Apr 28 2013

Still waiting for the ID revolution

Hey, boys and girls, does anyone remember the IDEA clubs? IDEA was short for Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness, and the plan was that they’d form all these advocacy groups at universities all over the country, and from there, take over the world! It was going to be a REVOLUTION…one driven by dishonest, conservative Christians who wanted to roll back the progressive agenda and install a devout theocracy in its place.


The IDEA club is where Casey Luskin got his reputation as a diligent little gerbil for the cause. He was one of the founders of the model organization at UC San Diego, which is highlighted on the main IDEA Center club page. Amusingly, it’s a dead link now.

Likewise, if you read the various blurbs on that site, there are ever-shifting numbers of these clubs around: they claim a high of 35 worldwide, and have a pull-down menu listing them all, but you will click in vain — it doesn’t work, and the links go nowhere. Elsewhere, they say they’ve got 25 active clubs, but at the bottom of the page there are a collection of links to them…they’ve got 10. All of them lead to empty placeholder pages on the IDEA center site, except one, which futilely tries to take you to a defunct Geocities site.

It’s a dismal and empty virtual ghost town. Visit it and listen carefully and you might hear the sad sighs of creationists long gone, and maybe occasionally the cackling, triumphant laughter of a rational human being passing by to gaze on the fading works of intelligent design, and gloat.

Meanwhile, the Secular Student Alliance has been booming, with 378 groups. The links actually work on their page.

Make the comparison. It’s clear where the momentum lies.


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  1. 1
    David Marjanović


    I don’t remember them at all. When did they hatch that cunning plan?

  2. 2
    Glen Davidson

    They’re lying low because of the fierce persecution of appallingly stupid ideas, ready to break forth with conclusive evidence for design–like, it’s not just really complex, it’s really really complex–any day now.

    Or something.

    Glen Davidson

  3. 3
    New England Bob

    I found ONE. University of Victoria…LOL

  4. 4

    Intellectual momentum in the “first world” is one thing. I wonder if they have a demographic chance of fulfilling their theocratic wet dream by agitating masses of deluded, uneducated converts in the “second” or “third worlds” to destroy secularism from the heights of the UN Council… or something.

    What do you think?

  5. 5

    That’s an interesting implied link between these “IDEA Clubs” and other forms of right wing astroturf organizations such as AGW denialists. I wonder what money supports ID.

  6. 6
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Join the revolution! *makes snappy gesture*

  7. 7
    Lynna, OM

    Thanks, PZ. This is good news. The barren landscape of the IDEA club site(s) gives us peek behind the false front. No PR can fix that.

  8. 8

    It’s a shame that the geocities site is now defunct. Now we’re all missing out on brightly coloured backgrounds, clashing colour schemes, the use of comic sans and several dozen animated gifs.

    At least that’s how I imagined their site would have looked like.

  9. 9
    Piotr Gąsiorowski

    They’re Pinky and the Brain,
    Yes, Pinky and the Brain.
    One is a genius,
    The other’s insane…

  10. 10

    I wonder what money supports ID.

    It’s known public knowledge. They aren’t so much right wing wackos but worse. Theocratic xian Dominionists who want to overthrow the US government and set up a xian dictatorship.

    For the Dishonesty Institute, it is xian Dominionist Howard Ahmanson, who won the lucky sperm contest and had a billionaire father. Plus an ugly fundie xian Dominionist foundation.

    Ahmanson also used to support Exodus International, the kill the gays group, although IRRC, he has stopped.

  11. 11

    Lennon/McCartney had it right 40 years ago:

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We’re doing what we can
    But when you want money
    For people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you have to wait
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    All right, all right

  12. 12

    http://www.ou.edu/idea/faq.htm Oklahoma last active in 2006.
    The University of Victoria one also seems defunct.

  13. 13
    Andy Groves

    Their last “Training Conference” was in 2002. Oh dear.

  14. 14
    Rob Ives

    WordArt. Sheesh.

  15. 15

    And for a moment I thought you were talking about clubs for appreciating Swedish flat pack furniture products….

  16. 16
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Hah! Call that waiting? I’m still waiting for the ‘domestic robot maid’ that Tomorrow’s World promised me in nineteen-seventy-bleedin’-five.

  17. 17

    And the Secular Student Alliance at UCSD specifically is going strong and still growing.


  18. 18
    myeck waters

    UCSD, eh? Got a brother who teaches there. No idea if he interacts with SSA at all though.

  19. 19

    Not a surprise that these clubs are virtually non-existent. Nobody’s actually passionate about ID. Who would be? People who are passionate about science know (or quickly discover) that it’s bullshit, and the people who are passionate about creationism don’t want to play the game of pretending that they have no idea who the Designer is. Especially since there’s not much point any more given that everyone’s seen through the rather pathetic mask. So if you’re a young evolution-denying Christian, you might as well just join your campus Christian club where you can denounce evilution and praise Jesus openly.

  20. 20

    I got really depressed when I saw that UVic had a chapter, that’s not too far away from me. But it looks like it hasn’t been touched since 1999, which is good.

  21. 21
    Matt G

    ID was never a Product, but a Marketing Strategy. Dishonest by Design.

  22. 22

    This is easy! The thing is, their members are, like their sky fairy fantasy and the dead magic jew, comletely invisible and silent.Who knows, perhaps soon they can worship whatever it is that makes up their club eg. nothing.

  23. 23

    I think it’s time for a

    Bwhaa ha ha.

  24. 24

    While using the “logic” of mere mortals, one may be inclined to come to the conclusion that the Secular Student Alliance is the more successful organization. What have we forgotten here? That’s right — God’s ways are not our ways. So God has determined through His superior Logic, that the IDEA Clubs are clearly the winner.

    ……because god said so. It’s in the bible — somewhere — I’m sure.

  25. 25

    I was googling for defunct ID journals (I know there is at least one), and ran into this.

  26. 26
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Casey Luskin got his reputation as a diligent little gerbil


  27. 27

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    Percy Bysshe Shelley

  28. 28
    Doc Bill

    Rich history, the IDEA clubs. Rich in comedy, that is.

    Yes, attack gerbil First Class Luskin was the commander of the IDEA clubs, but then the reins were handed over to none other than Caroline Crocker. Google her “sad” story of academic persecution. Unfortunately for CC, she either quit or was fired (can you imagine being bad enough to get FIRED from the DI) in just a few months on the job.

    Also, there was a little brouhaha concerning the Charter for IDEA clubs which specified that the officers had to be Christian. Oh, yes, that went over well with so many school administrations. Of course, after some ruckus with the DI and protestations, accusations, recriminations and constipations, the Charter was quietly changed – on paper.

  29. 29

    It seems that the IDEA clubs just don’t have any depth to them, ontological or otherwise.
    Perhaps the idea was too complex for them. . .

  30. 30

    Nobody’s actually passionate about ID. Who would be?


    The rule is, the creationists and IDists can’t stop themselves from mentioning god and jesus. The DI pretends not too and then goes ahead and slips into fundie god babble anyway. Most of their talks are…at churches.

    Creationism and ID are also intellectually sterile and boring.

    The answer to everything is goddidit. Goddidit leads nowhere and explains nothing. It’s a science stopper. Creationists do no research and find out nothing new. Science finds something new, different, exciting, and useful every hour of every day.

  31. 31
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Nobody’s actually passionate about ID. Who would be?

    Those who are getting rich off of it? Hamm, et al?

  32. 32

    Oh no, since ID (officially at least) refuses to mention the name of the Designer, and because it leaves place for guided old-earth evolution, Ham must have nothing of it.

  33. 33

    Heck, it was under my nose: http://www.iscid.org/pcid.php, Progress in Complexity, Information and Design. January 2002 to November 2005, and in memoriam.

  34. 34

    tsig@23, I think possibly an ‘Excellent’ a la Montgomery Burns may be even more appropo.

  35. 35

    It was going to be a REVOLUTION…

    Oh, it was a revolution, all right. They all ran around in circles until they got dizzy and fell over.

  36. 36
    David Marjanović

    Those who are getting rich off of it? Hamm, et al?

    You’ve confused Ken Ham with Michael Behe.

    Oh, it was a revolution, all right. They all ran around in circles until they got dizzy and fell over.

    Thread won.

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