Discovery Institute, reporting from their non-existent labs.

The Discovery Institute is a creationist think-tank, which means they don’t do any real science, which means they don’t have any labs (what use would they have of them?).  So why, in their recent video, is one of their *ahem* researchers bashing evolution from the credibility-enhancing confines of a laboratory?

Turns out, the laboratory was green-screened using a stock image from Shutterstock.

As a think tank focused on intelligent design, the Discovery Institute presumably has no need for physical laboratories—its research is mostly imagination-based. So it seemed odd to Richard Hoppe of Panda’s Thumb when he saw a video of one of the Institute’s researchers spouting all sorts of bad science from a lab setting. Although the video was datelined from the “Biologic Institute” of the Discovery Institute, it turns out that the nonsensical rant was green-screened in front of a stock image.

Here, wear this coat, hold this clipboard. Now say a bunch of inane shit.

Presumably, we are meant to let the nice scientist’s words and theories wash over us in the glow of the lab she’s sitting in… except the lighting on her person and the lighting in the lab don’t quite add up. The sequence was pretty obviously green screened, and Panda’s Thumb has the stock image of a biology lab from Shutterstock to prove it.

There’s a lot of people out there dumb enough to be won over by this con.  You can generally identify them by where they spend their Sunday mornings.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

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  • IslandBrewer

    I just saw the video over at Sandwalk. Wow. If anyone ever gave a talk like that in grad school, I think everyone in attendance would have a field day ripping her a new one. There is so much wrongness concentrated. And then there are the vague statements which bring to mind the criticism “it’s not even wrong,” since there’s no factual statements to be wrong or right.

    She’s equating eyes with sequence similarity? With a straight face?

    Fuck! Homoplasy is not a hidden secret, nor does it contradict sequence similarity as indicia of relatedness, dimwitted [insert scathing epithet here]. GAH!!! The stupid! Does she intentionally misrepresent this stuff, of is she too lazy to actually look it up?

    Am I supposed to believe that her argument boils down to “what if all these things popped into existence magically? The sequences might have been designed by Jesus to look the similar!”

    This kind of stuff. This illusion of science from people who really should know better makes me a thousand times angrier than any Hovind or Hamm throwing up bible quotes next to preschool animal slides. Which, of course, it’s precisely designed to do.

  • baal

    Quick! 2 sides in a disagreement and one of them uses fraud. Who do you believe?

  • UsingReason

    The Discovery Institute is a joke that has completely failed in all aspects. Just Google ‘Intelligent Design’, there are few results that deal with their brand of faux Creationism anymore. A few years ago the same search would return piles of results for ID. I refuse to click on any link that leads back to their website because it’s just a waste of time. The debate has returned to Creationism vs Evolution.

  • khan

    Whenever I see “creation science” posts I think of lolcats: “we haz sienses”.

  • baal

    A brief look has her on several scientific papers. They are mostly drosophila and genetics. Interestingly enough, that work doesn’t need common decent beyond a few fly generations. When I was a PhD student, the creationists were all either in genetics (it’s math dominated) or physics (and not in developmental biology). It doesn’t look like she’s all that influential with a limited set of papers with limited citation.

    Her piece on youtube (a well respected and noted science distribution point) is entirely bogus (I know, you’re surprised). When you start organizing the data on morphology or gene sequences or other set of biological data, you find that closely related species tend to share DNA sequences (i.e. you’re more related to your sibling than your 9th grandparent back, again shocking) and ones further out share less. You also find that when yo udo this for lots of data sets, you get a tree structure of relatedness. This fits nicely with the common observation that life begets life (you were born of your parents and likely not gestated in a cow). We can see speciation (shout out to Darwin’s Finches) happen so that parts not a mystery either…. I’ll stop there, it’s more than enough and anyone who’s actually interested in evolution (as opposed to the lies this person is peddling) can get better explanations off the googles.
    Given that she’s undoubtedly been exposed to the arguments and data, I assume her religious beliefs are retrofitting her science to match. She’s promulgating BS in support of her religion.