ID and public education

Astonished and Amused by Lamoureux’s (Mis)Take on Intelligent Design
Ann Gauger, June 13, 2018

[4] Discovery Institute does not advocate teaching ID in public schools.

“On this topic I see severe problems with Denis Lamoureux’s analysis… Discovery Institute has a long public history of opposing the teaching of intelligent design in public schools that predates the Dover trial — see [here] for a review. Articles written at the time of the Dover trial in 2005 and before show that Discovery Institute opposed the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, recommending to the Dover school board that they abandon their project.”

Wow… what a relief… they are OPPOSED to teaching Intelligent Design in schools!!!

To further clarify, Dr. Gauger summarizes what Discovery Institute does want ‘teached’ (grammar police take notice - this is my interpretation ;-D ):

“Discovery Institute has advocated teaching the arguments for and against evolution, making it possible for students to evaluate the evidence for themselves.”

Oh my goodness… does Discovery Institute actually think this is going to fly?

Do they understand that should the day ever come when EITHER of these approaches is allowed in school, “Temples of Satan” will be right there at the door of the Supreme Court … demanding equal treatment under the non-establishment clause - - so that Satanism can be taught the very next week after they are done “letting students decide” about Intelligent Design (last week).

If anyone has ever wondered what the phrase “a distinction without a difference” actually means, one could go to the internet and look up the definition:

“A distinction without a difference is a type of logical fallacy where an author or speaker attempts to describe a distinction between two things where no discernible difference exists. It is particularly used when a word or phrase has connotations associated with it that one party to an argument prefers to avoid.”

Or, one could just re-read Dr. Gauger’s gem of a statement made just this Wednesday! (June 13, 2018):

“Discovery Institute has a long public history of opposing the teaching of intelligent design in public schools… [instead] … [it] has advocated teaching the arguments for and against evolution, making it possible for students to evaluate the evidence for themselves.”

I strongly doubt that the Discovery Institute has any plans to withhold their I.D. literature “arguing against Evolution” should this DIFFERENT approach ever be adopted. If they have no plans to withhold this literature
then what they propose is exactly the same as what they have long opposed.

And such is Intelligent Design in today’s America …

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I would love to read @agauger explain the Wedge Document and how it addresses the long history of the Discovery Institute as it opposes (tongue planted firmly in cheek) the teaching of ID in public schools.


Was that statement intentional irony? I’m not sure about DI, or Dr. Gauger, but I can imagine those who stand opposed to grammatical evolution are strategizing about desperate last stands.

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It was intentional irony…to reveal intentional deception! Adding them now.
But I did forget the quotes… you have a very cynical mind!

I, for one, am wondering why somebody representing the ID side in Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District look so much like Michael Behe.

And then there was 2005 Kansas school board hearings on evolution.

Trailer: Kansas vs Darwin
The whole documentary was excellent.

And is anybody interested in the debate at the museum? It’s an eye-opener.

You are wondering? Did you forget to use your Sardonic Font again?

To more fully provide relevant details, the Discovery Institute had originally advised the School board to choose a different approach. But God works in mysterious ways! The pro-I.D. camp insisted on pressing on and pro-I.D. folks rallied to help as best they could.

To everyone’s surprise, the next election unseated all of the sitting Pro-I.D. folks… thus eliminating virtually any attempt to push the case up to higher courts. The only body that had standing was now thoroughly run and operated by people who had been elected to avoid any further efforts to pursue pro-I.D. goals.


Witnesses for the defense
October 17–19
Michael Behe was the first witness for the defense. Behe is professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and a leading intelligent design proponent who coined the term irreducible complexity and set out the idea in his book Darwin’s Black Box.[26 Darwin's Black Box - Wikipedia ]

As a primary witness for the defense, Behe was asked to support the idea that intelligent design was legitimate science. Behe’s critics have pointed to a number of key exchanges under cross examination, where he conceded that, “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.”[27]

In response to a question about astrology he explained: “Under my definition, a scientific theory is a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences. There are many things throughout the history of science which we now think to be incorrect which nonetheless… would fit that definition. Yes, astrology is in fact one, and so is the ether theory of the propagation of light, and… many other theories as well.”[28]

His simulation modelling of evolution with David Snoke described in a 2004 paper had been listed by the Discovery Institute amongst claimed “Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design”,[29] but under oath he accepted that it showed that the biochemical systems it described could evolve within 20,000 years, even if the parameters of the simulation were rigged to make that outcome as unlikely as possible.[30][31]

Further information: Michael Behe § Dover testimony
[ Michael Behe - Wikipedia ]

One thing Gauger does not address is that Meyer et al’s book is titled Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical and Theological Critique. The Discovery Institute claims to be a scientific institution so the philosophical and theological critiques are out of bounds. By publishing this book the Discovery Institute surrendered all claim to being scientific

The essence of the much of this heat is that the ID movement is changing. Michael Behe’s original book accepted evolution of multicellural life, now the blogs moderated by Discovery Institute speak more like YEC people without any moderator comment, ie with tacit approval. Further, onj the Discovery Institute web site there are now topics on Economics, Technology and Human Exceptionalism which from the subtitles are value laden topics. The ID material seems to be similar to previous versions.

Gauger admits a diversity of opinion in ID adherents. This also makes it easier to claim misunderstanding


With respect to value advocacy Discovery Institutes Facebook page is i clearer. fFor example

Discovery Institute
12 hrs ·
Happy launch in Seattle of Bruce Chapman’s book, “Politicians: The Worst Kind of People to Run the Government, Except for All the Others”. Next party in Washington, DC, Monday, June 25, 6 p.m. at the University Club. Register online at:

And we can also look forward to the followup books in the series:

“Scientists: The Worst Kind of People to Run Science, Except for All the Others”
“Educators: The Worst Kind of People to Run Schools, Except for All the Others”
“Auto Mechanics: The Worst Kind of People to Work on Your Car, Except for All the Others”

okay … yes. I am now guilty of judging a book by its cover.

[Added edit: A note from Eddie informs me that Bruce Chapman’s book does not live up to my hasty caricature. And indeed as I re-read the title, I realize with some dismay that, in “judging a book by its title”, --I didn’t even do a good job of that! Re-reading the second part of that title with a bit more care, I guess the least I could do is not prematurely condemn such a work on that alone! Others here may know more about him and his DI associations. But as long as he doesn’t go completely “anti-expert” on everything, I’m willing to suspend judgment, and repent of my hasty mockery above. --with apologies to you who already ‘liked’ this post in its former state.]


It does have a lack of originality. I hope he can type better than me.

Myers: "By publishing this book the Discovery Institute …"

So it is interesting that the Discovery Institute moniker is nowhere to be found in the book “Theistic Evolution …”. So that must mean that Discovery Institute CAN claim to publish on science. Since they had no part in its publication.

Also it would be great if contributor could specify the “blogs moderated by Discovery Institute”, if by “moderated” the contributor means forums where yours truly can post. Those URL’s would be really helpful.


In reply to ‘So it is interesting that the Discovery Institute moniker is nowhere to be found in the book “Theistic Evolution’

The blogs that I saw ,now a few weeks ago were on the following.

for which there is the corresponding web site

These are companion sites to the following

If you look at the headings and the ‘about’ pages, the Institute for Science and Culture is a subset of the Discovery Institute

Technically, if the authors do not name the Discovery Institute (DI) they can claim the Theistic Evolution book is separate from the DI and that this is another interest they pursue on weekends. It strains credulity given the coincident group of authors. Further, the response by Ann Gauger, referenced above and another article in Evolution News On Hominid Fossils and Universal Common Ancestry, Denis Lamoureux Distorts | Evolution News indicate some ownership of the discussion. if it were truly a product of another interest (i.e moonlighting) there would be some comment that this is a discussion more appropriate for a different forum between the authors and Lamoureax; there is none. Looking particularly at the DI website, the DI has interests that are, in the broadest sense and with no intent to disparage, political. The other interests may or may not be good, but they are not science. To a lesser and more ambiguous degree the the Center for Science and Culture websites follow this.


I wish I saw it earlier: On the Discovery Institute ‘scroll through’ page I found this
Theistic Evolution | Discovery Institute Store

The Discovery Institute is selling the book . This is the ‘smoking gun’

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Maybe contributor didn’t get the meanings by yours truly. Contributor claimed DI published said book. Yours truly pointed out the falsehood. Contributor comes back with something called “smoking gun” instead of admitting his falsehood, or showing how “smoking gun” applies to the science or philosophical debate.

Yours truly asked for the “the blogs moderated by Discovery Institute” declared by contributor. Where he might post to forums. ‘Moderated’ has a meaning in the internet age of there being a moderator who polices posts from registered users. Contributor, instead of admitting the falsehood of his claim that the DI maintains “moderated” “blogs”, obfuscates by supplying URL’s which do not support registered users.

Contributor also, by not knowing of the publisher of the book, indicates that he is probably ignorant of its contents. And further, since the book is heavily concerned with the philosophy of science, contributor indicates that the book’s topic is to be ridiculed, not being a book exclusively concerned with scientific research. And so it is instead a “smoking gun” , a useless slang applied to scientific debate, except where pointing out the coverup of falsehoods. One of the editors of the book has a Ph.D in the philosophy of science, and the virtual totality of the contributors to the book have Ph.D’s in the sciences and engineering; and additionally are skilled in the philosophy of science discourse appropriate to the topic and the requisite application of logic to the debate.

And so what we see is contributor who has probably not seen the book slamming it over the authors and who they are. And who is selling it.

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Well here you go, see if this “flies” in your ideal classroom. I, like you and everyone else who went to high school biology, knows the core RM/NS principle of Darwinian theory is an absolute necessity for the theory to hold together. Suppose a somewhat astute kid asks the teacher, “what exactly is a random mutation?”. Teacher replies, “for a mutation to happen as part of a mutation sequence to generate novel form or function AND be random, it would be statistically independent of all others in the sequence.”. So student asks “what does it mean to be statistically independent?” Teacher says “to be independent, it would be empirically shown to happen with invariant probability regardless of whether any, or preferably all other of the mutations had happened and regardless of the order in which they occured.” Student: “Has this been empirically shown for sequences of mutations, in many cases in the history of evolutionary biology?”

OK you guys are the teacher so have at it.

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You must be joking. I was a teacher. The fact that you’ve eaten in a restaurant doesn’t qualify you to write the menu and give instructions to the chef. The Discovery Institute’s Science Education Policy advocates “a curriculum that aims to provide students with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinian and chemical evolutionary theories (rather than teaching an alternative theory, such as intelligent design).” Colloquially, this is known as “teach the controversy.” The institute holds up Texas, which adopted DI’s suggested changes in 2009, as an example of what it hopes to achieve: "Texas’s science standards require that students … ‘analyze and evaluate’ core evolutionary claims including ‘common ancestry,’ ‘natural selection,’ and ‘adaptation,’ and also to ‘compare and contrast scientific explanations for cellular complexity.’ Additionally, teachers must help students to ‘examine scientific explanations’ for both ‘the origin of DNA’ and ‘abrupt appearance and stasis in the fossil record.’”

How did that work out? Publishers refused to include discussions of the “controversy” over evolution in their textbooks, because there is no controversy in science. Evolution occurred. Period. End of sentence. This left teachers on their own to dig up supplemental materials, but that is just a bump in the road compared to the real problem, which is that instructional calendars in the real world do not match up with Discovery’s dreams.
The 2009 mandate to “evaluate scientific explanations for the origin of DNA” required another two weeks of lessons to cover the material adequately.

Ron Wetherington, a Southern Methodist University professor on the 10-member committee tasked with reviewing the science standard, explained, “‘Evaluate’ means you rank these scientific explanations in terms of how adequate they are, how complete they are, how many problems exist with them, what the evidence for each of the alternatives are. It takes a long time to do compared to just describing them.”

A last-minute compromise replaced “evaluate” with “examine,” and Discovery lost another one. “Teach the Controversy” is unworkable and just creates more bad press for DI. They need to rethink that strategy.


You didn’t have at it. You didn’t supply the information on the empirical studies proving statistical non-correlation among a sequence of ‘random mutations’ so-called, generating form or function. So by not so doing, you have done what DI personnel recommends, which is to indicate the weaknesses of Darwinian theory. And you didn’t even have to be a supporter of ID to comply with the recommendation. At least so far. You want to have another go at it?

It seems to me you are being unnecessarily antagonistic. @Ronald_Myers gave you a Facebook page where you can post comments. Let’s forgive him for using an overly broad definition of the word “moderated” and stop the passive aggressive third-person stuff, okay? It’s not his fault ENV won’t host a forum like we do. Take that up with them.


‘It seems to me you are being unnecessarily antagonistic.’

Thank you

‘Contributor also, by not knowing of the publisher of the book, indicates that he is probably ignorant of its contents.’

I will point out that I said nothing about the merits of the book itself since I have not invested the time to plow through a 1000 pages of what I expect to be dense, nuanced prose. Is it worth the time?

My only point is that the subject matter, as indicated in the title, is incompatible with an organization that claims to be dedicated to a scientific theory, albeit a controversial one.


You demonstrate my point for me. You and DI are dreaming if you think that conversation is happening in a 9th grade classroom. When was the last time you were in one?

Haha, no thanks. I’ll wait for a 14-yr-old kid in his first real biology class to bring it up in real life. Meanwhile, I have a life that I should be getting back to.