Discovery Institute

The mission of Discovery Institute is to advance a culture of purpose, creativity and innovation.

Discovery Institute Study and Activity Areas:

Science and Culture. Scientific research and experimentation have produced staggering advances in our knowledge about the natural world, but they have also led to increasing abuse of science as the so-called “new atheists” have enlisted science to promote a materialistic worldview, to deny human freedom and dignity and to smother free inquiry. Our Center for Science and Culture works to defend free inquiry. It also seeks to counter the materialistic interpretation of science by demonstrating that life and the universe are the products of intelligent design and by challenging the materialistic conception of a self-existent, self-organizing universe and the Darwinian view that life developed through a blind and purposeless process.

Economics and Business. Technological innovation has become the engine of economic progress, but it also has attracted new efforts by government to take over areas traditionally handled by private enterprise; at the same time, it has fueled a technocratic mindset that believes morality is somehow irrelevant to wealth creation. Our program on Technology and Democracy examines the destructive consequences of the over-regulation of new technologies, while our Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality explores how free enterprise and the Judeo-Christian moral tradition create a culture of entrepreneurship that makes technological innovation, and thus economic prosperity, possible.

Center on Human Exceptionalism. New medical technologies have dramatically improved human health and extended human life, yet these same technologies have been misused to efface human dignity. Similarly, while modern discoveries in biology and ecology have given us a greater appreciation for the importance of other creatures, these same discoveries are sometimes misused to promote an extreme vision of “animal rights” that places animal welfare above the welfare of human beings. Our Center on Human Exceptionalism counters pseudo-scientific attacks on human dignity by defending the unique dignity of persons, what we call human exceptionalism, in health care policy and practice, environmental stewardship, and scientific research.

International Affairs. The discoveries of science have enabled huge advances in prosperity and freedom around the world. At the same time, they have provided new methods for mass destruction, the abridgement of human dignity and the spread of misinformation and hatred. Our programs on international affairs explore the dynamic role science and technology play in many international issues as well. These programs promote such enduring Western values and institutions as the rule of law, religious liberty, free markets, liberal democracy and non-governmental associations.

Local Government and Communities. The invention of the automobile has led to unparalleled freedom of movement for people, goods, and services; but it also has disrupted traditional social and political patterns in ways we are only now beginning to understand. Our Cascadia Center for Regional Development shows how new transportation technologies and building techniques can build more vibrant, human scale communities.

Religion and Public Life. The worldview of scientific materialism has been pitted against traditional beliefs in the existence of God, Judeo-Christian ethics and the intrinsic dignity and freedom of man. Because it denies the reality of God, the idea of the Imago Dei in man, and an objective moral order, it also denies the relevance of religion to public life and policy. Our program on Religion and Civic Life defends the continuing relevance of traditional religious faith to public life within a pluralistic democracy. Specifically, it seeks to defend the importance of Judeo-Christian conceptions of the rule of law, the nature of man and the necessity of limiting the power of government. Thus, it also seeks to protect religious liberty, including its public expression in pluralistic democracies.


Mind, not matter, is the source and crown of creation, the wellspring of human achievement. Conceived by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and Christians, and elaborated in the American Founding, Western culture has encouraged creativity, enabled discovery and upheld the uniqueness and dignity of human beings.

Linking religious, political, and economic liberty, the Judeo-Christian culture has established the rule of law, codified respect for human rights and conceived constitutional democracy. It has engendered development of science and technology, as well as economic creativity and innovation.

In contrast, the contemporary materialistic worldview denies the intrinsic dignity and freedom of human beings and enfeebles scientific creativity and technological innovation. Its vision of a closing circle of human possibilities on a planet of limited horizons summons instead the deadening ideologies of scarcity, conflict, mutual suspicion and despair.

No Good Options in North Korea?

Discovery Institute VP and senior fellow Stephen Meyer, writes about foreign policy, North Korea and missile defense in National Review. As the North Korean government continues its ballistic-missile testing, a chorus of voices insist that the United States has “no good options” for addressing this growing threat. With China unwilling or unable to reign in Kim Jong-un and a U.S. preemptive first strike likely to start a devastating w...

Center for Science & Culture

Twenty years ago, biochemist Michael Behe sparked a revolution with his book, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, which went on to sell 300,000 copies.

In Purpose & Desire, Out Today, Scott Turner Explores Biology’s Second Law | Evolution News

Ann Gauger reviews Purpose & Desire for Evolution News & Science Today: Life depends on “maintaining a persistent state of highly specified and complex organization,” according to Turner. Turner calls homeostasis biology’s second law. In case you were wondering, evolution by natural selection is biology’s first law. Maybe natural selection should be demoted. As Turner says, homeostasis is an exceedingly strange idea. Yet without homeostasis there is no life.

Chapman Center For Citizen Leadership

This coming Wednesday, we'll be screening a documentary film on the life & legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, to be followed by a Q&A discussion with Mrs. Roosevelt's former assistant Pat Baillargeon.

Join us to hear Pat's first-hand account of some of the most important moments of Mrs. Roosevelt’s life--from the perspective of someone who sees her not only from the standpoint of history, but also of personal friendship.

Chapman Center For Citizen Leadership

Please join us on October 3rd! We're thrilled to welcome former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, prominent thinker and elder statesman, as the keynote speaker at our annual luncheon.

Reserve your seat today!

Scott Turner on Biology’s Hobson’s Choice – Time Running Out on Pre-publication Deal! | Evolution News

For Dr. Turner, thinking outside the box leads to the recognition of a biological phenomenon, homeostasis, as the key to understanding life with its “purposefulness, intentionality, intelligence, and design.” His approach is fascinatingly different from what we’re more familiar with from ID proponents. Why is Turner’s work important? In part because it helps defeat an influential cliché in the Darwinist arsenal: that all doubts about evolutionary...

Kirby&Boze Aug28--8am hour

We were pleased to have DI Senior Fellow, and ambassador-at-large for the US State Department, John R. Miller join us last night for a talk on his biographical novel on George Washington, "The Man Who Could Be King." His talk will air on TVW -- Washington Public Affairs Network soon, but in the meantime, you can hear his interview with Kirby Wilbur Radio here! Start listening at the 19:27 mark. 8am hour -- Kirby&Boze: clarifying last hour's caller criticizing St. Sen. Steve O'Ban and the vote on authorizing a public vote for the Sound Transit ST3 proposal, the Hurricane Harvey flooding stories from Texas are tough to comprehend given the statisti

Kirby&Boze Aug28--8am hour

Discovery senior fellow John R. Miller was on with Kirby Wilbur to talk about his fascinating new historical novel about George Washington, "The Man Who Could Be King". Interview starts at the 19:27 mark. Be sure to get the book from GUEST: former WA Congressman John Miller joins the show to describe his historical novel about Pres. George Washington.

"Nature’s Rights" Constitutional Amendment Is Proposed | Evolution News

Biothicist Wesley J. Smith warns: Before you are tempted to laugh, realize that the environmental movement is becoming increasingly anti-human and the “nature rights” movement is growing. Nature rights seeks to prevent humans from thriving by our use of natural resources. It is a form of nature religion. It is also an ideological...

Top ID Thinkers Jay Richards, Jonathan Witt Will Cover the Eclipse via Facebook | Evolution News

Want to see today’s eclipse online? You can’t do better than follow it in company with two top thinkers in the intelligent design movement, both Senior Fellows with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture: Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet, and Jonathan Witt, co-author of A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature. "There is some kind of primordial connection that we have to eclipses that is very hard to account for."




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