, Maarten; Blancke, Stefaan; Braeckman, Johan (December 2010). "Irreducible Incoherence and Intelligent Design: A Look into the Conceptual Toolbox of a Pseudoscience" (PDF). The Quarterly Review of Biology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 85 (4): 473–482. doi:10.1086/656904. hdl:1854/LU-952482. PMID 21243965. Article available from Universiteit Gent
  8. ^ Pigliucci 2010
  9. ^ Young & Edis 2004 pp. 195-196, Section heading: But is it Pseudoscience?
  10. ^ Forrest, Barbara (May 2007). "Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement: Its True Nature and Goals" (PDF). Center for Inquiry. Washington, D.C.: Center for Inquiry. Retrieved August 6, 2007.
  11. ^ a b "Small Group Wields Major Influence in Intelligent Design Debate". World News Tonight. New York: American Broadcasting Company. November 9, 2005. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c Mooney, Chris (December 2002). "Survival of the Slickest". The American Prospect. Washington, D.C. 13 (22). Retrieved July 23, 2008. ID's home base is the Center for Science and Culture at Seattle's conservative Discovery Institute. Meyer directs the center; former Reagan adviser Bruce Chapman heads the larger institute, with input from the Christian supply-sider and former American Spectator owner George Gilder (also a Discovery senior fellow). From this perch, the ID crowd has pushed a 'teach the controversy' approach to evolution that closely influenced the Ohio State Board of Education's recently proposed science standards, which would require students to learn how scientists 'continue to investigate and critically analyze' aspects of Darwin's theory.
  13. ^ Dembski, William A. (2001). "Teaching Intelligent Design: What Happened When?". Access Research Network. Colorado Springs, CO. Retrieved May 5, 2014. The clarion call of the intelligent design movement is to 'teach the controversy.' There is a very real controversy centering on how properly to account for biological complexity (cf. the ongoing events in Kansas), and it is a scientific controversy.
  14. ^ Matzke, Nick (July 11, 2006). "No one here but us Critical Analysis-ists…". The Panda's Thumb (Blog). Houston, TX: The TalkOrigins Foundation, Inc. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2014. Nick Matzke's analysis shows how teaching the controversy using the Critical Analysis of Evolution model lesson plan is a means of teaching all the intelligent design arguments without using the intelligent design label.
  15. ^ "Mississippi Legislators Should Drop Academic Freedom Bill or Make Clear It Doesn't Permit Creationism". Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "The Theory of Evolution: Educator's Briefing Packet". The Discovery Institute: Center for Science & Culture. pp. 5–6. Retrieved February 19, 2016. "Has ID Been Banned from Public Schools? No. Science teachers have the right to teach science. Since ID is a legitimate scientific theory, it should be constitutional to discuss in science classrooms and it should not be banned from schools. If a science teacher wants to voluntarily discuss ID, she should have the academic freedom to do so."
  17. ^ "Discovery Institute: A Brief History" (PDF). Center for Science and Culture. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  18. ^ a b Forrest, Barbara; Branch, Glenn (January–February 2005). "Wedging Creationism into the Academy". Academe. Washington, D.C.: American Association of University Professors. 91 (1): 36–41. doi:10.2307/40252735. ISSN 0190-2946. Archived from the original on July 29, 2007. Retrieved August 27, 2007.
  19. ^ "Contact". Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  20. ^ "Board of Directors". Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  21. ^ "Fellows". Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  22. ^ Forrest 2001, "The Wedge at Work: How Intelligent Design Creationism Is Wedging Its Way into the Cultural and Academic Mainstream"
  23. ^ Gishlick, Alan; Matzke, Nick; Elsberry, Wesley R. (September 12, 2004). "Meyer's Hopeless Monster". Talk Reason. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  24. ^ McDonald, R. Robin; Bluestein, Greg (November 12, 2004). "Scientists Defend School Board's Use of Evolution Disclaimer Sticker". Fulton County Daily Report. New York: ALM Media Properties, LLC. Retrieved May 5, 2014. Calling evolution "a theory in crisis," more than two-dozen scientists signed an amicus brief by written by Seth L. Cooper of the Discovery Institute and George M. Weaver and Kevin T. McMurry of Hollberg & Weaver.
  25. ^ Chapman, Bruce (September 21, 2003). "How Should Schools Teach Evolution?". The Dallas Morning News. Dallas, TX: A. H. Belo. Retrieved May 5, 2014. Darwinism is a theory in crisis. — Bruce Chapman, Discovery Institute co-founder
  26. ^ West, John G. (August 8, 2003). "Institute Supports Accurate Science". San Angelo Standard-Times. Cincinnati, OH. Retrieved May 5, 2014. Such closed-minded dogmatism is the opposite of good science, and it shouldn't be allowed to dictate what Texas students learn about biology. — John G. West, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow
  27. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). Disclaimer, p. 49. "In summary, the disclaimer singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource, and instructs students to forego scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere."
  28. ^ Witt, Jonathan (March 2006). "Nature's Book Shelved". Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. Chicago, IL: Fellowship of St. James. 19 (2). ISSN 0897-327X. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  29. ^ a b c d Biever, Celeste (December 15, 2006). "Intelligent design: The God Lab". New Scientist. London (2582): 8–11. ISSN 0262-4079. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  30. ^ Chapman, Bruce (October 2, 2006). "The State of Scientific Research on Intelligent Design". Evolution News & Views. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  31. ^ Nelson, Paul (August 3, 2006). "From A Senior Scientist Observing the ID Debate". Intelligent Design the Future. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Archived from the original on August 5, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  32. ^ Myers, PZ (February 15, 2007). "Happy Intelligent Design Day!". Pharyngula (Blog). ScienceBlogs LLC. Archived from the original on October 18, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  33. ^ Schönborn, Christoph (July 7, 2005). "Finding Design in Nature". The New York Times (op-ed). Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  34. ^ Dean, Cornelia; Goodstein, Laurie (July 9, 2005). "Leading Cardinal Redefines Church's View on Evolution". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  35. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). Curriculum, Conclusion, p. 136.
  36. ^ a b Saletan, William (December 21, 2005). "Is Creationism Destructible?". Slate. Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  37. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). Whether ID Is Science, p. 89. "ID's backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard."
  38. ^ a b Annas, George J. (May 25, 2006). "Intelligent Judging — Evolution in the Classroom and the Courtroom". The New England Journal of Medicine. Waltham, MA: Massachusetts Medical Society. 354 (21): 2277–2281. doi:10.1056/NEJMlim055660. ISSN 0028-4793. PMID 16723620. Retrieved May 5, 2014. That this controversy is one largely manufactured by the proponents of creationism and intelligent design may not matter, and as long as the controversy is taught in classes on current affairs, politics, or religion, and not in science classes, neither scientists nor citizens should be concerned.
  39. ^ "Statement on the Teaching of Evolution" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science. February 16, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 21, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2014. Some bills seek to discredit evolution by emphasizing so-called 'flaws' in the theory of evolution or 'disagreements' within the scientific community. Others insist that teachers have absolute freedom within their classrooms and cannot be disciplined for teaching non-scientific 'alternatives' to evolution. A number of bills require that students be taught to 'critically analyze' evolution or to understand 'the controversy.' But there is no significant controversy within the scientific community about the validity of the theory of evolution. The current controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution is not a scientific one.
  40. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). Curriculum, Conclusion, p. 131.
  41. ^ Luskin, Casey (September 8, 2006). "Response to Barbara Forrest's Kitzmiller Account Part IV: The 'Wedge Document'". Evolution News & Views. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  42. ^ "The Wedge" (PDF). Seattle, WA: Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture. 1999. Retrieved May 5, 2014. ...If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a 'wedge' that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. ... Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.
    • "The 'Wedge Document': 'So What?'" (PDF). Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. 2003. Retrieved May 5, 2014. The Institute's response to the leaking of the Wedge strategy raises the same objection to the materialistic worldview: "We think the materialist world-view that has dominated Western intellectual life since the 19th century is false and we want to refute it. We further want to reverse the influence of such materialistic thinking on our culture."
  43. ^ Tapper, Jake (February 22, 2007). "McCain Speech Tied to Intelligent Design Group Draws Fire". ABC News. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  44. ^ "About the Cascadia Center". The Cascadia Center. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  45. ^ Pryne, Eric (October 30, 2003). "Transportation package: What will voters support?". The Seattle Times. Seattle, WA. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  46. ^ Murakami, Kery (June 30, 2003). "Private firms seek support to run ferries". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. New York. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  47. ^ "U.S. Senators and Congressmen to Address Homeland Security, Alternative Energy at Cascadia Conference" (Press release). Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. May 24, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  48. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (August 26, 2005). "Intelligent donation?". Salon. San Francisco, CA. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  49. ^ "disco-tech". Technology & Democracy Project (Blog). Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  50. ^ "Real Russia Project". Real Russia Project. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  51. ^ "Past Event: How Do Western Stereotypes Harm U.S.-Russia Relations?". Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. October 11, 2006. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  52. ^ "The Lewis Legacy Online". The Lewis Legacy Online. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  53. ^ "C.S. Lewis Writings in the Public Domain". The Lewis Legacy Online. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  54. ^ Benen, Steve (May 2002). "The Discovery Institute". Church & State. Washington, D.C.: Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ISSN 2163-3746. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  55. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). Context, p. 29.
  56. ^ a b c "The Wedge" (PDF). Seattle, WA: Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture. 1999. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  57. ^ Kruglinski, Susan (December 22, 2005). "Intelligent Decision". Discover. Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing. ISSN 0274-7529. Archived from the original on September 21, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  58. ^ Elsberry, Wesley R. "Beyond the 'Wedge': Intelligent Design, Science, and Culture" (Microsoft PowerPoint). Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  59. ^ Kippley-Ogman, Emma. "Judaism & Intelligent Design". New York: Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2010. But there are also Jewish voices in the intelligent design camp. David Klinghoffer, a Discovery Institute fellow, is an ardent advocate of intelligent design. In an article in The Forward (August 12, 2005), he claimed that Jewish thinkers have largely ignored intelligent design and contended that Jews, along with Christians, should adopt the theory because beliefs in God and in natural selection are fundamentally opposed.
  60. ^ Phy-Olsen 2010, p. 73: "Possibly the most intriguing personality associated with the Discovery Institute is senior fellow David Berlinkski. He is not a Christian and sometimes even identifies himself as 'a Jewish agnostic.' In an interview, he has admitted: 'I have no religious convictions and no religious beliefs. What I do believe is that theology is no more an impossible achievement than mathematics.'"
  61. ^ Shapiro, Nina (April 18, 2001). "The New Creationists". Seattle Weekly. Phoenix, AZ: Village Voice Media. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  62. ^ Scigliano, Eric (March 2006). "The Evolution of Bruce Chapman". Seattle Metropolitan. Seattle, WA: SagaCity Media Inc. ISSN 1931-2792.
  63. ^ a b Blumenthal, Max (January 6, 2004). "Avenging angel of the religious right". Salon. San Francisco, CA. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  64. ^ a b Davis & Kenyon 1993 (1st (1989) & 2nd ed); Dembski & Wells 2008 (3rd ed, under the title The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems)
  65. ^ Flack, Lenny (2006). "The Birth of Intelligent Design Theory". Creation 'Science' Debunked. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  66. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). Context, p. 31–33.
  67. ^ "Cdesign Proponentsists". National Center for Science Education (Blog). Berkeley, CA: National Center for Science Education. September 25, 2008. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  68. ^ Johnstone, Gary (Director); McMaster, Joseph (Director) (November 13, 2007). "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial". Nova. Season 35. PBS. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  69. ^ "Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated)". Center for Science and Culture. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. February 1, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  70. ^ Isaak, Mark (ed.). "CI001.4: Intelligent Design and peer review". TalkOrigins Archive. Houston, TX: The TalkOrigins Foundation, Inc. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  71. ^ Rosenhouse, Jason (January 2003). "Leaders and Followers in the Intelligent-Design Movement". BioScience. Washington, D.C.: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. 53 (1): 6–7. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2003)053[0006:LAFITI]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0006-3568. Retrieved May 5, 2014. ID supporters present fallacious arguments, use dishonest rhetoric, and often present non-contemptuous responses as evidence that their theories are gaining acceptance.
  72. ^ Drum, Kevin (March 24, 2004). "Intelligent Design". Political Animal (Blog). Washington, D.C. ISSN 0043-0633. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  73. ^ "Who's Who in the UK creationist movements: Intelligent Design Advocates in Academia". British Centre for Science Education. Retrieved May 5, 2014. The proponents of Intelligent Design (and creationism) are notorious for claiming support from scientists when no such support exists.
  74. ^ Flynn, Michael (September 8, 2005). "The Glue that Binds the Movement". IRC Right Web. Silver City, NM: International Relations Center. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  75. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 04 cv 2688 (December 20, 2005). Whether ID Is Science.
  76. ^ Goldberg, Michelle (June 1, 2006). "Michelle Goldberg's Gone To the MegaChurch and She Found Christian Nationalism There". (Interview). Interviewed by Mark Karlin. Sacramento, CA. Archived from the original on June 12, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
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  81. ^ Smith, Anika (February 28, 2007). "UncommonDescent and Report: New York Times Falsely Claimed ID Theorists Failed to Respond to Call for Research Proposals". Evolution News & Views. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
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  86. ^ West, John G.; DeWolf, David K. (December 12, 2006). "A Comparison of Judge Jones' Opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover with Plaintiffs' 'Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law'" (PDF). Center for Science and Culture. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  87. ^ Lee, Rick (December 13, 2006). "Judges' wording often borrowed". York Daily Record. Denver, CO. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
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  100. ^ Recent Events Archive: Apologetics Events in the U.S. and Beyond,
  101. ^ September 23, 2006 - News, Texans for Better Science Education Newsletter, Sept 23, 2006.
  102. ^ Florida Citizens for Science official webpage
  103. ^ Doomed in the Dome, Red State Rabble blog, September 28, 2006.


External linksEdit