Zachary Moore had a casual conversation with a Discovery Institute staffer at one of their “Darwin vs. Design” conferences, and it sounds like said ID drone spoke a little bit too openly.
In fact, it was so friendly that as I was waiting in the auditorium lobby for the conference to start, I struck up a conversation with Todd Norquist, one of the Discovery Institute’s employees in the Center for Science and Culture (the department that advocates for Intelligent Design). I asked him how many of these conferences were planned by the Discovery Institute, and he seemed hesitant, telling me that he didn’t know if any more of them were going to be possible, since the costs were too high for the Institute to handle. He mentioned something about it costing $70,000, although I don’t recall if that was the amount to produce the Dallas event alone, or if that was the current cost for the whole series thus far (the only previous event being in Knoxville). He complained that there had been virtually no money allocated for advertising, the sole contribution being $1000 paid to Scott Wilder for an “interview” of Stephen Meyer a week previously. He then told me (quite openly, also, which I thought was odd) that the financial situation of the Discovery Institute was grim, and that they were “bleeding money” and were “barely able to keep the lights on in Seattle.”
Now that could be an example of pleading poverty as part of a pitch for more donations, or it could be a revealing peek at the DI’s declining status after Dover. I suspect it’s a real symptom of the slow collapse of the Discovery Institute — even if you were sympathetic to their aims, wouldn’t you be reluctant to back a dog of a losing organization like the DI right now?