Discovery Institute

Heritage Foundation Event Defends Ex-Gay Therapy As Sound Science

While John G. West of the Discovery Institute dedicated most of his time speaking at the Heritage Foundation today to attacking evolution and “totalitarian science,” he briefly discussed laws prohibiting sexual orientation conversation therapy for minors during the Q&A portion of the event.

While leading associations in the medical community have roundly denounced ex-gay therapy as reliant on discredited science and dangerous to the people it is supposed to “help,” West claimed that it is actually the LGBT advocates who are harming young people by placing limits on such practices and pushing “preposterous” claims about sexual orientation.

Heritage Anti-Evolution Event Blasts 'Cosmos' For Promoting 'Totalitarian Science'

The Heritage Foundation today hosted a speech by John G. West of the Discovery Institute, a group founded to promote Intelligent Design, undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools and raise the alarm about the purported persecution of people who do not believe in evolution.

While promoting his book “Darwin Day in America,” West told the audience that proponents of evolution seek to “muzzle” and “silence” Intelligent Design supporters.

West, who concedes that he is not a scientist, also lashed out at Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reboot of the television program “Cosmos.” He criticized President Obama for filming an introduction for the first episode of the series, claiming that the Obama administration has joined scientists in promoting “totalitarian science.”

Jay Richards: Banning Gay Marriage Is Not Discriminatory Because 'I Don't Have The Right To Marry A Man Either'

On Tuesday's episode of the "Hagee Hotline," Matthew Hagee interviewed Jay Richards, a professor at the Catholic University of America and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, about the Supreme Court's upcoming marriage equality case.

Hagee asked Richards how Christians should discuss the issue of gay marriage so as not to be dismissed as close-minded and judgmental bigots who seek to deny civil rights to gay people, to which Richards replied that the issue is not about discrimination at all because there simply is no such thing as gay marriage.

"The accusation is that people on the other side just defend so-called marriage equality whereas we believe in discrimination," Richards said. "That's not it at all. The question is what is marriage? If marriage is an institution that uniquely and exclusively involves a man and a woman then we're not depriving anyone of their rights. Anyone is free to marry so long as they can find someone that is willing to marry them, but marriage, by definition, is going to involve someone of the opposite sex. So it's not like if someone identifies as gay, they have a different set of rights than I do. I don't have the right to quote 'marry' a man either, simply because that's not what marriage is":

Discovery Institute: Evolution Deniers Being 'Persecuted' Just Like In Scopes Trial

Earlier this week a South Dakota state senate committee tabled a bill promoted by the “intelligent design” group Discovery Institute that identified "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, [and] human cloning" as scientifically controversial areas and, in the words of the National Center for Science Education, "would, in effect, have allowed public school teachers to miseducate their students about science — and would have prevented state and local educational authorities from intervening."

Although the bill didn’t make it out of committee, it had some high-profile backers, including a state representative of Concerned Women for America and a representative from the South Dakota Family Policy Council. In addition, the Discovery Institute flew in a spokesman, Casey Luskin, to testify on behalf of the bill, which seems to have been loosely based on the Institute’s model legislation.

Luskin told the committee that while in the days of the Scopes trial teachers were persecuted for teaching evolution, today teachers are being “persecuted” and “censored” for dissenting to “Darwin’s theory and other controversial scientific topics.”

“The old Scopes trial stereotype of teachers fearing persecution for teaching the evidence for evolution has been overturned,” he said. “Today, it’s the teachers and students who are raising questions about modern neo-Darwinian theory who are being stifled.”

Jay Richards claims Marriage Equality is Incompatible with 'Individual Rights' and 'Limited Government'

Intelligent Design activist Jay Richards of the Discovery Institute, who recently coauthored the book Indivisible with televangelist James Robison, appeared on Phyllis Schlafly’s radio program Eagle Forum Live this week where he argued that those who believe in individual rights and limited government should oppose the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Richards maintained that stopping the legalization of same-sex marriage is needed to defend the rights of individuals, and argued that since marriage is “outside the jurisdiction of the state” same-sex couples cannot take part in it.

Richards: We argue that there are other pre-political realities besides just the individual that a limited government has to recognize and marriage is one of those realities, it’s a universal human institution, we find it in every time and place, in every culture, every religious tradition has this basic concept of marriage as between one man and one woman with a special connection to children. So a limited government is going to recognize that institution rather than try to redefine it, so that’s why we think, in fact, if you believe in limited government you need to believe in laws that protect marriage as it actually is historically. The institution of marriage is one of those things that is outside the jurisdiction of the state, so quite apart from the consequences, we think, if you believe that government should recognize individual rights, then you need to believe that the government is also going to recognize the rights and realities of this institution which it can’t dictate.

Back to School with the Religious Right

The Religious Right continues to target public schools in a variety of ways that disrupt education and threaten religious liberty, according to a report released by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). The report provides an in-depth analysis of the struggle over the future of our public education system by focusing on six categories: creationism; textbook controversies; sexuality education; religion and public schools; anti-gay activity and censorship.

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