Last night we posted The Full Story about the settlement of what we’ve been calling the Darwin’s Dilemma Exhibition Case. The actual case name is American Freedom Alliance v. California Science Center, California Science Center Foundation, Jeffrey Rudolph, et al. It’s sometimes abbreviated AFA v. CSC.
As you might have expected, this morning there is a new barrage of posts (well, two posts) from the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
We’ll deal here with both of them. Our excerpts will omit their links and add bold font for emphasis. The first is AP’s Coverage of California Science Center’s $110K Payout for Censorship Predictably Misses the Mark by 150 Years. Here we go:
Big surprise. The MSM [mainstream media, we assume] missed the real news. The news here is that a state-run museum censorsed a film because they had contempt for the film’s pro-ID viewpoint.
Uh, not quite. That was the creationists’ position in their complaint, but the settlement clearly stated that neither party admitted any liability, and there was no court decision on the creationists’ allegation of “viewpoint discrimination” — or VD. Then the Discoveroids say:
The cost of such censorship reaches six figures — $110,000 to be exact. That’s a legitimate news story.
The “cost of censorship”? Actually, it’s more like the cost of litigation. As described by the CSC, “the settlement is a means to avoid the costs of further proceedings.” Let’s read on:
The AP story claims that the California Science Center is claiming that Discovery Institute issued “false and misleading press releases” in “an effort to drum up controversy.”
Yes, and the court record indicates that such was indeed the case. We continue:
Maybe the scientists and scholars at the Science Center haven’t noticed, but evolution is an inherently controversial subject. Ask any presidential candidate.
Yeah, and while you’re at it, ask the candidates the shape of the earth — most of them think it’s flat. Okay, now here’s the second Discoveroid blog posting: Series of Costly Case Settlements Warns Darwin’s Bullies: Stop Censoring Intellectual Freedom. Let’s get into it:
“Three case settlements this year show that it is a costly mistake for intolerant academic elites to suppress the viewpoints of Darwin-critics,” said Casey Luskin, an attorney and policy analyst with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. “The growing trend is that those who discriminate against intelligent design face stiff penalties.”
Casey Luskin? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Casey mentioned “three case settlements this year.” The CSC case is one. What are the other two? The Discoveroids tell us:
In January, the University of Kentucky paid over $100,000 to settle astronomer Martin Gaskell’s claim that he was wrongfully denied employment for doubting Darwinism.
We posted a few times about the Gaskell case, and we remember it well. He had no contact with the Discoveroids, yet the Discoveroids claimed the Gaskell settlement was a “Victory for Academic Freedom.” Our last post was Discovery Institute Claims Victory in Gaskell Case, in which we said:
The Discoveroids are claiming victory in a race they never ran. Verily, they are the top contenders for this year’s Rosie Ruiz award — an award that only your Curmudgeon bestows.
You can read [the settlement agreement] for yourself: Release and Settlement Agreement. It’s a 6-page pdf file. The university pays $125K, everyone releases everyone else, and no one admits doing anything wrong.
After gloating about “their” victory in Gaskell, the Discoveroids tell us:
Soon thereafter, Applied Mathematics Letters paid thousands of dollars and publicly apologized to avoid litigation after it wrongfully withdrew mathematician Granville Sewell’s peer-reviewed paper critiquing neo-Darwinism.
We didn’t write much about the Sewell situation, but we mentioned it here: Discovery Institute’s Long March to Respectability. Sewell’s article, allegedly with a creationist slant, had been accepted for publication but was then retracted. He threatened to sue, and the journal paid $10K to buy him off.
We’d all like to see such things fought to the bitter end, take no prisoners, scorched earth, all that good stuff — like Kitzmiller — but that depends on available resources and the willingness of insurance companies to go along. Sometimes an inexpensive settlement is the prudent way to go. If such incidents are then ballyhooed by the Discoveroids as “their” litigation “victories,” well, as long as their financial patrons are happy they’ll keep their jobs. But filing suits over grandiose principles like “viewpoint discrimination” and then settling for legal fees doesn’t amount to a legal groundswell. Some might think it amounts to a shake-down.
Those are Casey’s “three case settlements this year” — the CSC case, the Gaskell employment case, and the Sewell situation. Now we’re all supposed to tremble when a creationist pounds on the door and demands a seat at the table. Right. We’re trembling.
Then the Discoveroid article dips into history and mentions some ancient controversies — the Richard von Sternberg mess (see Sternberg peer review controversy), the Guillermo Gonzalez tenure dispute (that’s Expelled! star Guillermo Gonzalez, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” who failed to get tenure at Iowa State University and who now teaches at some bible college), and the creationist “research lab at Baylor University” which was shut down. Regarding Baylor, we think they’re referring to the remnants of Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment.
Impressive, isn’t it? Actually, it’s not; but the Discoveroids imagine themselves to be like Wyatt Erp. You wouldn’t want to provoke a shoot-out with him, would you? No, of course not. But with Casey? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Anyway, here’s the end of the Discoveroid article:
“The CSC settlement puts another high price tag on Darwinian censorship of the ID viewpoint,” said Joshua Youngkin, Program Officer in Public Policy and Legal Affairs. “The going penalty for viewpoint discrimination against ID is about $100,000, though successfully defending freedom of ID expression is priceless.”
It’s quite a bit less than $100K if you average in Sewell’s payoff of $10K, but we’re not grading the Discoveroids on math. Even if we did, it wouldn’t lower their average from where it already is.
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