ARN: The Crackpot Creationist Club

They must be scientists. They have a degree!

(Original image from Crackpot Manifesto)

In the last week, I’ve made a few posts about the crackpots over at Access Research Network. Who or what is ARN? I referred to them as “the poor-man’s Discovery Institute”. Let’s look at that description closer.

Wikipedia tells us that the organization broadly covers many fundie issues, but it’s best known for promoting Intelligent Design creationism. They also tell us that two of the organization’s directors are fellows at the Discovery Institute. This makes the two organizations at least informally related. I’m not sure what niche ARN thinks they’re filling that DI doesn’t cover.

ARN is considerably smaller and less well known than the DI, though. Jim Lippard investigated creationist finances a year ago. He found that ARN’s 2005 revenue was just under $79,000. Compare that with the Discovery Institute, whose 2004 revenues were about $3.5 million. Another important distinction between the two organizations is that the DI has a paid staff with cushy salaries ($132K for their president). Poor little ARN has to scrape by entirely on volunteer effort. It’s like ARN is just a little creationist club. I bet they have a treehouse! But if ARN takes its vitamins, it may one day grow big and strong, just like the DI. Dream big, ARN! Dream big!


This blog has been “blessed” recently by the comments of Kevin Wirth, ARN’s director of Media Relations. Kevin has taken time out of his daily workload of spreading disinformation to real media outlets in order to dump some onto us.

He was in a big pout, because I said:

Yes, I throw in derogatory terms, such as “crackpot” and “moron”, but they are accurately descriptive. If you promote crackpot ideas like creationism, then you’re a crackpot. If you proudly advertise your lack of comprehension of sixth-grade science, then you are a moron.

I guess I hurt Kevin’s feelings. He replied thusly:

Yes, I suppose so, in the same sense that the word “darkie”, “spic”, “wetback” and worse are ‘accurately descriptive’ in the minds of those who (like you) feel that such comments are warranted for blacks and latinos.

Way to relate to the media, Kevin! No wonder they don’t pay you. You can’t accuse somebody of hate speech just because he thinks you’re a dolt! For your information, there is a huge difference between simple descriptive insults and racial epithets. “Crackpot” was never used to oppress an entire class of people. Nobody ever shouted “kill the moron!” right before the lynching.

The bulk of Kevin’s comment barrage was focussed on trying to convince us that there is a conspiracy to promote the original 1859 version of evolutionary theory (what he calls “Darwinism”), while suppressing all other possible explanations, including all science that has come after. His only support for this claim is a mine-full of quotes, some extracted from reputable scientists and some taken straight from creationist propaganda. His claim is so ridiculous and so unfounded that it doesn’t warrant a response.

4 Responses to “ARN: The Crackpot Creationist Club”

  1. ericsan Says:

    Like shooting fish in a barrel… At least some of them have some debating skills, but this dumbass is folding like a cheap suit. Like you say, no wonder he’s not getting paid!

  2. Kevin Wirth Says:

    Better to not get paid for challenging guys like you that to get paid for promoting notions as fact that are speculation-laden conjectures.

  3. Ron Britton Says:

    I know, but the folks at the Discovery Institute get paid anyway.

  4. scripto Says:

    I hear Dr. Dr. Dr. Dembski got $20k for his consulting “work” prior to the Dover trial. And he bailed. Commanding that kind of fee for not even showing up is an act of sheer genius. In fact, all the guys at DI must be geniuses. If I was as incompentent at my job as say, Casey Luskin is at his, our company would have closed the doors long ago. And still the money rolls in. A remarkable achievement. Not quite as remarkable as Answers in Genesis, who manage to fleece the rubes out of 4 or 5 times the DI’s annual budget.