EDITORIAL: The Discovery Institute, up to its Neck in Corruption


The Discovery Institute:  Up to its Neck in Corruption

Readers of this blog know only too well the malignant evil represented by the Discovery Institute’s pro-Kremlin propaganda outlet “Russia Blog” (a/k/a “the Real Russia Project”).  But with all its faults, Russia Blog does at least offer one advantage over another DI blog called “Evolution News” — which argues in favor of teaching the crackpot doctrine of “intelligent design” in schools across the world.  At least RB allows some comments to appear (though nobody from this blog is allowed to write any).  EN doesn’t allow anyone at all to speak.  Ever.

So, when Bruce Chapman — the boss of DI who often pontificates about Russia on RB — wrote a post July 23rd attacking Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, nobody was allowed to point out that Chapman’s crazy diatribe was chock full out outrageously false lies.  Reviewing them should give our readers an important reminder of just how utterly wicked DI’s efforts to propagandize on behalf of Vladimir Putin, using Russian citizen Yuri Mamchur as their mouthpiece, really is.

In a July 17th post, Johnson had accused DI of “collaborating with Turkish creationists” in order to promote the teaching of intelligent design in Turkish schools.  He quotes (and links to the source) a DI functionary as saying that Islamic creationists are allies of US creationists:  “We need to get together, we need to talk. There needs to be an exchange, a current needs to flow.”   Johnson’s post contains hardly any of his own words, just a setup for an audio link to a radio broadcast where the issues are discussed.  To date, Johnson’s post has generated over 500 comments.

Chapman responded a week later on the EN blog. You won’t find any comments attached to that post, because comments aren’t allowed. Johnson responded to Chapman on July 28th (over 1,300 comments to date), and then Chapman’s lackey Casey Luskin replied to that response on October 2nd (no comments allowed there either, of course), with Johnson answering a few days later.

Chapman’s statements are pathologically dishonest, and Luskin’s even more so.  Chapman doesn’t link to the audio file, and he hides the fact that it contains direct statements from the DI functionary touting his organizations links to Islamic creationists.  He states that “within Turkey there also are different people who are anti-Darwinian—just as in the U.S. Some are, indeed, creationists and could be called fundamentalists within Islam. Many are not.” But he doesn’t deny that DI is working with the creationists to promote intelligent design, just as his functionary had already admitted on tape. He refers to a DI book called The Long War Ahead which he claims is critical of Islamic terrorists, but he doesn’t quote a single word from that text which attacks Turkish creationists.  What’s more, RB has repeatedly disavowed being dominated by the loopy “intelligent design” advocates at DI, so there’s no basis whatsoever for Chapman to claim that the intelligent designers are controlled by the author of that book.  Their hypocrisy and duplicty is so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

There is not one single critical word about Turkish creationists in Chapman’s post, which is clearly designed to pacify any of DI’s conservative donors who might be offended by their frenzied modus operandi.  The closest he gets to it is when he states: “There is one controversial creationist who goes by the pen name Harun Yahya and has published a lavish book against Darwinism and has raised the ire of the government on other grounds, but we have no connection with him or his products.”

“No connection”?  That’s nice, Bruce. But what do you think about his “products”? Do you condemn them? If you do, why don’t you say so? Have you ever published anything critical of him, or any other Turkish creationist who is helping you get what you want in Turkey?  If you ever have, there’s no hint of it in your post.

As Johnson points out, Chapman then goes on to praise a writer called Mustafa Akyol, who DI has worked with to organize conferences, without telling his readers that, as Johnson notes, Akyol is a former volunteer in Yahya’s organization!

This is the type of “reporting” you get from Discovery Institute, in every aspect of their activity.  Chapman is the boss, and the fish rots from the head. He routinely publishes propaganda tracts on Russia Blog as well, and that material (as we have repeatedly documented) is just as misleading.

Then we have Luskin’s “answer” to Johnson, which plumbs new depths of dishonesty.  Luskin claims that Johnson accused DI of collaboraring directly with Yahya, and then quotes Yahya criticizing intelligent design as too moderate.  But Johnson never said Yahya and DI worked directly together; he said DI worked with Akyol, who has ties to Yahya, and that it is reaching out to many Islamic creationists looking for common ground, something its own henchman admitted in a recorded radio broadcast.  Then he shamelessly tries to change the subject, writing that “Yahya is not the only creationist to oppose intelligent design. Old earth Christian creationist Hugh Ross has criticized.”  Hugh Ross? Is that a Turkish creationist? Seems unlikely.  Again, not a word attacking any Turkish creationist in Luskin’s post, only “reaching out” to anyone who might promote “intelligent design” regardless of their politics or other beliefs.

DI also wants to reach out to Russian dictator Putin to seek common ground, and doubtless as well wants to curry favor with the Russian orthodox church.  It wants intelligent design decreed by Putin to be taught in Russian schools (very convenient to have a dictatator in place for such purposes, so much more frustrating to deal with a democracy like the U.S.), so it heaps praise upon his regime.

7 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Discovery Institute, up to its Neck in Corruption

  1. The “Discovery Institute”‘s sponsors will never threaten to cut their funding because of its attempts to peddle “Intelligent Design” to supposedly moderate Muslims –if it has any effect it could only make them more moderate or –given the number of their subsidized, government-sponsored opponents, because of their unwillingness to devote part of their expenses on running a “comments” section on their “EN” blog.

    What they need to be shown is the utter DISHONESTY of RUSSIA BLOG, its apology for NAZI THUGS –and also the fact that it has absolutely no relevance to the concerns of the DI.

  2. You complain that Discovery doesn’t allow comments on their blog, but given your approach, I think it’s clear why.


    Your statement is quite insanely ignorant and dishonest, for several reasons:

    (1) The DI “intelligent design” blog does not allow ANY comments from ANYONE. So it has nothing to do with any “approach.” DI is practicing rigid censorship and preventing its own readers from learning the scope of their dishonesty by doing so.

    (2) We operate one of the most powerful Russia blogs on the planet and have been cited by a huge number of authoritative publications. Anyone from any similar blog is perfectly free to say anything they like, any way they like, on this blog’s comment section (so long as they allow us to do likewise). We are not just some uknown commenter, and DI has no right to judge our “approach.” If DI doesn’t like a particular comment we’ve made, the very least they could do would be to censor it on a case-by-case basis. But to say that we cannot comment on their blog under any circumstances is an obvious ruse to shut down statements that would seriously undermine their crediblity.

    (3) You seem to be ignorant of the fact that Kim Zigfeld WROTE FOR RB at one time. Then, our “approach” was just fine with them. But as soon as she started criticizing RB for inaccuracy, she was censored.

    (4) We’re not at all “complaining” you jackass. The fact that DI censored Kim is one of the central reasons why this blog came into existence. We’re just pointing out that they are practicing censorship and denying their readers the right to read about serious flaws in their coverage.

  3. I can’t say I know much about Kim Zigfeld and that’s great if you are “one of the most powerful Russia blogs on the planet”. I’m here to talk about Discovery’s “Evolution News” blog, not Discovery’s “RB.”

    But you didn’t reply to my point other than calling me a “jackass.” Thanks for making my point for me: no wonder Discovery doesn’t allow comments on their “Evolution News” blog–they’d have to deal with the multitudes of Darwinists on the ‘net like you who aren’t capable of civil or friendly debate.

    p.s. I just reviewed Luskin’s post. Every accusation he makes against LGF is made using QUOTES FROM JOHNSON HIMSELF. So you can attack Discovery, but Luskin never claimed Johnson said that Discovery “collaborated directly with Yahya” (your quote). He just quoted what LGF ***did*** say: “‘Discovery Institute is in league with Islamist creationists, a fact that is indisputably true,’ specifically mentioning Yahya / Oktar (‘just happens to be a former volunteer for Harun Yahya’).”

    So here you are, another Darwinist getting angry and levying all kinds of namecalling (here’s one I left off my prior list: you said Luskin “plumbs new depths of dishonesty”), when the reality is that there are two sides to this story, and the ID guys don’t deserve nearly the abuse piled upon them. LGF’s attempt to make guilt-by-association arguments between Discovery and Yahya seem very stretched, and I think that Discovery has ample responses to that point. Why can’t you just accept that point, be civil about it, and move on without calling me any names?


    Dude, you’re an incredible imbecile. We’ve NEVER tried to comment on the EN blog. NOBODY CAN. So our “approach” has NOTHING to do with their censorship of comments. We already SAID that.

    WE deal with “multitudes” every day right here on this blog. And we publish what is fit to publish (over 11,000 comments so far). All publishers have that obligation, if they are worthy of the name. EN isn’t. That is our point. They have something to hide, and they are hiding it.

    DI allows comments on Russia Blog, so disallowing them on EN contracts ITS OWN MODUS OPERANDI.

    By your weird “logic” the New York Times doesn’t need to publish any letters to the editor if anyone writes abusive letters. Your head is like a block of WOOD. If EN doesn’t like a particular comment, it can simply moderate it, as millions of blogs all over the world do. But it doesn’t allow ANY comments from ANYBODY regardless of “approach” and that’s because it has something to hide.

    We are not Darwinists and do not advocate anything regarding this issue. Charles Johnson is an advocate. If you deigned to actually read the post you are commenting on, you would see that its point is to taint DI’s Russia Blog, which Chapman also writes for, by showing how venal his activity on EN blog is.

    EN has perversely mischaracterized with Johnson said, perversely mischaracterized the facts, and refused to allow anyone to say so in its comments section. EN has totally failed to attack or even criticize the Turkish fanatics that Johnson says they are in league with, thus proving he is correct in saying so.

  4. Snake Oil Baron

    I suspect that the reason the Discovery Institute does not want comments is the same reason that DI fellow, William Demsky only allowed friendly comments on his blog (last I checked) : It is too hard to respond to them. In regards to evolution, other aspects of science and to education policy, they constantly make up fake facts, put words into the mouths of people, say contradictory things to different audiences and use blatant fallacies and sophistries. When you do that so consistently, letting people draw attention to what you are saying is counter productive.

  5. This reminds me of gebnya troikas trials in 30s – they allowed no advocate, the judges were political functionners and they already had the verdict directed to them from the prosecutors.

  6. This whole artificial intellegence/intellegent design debate is awe-inspiring to me.

    There is no conclusive evidence to support either. That is why they are both considered Theories.

    The only way that a theory can become law is by an extensive, sometimes centuries long periods of trial and error. Even when a theory is designated as law, it can still be retracted due to new information.

    Scientists have a unique role in society. Most of them will never be proven right or wrong in their lifetimes. Only future generations will be able to appreciate their genius, or ignorance.

  7. Same goes with evolution.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s