Well, good news, I think. Last week I blogged about a religion film advocating intelligent design that was going to premier at the California Science Center (CSC), a Smithsonian affiliate. Well, apparently I wasn't the only one to criticize the CSC, there was a virtual firestorm of protest, and now the screening has been cancelled.
The ID proponents are, of course, screaming "Censorship!" But the word "censorship" itself shows a gross misunderstanding of constitutional law and the American way: Only the government can be accused of censorship. The rest of us are simply exercising our rights to not listen to silly theories, and more importantly, to not lend scientific credibility to a theory that has no scientific merit by letting it play in a respected venue.
Ironically, I'm somewhat disappointed. I was seriously considering going to the screening, partly for the entertainment value and for the "know thine enemy" aspect of the film. But mostly, I'd started preparing some questions for the Q&A time afer the show, illustrating that this silly "theory" of evolution fails even the most basic tests of a scientific theory. So while I'm glad this drivel isn't being screened by a reputable scientific organization, I was sort of looking forward to the Q&A period after the movie.
The details of the cancellation are murky. The CSC claims it was purely a contractual issue. The ID proponents are screaming about censorship. The mainstream newspapers couldn't seem to make heads or tails of it. But it's my guess that, like most contracts, there were flaws that could have been ignored if both parties were willing participants, but the Smithsonian's embarrassment was too much and they found a convenient loophole.
Maybe I'll follow the news and figure out where the new venue will be...