The Discovery Institute, professional as always

I get fundraising emails from the Discovery Institute. You’d think they’d realize the utter futility of asking me for money, but it is a source of cheap laughs, especially when they say really stupid things to drum up cash for their liar’s institution. They love to throw their website numbers at me, which makes me really laugh.

In 2013, ENV had more than 700,000 unique visitors. This year we are on track to receive more than 900,000 unique visitors. That’s a lot of people who are benefitting from our daily coverage from writers including Casey Luskin, Ann Gauger, Paul Nelson, Jay Richards, John West, David Klinghoffer, and more.

Idiots, every one. Unless you’re a circus, it’s not usually positive PR to list the clowns on staff. But it’s their next paragraph that made me do a double-take. Innumerate as always, the Discovery Institute:

Now think about this . . . If just 1 of these visitors over the last two years had given $100 each year, we could have raised $1.6 million. That would go a long way in supporting the staff, fellows, and systems required to produce our news site.

Actually, if just 1 of those visitors had given $100 each year for two years, they’d have $200. But they didn’t, so they couldn’t afford an editor/proofreader to look over their money-begging letters to make sure there weren’t any potentially embarassing typos that might detract from their image as a super-sciencey institution.

I presume they meant 1%. You’re welcome. You can send me $200 for my professional copy editing service.

As for the rest of you reading this: Do you realize that if just 1% of you sent me $100 a year, I’d have…a whole lot of money? And that if 10% of you sent me $100 a month, I’d have 120 times that amount? And if ALL OF YOU sent me 10% OF YOUR INCOME, I’d be able to RULE THE WORLD?

Well? Where’s my money?


  1. Yellow Thursday says

    You should be paying me for commenting on your blog! After all, you’re just doing it to increase your number of unique visitors, right?


  2. kevinalexander says

    Well? Where’s my money?

    I sent it to the bank account your Nigerian friend told me about.

  3. hexidecima says

    hmmm, why do they need to ask for money? Surely they are praying for it, so by DI’s admission their prayers are worthless.

  4. twas brillig (stevem) says

    I presume they meant 1%.

    Thank you, Prof. Obvious.
    When they say, “if only 1% gave $100…”, they’re saying equivalently: “if every one of them gave $1…”
    And how many are “they”?
    “In 2013, … 700,000 unique visitors. This year … 900,000 unique visitors. ”
    1.6million * $1 = $1.6million
    Yes, that maths was so difficult that even an educational institute such as the Discovery Institute found it too hard. But maybe, just maybe, they did the maths and it was just a Topyo Error. That’s it, they spent all their skills checking the maths and let this Topyo slip through. Must have been the work of that Satan guy, just wanting the DI to look bad.

  5. Roestigraben says

    If those visitors had given them money EACH year for two years, wouldn’t they have ended up with 3.2 million in total? And a lot of the 900,000 visitors from year 2 were probably also among the 700,000 from year 1, so you can’t really add the numbers up either. It’s really astonishing how much logic fail you can pack into a single sentence.

  6. guitaro says

    ~Well? Where’s my money?~

    I’ll see if I can shake loose some after I pay off that Big Mac I have on layaway

  7. saganite says

    Idiots I don’t mind. In fact, sometimes I count myself among them. But their dishonesty, nay, lies? That’s much worse. They aren’t just stupid or misinformed, they’re disingenuous and willfully misrepresent things to spread their nonsense.

  8. moarscienceplz says

    PZ, since they are so bad at math, you should work out this deal with the DI: “You send me a penny today, and double the amount every day for a month, and I will send you $100 every day for a month!” I bet they’d jump at it.

  9. Rich Woods says

    Do you realize that if just 1% of you sent me $100 a year, I’d have…a whole lot of money?

    And if I had all the money I’d spent on drink, I’d spend it on drink.

  10. grasshopper says

    My cheque is in the mail. Feel free to spend it all on wine, women and song.
    Or you could just waste it.

  11. jstackpo says

    Looks to me that the DI math is even worse….

    If they really meant that every one of the 1.6 million visitors (unique? yeah, right) dropped $100 in the collection plate, that gives them $160M.

    Maybe that will cover Ken Ham’s bail bond when he defaults on the loans he took out to build the place in KY.

    But actually, we have got to be sympathetic: the DI has always had substantial difficulty with any number greater than 6000.

  12. says

    I’m sure the Discovery Institute send you begging letters on the assumption you’re the other PZ Myers. The one with no beard who’s a Born Again, and probably comes from some parallel universe.

    As for any of the commenters sending you money they should send it to me instead. I’ll use it to buy a death ray or something, instead of giving it to the Octopusinati like you probably will.

  13. says

    In fairness, it might be an IT issue. Percent signs are special characters, perhaps it was stripped somewhere between whatever system they wrote that on and your mailbox?

  14. tsig says

    Since I had a negative income flow you owe me $10,000. Cash, check or money order will be accepted. Failure to comply will lead to legal actions that cause shock and awe.

    YOurs In Christ.

  15. says

    I have bad news for the Discovery Institute. The 700,000 visitors to their site in 2013 weren’t “unique.” Nope. Many of us were exactly the same: We were visiting “Evolution News & Views” for laughs. Frankly, we think of Cary Luskin as a humorist, even if an unintentional one. Would we throw contributions at him if he were on a stage? Pennies, probably.

  16. David Marjanović says

    In fairness, it might be an IT issue. Percent signs are special characters, perhaps it was stripped somewhere between whatever system they wrote that on and your mailbox?

    If they wrote it on a system of Biblical age, perhaps.

    % is no more special than !, the apostrophe or the comma. ! = U+0021, % = U+0025, ‘ = U+0027, , = U+002C.