I’m just some loud-mouthed blogger with an opinion on just about everything, so I understand it if some people dismiss me as… um… just some loud-mouthed blogger with an opinion on just about everything. But Seattle Weekly editor Knute Berger, he’s a respectable journalist… a local institution whose Jerry Garcia looks belie his broad knowledge of all things Seattle, and measured punditry on WA state politics.
So if you choose to ignore my scathing criticism of Bill Gates funding of the Discovery Institute, perhaps you’ll listen to Knute’s:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a major contributor to the Discovery Institute. And while the money doesn’t go toward “intelligent design” work per se, it does support the institute’s own intelligent designer, Bruce Chapman, who runs the place. Bill Gates has also been a vocal advocate for improving public education in this country and has lamented loudly the low level of science education in particular. His foundation has poured at least $1 billion dollars into the effort of remaking schools, and he is reportedly prepared to spend at least $1 billion more. Gates is making a concerted effort to be education reform’s own intelligent designer, a worthy and noble cause.
But the Discovery Institute is a bit like a hole in his pocket: For every dollar he spends abetting the “intelligent design” agenda, he is setting back his own effort to promote good science and learning.
The challenge of education reform that Gates has taken on is big enough without this self-imposed burden. Turning around overcrowded schools that are held back by too many lousy teachers, bloated bureaucracies, and clueless parents who drop their kid off for 12 years of state-run, underfunded day care is no easy task, even for one of the world’s richest