Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's the Discovery Institute up to...?

What's the Discovery Institute up to...?

Fayetteville Arkansas and the University of Arkansas campus were paid a visit this evening by a member of the Seattle based creationist group, Discovery Institute. ID staffer Casey Luskin almost took us by surprise.

Stumbled upon just by chance, an alert member of NWA-United CoR sounded the alarm.  It was just in the nick of time; only one day before the scheduled film and lecture event, dubed The Positive Case for Intelligent Design and Why It’s Being Expelled From Academia. It would have be on the university's launch pad and ready to soar under the radar at an unassuming student population without challenge if our heads-up atheists hadn't come along. 

The Discovery Institute, one can only guess, has its sights set on rekindling the embers and spreading the word (and the misinformation) for its thinly disguised creation theory, Intelligent Design; the Institute, as measured by the tone of its speaker and his urgency to pitch his version of science, seems hot to make a brand new bid at seeing creationism taught in science classrooms everywhere. (Their dreaming, right?) Judging by this meeting alone, ID appears to be desperately running down a path toward a retrial of the Dover Pennsylvania court decision.  They want it and they want it  NOW.  It appears that ID's heavy hitters, like Casey Luskin, are currently hard at work to set a whole new public stage.  Be on the lookout Freethinkers.  They may be headed for your town next.

The event program, in addition to subjecting audiences to a seat numbing 90+ minute long screening of Ben Stein's video movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," (a film that's been debunked again and again,) Casey Luskin followed up by talking as fast as he could to deliver even more numbing doses of misdirection info mixed with plenty of cold BS in the form of a very, very long long-winded and divisive Powerpoint lecture... And all of that came before Lufsin finally yielded to answer a few audience questions.  And surprise, surprise, surprise... Mr. Luskin's version question-answering is: talk 'em ta death.  For even the most common yes-or-no and either-or type of questions, Luskins launches a new mini-lecture response.  He skips over opportunities to be direct but rants on into entirely new (and typically ten minute-long) rambling explanations; it was brain-numbing on everyone right down to the bone.

But enough... What was good about this surprise visit?  It was this: The small auditorium rented from the University wasn't quite small enough.  Only 54 people (by accurate head count) occupied the 250 seat room at any time throughout the program.  And guess what? Nine of them were good fiends of mine. All members of our community atheist groups.  Additionally, most of the young student types I observed, visited just long enough to quietly and wisely opt for the exit door. Smart!

The bottom line...? Be on the look out.  Creationist wolves are on the prowl and stalking fresh meat on a campus near you.
Addendum:  This little gem of a rebuttal to the film "Expelled" was sent in by Leewood Thomas.  Thanx Leewood.  Read: Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn't Want You to Know...

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