Monday, May 30, 2005


Does Scientific Legitimacy Come With a Price Tag?

The Discovery Institute's "Wedge Strategy" to attack science -- which they see as the source of all that's wrong in Western Civilization -- is to claim that there is a genuine controversy between scientists over the theory of evolution. Key to this strategy is the false claim that intelligent design is real science and that mainstream scientists are dogmatists.

The intelligent design "theorists" are now trying to purchase scientific legitimacy from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. They've paid $16,000 dollars for the privilege of screening The Privileged Planet at the museum, and they're already crowing about the supposed "co-sponsorship" of the event.

The money is no big deal for the Discovery Institute. They've got piles of it. They're financed, in part, by Howard Ahmanson, a savings and loan heir who has maintained a long-time relationship with Christian Reconstructionism, an extreme faction of the Religious Right that seeks to replace American democracy with a harsh fundamentalist theocracy.

"Reconstructionists believe conservative Christians should take "dominion" over American society," says Steve Benen of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Under their version of "biblical law," the death penalty would be required for over a dozen categories of offenders, including adulterers, homosexuals, witches, incorrigible children and those who spread 'false' religions. They regard the teaching of evolution as part of a 'war against Genesis.'"

Money is no problem, but can we allow them to use it to buy scientific legitimacy without a fight? If, like Red State Rabble, your answer is a resounding no, then make a call or send an e-mail to:

Randall Kremer, Director of Public Affairs 202-633-2950,
Events Staff

Don't know what the film is all about? Here's an excerpt from The Privileged Planet:
"Is it possible that this immense, symphonic system of atoms, fields, forces, stars, galaxies, and people is the result of a choice, a purpose or intention, rather than simply some inscrutable outworking of blind necessity or an inexplicable accident? If so, then it's surely possible that there could be evidence to suggest such a possibility...

"Perhaps we have also been staring past . . . a signal revealing a universe so skillfully crafted for life and discovery that it seems to whisper of an extra-terrestrial intelligence immeasurably more vast, more ancient, and more magnificent than anything we've been willing to expect or imagine."


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