YOU probably remember what we’ve been calling the “Darwin’s Dilemma Exhibition Case.” The next few indented paragraphs provide background information, which most of you can skip:
A lawsuit filed by the American Freedom Alliance (AFA) charges that the California Science Center (CSC) violated both the First Amendment and a contract to rent its theater when it canceled a screening of Darwin’s Dilemma. The AFA is an outfit promoting the controversy about evolution — in the interest of what they call “academic freedom.” The film they wanted to show is being heavily hyped by the Discoveroids. The theater owner getting sued is the California Science Center, which canceled a contract for showing the film, alleging that a Discoveroid press release violated a contract clause requiring their prior approval of all promotional materials.
The AFA alleges that the contract violation was a “false pretext” for cancellation of the screening contract. It’s really discrimination and a violation of the First Amendment, thus a violation of the AFA’s constitutional rights. The National Center for Science Education has all the court pleadings available online. See: American Freedom Alliance v. California Science Center et al.
Our last post about this was Discovery Institute Wins Minor Victory. That discussed the settlement of a separate piece of litigation — the California version of a Freedom of Information Act case, which resulted in the CSC’s turning documents over to the Discovery Institute. The documents requested were about CSC’s canceling the film’s screening.
Was there a smoking gun in those documents? They’ve been studied by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s infamous Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists — described here: Missing link: “cdesign proponentsists”). The shocking truth now appears at the Discoveroid blog.
We present some excerpts from Documents Reveal Intolerance Towards Intelligent Design at the California Science Center. It’s by Casey Luskin, everyone’s favorite creationist. Casey says, with bold font added by us:
Per the terms of the settlement [described above], CSC was to deliver to Discovery Institute many of the documents which we originally requested. Those documents have now been delivered, and combined with other previously known documents, they reveal striking evidence of CSC’s viewpoint discrimination against intelligent design (ID) in AFA’s case.
“Striking evidence” of “viewpoint discrimination” has been found! This is big news indeed. Let’s read on:
For starters, multiple individuals within CSC expressed animus towards ID:
[Casey quotes something that allegedly says:] I personally have a real problem with anything that elevates the concept of intelligent design to a level that makes it appear as though it should be considered equally alongside Darwinian theory as a possible alternative to natural selection. In other words, I see us getting royally played by the Center for Science and Culture resulting in long term damage to our credibility and judgment for a very long time.
[Back to Casey:] That’s Ken Phillips, a curator at the California Science Center, claiming that allowing a showing of Darwin’s Dilemma is somehow getting “royally played,” because ID (for one evening at the CSC IMAX) could then be considered as a possible alternative to Darwinism.
We like Ken Phillips — he has a solid understanding of the situation. But learning about Phillips’ attitude seems to have shocked Casey to the core. This is his reaction:
Phillips’ words are significant: He has a problem with “anything” that makes ID appear to be considered equal with Darwinism. Of course he has the right to disagree with ID, but he doesn’t even want anyone or “anything” to have the opportunity to hold or express a different view.
That’s stretching things a bit, but we’ve come to expect such tactics. Casey goes on to say:
While it’s perfectly fine for CSC administrators to hold and express views that oppose ID, their animus extended further in that they wished to limit freedom of speech and equal access to government facilities for those who support ID.
Hey Casey, they’re a state-financed science museum. They can’t be in the religion business. [* Curmudgeon sighs *] Let’s continue with Casey’s amazing revelations:
Thus, another high level CSC staff members made the following statements:
[Casey’s alleged quote:] “A science center should not even be asked to partner w/ any group associated w/ debating Darwinism – it’s not our place”
“their topic of Darwinism and the nature of their controversial approach is likely not a good fit to partner w/ a Science Center.”
[Back to Casey:] Another CSC staff member asked, “Why on earth were we going to show this film in the first place?!”
Can you imagine, dear reader, the effect this is having on Casey? It must be like finding a hidden batch of letters written by one’s mother saying things like: “I can no longer deny it — my son is a creationist idiot!” Here’s more:
Phillips wasn’t the only intolerant member of the LA science elite, nor was CSC the only intolerant institution. At other institutions, such as the University of Southern California and the LA Museum of Natural History, academics reacted with horror at the ghastly prospect of an hour long movie on intelligent design being screened at CSC’s public theatre.
There are other disclosures in Casey’s blog article, similar to those excerpted above, and Casey promises to disclose still more shocking “evidence” in subsequent posts. What’s Casey’s opinion of all this? Here it comes:
Let’s think about this for a minute. Are Darwin’s defenders so paranoid that they are afraid of a single night’s movie showing? The evidence would indicate that the answer is “yes.” The evidence also shows that the showing was cancelled precisely because of that paranoia. This presents troubling implications for CSC because such viewpoint discrimination has repeatedly been held illegal and unconstitutional.
If the day ever comes that the courts hold sanity to be unconstitutional, that will officially signal the end of the Enlightenment in America.
Update: See “Darwin’s Dilemma” Case: 03 Sep ’10 Update.
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