Evolving Banners at the Discovery Institute
The original banner of the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture — the institutional home of "intelligent design" creationism — featured the familiar picture from the Sistine Chapel of God touching Adam:
The image was entirely appropriate, since the Discovery Institute's president, Bruce Chapman, explained that the Center seeks "To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God." Adam was subsequently replaced with the double helix of DNA:
But the explicit religiosity of Michelangelo's image belied the Center's disavowal of any religious motivation, and the banner was eventually replaced. The replacement features a planetary nebula (the MyCn 18 Hourglass Nebula, photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope), which presumably was selected because it happens to resemble a human eye:
Still present in the name of the Center, however, was the word "Renewal" — a peculiarly inspirational word for the name of a center that seeks (in its own words) to "challenge materialism on specifically scientific grounds." The Center recently removed the word "Renewal" from its name and revised the banner accordingly:
Most recently, the banner was replaced again – this time with an overlay of a cartoon DNA molecule, a fragment of the United States Constitution and Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. Appropriately, like intelligent design itself, the new banner shows us nothing of the natural world.
So far so good. But because the proponents of "intelligent design" have still not published anything in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that supports their claims, there is still a superfluous word in the Center's name: "Science." We look forward to the next step in its evolution.