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.