Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank which champions socially conservative causes, has become heavily invested in the "debate" between Darwinists and those who wish to introduce Intelligent Design into public school classrooms.
According to their Website, Discovery's stated mission is:
"... to make a positive vision of the future practical. The Institute discovers and promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty."
In an internal document called the Wedge (click the link or continue reading this piece to view the Wedge Strategy in its entirety) which was uncovered in 1999, Discovery was highly specific in stating its goals and plans to accomplish them. The institute clearly indicates that Intelligent Design will be their principal weapon and Evolution their primary target in its onslaught against "materialism".
Yet Discovery has higher aspirations than simply "debunking" Evolution and bringing God back into the public schools.
(Note: When Nina mentions Chapman, she is referring to Bruce Chapman, the co-founder of Discovery Institute and a participant in the Reagan Regime that ushered in the Neocon movement and the Second Gilded Age)
"Yet the Discovery Institute as an organization didn't get involved in the issue in order to solve the mysteries of the universe. Chapman is up front about having a social and political agenda. He sees design intelligence as a way to combat the growing reliance on genetic explanations for human behavior and what he sees as an undermining of personal responsibility. As an example of this phenomenon, Chapman cites the infamous "Twinkie defense" used by a murder defendant claiming his sugar high made him do it.
Others associated with the institute take a bigger leap of logic to argue that welfare, as currently dispensed, is a misguided consequence of the Darwinian outlook. "If you see human beings as nothing but matter and motion, than all you do is treat them like mouths to feed," says Jay Richards, program director for the institute's Center for Science and Culture. "If they're more than that, you treat the whole person," he argues, which would mean looking at such things as family structure and the role of moral and religious values in their lives.
Do you really have to attack a whole branch of science in order to counter liberal views on welfare? The Discovery Institute folk think they do. "Unless you get the science right," Chapman says, "it's very hard to contend with the other arguments."
Ironically, Discovery is not even welcome in its "home town" of Seattle.Consider Dan Gonsiorowski's characterization on his Website, Seattlest:
In 1998, members of a Seattle nonprofit think tank drafted a secret five-year plan with an ambitious goal: to "defeat scientific materialism" and "replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God."
For a glimpse into the "soul" of the Discovery Institute, here is its Wedge Strategy: