A documentary on Intelligent Design, a flavor of Creationism, can be shown at the California Science Center under terms of a settlement announced yesterday.
But the group that sued the center after they scheduled a screening of "Darwin's Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record" and the center canceled it in 2009 now says it won't bother to show the film at the center's IMAX theater. The American Freedom Alliance will just take its $110,000 settlement and move on.
There are two issues. One is legal; if anything named the California Science Center knows so little about actual science it took money to show the film and host a fundraiser without bothering to check on what it was about, either they are pretty darn culturally moderate and allow a lot of things and assume the public is smart enough to sort wheat from chaff, or they are stupid - but what they can't do is be discriminatory. These American Freedom Alliance people were not pretending to be something else and engaging in fraud about what they intended to do with the venue, which would be just cause and breach of contract. The science center settled the lawsuit because what they did was likely to be illegal and the law needs to also protect people we happen not to like.
Here's the trailer for the movie, because people are less stupid than a science center believes (and than militant atheists believe too), plus it's a terrible bit of fiction that hacks up science to fit a cultural agenda in a way worthy of Al Gore, so since we just helped 'promote' it, we can now make fun of it.
The other issue, of course, is promoting non-science as science. Anything called a 'Science Center' is a private company, non-profit or not, so they can do what they want but there should be some expectation that if 'science' is in the name, there will be science, just like if I got to a restaurant with 'burger' in the name there will be a cheeseburger. If their employees are so dumb they sign the contract and then, when they are criticized, have to invent some reasoning that they canceled it because too many groups were promoting the center and the event, it doesn't make a lot of sense to scientists or judges. Basically, they caved, but they wouldn't have had to cave if they knew what science was in the first place.
Attorney William J. Becker Jr., the attorney for the plaintiff, is not a scientist but disagrees with the assertion that Intelligent Design is just Creationism.
"Intelligent design theory is based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence," Becker told the Associated Press. "It is based on research that does not discuss who the intelligent designer is, whereas creationism is based solely on the belief that the Bible's Book of Genesis is accurate."
Call for reviewers: I am starting a peer-reviewed journal on Theoretical Phys. Ed., so if you like to sit on the couch and eat Doritos, you are the perfect peer to review my work. Apparently that is all peer review means to some people.
Anyway, the attorney's claim would be great, if the evidence had not shown that the first ID books were just Creationism ones with references to Creationism replaced - and they missed a few spots.
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