I cross-posted this over at PZ's place:

"Saying that the Discovery Institute is spreading misinformation is like saying that evolutionary biologists are spreading evolution. The DI is misinformation personified, and I think the best way to deal with them is not to dwell on their arguments, but to mock them for the lack of political effectiveness. They've produced no legislation, no reforms and their veiled threats to sue educators are clearly positioning statements with no real substance.

They are the Disappointing Institute, and we should focus on their failure to advance their own political agenda. That hurts the lawyers and the politicians a lot worse that arguing about 'dissents with Darwinism'. When we argue science with a bunch of non-scientists, it gives them a patina of respectability. We tend to lose PR points when that happens, unless our scientists are also skilled at the lawyerly reply. On the other hand, should non-lawyers focus on DI's failures to advance their own legal and political agenda, this will tend to undercut their effectiveness in general without ever putting the science up for (usually dubious) 'debate.' The stock question should not be 'what's the science?' but rather, 'why should DI, largely a bunch of lawyers, even be regarded as credible on scientific matters when they can't gain any traction in the courts or the legislature?"

My apologies in advance for our friends in the legal and political spheres who are effective, dedicated, ethical and supportive of science education."

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