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Can You Say Hidden Agenda?

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The Discovery Institute's True Raison d'être and Why We Need to Be Deeply Concerned

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."

Finding a handful of academics willing to act as its shills, Discovery's ultimate goal is to subvert the prevailing paradigm of modern science (which they refer to as "materialism") and replace it "with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions".

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.

Consider this excerpt from Nina Shapiro's The New Creationists:

(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:

"Something's gotta be done. We can't throw them out. We're looking into it, but it appears you can't excommunicate a think tank from the city. Our usual weapon of choice, shame, won't work on the minds behind Intelligent Design because you can't shame the shameless (see the State of the Union, see also Fox News, see also the rest of the country, see also everyone but Seattlest). Simply asking them to reconsider would be like trying to reason with a monkey's eyeball. Marching around their compound with big Darwin posters on sticks and shouting stuff would be cathartic, but probably have little result other than getting them more air time on Fox, again with the Fox banner "Seattle-based think tank." Sometimes it's even "The Seattle-based think tank," like they're the only ones thinking up in here. There are plenty of other Seattle think tanks with more intelligent design in their little pinky ring than the Discovery Institute has in its whole body. There's... Well, there probably is. Maybe that's our solution. We need some other thinkers to elevate the thinking. Tank up and start thinking, Seattle, for the sake of our national image. Think so far outside the box that you wouldn't even consider saying something as lame as "think outside the box" and steer clear of any thinking that leads you to believe that there's scientific evidence for Intelligent Design.

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:

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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