Sunday, December 11, 2005


How Influential is the Discovery Institute?

PZ Myers, the Minnesota biology prof. and blogger who publishes the very influential Pharyngula weblog, notes that he's not getting much traffic from a link to his blog on the Discovery Institute's Evolution News and Views blog.

They're good at manipulating the media, says Myers, but very few people read them.

We concur with Myers' observation, but we wondered if we could find any data to back up his hypothesis. Then we thought of Bloglines, the RSS feed we subscribe to. Bloglines reports the total number of subscribers in the header of each RSS feed. Here's the data for a number of blogs we follow on the evolution, intelligent design, creationism pseudocontroversy:



Naturally, these numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt. In our experience, only a tiny percentage of regular blog readers use an RSS service. Moreover, our Bloglines sample might not be representative. The numbers shouldn't be taken as conclusive evidence that what Myers' says about Discovery's influence is a fact, but they are suggestive, certainly.


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