Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Discovering the Discovery Institute

I've written about Intelligent Design Creationism before. Hovering at the intersection of bad science and bad Theology, its origins depend heavily on William Dembski, an anti-vax Biblical inerrantist who believes in a literal global flood, a historical Adam and Eve, and the confounding of Tongues at the tower of Babel. I devoted an article to him previously.

They summarise themselves as believing that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection" and propose their group as the true defender of the scientific method, wishing to 'teach the controversy' about evolution. The Judge at their trial found to the contrary, saying that "[T]he overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory."

The movement has expanded to include other quacks and loons, blossoming into the Discovery Institute, which refers to itself as the "Intellectual [sic] home of the modern intelligent design movement and the scientists and scholars challenging Darwin's theory of evolution on the basis of science [sic]."

Much as I would love to continue my polemic greater voices than mine have covered much ground. What have I to offer?

Twitter stats.

I found myself wondering who else tickled the fancy of followers of @DiscoveryCSC, the Twitter account of the Discovery Institute. I pulled a list of all their followers, then for each follower pulled a list of all accounts they followed. I then put the results to a table and present for your viewing pleasure the top twenty:


AccountShared FollowersPrimary Subject
DiscoveryCSC2045Intelligent Design
williamdembski889Intelligent Design / Christian Apologetics
RaviZacharias787Christian Apologetics
LeeStrobel719Christian Apologetics
CSLewisDaily718Christian Apologetics
RFupdates713Christian Apologetics
JohnPiper663Christian Apologetics
Apologetics315661Christian Apologetics
STRtweets648Christian Apologetics
ericmetaxas604Christian Apologetics
Frank_Turek577Christian Apologetics
biolapologetics570Christian Apologetics
PastorMark533Christian Apologetics
jpmoreland531Christian Apologetics
CTmagazine524Christian Apologetics
RickWarren523Christian Apologetics
RTB_official511Christian Apologetics
michellemalkin501Politics
Wintery_Knight469Christian Apologetics
josh_mcdowell468Christian Apologetics
AnnCoulter459Politics
desiringgod456Christian Apologetics
albertmohler451Christian Apologetics
EyeApologetics445Christian Apologetics
ratiochristi444Christian Apologetics
PaulCopan443Christian Apologetics
Sean_McDowell442Christian Apologetics
plsconvinceme437Christian Apologetics
DougGroothuis437Christian Apologetics

Were you expecting science sites?

I then turned my concerns to geography. One's country of birth is the strongest indicator of one's religious views, whereas science finds borders so much more permeable.

1,388 of the accounts had sufficient information to establish their country of residence. It seems ID has not strayed far from its spiritual home, the USA representing over 80% of their followers.
I will give the closing word to the followers of the Discovery Institute itself. Rather than disturb them I instead choose to post a wordcloud (with thanks to commenter SPARC) of everything written in every Twitter profile that follows them. If you squint, you can just make out the word Science. It's wedged in there between Christian and apologetics:

Update - following a rather irate comment from a representative of the intelligent design movement at the bottom of this page, I'm happy to include (as per the comment's request) a word cloud of the Twitter biographies of followers of the excellent National Center For Science Education. If you need to squint to see the word science I can highly recommend laser eye surgery:


I've posted a sample of Discovery Institute Twitter follower biographies below. Bear in mind this is how they describe themselves to the world.

I'm sure none of them would hazard a guess as to the identity of the proposed Intelligent Designers.


Deployed Army Reservist looking forward to what God has next for him. Political and religious opinions expressed are solely mine as a civilian.
Christian. Wife. Mum of 3. I enjoy learning new things and I love good Apologetics
Great believer in thinking - about God's grace, science, teaching science and music and photography. Also a Titans fan (regardless of their 2011 results)
A blog devoted to discussing the interface of Christianity with Science, Philosophy and Culture.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong...
I believe that one day the darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science.
Evolutionary geneticist-in-training at @unimelb and head editor of @youngausskeptic. Married to science. Musician. Multigeek. Atheist. LGBTQer. Scattered mind.
God-lover, husband, father, Bible teacher, entrepreneur, blogger. I love to help build the church.
Christianity, Atheism, Intelligent Design, Nature, Social Science, Philosophy and Photo/Cinematography
I am challenged to love/know God in His Awesome Holiness, Humanity in their fallen state and Jesus Christ as the only mediator between the two.
Educator(Senior High School Physics, Junior Science), Photographer, Motorcyclist, WoW Addict, Member of Living Waters Christian Community.
Father, Secular Humanist,Naval Officer, Great Ape. I believe in lots of things, but not your god.
"Sou ilustrador e designer. Gosto muito de apologética, teologia, filosofia, estudos de religião e ciências bíblicas.
http://www.youtube.com/logosapologetica
"
"Sou criacionista porque Deus criou os céus e a terra.
I am a creationist because God created the heavens and the earth."
I found God amongst chaos.
Ecclesiastes 7:19 ESV Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. #Jesustweeters #apologetics #tcot #USMC
Retired science teacher and engineer. Follower of Christ.
Uncomplicated. Loves Tracy & our kids, God, Canada, the Environment, coffee, beer and a good steak.
Science, Sex, Vidya Games, Nutrition & Fitness, Pokémon, Politics, & Dubstep. Also Zombies.
"Work - Industrial Control Systems
Like - Philosophy and Christian Apologetics
Activities - Kayaking, Moutain Biking & Quading Music-Smooth Jazz"
Pure logic and illogic minds of Science and Governments ! SAVE the Planet from ravaging humans, poverty and illogic economies !
I am a husband, father, pastor, author, and a follower of Jesus. I have a love for apologetics & expressing the Christian faith in a reasonable & relevant way.
I love music, architecture, the sound of the guitar, good books. I praise God for my family, friends and La RED (youth group)
Pentecostal,a father of Two daughters,fervent preacher on Love,Peace,non-Violence,Holiness,Miracles.& Advocate on God,Bible,Intelligent Design.Hatred Free Zone
"Suomi - Finland, world's best country to live in to me : )
I'm a Christian by grace of God. Soy cristiano, gracias Señor Jesus! Addict and Alcoholic NA AA

"
God is simple. We make God Complex with discussions. Why just discuss - why not experience, first hand? LET US GO FOR GOD!
Sinner Saved by the grace of God, Living in Him, Living for Him & Living because of Him, Jesus Christ gave me life and that is enough for me... (only factual)
I'm product of God's Grace, Song writer, like singing, playing guitar, Designner Grapich & 3D Jewellery,Touch,feel&doing his heart is my desire
God-fearing man, Disciple of Jesus Christ, Voracious Reader, Lifelong Learner, Songwriter, Poet, Amateur Gastronome, Homely-man, Quiet.
"Connecting people to people
Connecting people to God"
enjoy life , take care of your self, regret nothing , make the right choices & keep God first & you will never go wrong !!!
I am a servant of the one true God. I will love Him with all my heart, strength, mind, and soul. Where He says go I will go, and when He says wait I will wait.
My interests: Football, Origin Science, and Jesus. The last is first. I pastor a church.
Cristiano, padre de familia, maestro, blogger, aficionado a la teología y la apologética
My name is Manuel, I live in the Netherlands and I'm a christian, a follower of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, the Son of God.
Bible believer who loves to sing, play guitar, write songs, ride my bike, and daydream about the time God's will will be done on earth.
Faming the Name of the God of all Creation, from the Land of the Long White Cloud... One Blog Post at a Time!
"Scientist comments on science, philosophy, religion and human rights
Lives in Hamilton, New Zealand"
Love God+Love Family+Love People. I tweet about faith, family, baseball and the rest of the story...
Connecting, equipping, and informing the next generation with Christ-centered apologetics.
Manawatu Christian Apologetics Society -- applying Jesus to every aspect of our hearts and minds.
touching lives through the ministration of the word of God and the Spirit of God, helping us approriate our rights in christ, in an atmosphere of love.
Apologetics coach, armchair theologian, Freelance philosopher, sweat equity investor and Media productions guy & missions project manager on the side. Go figure
"Interdisciplinary researcher

Research interests: philosophy of science, ontology, systems science, cognition, neurocognition."
"Apologetică creştină // Christian apologetics
"
Student of Trinity Theological College. Interested in Theology, Philosophy, Science. Member of Methodist Church but Reformed-Mindset. Husband to Minmerry.
Ratio Christi is an apologetics club at PUK helping strengthen the faith of Christian students and challenging the assumptions of secularism.
Jesus, Bible, Theology, Apologetics and random stuff.
"Marwan Al Jabarti (Aka MuslimbyChoice) is a Somali Muslim apologist and founder of the Muslim Christian Dialogue Channel on Youtube
#TeamMuslim #TeamIslam "
I am a PhD student studying the history of science at Leeds. For fun I watch creationist/ID documentaries. #histsci
love my hot wife, chatting, mint hot-chocolates, honey-badgers, apologetics, bioethics and Jesus.
"God, Science, Banking & Blood.
-

A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. - Proverbs 15:14"
A Biblical Zionist with interests in World Politics, World War 1 (36th Ulster Division), Meteorology, Astronomy, Creation Science, Bible Prophecy
"b. 1959, Christian, Husband, Dad, Architect.
Interests: Theology, Creationism & ID, Science & Tech, Astronomy, Apple Inc., F1, Cricket, Sci-Fi."
I work at the Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre; School of Physics and Astronomy and am one half of country singing duo - The Neil Young Disco!
Elections, artwork, data, print by profession. Truth seeking with intelligent design science and religion. Distracted by computers, media, football and family!
Age: 22. MPhil Biophysics student @ Manchester Uni. Enjoy sport, music, movies, tv, books & love GOD more! He must become greater, I must become less- John 3:30
Atheist, Humanist, Blogger and Geordie. Zoology BSc and postgrad certificate in Ecology. Likes science & football. Dislikes people who don't wanna learn..
Apologist. Communications consultant. Scottish Rugby fan. Sometime-blogger. Ultimately, it's all about Jesus.
Full-time evangelist with @Operation513. Passionate about the Lord and the salvation of the lost. Do you know Him? Visit needGod.com
"I'm a graphic designer serving the Greatest Designer.
I love Creation science, graphic design, Apple products, photography, and most definitely coffee!"
A 5th great ape, MSt from the University of Life, soldier, atheist, antitheist, antimonarchy, LGBT(straight not narrow), science, ecology, peace, progress, UFC.
I'm a Christian. I like TV, music, God, creation and Due South. Keith Lemon and Nathan James follow me!
68 year old ex hippy Lefty anti-antiscience SF Addict Living near Chesterfield canal/Godfrey's pond in Worksop Notts.
Jim from PleaseConvinceMe.com. Cold Case Detective and Christian Apologist. Posting material from the Christian Blogosphere every day!
This is the official account for Saddleback Church. We are passionate about loving God & people. Visit Saddleback.com for more info.
Seeking God, Serving Others, Sharing The Gospel.
Avid freelance writer, crazy about my God, wife, & kids! More on Faith & Fiction at my website including articles, resources, and my kids book The Sheriff!
Husband Father Preacher Small Business Owner Blogger Life Coach People Person Love God Love Family Love America, Yep Life Is Good
Husband, father, skeptic, atheist, progressive, and science/evolution nerd.
"Our Mission is to glorify God, to reduce human suffering, and to strengthen His church!
CHE TOT 1 trained; Malaria No More Trained Griot Volunteer"
All of life for God's glory alone.
Pre-med student with an INTJ personality. Loves reading, thinking, traveling, learning and swimming. Inspired by God and science.
Recipient of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ for 10+ yrs. Aspiring to aspire to that which should be aspired to. Soli Deo Gloria!
Conservative Christian, Father of 4 Daughters,Armature Apologist who love to share the Gospel and expose false worldviews.
I AM #Truth #Enterprises. Assisting Christian faith through #apologetics and helping others with doctrinal stuff is what I enjoy.
In the past god overlooked such ignorance,but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
God, friends, family, running and avid cereal connoisseur. Denison 2016 studying in Econ and running track and xc! 1 Cor 10:31
Saved by God's grace to be His child; being sanctified by His work in me to be the man He would have me be; and married to a woman whose love is amazing!
I am a Benedictine sister in full habit. I teach math, science & rel to middle-high schoolers for over 27 yrs. Love St. Peter & successors.
Lover of the triune God, philosophy, and theology. I love ministering to others!
I'm a Messenger for Jehovah God . I spread The Good News Of His Kingdom To All Men!!!!
You think something came from nothing... and you thought I was crazy? Pshhh... #TeamJesus #GGTG #GodOverEverything
Cutting Edge Christian Illusionist/Mentalist focused on sharing the Gospel. Love Apologetics. Check out BryanDrakeShow.com
If you don't believe in Jesus you will burn in hellfire for eternity. Gays are evil. Atheists want incest legal and worship Satan. Praise God!
Spiritual Warfare & Apologetics Training -- SWAT is a ministry of The X Factor Christian Fellowship (@RealRelevant)
Ratio Christi is an apologetics club at Iowa State University helping strengthen the faith of Christian students and challenging the assumptions of secularism.
Reformed Christian, conservative, student of political science and philosophy at Auburn University, classical music aficionado, sports fan. War Eagle.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at U of Alabama Birmingham helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Disciple, husband, father of 4, doc for sick kids, and apologist. I embrace Christian theism. Libertarian. Interested in Austrian economics.
A gospel-centered collective focusing on three main themes: gospel preparation (apologetics, pre-evangelism), gospel presentation, and gospel application.
Salvo Magazine: Science, Sex, and Society
"There is a God. His name is Jesus, and believing in him for salvation is the most rational thing a person could do.

Oh, and metal is legit."
Saved by grace through faith in Christ alone (ask me about it), ultra-conservative, geeky TX gal who loves theology, apologetics, & @AKapp42
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Dallas Baptist University helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
just a broken girl...made whole by God's grace...looking to connect with others...veggie lover who loves @brennanfruge, three dogs, and all of God's creation.
Thomist, Technology Enthusiast, along with Philosophy, Theology and Apologetics. Free spanish seminary course @ http://goo.gl/akTyD & My ramblings @:
Evangelical Free Pastor, Fan of Apologetics, married with three children
I am a college student living, and studying computer science, in the SW Dallas area, as well as a conservative evangelical Christian and PowerShell enthusiast.
I am a campus pastor at Duke University who loves God, my family, and my students.
Ratio Christi is an apologetics club at Univ of North Alabama helping strengthen the faith of Christian students and challenging the assumptions of secularism.
We are a non-profit dedicated to sharing the Good News of God's love and redemption, without judgment or condemnation.
Christian-Husband-Father-Geek-Sad Sack. Interests: Theology, Apologetics, Puritan writings, music, genealogy, weaving a memorable tale, books, and comic books.
Providing resources to defend your faith and all things new at Truthbomb Apologetics.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Sam Houston State Univ. helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Jesus Follower, Husband to @MaryJoSharp, Father, Worship Pastor, Wannabe Apologist, People Connector
Chess Player, Christian, Apologist, BS comp science & math-UAHuntsville, CPL, Gideon, support Fair Tax, backpacking, Hi Audrey, dedicated to the King of kings!
Life lover, gym rat, mma nut, book warm, gun enthusiast, xbox-ps3 nerd, community volunteer, animal lover, Jesus freak, and God follower without question!
preacherConnect.com is devoted to educating and encouraging Christian ministers in apologetics, doctrine, and evangelism.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Jacksonville State University helping strengthen the faith of students & challenging the ideas of atheism and secularism.
Founding Pastor, Revolution Church. Apologist, host of TruthRevolution.tv radio show. President, KS Foster/Adoptive Parent Assoc. Loves Jesus. Loves mercy.
Follower of Jesus Christ. Christian Apologetics student at Luther Rice Seminary & University.
music, food, drink, fish, apologetics.
Biblical Apologist with a young earth creation view
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at University of Mobile helping strengthen the faith of Christian students & challenging atheism and secularism.
Every Nation Ministries, Senior Minister Bethel World Outreach Church, author of @theGodTest, @Engage2020 , Doctor of Missiology (Fuller)
Music, acting, writing. Science, Apologetics. Devoting my life to God. www.truthneverfails.wordpress.com www.aglanceandagrin.wordpress.com
I love Jesus, Flyleaf, people, my dog, and #apologetics #LCWYM
Lover of Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit, Writer, Acoustic Guitar Player, Blogger, Music Writer/Arranger, Biblical Creationist
Here for the News, Apologetics, and a little Entertainment.
Creation Today is a Bible-based ministry dedicated to impacting the world to KNOW the Creator — GOD!
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Collin College helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Follower of Jesus Christ, Husband, Father, Social & Fiscal Conservative, Toastmaster, Technical Communicator, Writer, RTB Apologist
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Washington Univ St Louis helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Assoc Professor Political Science-Sam Houston State Univ, Reformed Christian, husband, father, SHSU Bearkat & San Diego Chargers fan. Opinions are mine.
Material Science Engr, Boise State Alum, Snowboarder, husband, friend, Living outside NOLA, Working for Jacobs Engineering at @NASAStennis. My views are my own.
GCC is a church family awestruck by God’s sovereignty, captivated by His compassion, and eager to display God’s grace and glory to a watching world…and to you.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Missouri State University helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
A Christian worldview and apologetics journal where theology, science, philosophy, history, and pop culture collide.
I am not... I love God. i love the gospel and how it changes us. i love my family.
Apologist, Author, Biblicist, Bridge Builder to Muslims, Consultant, Creationist, Evangelist, Inventor, Jesus Freak, Satirist, Scientist, and Sinner. Get App.
ChristianRationality.com is a Christian website devoted to fulfilling human potential through Christ's sacrifice, including apologetics, philosophy and theology
Baby boomer Wife & mom - I trust GOD - all other idea vendors must pay CASH (I background check ALL ideas!)
Wife, mother, grandmother. Interested in Christianity, Walid Shoebat, Intelligent Design, Astrophysics, Science&Technology, Conservative Politics, The Tea Party
Passionate creative professional, children's author, stain glass artist, jewelry designer, potter, lover of nature & science
Author, Finding God Beyond Harvard. Founder, Veritas Forum. Pres., Christians for A Sustainable Economy. Editor, Faith and Culture. Hike, ski, bluegrass, kids.
Follower of Jesus of Nazareth, husband to a woman who is a way out of my league, father of some incredible kids, passionate theologian, philosopher & apologist.
"Houston Baptist University - Assistant Professor of Apologetics
Confident Christianity - Christian apologist, speaker, writer, blogger, debater"
Catholic wife and mother -- seeking to do everything out of love for God and according to His will -- relying totally on grace. . .
historian at Baylor University; books include Patrick Henry and God of Liberty; writing bio of George Whitefield; reporter for WORLD; blogger at Patheos
A Husband, a follower of Jesus Christ, and a lover of Christian history, theology, and apologetics.
Interests: technology, science, religion, and all things that are interesting (hence being an interest). Yeshua follower. @PhaseWare @IdeaWallTalk
Married w/1 child, Reformed Southern Baptist, Christian music fanatic, love to read theology/apologetics books
A wife and mom, formerly homeschooling, informal Biblical apologetics course writer and speaker; ask about my data cds! BS & MS degrees in a technical field.
Christian philosophy that aims to be faithful to God's revelation. #Christian #Philosophy must be aligned w/ Biblical truth.
A Christian blog that encourages people to walk good, live wise, and be blessed. It covers diverse topics including: Apologetics, Theology, Culture, and Family.
Helping the next generation cultivate a mature faith, transformed heart, & radical love for our world. Author & Speaker on Christian Worldview & Apologetics.
Gideon;Christian Apologetics; Evangelism; Encouraging others to be BOLD in their faith; Enjoying interaction with those likeminded!
Just keeping up with life at the speed of Twitter...science, faith, business, politics, food, travel, sports.
Apologist, Youth Worker, Husband, Father, and fan of ping-pong and the Chargers (oh yeah, and Spider-Man too!)
Christian. Apologetics Dabbler. Humbled Husband. Proud Father. Technophile (iPhone 4). Productivity/GTD Enthusiast. UCLA Fan.
ABR is a Christian apologetics ministry that provides well-researched answers to challenging questions about God and the Bible [Started tweeting June 20].
"Pee Wee Larsen loves Jesus, her beloved husband Eric, and is thankful for the opportunity to serve God in her role as a Pediatric NP! Soli Deo Gloria!
"
Computer programmer/Christian apologist/Lightning photographer/Husband/Father. Not sure what I want to be when I grow up.
"Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Mathematician, Engineer, Musician, Philosopher, and Apologist
http://bigmottspot.blogspot.com"
Truth for a New Generation is an Apologetics Conference that will be held at First North Spartanburg, Sept. 28-29 2012. #TNG #Apologetics
Living for God my Creator & Yeshua my Savior & Messiah. Diligently studying His Word. I stand with Israel. Following & RT's do not imply endorsement.
Links to my blog primarily deal with my location hunts in nature and hikes. I follow the Lakers, anything on Christian theology, philosophy, science.
Ratio Christi is an apologetics club at UNC Asheville helping strengthen the faith of Christian students and challenging the assumptions of secularism.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Univ of Georgia equipping students and faculty to give historical, philosophical, and scientific reasons for following Christ
Posting Apologetics themed resources for those who desire to live 1Peter3:15. Put your thinking cap on! NonChristians, atheists welcome!
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at UNC Chapel Hill. helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Follower of Christ, husband of 1 amazing woman, father of 4 fabulous children, and servant of one awesome God!
Ratio Christi organizes #apologetics clubs at secular universities to strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenge atheism and secularism on campus.
Enthusiast of #apologetics, #theology, #religion, #politics, #philosophy, and particularly Jesus Christ and my family.
President, Campus & Church #Apologetics Speaker, (co)author: I Dont Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist; Correct, Not Politically Correct; & Legislating Morality
Believer in Jesus Christ, husband to a beautiful woman, Terri, father to caring children, teacher of science to amazing high school students in Coatesville, PA
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at University of Maryland helping strengthen the faith of Christian students while challenging atheism & secularism on campus.
Ratio Christi is a worldview apologetics club to strengthen the convictions of Christian students and challenge the assumptions of secularism.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Univ. Michigan Dearborn helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Erie, PA universities helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
I love Christ, my Family, Theology, Apologetics, Philosophy, and Writing. Besides that, I'm pretty boring.
Major resource for people who are interested in studying science and creation from a biblical perspective.
Pastor of Celebration Fellowship, a prison ministry in the CRCNA. I'm totally blessed by God's grace, and the opportunity to serve in the church.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Lenoir-Rhyne University helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Christian Apologist, Windows Phone, Android, C#, Java, ASP.Net Developer, living in the heart of Michigan.
Christian Apologetics and Spiritual Growth Mentor. Founder of DoubtLess Faith Ministries.
Husband, Father, Pastor and Coach. I Love Jesus, Family, the Church and Scripture. Interested in apologetics, philosophy and science.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Cal State Fullerton helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Ratio Christi is an apologetics club at University of Kentucky helping strengthen the faith of Christian students and challenging the assumptions of secularism.
Husband, dad, Christian Philosophy and Apologetics student, blogger, runner, guitarist, motorcyclist, and world-renown ice cream eater.
*His* Jheydith stone. Disciple of Christ. Redeemed daughter of God. Lover of baby toes. Passionate for His glory. Eager for His return. Joyful in the waiting.
Loves Jesus. #Christian sites for #seekers and #fellowship alike. Apologetics cert (Biola), MA history, BA anthro. http://withchristianeyes.com/page1.php
"politics, technology, apologetics, etc.
Massachusetts, live free, or here."
Bible teacher, writer and Christian apologist.
Professional recruiter and volunteer Christian apologist. Helping people find jobs and defend their faith.
Southern Evangelical Seminary provides undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in Christian apologetics, philosophy, and theology
Sound Rezn with Alex McFarland is a daily radio broadcast about Christian apologetics and worldview issues.
Strength in faith, mind, and body- a work in progress to the glory of God. Professional Landscape Architect and Planner. Servant at Union Avenue Baptist Church.
Christ Follower, Son, Brother, Friend, Servant, Political Junkie. My desire is to simply be a Servant for Christ.God.Family.Country!
Like toRT:What Nudges Me. Proclaiming,The National Motto of the Republic of the USA, In God We Trust...
Follower of Jesus; Husband, Dad, Aspiring Apologist, Musician, OEC, Dude. RT≠Endorsement!
The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory.
I am a mom to two little girls. I like science and crafting, candy and soda, and I don't like to sweat
"Love God, Love Others.
Know God, Make God Known.
δεν είμαι ορυχείο"
Founded by R.C. Sproul to equip Christians to articulate what they believe & why they believe it. Reformed theology & God's holiness are central to our purpose.
Marketing Strategist. Co-Founder of Story Soapbox. CEO @XECorporation. I'm for God, Family, and the USA. Dabble in politics, soccer, horses & golf
"Call up your skeptical friends, your evolutionist teachers, and yourself!
We'll answer from God's Word!"
I smile a lot because I have GOD in my life.
Conservative Libertarian. Christian. Homeschool Mother. God, Liberty, Freedom, Constitution.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Brown University helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Husband of Allison. Med student at @VCU. President of @reach4ghana. My purpose = love God, love people, change the world!
I love giving the 'God/no-God' debate mindful consideration. My 'favorites' house a collection of original theological musings. Enjoy; ENGAGE!
I love God, for He fills me with hope. I'm a systems-analyst-turned-writer and blogger. Also, master of typos.
Christ-follower, Pastor, PhD student in Apologetics, Adjunct Philosophy Professor, Constitution supporter
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at New College of Florida helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
Follower of Christ. I am all about philosophy, theology, apologetics, playing guitar, and Chicago Bears football. PSU football runs a close second.
Ratio Christi #apologetics club at Florida State Univ. helping strengthen the faith of Christian students, & challenging atheism and secularism on campus.
i teach science @ vanguard u and the bible @ models for Christ LA + CC Costa Mesa
Christian apologist, anti-human trafficking & religious persecution activist interested in Christian music & independent films, reading, & talking w/friends
I promote science, critical thinking, questioning, and curiosity. I oppose foolishness like creationism/ID, the GOP, and more. My tweets reflect that.
Creation Wiki is a free encyclopedia that is derived from the uniquely creationist perspective. Over 5,000 Christian apologetics articles.
Unemployed Civil Engineer, Former HS Science Teacher, Voice Artist, Talk Radio Junkie, American
I expanded my flute playing in church to more that just the various lines in the hymnal by utilizing descants. It adds more joy and brings glory to God.
Child of God, Husband, Father, Business Developer, Writer, Composer
Christian, husband, father, author/blogger/speaker on apologetics & worldview, ministry strategy consultant, swimmer, hiker, canoeist, reside in Yorktown, VA.
Science, philosophy, news, and a reasoned defense of the Christian message.
I believe that teaching Christians how to use the tools of Science, combined with Biblical knowledge and the teachings of Christ, will bear much fruit.
"Independent Researcher:
Physics, Science & Nature;
Published Author
"
"Christ follower. I love the Bible and apologetics. Mother, Gardener, Painter, 911 Dispatcher, and one of the few who loves humidity and 90 degree weather!!
"
Christian, wife, mom, teacher, ed-tech-er, blogger, pro-lifer, amateur apologist, and TV-lover. My Twitter, like my life, is a hodge-podge of them all!
Christian apologist. Coffee drinker. Forgiven. Loved. Transformed. boyradd.wordpress.com
#Christian #apologetics is what we do: #Atheism #Mormons #Jehovah's Witness #Cults #NewAge #Paranormal #Islam #Science #Philosophy #God #Bible #Christianity
Wife & Homeschooling Mom,Conservative, Love God with all your heart 1st others 2nd.Love is Patient Love is Kind, Love does not envy,it does not boast.
Apologetics Made Simple. Bringing Your World Into Focus
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26 comments:

SPARC said...

Here's a word cloud summary of the biographies:
http://www.wordle.net/delete?index=5802856&d=QKTO

John Davison said...

An extremely useful assembly of data, thanks for the effort.

Geoff said...

Legend. Thanks SPARC, I'll do a wordcloud of all Twitter profiles, not just the samples I posted.

Thanks!

Geoff said...

Thanks John! My next post will be on fake Twitter accounts dressed to look up as Christian - and who's buying them. Hope to see you back!

Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SPARC said...

Nice that I could help you. If you want to prevent double entries due to different usage of lower and upper case letters you will find two switches under "language" ("MAKE ALL WORDS UPPER-CASE" and "make all words lower-case", respectively) after wordle generated an initial cloud.

Geoff said...

Cool, I'll give it a shot post work.

Anonymous said...

Is there any link with ART ROBINSON, the anti-evolution, anti-AGW author of the "Oregon Petition"?
Art Robinson has some Discovery Institute connections, I know.

Geoff said...

Don't have the data to hand, but I'll check it out this evening and comment.

hargaden said...

I am no supporter of the Discovery Institute, ID or any of this stuff but if I read this post from some random selection on the internet I would assume that the author was very ignorant about American evangelicalism.

I know that isn't true and so why have you described Eric Metaxas as a Christian apologist when he is a historian.

You have described Mark Driscoll as an apologist when he is a church planter with a congregation of over 10,000 in a city that is commonly described as "the most secular in America" whatever the hell that means.

You have described Rick Warren as an apologist when he is the pastor of arguably the most influential congregation in the English-speaking world.

I read Christianity Today religiously (HAR HAR) because it is a superb periodical. I rate its journalism as consistently on a par with The Atlantic and The New Yorker. It is not an apologetics publication.

Desiring God is a fascinating movement based around a church in Minneapolis that has been giving away resources for free over the last few decades that have serious market value. Those resources are primarily the sermons preached by the pastor John Piper and the books that he writes. I again struggle to grasp why you have described this as "apologetics".

You'll may think my objections pedantic but they reveal a fundamental flaw in your experiment. You expect to find the data you find and allow complex and nuanced outputs to be warped to fit into the containers you constructed.

And that insight, if it is true, casts a fresh light on this sentence at the heart of this post:

"One's country of birth is the strongest indicator of one's religious views, whereas science finds borders so much more permeable."

This sentence appears to compare the adherence and practice of a religion to some free-floating global entity called "science". You'll need to help me out because my exposure to two entities I thought were called "religion" and "science" led me to believe they weren't opposed to each other. Is my understanding wrong?

JoeNavy said...

dude, hargaden. Do you have any idea what an apologist is?

"Is my understanding wrong?"
Yes it is. The fundamental practices of science(trial and error, proving things, shit like that) stay the same no matter where it is practiced...religion however varies completely depending on where you live/raised. Because for some reason the Jewish God only loved the Jews and hated all the other little nomadic tribes.

Geoff said...

Hi Hargaden,

Thanks for the comment.

"why have you described Eric Metaxas as a Christian apologist when he is a historian"?

Rolling back momentarily, I'd like to investigate the possibility that we're using the term apologetics differently. I read it as meaning encouraging an advancement in understanding of the (Christian) faith, putting forward arguments in favour, countering arguments against and so forth. Is this how you use the term?

Looking at Eric Metaxas, he's won the Evangelical Christian Publisher's Association's book of the year. He was a keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2012. He was heavily involved in the Wilberforce Weekend. He founded Socrates in the City. He's written about the need for Christians to speak up and influence society.

Note - this is not a complaint and I do not object to his activities. I suspect I'd quite enjoy Socrates in the City, but it rather fits in to my understanding of the term apologetics. If I've erred in my use of the term, do let me know and suggest an alternative - I'm quite convinced your understanding is more strongly grounded than mine.

On the historical side, he's written a biography of Bonhoeffer which has been described as "unhistorical, theologically weak, and philosophically naive" and "an appeal to Evangelical Christians in the United States" by Bonhoeffer scholars.

He also wrote a book on Wilberforce, but considering his prodigious output these two tomes are hardly career defining.

"You have described Mark Driscoll as an apologist"

Yes, we've both been interviewed on the same apologetics radio show. (Different episodes.) Now, obviously, I'm not the world's foremost Christian apologist, but he's involved in the resurgence, which provides training and material to evangelists, and his aim is to make lots of Christian converts through his writing, preaching and media appearances. Again, if I'm not using the word apologetics correctly here, I'm grateful for an alternative.

Rick Warren grew his congregation from 200 to 20,000 over three decades. This is their apologetics section.

Christianity today's mission statement reads "creating Christian content that changes the people who change the world."

Desiring God says that "Everything we do aims to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ."

You could make an argument that the last two should be categorised as Christian news and Christian evangelism. If you like I'm happy to relabel them as such. But would it really change the point I'm making? You cannot argue that any of the top 25 accounts also followed by Discovery Institute fans are about science.

Geoff said...

Me: "One's country of birth is the strongest indicator of one's religious views, whereas science finds borders so much more permeable."

You: "This sentence appears to compare the adherence and practice of a religion to some free-floating global entity called "science". You'll need to help me out because my exposure to two entities I thought were called "religion" and "science" led me to believe they weren't opposed to each other. Is my understanding wrong?"


Let's go through my premises:

Argument 1
Science exists.
Religion exists.
One can be a fan of the ID movement for either religious reasons, scientific reasons, or a blend of both.
Analysis of accounts also followed by Twitter fans of the Discovery Institute, coupled with analysis of how those fans choose to describe themselves in their Twitter profiles, indicates that fans of the Discovery Institute overwhelmingly follow it for religious reasons.

Supporting argument
The single most likely indicator of one's religion is the religion of one's parents. By extension, the religious views of one's country can often (but not always) suggest one's religious beliefs.
This is not observed in science.
Analysis of the countries of origin of Discovery Institute fans indicates that it is popular almost exclusively in areas where American Evangelical Christianity with an antipathy to evolution exists.

The compatibility of religion and science (or lack thereof) is not a premise. Having a Theological commitment to opposing evolution does hamper one's ability to do good science, but as I said in the post, this is bad Theology. You're asking me to defend an argument I didn't make.

hargaden said...

Hey Joe. Ask Geoff. I'm Ireland's greatest apologist!

Seriously, I used to be a full time evangelist. I'm now a fulltime theology student. So, dude, I know things.

Like, I know your description of science is faulty, your definition of religion is preposterous and your understanding of YHWH is catastrophic.

You've also reminded me why I don't comment on blogs unless they're about Man City, the importance of civil conduct (especially online) or how my faith makes me allergic to reason.

Geoff, apologetics is, as you know, a reasoned defence of faith. I am not doubting that Eric has at times offered, privately or publicly, a reasoned defence of faith. 1 Peter 3:15 says it is the responsibility of all Christians to do so.

However, my drinking buddy Robert is an evangelical Christians. He is also a fellow of Dublin University, Trinity College and a renowned historian. If you engage him over a pint on the wonderfully entertaining waffle in Chris Hitchens' yellow book, he will offer you apologetics. You could ask him to come speak to your society about the imaginative world of English speaking 17th Century Puritans and he'll be doing apologetics (if we define Metaxas' Bonhoeffer, for which he won the prize you cite as apologetics)(and better history, probably).

My point is that you are warping your results to fit your biases. You have not in any way addressed that point.

The problem with your daintily laid out counter-argument is once again, you are positing science as one thing that we are adherents to and religion as another.

This is not the case and your own rhetoric relies on the fact that science is not something we adhere to. It is a description of reality that really doesn't need our buy in. Cue: gravity denying will kill you etc.

The "science" that is not adhered to by the IDers is in fact politics. Your recent blogposts have demonstrated how a scientifically grounded worldview - to quote our Navy friend Joe - "trial and error, proving things, shit like that" - always spills over into the actual ethical life lived. Presumably support for abortion is not a scientifically informed position?

So in conclusion, your counter arguments don't even addressed the suggestion I am making. You know me. I wouldn't bother commenting on the writings of someone who posited some Ditchkinsesque science -v- religion scenario. But the intellectually viable way of describing those relationships requires a recognition that they are not approached in similar ways, they don't make similar demands and fundamentally, they can't be approached alone.

The polis can never be ignored.

PS: As a reader, I much prefer the blogposts that involve you writing.

hargaden said...

And just a point: your supporting argument offers the same kind of blunt analysis as the rest of the blogpost.

The religion of your parents is the best indicator of the sociological religious identification of any given individual.

Your post is about the owned religious activity of people and that cannot be read off a page from some social scientific theory. I realise you don't intend to give a mis-impression but the way you have written, people who take your word on things (which is generally a wise thing to do) would believe you were sharing some useful heuristic.

Geoff said...

Hi Anonymous,

No real link with Art Robinson. My report only displays if more than ten followers of @DiscoveryCSC also follow the account in question, and can't do protected accounts, but otherwise it's fairly complete - they don't seem to like the chap.

Hi SPARC,

I redid the word cloud, but ran it through some regular expressions first to get title case. I'm a pedant :)

Jonny said...

I guess there’s a question as to whether one can draw any inferences from the followers of a particular twitter feed. Specifically in regards to other feeds they follow.

I’d say, yes, to a point. I think if a large chunk of the followers of X, also follow , BNP & National Front etc you could make an educated guess about the political leanings of X.

I’m not sure that definitions of the word ‘apologist’ are pertinent. You are simply presenting facts and saying it might be interesting. You are not saying that the people in the ‘also followed’ list have nothing else about them other than their Christianity, you are just highlighting this aspect in relation to your hypothesis that Discovery Institute is religious / socio-religious / socio-political rather than, scientific.

thats what i take from it anyway.

the chip monk said...

" You are not saying that the people in the ‘also followed’ list have nothing else about them other than their Christianity, you are just highlighting this aspect in relation to your hypothesis that Discovery Institute is religious / socio-religious / socio-political rather than, scientific."

But this continues the presupposition that there is an inherent conflict between religious belief and science. Religion and science don't ask the same questions, which is why Creationists are shit scientists and Dawkins is a shit philosopher. There is no conflict, only perceived conflict.

Geoff said...

When time allows I'll comment more fully, but allow me to reiterate that I have not proposed a conflict between science and religion.

Doulos1066 said...

Could you post more of your data? I am curious at the rest of the results. I did not follow the Discovery Institute until tonight, but I follow at least 8 of those in the group.

Geoff said...

Hi Doulos,

Sure thing - what did you have in mind? Expanding the top 25 groups also followed, or something else?

Rather than me categorise each one I'll write a script to pull their Twitter biography. Might take me a day or two to get to it.

Geoff said...

Jonny, great comment, good summary of what I'd hope to achieve.

Geoff said...

Hi Hargaden, (should we switch to first names? I'm sure most have spotted you on my blog roll by now)

Out of curiosity I checked Eric Metaxas' latest tweet. It reads:

"If you know of a big church interested in having me speak about Bonhoeffer, we're putting together a Feb tour..."

Following the link in his tweet, we see the criteria he requires for hosting his talk:

"Believe strongly in the message and willing to pray and promote strongly throughout your city.
Church facility that seats at least 1500.
Willingness to share this message to both believers in your city as well as non-believers."

I don't feel your attempts to paint him as not being primarily involved in Christian apologetics is a particularly honourable debate tactic. We're burning a lot of electrons on it, and frankly I don't feel Dr Armstrong would warm to the comparison you offer.

What do you want me to do? Scrub out "Christian Apologetics" and in its stead write "man devoted to spreading the message of Christianity through books, talks, group planting and other methods"?

Does that really weaken my point?

"The problem with your daintily laid out counter-argument is once again, you are positing science as one thing that we are adherents to and religion as another.

This is not the case and your own rhetoric relies on the fact that science is not something we adhere to."


Let me try an analogy. There's an astrophysicist called Dr Brian May who has 2,233 fans on Twitter. That he has so many fans suggests his astrophysics is well viewed. However, if I analyse his followers I may discover a preponderance of folk who also follow Roger Taylor, Queen, Paul Rogers and other 80's rock stars. I could then conclude that people primarily follow him as lead guitarist for Queen, not as astrophysicist.

This does not require me to posit that guitar riffs and big hair are incompatible with science. No one would demand that I write a twenty page essay justifying my thoughts that John Deacon is a musician. It does not follow, nor does it imply, that 80's music is a negative force in the world. It just states that the popularity of Dr May is primarily based on music, not science.

(Side note - I have not analysed Dr May's twitter followers, nor have I read his academic work. I mean no disrespect to the man.)

Is this how my post reads?

As a reader, I much prefer the blogposts that involve you writing.

I appreciate the feedback. And the comments, really. I am like a kid with a new toy as I learn more about Twitter. While I'll likely continue using my sonic screwdriver in future, I will gradually add in some opinion pieces.

Anonymous said...

Can you do Creationist and pretend astrophysicist Hugh Ross?

Globe Trotter said...

WAY too much time on your hands. I wonder what nonsense we'd find if we did this for "science" organizations like National Center for Science Education, AAAS, Scientific American, or the like. Just because a scientific theory has theological implications doesn't mean it's any less of a theory than another. Get a life!

Geoff said...

WAY too much time on your hands.

Those who spend their time commenting on blogs find themselves on shaky ground when they choose to criticise those who invest their time writing blogs. Anyway, as I've explained before, pulling Twitter metrics is not a time-consuming process for me.

I wonder what nonsense we'd find if we did this for "science" organizations like National Center for Science Education, AAAS, Scientific American, or the like.

Go knock yourself out. Alternatively, put in the research and prove your unsupported hypothesis. I realise this is not a popular approach in your circles. Be a maverick.

Just because a scientific theory has theological implications...

Whoops! You're supposed to pretend Intelligent Design doesn't say anything about the creators. Care to try again?