Discovery Institute Shills Lie About Their Connection

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There’s a new site on the block:
Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity.
Not much new there. It’s just “30 Helens agree. Evolution doesn’t work” (sadly, their list of Helens doesn’t include a single Steve).

But finn2 over at LiveJournal did some investigative work and found some interesting stuff:

Here’s a meta header that appears on all of PSSI‘s web pages:

<meta name="keywords" content="intelligent design theory,Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity, PSSI, Physicians and surgeons that dissent from Darwinism, Charles Darwin, Stephen C. Meyer, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Bruce Chapman, Center for Science & culture, charles darwin theory of evolution, creationism, eugenie scott, natural selection, survival of the fittest, Cambrian Explosion, Richard Sternberg, Phillip Johnson, dinosaurs, national center for science education">

and here’s one that appears on all of the Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture:

<meta name="keywords" content="intelligent design theory, Discovery Institute, Charles Darwin, Stephen C. Meyer, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Bruce Chapman, Center for Science & culture, charles darwin theory of evolution, creationism, eugenie scott, natural selection, survival of the fittest, Cambrian Explosion, Richard Sternberg, Phillip Johnson, dinosaurs, national center for science education">

I’ve highlighted the similarities and differences between the two. Perhaps the Isaac Newton of information, Bill Dembski, will be good enough to tell us the amount of specified complexity in those strings, and calculate the odds that they’re related. The rest of us can probably agree that there was copying involved.

So I went for the direct approach, and sent this message to PSSI’s contact address:

Hi! I just ran across PSSI today. Could you please tell me
what connection exists, if any, between PSSI and the Discovery
Institute?

Here’s the answer I got:

There is no affiliation between Discovery Institute and PSSI. Discovery Institute is located in Seattle, Washington and we are located in Clearwater, Florida.

Does anyone buy that? Can we just add this to the list of creationist lies?

Update, May 18, 2006: Logan Gage of the Discovery Institute answered my email with:

There is no real connection to Discovery Institute. They are, however,
a friendly group. They just noticed that we do not really add MDs to
our list “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.” And since polls show
that at least 60% of MDs don’t buy orthodox neo-Darwinism, they thought
that this is an important voice which should be added to the debate.

Update, Jul. 28, 2006:
Evolgen lists “Stanley B. Gathinston III” an immunologist on the list.

Here
and
here,
“snex” confesses that he signed the petition under that name, and points out that “Stanley B. Gathinston III” is an anagram for “creationist Drs believe anything”. He even listed his address as “123 Kafe Ave.” (anagram of “fake”) for good measure.

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4 Responses to Discovery Institute Shills Lie About Their Connection

  1. jferg says:

    Perhaps you should e-mail them both and suggest that if there is no affiliation, then the Discovery Institute needs to consider a lawsuit against PSSI for webpage content theft (copyright infringement?).

    Like

  2. Cyde Weys says:

    I asked them how long they have been affiliated with the Discovery Institute and here was their response:

    We are not affiliated with Discovery Institute. We simply use their scientists’ dissent statement for comparison purposes. We are located in Clearwater, Florida. Discovery Institute is located in Seattle, Washington.

    Like

  3. arensb says:

    I’m glad that’s cleared up. Since they’re in opposite sides of the continent, they must be independent organizations. It’s not as if there’s any sort of telecommunication infrastructure that would allow people to exchange words and thoughts at that distance.

    Like

  4. JF says:

    By “connection” they obviously thought you meant one of really excellent glass walkway-bridge thingies. They’re really great! It’s like walking outside but when it’s raining you’re still dry and safe and everything. So, basically, your email was asking that if you wanted to go from the PSSI office to the Discovery Institute’s office AND IT’S RAINING would you get wet? The answer, unfortunately, is yes, yes you would, there is no connection between the two.

    Their reply was correct, in light of that particular interpretation. (I think the better term might be “specifically correct”.)

    Like

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