For whatever reason, there’s a new edition of Darwin Day in America, written by John West, who runs the Discovery Institute’s creationist wing, the Center for
the Renewal of Science and Culture. Mark Borello, reviewing the first edition for RNCSE in 2007, described the book as “quintessentially bad scholarship,” “not dealing with reality,” “ludicrous,” “frustrating,” “deeply depressing,” and apparently not written terribly well. “Perhaps its only positive function,” Borrello concluded, “is that it provides a very clear window into a very particular view of history that is shared by the members of the Discovery Institute and their sympathizers.”
The new edition is no less revealing, and no less shoddy. The evangelical World magazine has an excerpt of a new chapter from the new edition, which includes this revealing pronouncement:
Our culture is witnessing the rise of what could be called totalitarian science—science so totalistic in its outlook that its defenders claim the right to remake every sphere of human life, from public policy and education to ethics and religion. The evidence for the rise of this kind of scientific authoritarianism is not just anecdotal.
No indeed! Why there’s even a detailed plan to make science so totalistic as to remake every sphere of science and culture:
Twenty Year Goals
To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science. To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its influence in the fine arts. To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.
Oops, that totallitarian list of goals is from West’s own Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, laid out in its 1998 manifesto, widely known as the Wedge Document. In that document, the CRSC laid out a detailed plan to use its version of creationism as the “thin edge of the wedge,” broadening the work over time to “reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.” With only three years left, it looks like that there’s a flaw in the Institute’s design.
And abandoning that twenty-year goal is not the only way that West and his colleagues have retreated from their grand designs. The plan at the time also included a hope that, within five years “Ten states begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula & include design theory.” These days they decry as “journalistic malpractice” any suggestion that they want to see “intelligent design” creationism included in a public school classroom.
And of course, their plan also insisted that the essential first step was significant scholarship, acknowledging:
Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade.
To accomplish that, the plan called for a detailed list of publications in respected venues. And by their own standards, that effort failed, leaving the entire edifice of the Disco. ‘tute, like the new edition of Darwin Day In America, “an attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade.”