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Thursday, June 02, 2005

UPDATED! Smithsonian to screen ID-friendly film - for FREE! ... but doesn't like ending

The latest official news about the screening of The Privileged Planet at the Smithsonian in Washington on June 23, 2005, can be found in the Washington Post or New York Times, but if you want to know how crazy things have gotten, go to the Discovery Institute’s “Wonders of the Smithsonian”, where you can read the documents from the Smithsonian for yourself. Yes!

According to the Times story,

"The major problem with the film is the wrap-up," said Randall Kremer, a museum spokesman.

"It takes a philosophical bent rather than a clear statement of the science, and that's where we part ways with them."

What I want the Discovery Institute - which is showing the controversial Privileged Planet film at the Smithsonian - to do is screen philosophical-type excerpts from Carl Sagan's Cosmos interleaved with excerpts from Discovery's fave Privileged Planet.

Would it be okay to show Cosmos at the Smithsonian but not Privileged Planet? Now why might that be?

Here is an excerpt from a previous blog in which I make quite clear that Sagan had an agenda to promote:

So the reason that many people may assail Smithsonian publicist Randall Kremer this week about the Smithsonian co-hosting the film is simply this: Screening a film at the Smithsonian that contradicts Carl Sagan’s creed that the “The Cosmos
is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” suggests that American science is not, after all, the Church of Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins. That will be news to some people, who have always assumed that it was. Well, we will soon see whether it is or is not. Certainly, Sagan’s phrase echoes—and mocks—the traditional Gloria , for whatever that is worth. The key question is, can an American science institution tolerate a film that suggests that there is evidence for intelligent design of the universe or is evidence of intelligent design impossible in principle because American science is indeed the Church of Carl Sagan?] (blog 5 28 2005, archives below)

Why is Sagan's agenda supposed to be "science" and Privileged Planet screenwriter Witt's agenda supposed to be "a major problem"? Is science at the Smithsonian really the Church of Carl Sagan?

Huh? Has Christmas come early? This Washington Post editorial is a gift to me because it illustrates precisely what I am trying to say. The editorialist notes,

While "The Privileged Planet" is an extremely sophisticated religious film, it is a religious film nevertheless. It uses scientific information -- the apparently "perfect" position of Earth in its orbit and in its galaxy, the uniqueness of its atmosphere -- to answer, affirmatively, the philosophical question of whether life on Earth was part of a grand design, and not just the result of chance and chemistry. Neither God nor evolution is mentioned. Nevertheless, the film is consistent with the Discovery Institute's general aim, which is to drive a wedge into the scientific consensus about the origins of life and the universe and to give a patina of scientific credibility to the idea of an intelligent creator.

Okay, so let me get this straight: Even though “scientific information” suggests that “life on Earth was part of a grand design, and not just the result of chance and chemistry,” there is a “scientific consensus” otherwise? And why is that?

Because science has become the church of Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins, and evidence actually doesn't matter. The point of science, as understood by the Washington Post is to uphold a consensus for which there is less and less actual evidence. My compliments to the editorialist for making this clear. There may still be time for him to get himself a ticket for the showing of Privileged Planet, but I bet they are going fast. At least it will be a chance to see a bunch of journalists in suits and ties. Get photos.

(Note: If you don’t know what I am talking about and are looking for an introduction to the uproar over the Smithsonian screening of The Privileged Planet, go here and here to start. I will update the story as I hear new items of interest. - Denyse)

Apparently, the Smithsonian is not going to accept the US$16 000 that Discovery paid them (yo, American taxpayers) but it will still screen the film, presumably for free.

Special thanks to Tommy Nguyen of the Washington Post, above, for getting right that—while I am “sympathetic” to the ID guys, who get horsed around daily, no kidding—I am not, strictly speaking, an ID advocate.

Did anyone besides young Tommy notice that this blog is called “The Post-Darwinist,” not “The ID Advocate”? In my view, ID may or may not be right, but Darwinism is certainly wrong.

(Note to anyone who cares/wonders: I WILL BE at the screening of Privileged Planet at the Smithsonian on June 23. A slow child was wondering out loud in the comments box below whether Discovery Institute was charging people to attend. "So is the DI charging anything for its screening party?" No, sweetie-hoo, one does not charge one's guests to attend a party. And if some of the comments do not get any smarter, I will soon start borfing them the way Bill Dembski does at Uncommon Descent. - cheers, Denyse)

As far as I am concerned, American Darwinists are as dumb as a bag of hammers. Or, as we say here in Toronto, Canada, “smart like streetcars.” By assailing the Smithsonian in droves over the showing of an inspiring film, which the vast majority of them have NEVER SEEN,which suggests that there is meaning and purpose in the universe (well, hello!), they have managed to create a situation where the Smithsonian must now screen the film for free.

Keep in mind that these droves of Darwinists not only have never seen the film, but they probably make a merit out of that fact, as in “I would never lower myself to see such a film!”. So they are unlikely to receive one of the coveted 200 invitations for the official screening at the Smithsonian, of which I showed a sample in the archive for May 28, 2005.

So why are the American Darwinists doing this? I don’t know, but here’s a thought: They’re their own best argument against that important Darwinian doctrine, “survival of the fittest”, as the most scientifically correct explanation for the course of human life over the eons. They live, and I am glad for their sakes that they live because I never sought to do them any harm, but they certainly aren’t “the fittest” by any standard that I can imagine.

[Note from Denyse to posters of comments: To the person who wrote, "Denyse, thanks for showing some integrity by not deleting comments that aren't kissing your [hearse]. Your credibility is thus higher than Dembski's." Well, you are surely not surprised that I have borfed your post. Handy rule: I am a Canadian grandmother and a loyal subject of Queen Elizabeth II. Language that you would not use if you were given an opportunity to state your case at Windsor Palace is not welcome here either. Also, I do not have time to run a Hall of Justice for unfairly borfed posts. If you disagree with my judgements, get your own blog. With all its defects, the Internet is the last free country in the world. - cheers, Denyse ]

If you like this blog, buy my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?, and help keep me in business. If you don’t think you’ll have time to read it, buy it for your kid or your kid’s teacher.

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