Questions and Answers about Discovery Institute
September 1, 2005
1. What is Discovery Institute?
Founded in 1990, the Institute is a national, non-profit, non-partisan policy and research organization, headquartered in Seattle, WA. It has programs on a variety of issues, including regional transportation development, economics and technology policy, legal reform, and bioethics. The Institute’s founder and president is Bruce Chapman, who has a long history in public policy at both the national and regional levels. Mr. Chapman is a former director of the United States Census Bureau, and a past American ambassador to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Chapman has also served as a member of the Seattle City Council and as Washington State’s Secretary of State.
2. What is the Center for Science and Culture?
The Center for Science and Culture is a Discovery Institute program that encourages schools to improve science education by teaching students more fully about the theory of evolution, as well as supporting the work of scholars who challenge various aspects of neo-Darwinian theory and scholars who are working on the scientific theory known as intelligent design. Discovery’s Center for Science and Culture has more than 40 Fellows, including biologists, biochemists, chemists, physicists, philosophers and historians of science, and public policy and legal experts, many of whom also have affiliations with colleges and universities. The Center’s Director is Dr. Stephen Meyer, who holds a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University.
3. Is Discovery Institute a religious organization?
Discovery Institute is a secular think tank, and its Board members and Fellows represent a variety of religious traditions, including mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, and agnostic. Until recently the Chairman of Discovery’s Board of Directors was former Congressman John Miller, who is Jewish. Although it is not a religious organization, the Institute has a long record of supporting religious liberty and the legitimate role of faith-based institutions in a pluralistic society. In fact, it sponsored a program for several years for college students to teach them the importance of religious liberty and the separation of church and state.
4. Does Discovery Institute favor including the Bible or creationism in science classes or textbooks?
No. Discovery Institute is not a creationist organization, and it does not favor including either creationism or the Bible in biology textbooks or science classes.
5. Is Discovery Institute trying to eliminate, reduce or censor the coverage of evolution in textbooks?
No. Far from reducing the coverage of evolution, Discovery Institute seeks to increase the coverage of evolution in textbooks. It believes that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, and they should learn more about evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues. The true censors are those who want to stop any discussion of the scientific weaknesses of evolutionary theory.
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