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I'm outraged!

www.nytimes.com :

Fossils at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History have been used to prove the theory of evolution. Next month the museum will play host to a film intended to undercut evolution.

The Discovery Institute, a group in Seattle that supports an alternative theory, "intelligent design," is announcing on its Web site that it and the director of the museum "are happy to announce the national premiere and private evening reception" on June 23 for the movie, "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe."

The film is a documentary based on a 2004 book by Guillermo Gonzalez, an assistant professor of astronomy at Iowa State University, and Jay W. Richards, a vice president of the Discovery Institute, that makes the case for the hand of a creator in the design of Earth and the universe.

News of the Discovery Institute's announcement appeared on a blog maintained by Denyse O'Leary, a proponent of the intelligent design theory, who called it "a stunning development." But a museum spokesman, Randall Kremer, said the event should not be taken as support for the views expressed in the film. "It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video," he said.

The museum, he said, offers its Baird Auditorium to many organizations and corporations in return for contributions - in the case of the Discovery Institute, $16,000.

When the language of the Discovery Institute's Web site was read to him, with its suggestion of support, Mr. Kremer said, "We'll have to look into that."

He added, "We're happy to receive this contribution from the Discovery Institute to further our scientific research."

Words fail me.  Sold out for $16,000?  Contact the Smithsonian and let them know what you think: info@si.edu

Interestingly, I couldn't find it on their website.

Originally posted to Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 07:46 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here's the announcement (4.00)
    on the Discovery Institute's website.  Apparently, it's invitation only.

    Announcement

    What color are your pajamas?

    by Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 07:43:41 AM PDT

    •  Check this out (4.00)
      Little Ricky (Santorum) wrote a dandy little article that they posted on their site:

      A Balanced Approach to Teach Evolution

      One of the most basic questions that children ask is, ''Where did we come from?'' In science education policy, however, the more relevant question is, how do we best prepare our teachers to answer the student who inquires about our origins and the origin of other living things? The answer is at the heart of a contentious debate regarding the teaching of evolution in the science classroom.

      Why is there such a controversy as to how science education policy should require students to learn about evolution? For one, biological evolution, the theory that all living things are modified descendants of a common ancestor, relies heavily on the sensitive philosophical belief that evolutionary change can give rise to new species, and can explain the origin of all living things. Furthermore, evolution is a theory that deals with ancient and unrepeatable events. This should warn us to teach Darwinian evolution or any theory of origins with proper modesty and humility, since we'll never really be certain about the cause of many events in the history of life.

      [...bullshit bullshit more bullshit]

      Recently, the Dover Area School District in York County, updated its biology curriculum in an attempt to create a more balanced approach to teaching evolution. A statement regarding the status of evolutionary theory and the existence of alternative theories will be read to all students when evolution is studied in high school biology. Additionally, students will be able to voluntarily view reference books in the library that present a variety of cutting-edge scientific views both supporting and opposing Darwinian theory. The Dover Area School District has taken a step in the right direction by attempting to teach the controversy of evolution.

      I hate that man.

      •  I await the day soon (none)
        when ancient history teachers are required to teach the controversy over Atlantis.  Santorum is an Eddie Haskell.

        Good diary Unstable, recommended.

      •  How do they explain (4.00)
        how new species come about?  God is so busy blessing football games and wars that She probably doesn't have time to create new species.

        What color are your pajamas?

        by Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:28:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Now, Children, I've Warned You About (4.00)
          attempting to infer reasoning within the utterances of fundamentalists.

          Note Santorum's words that evolution rests on a "belief."

          Fundamentalism is a set of beliefs, whereas science is a set of methods. Fundamentalists won't admit that science is a method based reasoning--not because they are propagandizing, but because those terms have no meaning in their world. So they describe our ideas in the only way they can, as opposing "beliefs."

          We've got to learn to stop responding in kind. We practice our own form of fundamentalism when we "believe" that the ideas of fundamentalists come from reasoning. They don't. They come from authority, overwhelmingly from living authorities in their institutions, and less often than they claim, from scriptural authority.

          So it's perfectly consistent for fundamentalists to deny evolution as they sit in the doctor's office to get this year's flu vaccine, just as it's consistent for them to outlaw stem cell research here today and to go to the clinic in 10-20 years to have stem cell implants restore their chronic heart failure cured.

          Only reasoning needs to connect into an integrated world-view. Beliefs don't.

          And don't forget--modern Republicanism is just another type of fundamentalism. So don't go torquing your brain trying to percieve logic in the policies or utterances of Republicans either.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:01:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "It Feels Like Thinking to Them" (4.00)
            is how the Morning Sedition crew describes it.

            That line is on my short list for most useful observation of the year.

            We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

            by Gooserock on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:06:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, sometimes rational people assume (4.00)
            that those with whom they are arguing are also rational and that they can be convinced to change their minds through the use of reasoned argument. This is a common mistake.

            As you rightly state, we are really dealing with irrational people, fundamentalists. I sometimes like to use the word "cultist" with its appropriate negative connotations. Cultists give up their own reasoning powers and instead place their "faith" in leaders who tell them what to think, how to act. As opposed to science, which insists upon being questioned, a cult will punish, in a variety of ways, any cult members who dare to question the cult's belief systems.

            The irony is, of course, that these irrational fundamentalists have no problem taking advantage of what science has given us - planes, computers, etc. If these fundamentalists had their way throughout history, I dare say we'd still be rubbing twigs together to create fire (assuming these theoretical ruling fundamentalists didn't also possess a belief that all twigs are "evil")

            One other thought: there are I believe, two fundamentalisms in the US which are thriving and threaten the US as a nation

            1. The radical Evangelicals who appear to have not actually read the four Gospels of the New Testament, where Jesus is a loving man of peace and acceptance, who despised religous hypocrites who thought they were better than others.

            2. The radical Corporatist Republicans, mostly secular in religous belief, but who believe in an irrational idea that all govt is "bad". Grover Norquist, et al. This is of course a thoroughly irrational belief, with no basis in fact. Pragmatists know that the private sector works in some areas, however the govt. is needed for other areas - regulation, industries such as American passenger trains, which, for various reasons, have trouble reaching "profitability" but are needed by society.

            The only way to fight these people is to appeal to the "uncoverted". Those who are apolitical, those who have been too busy trying to survive to follow politics. Those who have not been excited by candidates who seem to have no purpose or belief other than getting re-elected. We must get these people excited, we must get them to the polls, in order to throw out these dangerous people who spit on the Constitution, who are truly "anti-American".

            That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Teddy Roosevelt

            by assyrian64 on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:52:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Very well said, Gooserock (4.00)
            As I've said before, cognitive dissonance presumes cognition.

            -- Stu

          •  But they don't deny that (none)
            See my comment below about Microevolution vs. Macroevolution. These guys are a lot sneakier than we give them credit for.  It's always a mistake to confuse fanaticism with stupidity.  
        •  They seem to divide evolution... (none)
          into "microevolution" and "macroevolution".  These are terms that were used by some scientists, but they can't be all that mainstream because I never learned them in 7 years of college biology classes.  

          Microevolution refers to speciation, or the "minor" changes that cause species to evolve.  Macroevolution refers to the major changes that cause different life forms to evolve (i.e. dinosaurs evolve into birds).  

          Basically, what the anti-evolutionists have done is to split evolution into two sections - the part that can be verified through direct observation and the part that can only be verified through indirect observation.  They no longer try to deny the part that people can see with their own eyes, while they deny anything that requires complex analysis to verify.  

          •  complex analysis... (none)
            ...or a grain of sense applied to the fossil record. Even the indirect observations are clear.

            Still, what you describe is a tactic they use and it seems to work.

            Re. Smithsonian: vomit

            I want a social medium that will present controversy as well as Wikipedia presents consensus.

            by technopolitical on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:52:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Saturday Santorum smackdown (4.00)
        This really should be a regular occurrence, kind of like Friday cat blogging.  In any event, onward:

        For one, biological evolution, the theory that all living things are modified descendants of a common ancestor, relies heavily on the sensitive philosophical belief that evolutionary change can give rise to new species

        Uhhh, this would be the "sensitive philosophical belief" known as "look at it for a while and see what happens."  In this case, look at a bunch of living things for a while and see how they change. This is basically just a more refined version of what my 2-year old daughter does every day (admittedly, her investigative focus is on things like cookies and stuffed animals, and she does it without the lab notebook, field notes, and technical jargon).

        and can explain the origin of all living things.

        We are talking about evolution here.  That's E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N, not A-B-I-O-G-E-N-E-S-I-S.  The origin of all living things is a separate issue.

        Furthermore, evolution is a theory that deals with ancient and unrepeatable events.

        So's the idea that the United States was founded in 1776, rather than springing directly from the hand of God.  That's an idea that deals with ancient and unrepeatable events, at least till we build a combination Wayback Machine / International Relations Laboratory ("Igor, the Ottoman Empire needs tweaking, and dammit, where are those duchies and baronies I asked for?").

        What?  We have the Declaration of Independence and other documents from that time frame?  No, actually we don't -- those documents merely have the appearance of age.  They were all created, by the hand of God,  last Tuesday at 3 in the afternoon.

        "You will see light in the darkness. You will make some sense of this."

        by ColoRambler on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:00:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He cites Sen Kennedy (none)
        Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts also endorsed my amendment on the Senate floor stating, ''We want children to be able to speak and examine various scientific theories on the basis of all of the information that is available to them.''

        (damm country going to hell in a handbasket)

    •  Well honestly (4.00)
      it is a building paid for by the American people. If they chose to rent it out or as the Smithsonian refered to it "give a donation" and they denied them rights to use it then they probably would have opened themselves up to a lawsuit.

      "Religion's in the hands of some crazy ass people..." Jimmy Buffett

      by Show Me Dem on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:40:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't mind them renting the building (none)
        It is a public building. I do mind them claiming that the Smithsonian itself is sponsoring this drivel.  "The Smithsonian Premiere" sure makes it sound like a Smithsonian sponsored event, but it isn't, any more than a club meeting in the public library is sponsored by the city council.  
        •  and as stated (none)
          they did not endorse it and are looking into the situation.

          It'll get cleared up.

          "Religion's in the hands of some crazy ass people..." Jimmy Buffett

          by Show Me Dem on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:38:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Smithsonian have disavowed sponsorship (none)
          from The Panda's Thumb:

          Statement by the Director, National Museum of Natural History

          "The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History recently approved a request by the Discovery Institute to hold a private, invitation-only screening and reception at the Museum on June 23 for the film "The Privileged Planet." Upon further review we have determined that the content of the film is not consistent with the mission of the Smithsonian Institution's scientific research.  Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the National Museum of Natural History supports or endorses the Discovery Institute or the film "The Privileged Planet." However, since Smithsonian policy states that all events held at any museum be "co-sponsored" by the director and the outside organization, and we have signed an agreement with this organization, we will honor the commitment made to provide space for the event."

          Good for them! They've explicitly disclaimed against the movie and the institute.

      •  A right to show movies there? (none)
        As I said in my email to them:

        $16,000 is not enough -- the Smithsonian's reputation should not be for sale.
        I'm sure that a pornographic film would have been rejected.
        This is worse than pornography.
        This is about political pressure, not Americans' rights.

        I want a social medium that will present controversy as well as Wikipedia presents consensus.

        by technopolitical on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:55:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a federal building (none)
          if they rent the space then they can not discriminate because of someone's whacked out theories.

          They said they had'nt endorsed the program and what if this had been a non-mainstream liberal cause? Preventing Conservatives, liberals or anyone else from using federal facilities is wrong.

          "Religion's in the hands of some crazy ass people..." Jimmy Buffett

          by Show Me Dem on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:43:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  you missed something... (none)
        "events of a religious or partisan political nature"

        On what planet is a presentation of a Christian religious myth about creation NOT of a religious nature?

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Sat May 28, 2005 at 04:13:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  ARGH! I saw this article too! (none)
    ARGH!!!

    Sorry, this pisses me off to no end.

  •  Documentary? (4.00)
    Only in Orwell's world.

    Next we'll be seeing "documentaries" frm these mouth breathers proving the earth is flat.

    •  Flat Earth (4.00)
      I've always said, a creationist is just a flat-earther without the courage of his convictions.
      •  The world (none)
        is flat, duh?!
      •  matches the brain waves of these (none)
        idiots, too!

        War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

        by edrie on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:14:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dude, I've been saying for years... (4.00)
        ...we need to make Flat Earth Globes (not maps, that's so old school). They'll be in demand like "Amens" at a revival! We're on the cusp and could make alot of money (What the GOP considers good Christians).

        Of course, once the sales start to slow, we can revive them by offering the "Chi-Chi-Chia Flat Earth Globe"! Yes, the continents will grow before your very eyes!!!!

        If you order now, we'll also send a flat earth globe for the false gods of the super continent, Pagangia, where all lib'rals, scientists, and Democrats will be sent for eternity. It's great fun to scare the kids.

        Order now!

        Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

        by Alumbrados on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:16:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Flat earth (4.00)
          Of course, the world is flat.  Turn away from your computer and look outside the window.  

          It certainly looks flat to me.  That is all the evidence you need.  Hey, the NY Times columnist confirms what I already know.

          Ein Land ist nicht nur das, was es tut -- es ist auch das, was es verträgt, was es duldet.

          by MoDem on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:22:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ask Thomas Friedman (none)
        He's written a whole danged book about how the earth is flat.
    •  This slippery "documentary" slope (1.80)
      is as much Michael "pillage and plunder" Moore's doing as anyone's.  We play, we pay...  

      It is either the light at the end of the tunnel or a gorilla with a flashlight...

      by mccan on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:59:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, come on (none)
        For one thing, I'm sick of liberal Michael Moore bashing. If we eat our own like this we'll NEVER beat the right wing -- they close ranks around even their most discredited members.

        For another thing, films such as Chariots of the Gods and What the (whatever) do We Know? are documentaries -- "documentary" is a genre of film, it doesn't have anything to do with the credibility of the subject matter.

      •  Nah (none)
        Documentaries -- and ones with very dubious info -- have been around long before Moore.

        I agree with the comment above.  It's fine to be critical, but progressives have a nasty habit of being hyper-pure when it comes to their own.  It costs us in political power.  

        Moore's documentaries aren't a model of scrupulousness, but anyone who says that they're full of lies (or "pillage and plinder" if you will) has simply bought the rightwing spin wholesale.  

        Fox News tells more lies in any five minutes than Moore has in his whole career.  Every time Ann Coulter breathes, she lies more.  

        •  Coulter and Moore are the same type of wolf (none)
          in the clothing of different breeds of sheep.  

          They are both without the capacity or desire to reason.  I don't care if the guy rants for the progressives, he does not speak for me.

          Requiring people to drink the kool aid for the left is no more reasonable than drinking it for the right.  This whole battle is over people retaining the freedom to use their own minds and hearts to determine their place in the world.  As far as I'm concerned the Michael Moore's (be they Bolton or Moore or Coulter or ...) demand adherence to their extremes and the rest be damned.  

          I think I'll just stay ashore and watch that ship burn itself down to the waterline without me.

          You believe in the guy, more power to you, but don't succumb to the weakness of claiming that I am a threat to "party unity" because I have my own opinion.

          Having the maturity to unify because of our respect for each other's freedom to think for ourselves is the America we fight for.

          It is either the light at the end of the tunnel or a gorilla with a flashlight...

          by mccan on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:55:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. (4.00)
            That was inherently stupid, I'm sorry to say.

            "They are both without the capacity or desire to reason."

            Did you even see anything Moore's written or filmed? They are all the truth. There are no coverups. This man's biggest boast is that there have never been any slander/libel suits against him. Now, if you're a moron, and subscribe to the Foxxx way of life, you can say that they are both opposite sides of the same coin. But that would be disregarding that one says things that are false and inflammatory for the sake of her career, and the other presents truth, and lets you make your own decisions. If you want to be inflamed, so be it.

            You make your choice, Foxx or reality. Information, and all of it, or koolaid.

            But I see you've made your choice.

            -Faux

            PS - You can think that he demands "extremes" just by presenting facts. That would assume that you think anyone who actually agrees with him is some sort of extremist. But I won't assume that cause that would make you a Lieberman supporter.

            Jackass.

            In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

            by faux on Sat May 28, 2005 at 11:11:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You just made my point for me. (none)
              When you choose to stoop to name calling and demands that your opinion is the only one that has any merit, you show that you are the same kind of zealot  that you rail against.

              I have seen everything Moore has produced since "Roger and Me."  I guess I did overstate the case a bit.  The guy is great at charging through barriers to get to information that is normally hidden.  But his Fahrenheit 911 was so far beyond reasonable in some of the conclusions that the baby flew out the window with the bathwater.  If he had some semblance of a governor on his disdain and could have presented something like an objective report, his intended purpose would have been served.  As it was, he opened the door for poisonous attacks from all sides to claim justification and made himself independently wealthy in the process.  The 527's rode his wave right onto the front pages.  He hurt the cause.

              If your capacity to talk something through goes no further than calling names and trying to pigeon-hole someone, go back to kindergarten.  aI watch almost no TV news from any network or cable source.  They are all pertty lousy.  Fox is the worst excuse for anything other than cheerleading.  C-SPAN is about the only thing I can stomach anymore.

              It is either the light at the end of the tunnel or a gorilla with a flashlight...

              by mccan on Sat May 28, 2005 at 11:48:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Poisonous attacks (none)
                like yours?

                You have to see the difference between lying and being subjective and telling the truth and being subjective.

                Saying that Coulter = Moore is a pointless exercise, unless you are interested in achieving futility.

                Maybe you're right, and the conclusions are out there, but at least he used truth in jumping to them. You can use that truth to make your own conclusions, further out if you wish, or more in line with your beliefs. That's more than Coulter can say.

                I apologize for the rudeness of the last post, but you sound like so many of the Blue dog assholes I have talked to in the past year. They are so quick to blame others like Moore for overstepping and "hurting the cause", while they don't do anything themselves.

                -Faux

                In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

                by faux on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:49:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, Moore is not as far out to this side (none)
                  as Coulter is to that side, but the guy does make some spectacular leaps.  I guess where the wheels came off with Moore during the campaign was when our Party was so ready to be aligned with him and his cause.

                  Moore is not to blame for the election.  We are all to blame for meandering around like lost sheep while the Repubs. played team and beat us.  Our identity as a party was defined more by what the Rovian machine said than by what wesaid or did.  That was especially true for Kerry.

                  My complaint regarding Michael Moore is that his voice was so readily adopted as the voice of the Democrats, and his methods and conclusions disqualify him from being taken as the voice of leadership.  Maybe his alignment with party leadership and direction was more a function of Rove manipulating the headlines than it was true party ideology.  Either way, it hurt us.  

                  He can make all the movies he wants, but he is a moviemaker - not a leader or the voice or the conscience of the Democratic Party.

                  It is either the light at the end of the tunnel or a gorilla with a flashlight...

                  by mccan on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:02:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Has Moore (4.00)
                    openly wished for the murder of someone?  How can you equate the two?

                    What color are your pajamas?

                    by Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:08:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They both make extensions (none)
                      that should never see the light of day.  In degrees, Coulter is the worse of the two.  She may well be sociopathic.  It is absolutely disgraceful that she is allowed to speak for anyone anywhere.  

                      Moore assumes a role of leadership that is not healthy (we actually had a pretty good menu of these pretenders last election.  God bless 'em.  They were mostly trying to do a job that needed to be done.  For the most part, unfortunately, most of those efforts were sticks to the wind).  He is probably filling a void that won't be available when some real leaders step up.  

                      The guy is just a loose cannon.  It can make for good entertainment and even some quality education, but he needs to be about as close to Democrat Mt. Olympus as Neptune is to New York.

                      It is either the light at the end of the tunnel or a gorilla with a flashlight...

                      by mccan on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:42:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe (none)
                    people don't see him as leadership, and "aligning with his cause". Maybe, like me, they use him as yet another publicized information source, which we have few. Not many progressive voices exist in the MSM, because they aren't "out there" enough to get press coverage. Maybe instead of lambasting him for his supposed sins, and for trying to herd people in our direction, you should try to see the good things that people like him do for our side.

                    You say that we lost because we didn't stick together, but you complain about someone that was trying to get some unity together, because you didn't agree with his outcomes?

                    I'll take any help I can get.

                    -Faux

                    In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

                    by faux on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:39:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Maybe if there is a stronger (none)
                      party structure next time around to help him orient his herding it would help.  There was tremendous opportunity for many people to see Michael Moore's one movie and his sweating rants and decide that they would be better off with someone that exhibited more appealing hygiene and fashion sensibilities.

                      Seriously, the guy was the easiest "wildman" label of all times.  Don't you think it is possible that

                      1.)  he repelled some people from voting the way he suggested, mostly because he suggested it?
                      2.)  he made it easy for the other side to say, "See how ridiculous these people are?  They will say anyhting.  Do you want these people to be ultimately responsible for the security of the United States?"
                      3.  he could stand to be introduced to a comb?

                      It is either the light at the end of the tunnel or a gorilla with a flashlight...

                      by mccan on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:52:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Now who's stooping to attacks? (none)
                        First the Repubs say that we're too inlellectual, and turn smart people that can debate into indecisive demons, and then you let them take the folk hero wildman and say he's too out there and demonize him for speaking his mind.

                        Jesus, Dems just can't win between bitching from both sides. Would you rather have an almost-republican?

                        Like I said before, I'll take whomever sticks up for us, and the better job they do, the more I'll back them. If you stand around waiting for the perfect bus, you'll never catch a ride home.

                        -Faux

                        In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

                        by faux on Sat May 28, 2005 at 03:14:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  In other words... (none)
                          More succinctly: Intent means much more than appearances, to me and many others.

                          Look at people like Falwell. I'm sure the McCains of the world would be much happier not having to deal with those nutcases, but they don't say they should be purged from the party on a regular basis, because they realize the draw power those people have.

                          -Faux

                          In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

                          by faux on Sat May 28, 2005 at 03:21:09 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Man, (none)
            You watched an entirely different Farenheit 911 than I did.

            "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

            by nuttymango on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:03:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  kool-aid? (none)
            Requiring people to drink the kool aid for the left is no more reasonable than drinking it for the right.

            False equvilance, and a ridiculous argument.  

            You enjoy your sense of self-righteous purity, friend.  

            Oh, and YOU lap up that kool-aid of the spineless DNC types, scared that Republicans will disaprove.  You can march with them right to the next Democratic defeat in 2006.  Then get your undies in a bunch about how Michael Moore lost it for us, again.  

            You want to make gross generalizations?  There, now you're on the other side of one, you clown.

  •  Sponsoring? (none)
    I agree this is disturbing, but it doesn't seem like the Smithsonian can be correctly characterized as "sponsoring" the event. It sounds more like they're just renting out their space for it.
    •  This is standard MO for Discovery Institute (4.00)
      A few years ago they had a conference at Yale.  Same deal: rent out the space.  To get the space at Yale they needed a sponsor, so they got the local chapter of Campus Crusade For Christ.  But wouldn't you know it, they immediately started crowing about how they were getting Intelligent Design conferences at leading universities.

      I had left New Haven a few years earlier, but I dropped an email to my thesis advisor when it happened.  I could feel the smoke billowing from his ears in his email response.

      •  EXACTLY! (4.00)
        Three cheers for you.  The Smithsonian is simply renting out space and is by no means endorsing Intelligent Design.

        ID as a theory is horrid since it cannot generate ANY testable hypotheses.  

        What a great theory.  It provides a nice little dovetail with the Bible (surprise!), yet not one shred of empirical (yeah, there's that word: EMPIRICAL) proof can support it.  Nothing, zero, nada.

        So, here's what you get: a theory that supports the bible, but CANNOT BE TESTED, thus it cannot be confirmed or refuted.

        Wow!  Sounds exactly like religion - something that cannot be tested, therefore it cannot be refuted or confirmed.

        •  I don't agree (4.00)
          by accepting money from them and letting them use the space, they are endorsing ID.  Why else would the Discovery Institue put it on their website?

          What color are your pajamas?

          by Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:33:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting (none)
          Would they rent out space for a white supremacist video fastival?
          •  Probably. (none)
            If they were willing to "donate".

            This isn't something I'd go see even if were invited, but the building belongs to the public. And whether we like it or not, those who believe in creationism exclusively are part of the public. I don't think this is the Smithsonian supporting anything but their bottom line.

            They are no more endorsing this theory or film, than my local high schools are endorsing a particular faith when they use local churches for graduation ceremonies.

            I don't have a problem with anyone writng the Smitsonia to question or voice disapproval either, but I really think it's all aobut the Smithsonian needing money and this group wanting a big auditorium to show their film.

            Although if I were them, I think I'd be more inclined to rento ut a drive in theatre for a night, that would be way more fun. (And probably cheaper.)

            I'm not a Democrat. I just vote like one.

            by common veil on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:58:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Here's the problem (none)
            The Smithsonian is a public space and if a group wants to use it for a presentation, provided that it doesn't hurt the public good (and although ID is freakin' joke, this presentation does not represent a danger to the public good), there's not a whole heckuva lot to be done.

            Sure some big time donors will be upset and the Science Community is already upset, but this is a Constitutionally protected right.

            That's why the Klan rally won't be held there on the grounds that it could represent a danger to the Institution.  I know, lame, but the bigger picture here is that ID is a crock and people are catching on, pretty quickly.  Especially the Science community.

          •  Good idea (none)

            It would be interesting if someone posed as a member of the Arian Race Society wishing to hold a festival at the Smithsonian. Would be will to donate above standard fee.

            It is sad to think of what the Smithsonians response might be.

            Thoughts from Connecticut - Recommended Reading - Growing Up Red

            by ctsteve on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:57:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  One can parse the words on this, (4.00)
          arguing whether the showing of the filmin this venue represents an endorsement or not.

          But whether one believes it's an endorsement or not, the fact that the Smithsonian agrees to show this film provides it's imprimateur, it's "stamp of legitimacy", so to speak, on this stupid film and on the crackpots who're propagating these phony beliefs.

          This is the essence of the problem.

          Defeat the sound-bite.

          by sbj on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:20:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  In Public Libraries (4.00)
      All over the country, auditoriums usually are part of the building, and because they are publically financed buildings, we have to allow anyone to use them for virtually any purpose, as long as it is not used to make money, and that any program that is offered is open to the public for free. One thing we had to do in the one I worked for was not allow anyone to have a fixed, regular use of the room, so they could not use it as say, a church.
      •  I'm suprised at how many dKos'ers (none)
        seem to believe that the Smithsonian is sponsoring this event when even the main diary makes it clear they aren't. I suspect it is because of a rather dirty trick the diarist used - putting information in the diary title that is not supported in the diary to make the story more dramatic.  In a way, he is doing exactly the same thing the anti-evolutionists are doing - spreading a falsehood without actually lying.  And, ironically, both falsehoods suggest the same thing - that the Smithsonian is "hosting" this event.
    •  I assumed this at first (none)
      I emailed them to let them know that while it may be an event and they are just renting the place, the event is being advertised on DI's webpage and it seems as if they are being supporting of ID.  

      I work at a science museum and we rent space to all kinds of groups.  I think there was one time when the DI asked for use of an auditorium.  They were forgotten.  

      It would at least be responsible to make the DI put a disclaimer on their own webpage which says that the Smithosonian is in no way supporting this event and that the DI is paying for the event.

      This is such cheap propaganda it's not even funny.  I think I'm going to go and rent space from a church and then advertise my- (insert appropriately opposing activity here).

  •  info@si.edu, NOT info@si.com (3.50)
    si.com is Sports Illustrated.
  •  Before I read the full text of the Times article, (4.00)
    I was inclined to come down on the side of the Museum. However, since their policy states that the facility is not to be used for religious events-intelligent design is clearly a religious point of view-then I think allowing the use of their facility for this airing is not appropriate.

    The Smithsonian is not immune from politics. I sense the heavy hand of religious wing nuts in the Senate here.

  •  And I just renewed my membership. (none)
    Ok, I guess it's time to write Another Letter of Outrage. Sigh.

    As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

    by sidnora on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:06:34 AM PDT

    •  AND ask for your money back... Seriously! (none)
      •  Yes. (none)
        In fact, insist on it.
        •  Before we go too crazy (none)
          let's remember that the Smithsonian is in dire need of money because it has never been properly maintained.  It needs extensive repair.  I don't know why the spokesman from the Smithsonian said the money was going for "scientific research", but I do know that the Smithsonian isn't getting all the money it needs to repair the various buildings.

          It would be a national tragedy if the Smithsonian falls into further disrepair.  I understand that already parts of the buildings are in such bad shape that they are losing exhibition space.

          I lived in Washington in the 70's, and the Smithsonian was one of my favorite haunts.  I think showing this film there is a terrible idea, and we should protest.  But denying the Smithsonian support because of a one night, invitation only event is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. It's not like the film is being shown in one of the theatres for months.  THAT would be sponsorship.

          We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

          by Mary Julia on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:56:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes (none)
            See article from yesterday's Washington Post. I was chatting yesterday with a friend who works at the Corcoran and they have the same problem -- water running down the walls, ruining the artwork, etc.

            pay no mind to us, we're just a minor threat

            by arb on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:03:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  p.s. (none)
              The same deal with the National Zoo, i.e. the place is falling apart. Which pisses me off because that is my absolute favorite place to go in DC -- so many childhood memories. The Ape House is the shit -- quite literally, in some ways (you know what I mean if you've ever watched the monkeys when they get rowdy and start hurling shit at each other -- no joke I've seen it happen).

              Anyway it's all very sad ... oh well at least we'll be able to start shooting each other again, if those two TX senators get their way.

              pay no mind to us, we're just a minor threat

              by arb on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:07:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Look, (4.00)
    I've explained this before, but no one seems to listen very well:

    Those "fossils" are NOT dinosaur remains. They are in actuality, "Faith bones". God created them just as they are, and not part of any living creatures. He buried them deep in the ground when he created the earth 5,000 years ago, to test us, and all those who believe in the previous existence of dinosaurs have failed this test and will burn in hell (which is located about two miles deeper underground in those same deserts where these faith bones have been found).

    Also, rain is the baby Jesus crying over homosexual acts, and thunder is God yelling at the abortionists to stop.

    J'aime la tourte. Me gusta la tarta. Ich mag Obstkuchen. Eu gosto da torta. Óõìðáèþ ôçí ðßôá. Ik houd van pastei. I like pie.

    by PBJ Diddy on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:31:20 AM PDT

  •  Also (4.00)
    write to the New York Times.  It's good that they brought it to our attention.  I'm sure the Smithsonian thought they'd get away with it since it's a private event.  However, the NYT did a no-no when they called ID an "alternate theory."  It's not a theory in scientific terms.

    What color are your pajamas?

    by Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:39:06 AM PDT

    •  Depend on how you parse it (none)
      It is an "alternative" to a theory.  It's just not a theory itself.

      "Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice." Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

      by ogre on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:37:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  New Yorker has excellent piece on I.D. (none)
    Very well done, it addresses all of the so-called scientists who are behind intelligent design and shows it for what it is: religion.

    Check it out:
    Devolution by H. Allen Orr

  •  Y'all are missing something here. (none)
    I have had extensive dealings with the Smithsonian people, and let me tell you something...

    The higher up you go in that bureaucracy, the more you would be inclined to doubt the ideas of evolution and survival of the fittest.

    Just the way things work in the PermaGov...

    EVERY PermaGov.

    Shit floats

    AG

    •  That's why Darwin (none)
      wrote The Descent of Man.

      Ascending is going backwards.

      "Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice." Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

      by ogre on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:38:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My letter (4.00)
    I sent this letter a few minutes to info@si.edu.

    I was shocked and outraged to read in the New York Times today of the Smithsonian's sponsorship and screening of the Discovery Institute's film "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe."

    The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History represents the highest standard of scientific research about the history of our planet and the Universe.  To host a screening of this film, whether it is a paid rental or not, is completely against the mission of the Smithsonian.  I am sure you have refused to screen other films and host other events due to their nature - this film should have certainly set off alarm bells at the highest levels of the administration there.

    I've worked my entire life in museums spanning the entire country, and I can tell you that none of them would ever consider hosting an event, rental or otherwise, that went against our mission of presenting science to the public.  Intelligent design is not a scientific theory, and given that its proponents are currently trying to replace science with this religious-based dogma in the nation's classrooms, the Smithsonian's responsibility seems very clear.

    You still have plenty of time to come out on the correct side of this issue, and restore your institution's sterling credibility.  Cancel the event.  To let the screening continue with a carefully worded press release is show that the Smithsonian's scientific principles can be set aside for a sum as low as $16,000.  From a public relations point of view, it will be a disaster.  This issue will snowball in the media, not to mention with your supporters and colleagues in political and scientific circles.  It won't be long until irreversible damage to the Smithsonian has occurred.

    I hope you take the immediate action of cancelling the event.  I look forward to seeing the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History make the course correction that is consistent with its noble mission.

    Davin Flateau
    Mayfield, Kansas

  •  It does not meet the criteria for a theory (4.00)
    In a theory you have  observations of a phenomenon first, and then you try to figure out what would cause what you are observing to have happen...

    This intelligent design "theory" starts out with a presumption, and then has to make the observations fit the "theory"

    That is that start out with the assumption that there is a god, and then have to make the obsaaervations and data fit that. And when there are inconsistancies that cant be explained anyway, they have to use events from the bible that make the inconsistancies possible, such as the biblical flood being responsible for the strata layers in which fossils are found.

    Then they have to mess with the data in order to proove that the Flood occured.

    What those who do not like this should really get involved with doing is to start requireing that intelligent design does not need a deity, but all that it means is that life on earth may have been createad as a sort of science project of some higher race somewhere in the universe that seeded the earth with life forms. Require that to be taught as a viable reason for intelligent design, and it will drive them crazy.

    Or require them to teach ALL the viable creation myths of every religions as intelligent design, from the Mahabharata and such. Having to teach their kids Hindu Metaphysics would drive them crazy.

    •  Agree 100% (none)
      I tell people teaching ID in science class is like me going to Sunday school and teaching the Egyptian creation story.

      What color are your pajamas?

      by Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:53:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not *quite* analogous (none)
        I tell people teaching ID in science class is like me going to Sunday school and teaching the Egyptian creation story.

        That depends on your church.  If you did that at our local Unitarian-Universalist church, no one would bat an eye, let alone complain.

        "You will see light in the darkness. You will make some sense of this."

        by ColoRambler on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:59:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Latest complaint from one of our (none)
          9 year olds (her mother reports), regarding what to believe.

          "I'm not being given enough options."

          An open mind is a terrible thing.  And the Republican Taliban wants to brick up those openings.

          "Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice." Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

          by ogre on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:33:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Teaching evangelicals about Hinduism is GREAT (4.00)
      It would absolutely kill them.  The Evangelicals cannot 'tolerate' those non-believers and guess who the biggest proponents of ID are?  Surprise, Evangelicals.

      What I hate most about Evangelicals is their arrogance about 'I'm saved and right and you (Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan) are wrong, and headed to hell, therefore why should I spend ANY time learning about your faith?'

      Now, to force them to learn about another faith would really put them to the test.  Could they stomach having their children learn about 'false and idol gods' just so that they can learn ID (which is junk science, anyway)?

      •  OMG (none)
        Those gods... plural--eeek... are having SEX!

        "Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice." Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

        by ogre on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:33:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The greatest danger to democracy (none)
        lies directly in the idea that I am right and everyone else is wrong.

        No one expressed this betterv than James Madison:

        Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects. [James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr., Jauary 1774]

        What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. [Pres. James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]

        ...Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which prevades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest. [James Madison, spoken at the Virginia convention on ratifying the Constitution, June 1778]

        That diabolical, hell-conceived principle of persecution rages among some; and to their eternal infamy, the clergy can furnish their quota of impas for such business..." [James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr., Jauary 1774]

        There is considerable basis in these opinions of the Founding Fathers for the creation of hate speech laws, because just as Freedom of Speech, as one very famous justice said, stops at the point of yelling fire in a crowded theater.

        The speech of many evangelical christians, such as that Baptist Minister who openly posted a sign that said "The Quran needs to be flushed" is in many senses, the civic equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. The open attempts of this one sect of Christianity to force its set of values and morality onto all citizens runs counter to the ideas of Madison and most of the Founding Fathers.

        In almost all of Madisons writing, he interprets the First Amendments purpose as one designbed to protect one sect sect from another, and speaks of the necessity to protect small sects from the abuse of a majority sect.

        Thus by Madisons understanding, the government exclusion of Wiccans from access to Faith based initianve funds, would be a case in which the First Amendment failed to protect a minority faith from those in the majority faiths.

  •  Considering the Smithsonian is a govt. (4.00)
    institution, this kind of egregious misuse of a scientifically oriented museum for showing a debuting a film about religion-based mythology masquerading as scientific documentary is no surprise to me in the slightest. Look who's running the govt., for God's sake, (pun intended).

    On a related note but not squarely on topic, I've wondered this;

    If these Christian creation theory enthusiasts ever do get their dogma into a classroom in school, what do they do with it? I mean, once they get all their student victims to accept the idea that a God created all this stuff, where do they go from there? What kind of lesson plan evolves after the initial indoctrination is complete? Are there skills they can teach the students based on this mythology? Is there anything along the lines of scientific benefit to be derived?

    To me, it just seems that the whole curriculum for a creation-myth class presented as an alternative to evolution-based science can be taught completely in just a couple days. What's left to teach after you've gotten them to believe?

    Defeat the sound-bite.

    by sbj on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:05:02 AM PDT

    •  SBJ-the entire high school treatment of (none)
      evolution currently consists of two 45 minute lesson segments in most districts. The beliefs of the evangelical wing nuts are so fragile, one supposes, that an hour and a half of science can utterly destroy them.
      •  Thanks! (none)
        When I was in school we covered evolutionary theory more extensively. We even used evolutionary concepts in history class to helpmake sense of the kind of changes in living creatures during different prehistoric eras.

        But, alas, that was quite a while back.

        Defeat the sound-bite.

        by sbj on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:49:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not necessarily so (none)
      You would not beleive how often librarians have had to deal with this issue, but when Madalyn Murray O'Hare filed the case that got prayer outt of the schools, she also attacked the idea of having beeks on religion in libraries. But since the study of religion also has a sociological and education base a a thing to study, books on religions could not be kept out of libraries, but these books could not be limited to a single religion or sect of it alone.

      As a government agency you cannot merely separate out religion as a field of study or even the presientation of religious ideas in government facilities. You can however keep out the actual practice of one particular religion.

      I think the best approach with this stuff in schools, is that in places where the student body is not limited to a totally Christian student body, any elements of "intelligent" design that require biblical elements to make the case for intelligent design have to be excluded, and so most of intelligent design fails to meet that criteria, as intelligent design, no matter how hard they try to deny it contains elements that must refer back to the bible, and that itself. And that does defy the first amendment, because it does establish one relgion over another.

      I have carefully studied the intelligent design stuff as it is presented by the fundies and it totally relies on biblical criteria, which directly defies the purpose ofthe establishment clause.

       

      •  I hope you didn't interpret my comments (none)
        as in any way implying support for teaching this ID scheme in the public schools. I completely oppose the teaching of this fractured and irrational dogma, or even the advocating of such beliefs, in any public school environment.

        My point was that, since these nuts are trying to establish an equivalency between Darwinian evolution and Christian creaton myth as both existing on a scientific continuum, that there's no place for the creation nonsense to go once the students have been inoctrinated into believing. There is no practical classroom follow-up, no substance from which to develop a science-based curriculuum.

        If they teach it as religion, that's another story, but public schools are not the place for religious instruction. It's not constitutional, and, of course, schools would have to teach all religions in order to provide equality for the students.

        There is nothing in the ID scheme that does not have a religion-based origin, and nothing that does have a science-based origin.

        Defeat the sound-bite.

        by sbj on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:23:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No I didnt make that interpretation (none)
          I am amused by the idea that this is even consideres a theory, because it doesnt fit the definition.

          As I noted, Darwin noticed something about the animals he observed, and after collecting a lot of data. Saw similarities from specie to specie, animal to animal, and asked himself, what, given the nature of the earth, the nature of biology, and the laws of nature, would account for these differnces in similar animals that developed in different enviroments.

          The intelligent design people start with a premise, god exists, and then try to make what is observed fit that premise.

          This is actually the opposite of science, and the opposite of a theory.

          The method is exactly the same sort of sophistry that resulted in the Aristotelian/Ptolomaic system of the universe which held sway in some forms even into the first quarter of the 20th century.

          This was taken by the Church and they ran with it because the bible says the sun moves around the earth. Theefore the earth has to be at the center of the universe. Because of this the idea that the everything moves in perfect circles was asserted. Because observation didnt support this, the planets were said to have to move in epicycles while in orbit because in order to the planets to move in the retrograde fashion that they are observed to move in, and must move in circles around the earth, the planets while in orbit must also move in orbit around a central point alog that orbit, as if orbiting a non-existant moon.  Even after it was accepted that the earth went around the sun in eliptical orbits, it was still beleived that the solar system was at the center of the galaxy, which was belived to at the center of the universe and there was nothing outside of the galaxy, when external galaxies were discovered, our galaxy was beleived to be at the center of a universe of galaxies. Finally in the 1920's it was discovered that our planet was not at the center of the galaxy, our galaxy not at the center of the universe. But the whole idea that we were not at the center came form the religious assumtion that we were at the center of everything.

          The fact that there is simply no center to the universe at all made things even more dicey.

          The Intelligent design theory is just like the aristotelian theory of the universel It starts with an assumption and everything has to be twisted around that assumption. You cannot come up with intelligent design at all without making that assumption because the very asspumtion that design even exists, at all is a philosophical convention, but it is not necessarily true.

          •  This doesn't invalidate what you said, but.. (none)
            Darwin did have to make a basic assumption:  that it's possible for species to change.  What seems like a very sensible notion to us today was not necessarily so in Darwin's day.
            •  That's incorrect (none)
              First, in Darwin's day evolution was a concept over 50 years old - it had been in the writings of Kant and Goethe and Erasmus Darwin. Fossils indicated that species changed. Geology indicated that the world changed. Artificial selection indicated that a large amount of variation was present latent within each species.

              Second, he found compelling evidence that in isolated environments the simplest explanation is that all species present came from colonizing species.

              He did not have to assume that species could changed, there was evidence for it.

              The basic assumption he made was uniformitarianism: that the same processes we observe today, accumulating over a long period of time, produce the world we see today.

              •  Species change was still contested (none)
                I disagree...there were scientists such as Agassiz who maintained that species were in fact fixed and who explained the presence of new species by mechanisms such as "special creation".
          •  Yes! I don't refer to ID as a theory either (none)
            unless I do so inadvertently. I don't even like to award the ID or Creation terms with the grand suffix "ism", because neither qualifies as coherent enough to deserve such status.

            I live in the South and I actually have several friends and associates who believe this "Christian creation myth as science" routine. Basically they are impervious to rational argument or fact in discussing this subject, but I've managed to come up with one question that so discombobulates them that many of them look like they've been poleaxed.

            I ask them that if they regard their ID beliefs as science, if they attribute the hand of an unseen designer in the creation of life, then what created this designer. They simply can't answer without destroying the foundation of their own claims of scientific legitimacy, since however far back you push their belief, God is the ultimate originator, and so theirs is not a scientific argument.

            I liked how you described the reluctance of our evolution of thinking to accept and embrace the idea that we, (earthlings) weren't really at the center of everything. With this in mind, it's clear that these ego-centric, narcissistic, powermad evangelical fascists still haven't accepted this. They still can't get over the fact that the universe and all it's wonders does not exist simply to serve them.

            Defeat the sound-bite.

            by sbj on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:31:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the contact info for (4.00)
    some Smithsonian Offices.  I'd encourage you to politely ask them about this and let them know that this on inappropriate use of public space.

    You'll have to wait until next Tuesday, since their offices are currently closed.

    OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT    
    Phone: 202.357.4300

    OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS    
    Phone: 202.357.2627

    We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

    by petewsh61 on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:05:09 AM PDT

    •  Development (none)
      I'm glad you posted the number for their Office of Development.  That's museum-speak for "Office of Fundraising".  A call there mentioning monetary support will most certainly jab a nerve nearer to their pocketbook.  Remember, the Smithsonian is a quasi-government organization.  Itis partally private, and subject to outside fundraising concerns.

      Astronomy News from the heartland: Stars Over Kansas

      by Avian on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:37:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is stupid, everyone knows.... (4.00)
    ...The Grand Canyon was created the night after Paul Bunyun went partying and woke up and had to wiz something fierce. He drank so much, he wizzed for seven days and seven nights, and when he was finished, the Grand Canyon had been carved.

    Now, as for the Devils Tower, it was reported that Aphrodite came back to Earth just once, and where she landed, well, I think you can figure it out. It isn't called the Devil's "Tower" for nuthin', nuh-huh.

    Of course, now we know Yellowstone is just a super volcano, waiting to explode. It's sort of like a "boil" on the skin of America. Everyone knows boils are something evil people get. Therefore Yellowstone is God's way of telling America that they are evil for believing in science and if they don't change their ways it will hurt alot of them.

    I'm so glad Americans are finally being led back to the "truth." Don't you feel more secure now?

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:07:45 AM PDT

  •  My Letter (4.00)
    Dear Natural History Museum Program Director:

    It is with great shock and dismay that I read about your showing of "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe".  Though you explicitly state that your actions are not politically connected, the fact that intelligent design is currently such a touchstone for one of the political parties leads to obvious suspicion.

    I reckon that with such a film, why doesn't the Natural History Museum show that maybe the universe is geocentric, the earth is flat, or that all compounds are made of earth, water, wind or fire?  Is it a bit of an ostentatious stretch?  Perhaps - but not much when viewed in this context.

    I have respected the Smithsonian in the past as a defender of science.  However, with actions such as this film showing, my respect for the Smithsonian is now marred with a large blemish.

    Regards,

    Thor's nom de notblogDear Natural History Museum Program Director:

    It is with great shock and dismay that I read about your showing of "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe".  Though you explicitly state that your actions are not politically connected, the fact that intelligent design is currently such a touchstone for one of the political parties leads to obvious suspicion.

    I reckon that with such a film, why doesn't the Natural History Museum show that maybe the universe is geocentric, the earth is flat, or that all compounds are made of earth, water, wind or fire?  Is it a bit of an ostentatious stretch?  Perhaps - but not much when viewed in this context.

    I have respected the Smithsonian in the past as a defender of science.  However, with actions such as this film showing, my respect for the Smithsonian is now marred with a large blemish.

    Regards,

    G Dahl
    Toronto
    Toronto

    "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

    by Thor Heyerdahl on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:14:49 AM PDT

  •  First of all (4.00)
    Someone ought to point out to Mr. Santorum that the theory of evolution, does not say anything about the ultimate origin of life.  Evolution cannot prove or disprove the existence of a deity.  This is one of several reasons why many of the early Darwinians (in fact, I would say most) were entirely comfortable with holding a belief in a deity and that the same time accepting evolution.

    Next, notice that it's always evolution that gets singled out for balance?  Why, for example, don't we teach Aristotelian physics in physics classes?  After all, we don't really know whether heavy things fall because it's "in their nature" to do so, do we?  And why can't we balance the atomic theory of matter with Cartesian corpuscularianism?

  •  The hidden laugh (none)
    The Smithsonian is a museum.

    Creationism is a concept that belongs in a museum. :)

    I hate people who treat religion as if it were some kind of god.

    by cskendrick on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:42:40 AM PDT

  •  My letter (none)
    Director:

    I am an American citizen, a scientist, I hold a PhD in Cell Biology and I have been proud to count your institution an important part of Science, until I heard about your acceptance of and involvement in the screening of the move "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" crafted by The Discovery Institute.

    Intelligent design is not intelligent and is wholly meant to provide glossy propaganda cover to theocratic dominionists.  

    Your Randall Kramer said "It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video", implying that the event should not be taken as support for the views expressed in the film.

    I am certain that you, your spokespeople and your Board of Directors are sophisticated enough to know that this will not be perceived as non-partisan.

    By accepting their $16,000 for hosting their movie, you lend creedence to their cause.  They chose you for a reason.  They certainly could have booked in other venues, there not being any lack of space in the DC area for right-wing events.

    This is an opportunity for you all to stop part of the theocratic conservative pressure to have creationism and faith-based science (sic) seen as a valid set of theories.

    Make us proud, return their money and send out a press release stating that you received considerable concern that this group is trying to co-opt national treasures such as the National Museum of Natural History for highly partisan and disengenuous political ambitions.

    Sincerely,

    XXXX

    The SM-62 Snark was a USAF intercontinental nuclear cruise missile that was operational in 1960-1961.

    by nika7k on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:43:44 AM PDT

  •  Sticker shock (none)
    As Show Me Dem pointed out upthread, the Smithsonian would have a hard time discrimating against a specific group, even if that group's, ahem, "scientific" purpose is a sham.

    However, there's nothing to stop the Smithsonian from demanding that DI not refer to them as "sponsors", or being in any way involved with the event.

    And just as some state and local governments have required biology textbooks to carry stickers disclaiming evolution as "only a theory", there's nothing to stop the SI from posting signs disclaiming scientific creationism as "only a fantasy".

    Yes, liberals are elitist. They believe everyone should be able to join the elite.

    by Compassionate Conservationist on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:44:33 AM PDT

    •  That's what I said (none)
      The DI is unfairly using the name of the Smithsonian to suggest that the SI endorses the concepts it is promoting.  

      On a related note, I'm organising a meeting of the local Atheists for Direct Democracy.  We'll be meeting at the antioch bible church .

      It'll be a great event at the Antioch Bible Church.  The Antioch Bible Church will be the premiere of our short film titled God isn't Real .  It's an invitation only event.  God isn't invited.

      •  Well (none)
        I also think it would be appropriate for the SI to post signs (or other media) at the event. I'd mix some simple one-liners (e.g., "Scientific Creationism is an oxymoron") with more detailed material.  

        This would reach a narrower audience than a web page could, but it might reach them more effectively. And should the DI protest, the SI could respond that the postings are in keeping with their mission as a scientific and educational institution. I'd love to see the DI get angry enough to bring the case into court.

        Yes, liberals are elitist. They believe everyone should be able to join the elite.

        by Compassionate Conservationist on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:22:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  science nerd types (none)
    please help me.  i guess my science nerd status should be revoked, because i cannot find this article to save my life.  : (

    there was a seminal microbiology experiment (from the 50's or 60's i think?) that demonstrated the principle of evolution.  the breakthrough was that they realized they shouldn't be looking for evolution in response to a lethal environmental variable, or at least keep it below LD50.  

    all i remember is something about transferring bacterial colonies from one petri to another using a piece of felt.

    anybody...anybody?  oh god please!?  i have been trying to find that fucker for months now, as it is one hefty punch in all this retarded debate, but it eludes me quite craftily.  

    meh.

    •  Random Mutation: Lederberg & Lederberg (4.00)
      You're probably thinking about this experiment:

      Lederberg and Lederberg, in 1952, provided another experiment showing that mutations occured randomly. They grew bacteria on plates and used round pieces of felt to transfer bacteria to a replica plate. So, the pattern of colonies growing on the two plates were identical -- and the corresponding colonies on each plate all came from a single clone. Lederberg then exposed one plate to lambda and noted the colonies that survived. Then, he picked the corresponding colony on the replica plate and grew it up. All the bacteria he grew were resistant to the phage -- even though they had never been exposed to it. In other words, the mutation was present before its effect was needed.

      Lederberg and Lederberg, 1952, J. Bact. 63: 399 - 406

      What it does is say there is no intelligence to the design, it's random variation upon which natural selection acts.

      The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

      by peeder on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:18:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gravity is Just a Theory (none)
    Here's a pretty good run down on Wikipedia: Intelligent Design.
    •  Gravity without theory (none)
      Funny thing is, scientists had accepted the reality of gravity before there was any theory of gravity.  Newton's law of universal gravitation describes the behavior of gravitation mathematically, but it doesn't say how it does what it does (which was something his critics pointed to as a flaw in the force-at-a-distance concept).  Newton maintained that he didn't need a theory and that it was enough that we knew gravity by its effects.
    •  That's what I say (none)
      to the "just a theory" crowd.  Gravity's a theory - why don't you walk off of the cliff?

      What color are your pajamas?

      by Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:23:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  To those who answer (none)
      "so what?  Gravity is only technically a theory."

      We still don't know how gravity works.

      We're still spending millions to study its effects.  

      http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/gpb/index.htm

      Yet, for some reason, even though science cannot fully explain every aspect of gravity, and some of it seems "too complex," 99.99999% of people in contact with the international community still accept the extent to which science can describe it.

  •  Sponsor vs. Endorse (none)
    I would think any public institution that has facilities that can be used by groups, either free or for a maintenance fee, have this debate and try to write policy to govern it.  Can a library, for example, sponser films and talks from the John Birch Society, a Palestian support group, or the Open Source Software group, and not necessary endorse any or all of the philosophies of these groups but still support/sponsor their right and effort to express?  Yes.  And does the program need to be "balanced"?  No.  Are there lines to be drawn?  Yes.  

    As regards evolution vs. intelligent design:  What is intelligence?  And for me what follows from evolution is that the age of the Life Force in every single living cell in my family tree is the same....kind of The Big Bang theory of the Life Force.  And that seems amazing to me, spiritual, that every living cell in my whole family tree represents an unbroken passing of the Life Force from that beginning spark.  

    I haven't a clue what is meant by "intelligent" in Intelligent Design, but it sure seems like a pretty intelligent design to have come into being a system that is able to perpetuate the life force for unimaginable time.  And doesn't "intelligence" kind of imply an understanding of the generic meaning of evolution, and that designing intelligently takes advantage of evolutionary concepts.

    Perhaps we should all just start saying Intelligent Design means evolution and own the words, blur the distinction and make them waste their money and time trying to link the words to their particular religious beliefs.

    When the People lead, the leaders will follow..(a bumper sticker)

    by just us on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:59:04 AM PDT

  •  I am so f'n pissed (none)
    I have so many smart friends who have struggled to get a faculty position in Astronomy and many of them had to change careers.  Now I learn that Guillermo Gonzalez has a faculty position at Iowa in Astronomy and he doesn't believe in evolution??!!  Please someone tell me that I read this diary wrong. I just want to blow my brains out.
  •  They should be required (none)
    To show the end sequence of Men in Black, where an alien is shown playing marbles with galaxies...

    The entire basis for intelligen design is on a fallacious argument about the startistical liklihood of atoms and proteins and such arranging themselves into self replicating forms.

    They use mathematical ideas that are applicable over the entire universe as a while, but when you look last the earth itself, these statistics are not applicable. This theoretical mathematics only applies to open systems, over the entire universe, but the whole thing changes depending on the environmental variables of a closed system, so the rate at which these reactions occur are not quite as random. Just like water molecules move more quickly when heated, the chemical reactions that caused the formation of live occures when the earth was hotter, and when there were a great deal more of the precursor atoms and molecules around to bump into each other.

    They play around with the theory, and ignore that the environmental factors on earth were differnt 4 billion years ago than they are now.  

    Life would more than likely no evolve on earth if earth was always in the state that it is now.

    In fact, in order for intelligent design to exist, and not darwinian evolution, there is no way for them to accept the idea that the earth is more than a few thousand years old, (which they claim) because if all life was created at the same time, it could not have existed way back 4 billion years ago, because the conditions for vertebrate life to exist did not exist. Ther was nothing for them to breathe when nothing but anaerobic bacteria ruled the earth.

    In fact, there was not much for them to walk on before the continents or single continent appeared.

    I have listened to the arguments frequently, and in order to get to intelligent design,they have to use a lot of sophistry, but the only arguments that have are based upon the use of random chance in biochemistry, where as I noted, the reactions are not necessarily random, and environmental factors can change the rate at which they occur.

    And the fact that there are gaps in the evolutionary record in which they claim that there are no transitional forms, however, the idea that there must be a transitional form is something that is not necessary to darwin. All that is necessary is the birth of one very different mutation which allows gives that mutation a survival advantage, and that this advantage allows this mutation to pass on its the mutation in its genes. There need be no transitional forms.

    Such evolution is of dire concern to us now, with the idea of avian flu beconing air born.

    On the vertebrate scale this would be the equivalent of a fish sprouting wing and nesting in the trees. Intellikgent design fanatics claim that there is no evolution and all life forms were creates as they are and do not change.

    But a flying virus is in fact, just the kind of thing that evolutionists have to prove that life does change due to envirommental factors. For all intents and purposes, an airborne virus that was never airborn before is a new species.

    •  They also act (none)
      as if it's a big miracle that organisms are adapted to their own environment.  Another argument they're using is that the 2nd law of thermodynamics does not allow for evolution (the entropy one).

      What color are your pajamas?

      by Unstable Isotope on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:26:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Radio carbon dating (none)
      must be something they try desperately to disprove right? How can you disprove the half life of Carbon 14? Can't this be measured in a lab over a period of months or years?

      "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." R. Diesel, 1911

      by nuttymango on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:35:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm. (none)
      This makes me wonder what they think about new, mutant strains of viruses...

      The less a politician amounts to, the more he loves the flag.

      by tryptamine on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:14:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some years ago, (none)
    ABC aired a report about the Smithsonian accepting money from a big game hunter to provide him with access to an enclosed area stocked with, well, big game. I can't remember if it was lions or what, but I cancelled my subscription to the magazine after hearing about it.

    Sorry to be so vague on details.

  •  Just when I think we have gone (none)
    as low as we are going to - I am proven wrong.

    I am in shock. Scientists everywhere should march on Washington.

  •  Here's my LTE to the NYT (4.00)
    on this very disturbing matter.

    TO THE EDITOR;

    Smithsonian spokesman Randall Kremer says; "We're happy to receive this contribution from the Discovery Institute to further our scientific research."

    What Mr. Kremer apparently fails to grasp is that by bestowing it's imprimatur on this film by agreeing to screen it, the Smithsonian is conveying the implication of legitimacy to this film and the anti-scientific ideology it's based on in a way that will  retard scientific research far more than the $16,000 donation will advance it.

    Defeat the sound-bite.

    by sbj on Sat May 28, 2005 at 11:32:10 AM PDT

  •  What the F*&%? (none)
    The Smithsonian is shocked that the Discovery Institute is pretending that they sanctioned their piece of propaganda? Are you telling me the SI needs $16,000 that bad? "George is getting upset!!!!!!!!"
    •  this is going to cost SI (none)
      a lot more than they picked up in donations from the wingnuts.

      People donate to SI because they want to donate to advancing the cause of science and human knowledge in general.

      SI can raise funds from this kind of people because they have massive credibility based on 200 years of good work.

      They just blew a big chunk of that credibility out of their asses. Anybody around here more likely to give in response to fundraising mail from them?

      They need to disassociate themselves from this situation (refund the money, cancel the presentation, fire the people who made the decision in violation of their stated prohibition on "events of a religious or partisan political nature" since a Creationist presentation is inherently both religious and political) as publically as possible before their $16K net profit turns into millions of dollars in donation losses.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sat May 28, 2005 at 04:25:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BTW (none)
    There's an article about ID in this week's New Yorker.
  •  I am a professional historian (4.00)
    The chronicle of human civilisations--note the plural noun, "civilisations"--is my work and my passion.

    One thing that I have learnt from my study of human civilisations is that they do not all inevitably march forward.  

    Take, for example, the Arabic societies, which were once some of the most enlightened on earth--in fact, it is through the Arabic scholars that works of the ancient Greeks such as Plato were preserved, after the Christian fundamentalists of the ancient world destroyed all records of the works of these pagan scholars.  

    Consider, too, the Chinese, who were once the world's leading light--until a group of isolationist mandarins installed a puppet emperor who sealed China's borders, dooming it to centuries of isolation and damnable atrophy.

    Civilisations stagnate, and even regress.  No nation is granted blest immunity from this.  Every civilisation must grow, or die--like any organism.

    Oh, and one other thing--the benighting of a civilisation comes swiftly. When the darkness falls, it falls fast, sometimes in mere decades.  The pace of change has now accelerated remarkably in human affairs, so one can only assume that the rate of historical change has accelerated as well.

    All the institutions which might defend science, reason, and respect for facts in the United States have either been co-opted or are being co-opted by the American Taliban.  The corruption of PBS (whose award-winning NOVA programme won't be mounting any rousing defences of the fact of evolution ever again, after the Taliban is through "reforming" it) and now of the Smithsonian Institution are proof that America's civilisation is marching backwwards--not to mention the persistent moves by the Kansas Board of Miseducation and other State Boards of Miseducation to deny the fact of evolution.

    Why do the public allow this?  Well, actually, the American Taliban are acting on behalf of the public in this case:


    November 19, 2004
    Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin's Evolution Theory
    Almost half of Americans believe God created humans 10,000 years ago

    by Frank Newport

    Only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence. The rest say they don't know enough to say. Forty-five percent of Americans also believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago. A third of Americans are biblical literalists who believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/login.aspx?ci=14107

    There are three kinds of people: Those who see; those who see when they are shown; those who do not see.

    by Shadowthief on Sat May 28, 2005 at 01:38:53 PM PDT

  •  My email to the Smithsonian (none)
    (I haven't written to the Times yet, but ID is NOT A THEORY, GODDAMNIT! I sent this to the museum within minutes of reading ther article.)

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    As a genome scientist, I am horrified to learn from the New York Times that the Smithsonian will show a movie that promotes creationism, lending legitimacy to a religiously-driven movement without any scientific support. "Intelligent design" is simply the new cloak of "creationism". If the movie purported to rationally analyze the evidence against evolution, that would already be unfair: why not analyze ALL the evidence FOR evolution as well? The agenda is rather transparent.

    It is ironic that your spokesman, Randall Kremer, cites your policy that '"events of a religious or partisan political nature" are not permitted', and that the contribution from the Discovery Institute will further your scientific research. It is further ironic that your web site states, "The National Museum of Natural History is dedicated to understanding the natural world and our place in it." The creationist movement is thoroughly religious and partisan, and embodies the antithesis of scientific inquiry. It does nothing to promote our understanding of the natural world.

    Evolution is strongly supported by scientific evidence, and I have yet to hear a SINGLE valid criticism of evolution. Creationism, on the other hand, is mere conjecture, unless you have obtained photographs of the Creator in the act of Creating.

    Shame on you for your contribution to the decline of American science. You are facilitating our reversion to the Middle Ages, when science was stagnant because God was invoked to explain everything, and therefore there was no need for inquiry. Why do you think that the majority of advanced degrees in engineering and science in this country are awarded to foreign nationals, and that the nation's investment in science is continuing to decline?

    P.S. I suggest changing the suffix in your URL from ".edu" to ".god".

    •  My email to the NYT (none)
      Dear Sir or Madam,

      In his article on the anti-evolution movie to be shown at the Smithsonian in exchange for a donation, John Schwartz erroneously describes "intelligent design" as "an alternative theory" (Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution, May 28, 2005), a mistake with important political implications. Mr. Schwartz could learn from your excellent science writers Nicholas Wade and Gina Kolata that "intelligent design" is neither a theory nor a hypothesis: it is conjecture. It is supported by no evidence whatsoever, save religious zeal. It is merely the new cloak of creationism. This is not the first time your newspaper has assisted insidious attempts to cast doubt on evolution by "equating" it with other "theories" in order to bring religious education into public schools. As we have learned from the last presidential campaign, giving equal time to facts and to fabrications does not constitute an intelligent debate.

      Even the title of Mr. Schwartz's article is misleading, because the movie could not possibly make a case against evolution: I challenge the Smithsonian to find a single valid criticism of evolution. The inability to grasp how complex organisms can evolve does not count.

  •  Or I guess I should say. (none)
    More succinctly: Intent means much more than appearances.

    Look at people like Falwell. I'm sure the McCains of the world would be much happier not having to deal with those nutcases, but they don't say they should be purged from the party on a regular basis, because they realize the draw power those people have.

    -Faux

    In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

    by faux on Sat May 28, 2005 at 03:18:53 PM PDT

  •  You have supplied my splutter moment (none)
    for the day.
  •  The Intelligent Designer (none)
    has a lot of explaining to do.

    OCEAN, n.
        A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills.

    Credit: Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    The sleep of reason produces monsters. Francisco Goya

    by Dire Radiant on Sat May 28, 2005 at 05:06:31 PM PDT

  •  Experience with this cult. What my friend tells me (none)
    Randall Kremer
    Smithsonian Institution
    10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20560
    info@si.edu
    paleodept@si.edu

    June 2, 2005

    Dear Mr. Kremer:

    I was disturbed to read in The New York Times that Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History plans to screen "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" ("Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution," by John Schwartz, Saturday, May 28, 2005).

    First, I am appalled that Smithsonian would host a movie that is hostile to science.  Evolutionary science encompasses geology, botany, archaeology, biochemistry, paleoclimatology and paleometeorology, and other rigorous disciplines.  I understand the museum rents out Baird Auditorium in order to make money; however, I would expect Smithsonian to be discerning enough to reject a movie that advances "intelligent design," a religious ideology based on sophistry.  Smithsonian's own policy forbids sponsoring "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

    Second, I looked at the website of Discovery Institute, the movie's producer: http://www.discoveryinstitute.org/
    I was alarmed to find that it's a front for the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cultnetwork.

    I had a brush with a branch of this cult in the 1980's, when I lived in New York City.  It preyed on young, single people through recruiters who engaged in a pretended romance with many victims at once.  Recruiters enticed each victim separately to join a fascinating "class" on "self improvement," collected pricey "tuition," then abandoned each batch of victims to the cult management, on a designated evening.

    There, in the company of seasoned cult members, each new victim was distracted from facing the raw truth that their romance had been a sham. Skilled members exploited the victims' shock and confusion to induct them further into the cult.  They urged us to remain open-minded, promised revelation of a great truth, used theater games to break down personal reserve, forbade questions, and withheld food (all the victims missed dinner).  The leader gave an interminable lecture that lasted till 11:00 p.m., during which everyone was told to sit at attention, while he ostentatiously ate and drank and spoke at his leisure.

    During the one evening I spent with the New York group, I saw the leader drive one young member to the point of an apparent nervous breakdown.  The leader browbeat the youngster and insisted he was overdue in obeying orders to abandon his parents and his home, in order to fulfill his own "potential"--and incidentally hand over more money.  The young man was in a state of high agitation, which visibly increased as the evening wore on. Others criticized him for not caring enough about his personal development.

    The Times article quotes you as having said, "'It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.'" Mr. Kremer, whether or not Smithsonian endorses the video or its ideology, the museum is pimping for Discovery Institute to advance the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cult network.  You are colluding in a massive scam and risking your reputation to earn $16,000.  I even wonder whether you, yourself, have been recruited by the cult.

    When I was a victim, I got marvelous support from a volunteer at the old Cult Awareness Network of New York and New Jersey.  That brave organization has since been destroyed by litigation from Scientology, which now exploits the name and "CAN" logo to further its own profits.  You can read a "60 Minutes" transcript about that sorry story at: http://www.xenutv.com/us/60min-can.htm

    Please, I urge you to drop this deal and stick to rational movies about real science.

    Sincerely,

    [This is a letter written by a good friend of Einsteinia]

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:06:31 PM PDT

  •  Experience with this cult. What my friend tells me (none)
    Randall Kremer
    Smithsonian Institution
    10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20560
    info@si.edu
    paleodept@si.edu

    June 2, 2005

    Dear Mr. Kremer:

    I was disturbed to read in The New York Times that Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History plans to screen "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" ("Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution," by John Schwartz, Saturday, May 28, 2005).

    First, I am appalled that Smithsonian would host a movie that is hostile to science.  Evolutionary science encompasses geology, botany, archaeology, biochemistry, paleoclimatology and paleometeorology, and other rigorous disciplines.  I understand the museum rents out Baird Auditorium in order to make money; however, I would expect Smithsonian to be discerning enough to reject a movie that advances "intelligent design," a religious ideology based on sophistry.  Smithsonian's own policy forbids sponsoring "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

    Second, I looked at the website of Discovery Institute, the movie's producer: http://www.discoveryinstitute.org/
    I was alarmed to find that it's a front for the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cultnetwork.

    I had a brush with a branch of this cult in the 1980's, when I lived in New York City.  It preyed on young, single people through recruiters who engaged in a pretended romance with many victims at once.  Recruiters enticed each victim separately to join a fascinating "class" on "self improvement," collected pricey "tuition," then abandoned each batch of victims to the cult management, on a designated evening.

    There, in the company of seasoned cult members, each new victim was distracted from facing the raw truth that their romance had been a sham. Skilled members exploited the victims' shock and confusion to induct them further into the cult.  They urged us to remain open-minded, promised revelation of a great truth, used theater games to break down personal reserve, forbade questions, and withheld food (all the victims missed dinner).  The leader gave an interminable lecture that lasted till 11:00 p.m., during which everyone was told to sit at attention, while he ostentatiously ate and drank and spoke at his leisure.

    During the one evening I spent with the New York group, I saw the leader drive one young member to the point of an apparent nervous breakdown.  The leader browbeat the youngster and insisted he was overdue in obeying orders to abandon his parents and his home, in order to fulfill his own "potential"--and incidentally hand over more money.  The young man was in a state of high agitation, which visibly increased as the evening wore on. Others criticized him for not caring enough about his personal development.

    The Times article quotes you as having said, "'It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.'" Mr. Kremer, whether or not Smithsonian endorses the video or its ideology, the museum is pimping for Discovery Institute to advance the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cult network.  You are colluding in a massive scam and risking your reputation to earn $16,000.  I even wonder whether you, yourself, have been recruited by the cult.

    When I was a victim, I got marvelous support from a volunteer at the old Cult Awareness Network of New York and New Jersey.  That brave organization has since been destroyed by litigation from Scientology, which now exploits the name and "CAN" logo to further its own profits.  You can read a "60 Minutes" transcript about that sorry story at: http://www.xenutv.com/us/60min-can.htm

    Please, I urge you to drop this deal and stick to rational movies about real science.

    Sincerely,

    [This is a letter written by a good friend of Einsteinia]

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:10:01 PM PDT

  •  Experience with this cult. What my friend tells me (none)
    Randall Kremer
    Smithsonian Institution
    10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20560
    info@si.edu
    paleodept@si.edu

    June 2, 2005

    Dear Mr. Kremer:

    I was disturbed to read in The New York Times that Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History plans to screen "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" ("Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution," by John Schwartz, Saturday, May 28, 2005).

    First, I am appalled that Smithsonian would host a movie that is hostile to science.  Evolutionary science encompasses geology, botany, archaeology, biochemistry, paleoclimatology and paleometeorology, and other rigorous disciplines.  I understand the museum rents out Baird Auditorium in order to make money; however, I would expect Smithsonian to be discerning enough to reject a movie that advances "intelligent design," a religious ideology based on sophistry.  Smithsonian's own policy forbids sponsoring "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

    Second, I looked at the website of Discovery Institute, the movie's producer: http://www.discoveryinstitute.org/
    I was alarmed to find that it's a front for the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cultnetwork.

    I had a brush with a branch of this cult in the 1980's, when I lived in New York City.  It preyed on young, single people through recruiters who engaged in a pretended romance with many victims at once.  Recruiters enticed each victim separately to join a fascinating "class" on "self improvement," collected pricey "tuition," then abandoned each batch of victims to the cult management, on a designated evening.

    There, in the company of seasoned cult members, each new victim was distracted from facing the raw truth that their romance had been a sham. Skilled members exploited the victims' shock and confusion to induct them further into the cult.  They urged us to remain open-minded, promised revelation of a great truth, used theater games to break down personal reserve, forbade questions, and withheld food (all the victims missed dinner).  The leader gave an interminable lecture that lasted till 11:00 p.m., during which everyone was told to sit at attention, while he ostentatiously ate and drank and spoke at his leisure.

    During the one evening I spent with the New York group, I saw the leader drive one young member to the point of an apparent nervous breakdown.  The leader browbeat the youngster and insisted he was overdue in obeying orders to abandon his parents and his home, in order to fulfill his own "potential"--and incidentally hand over more money.  The young man was in a state of high agitation, which visibly increased as the evening wore on. Others criticized him for not caring enough about his personal development.

    The Times article quotes you as having said, "'It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.'" Mr. Kremer, whether or not Smithsonian endorses the video or its ideology, the museum is pimping for Discovery Institute to advance the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cult network.  You are colluding in a massive scam and risking your reputation to earn $16,000.  I even wonder whether you, yourself, have been recruited by the cult.

    When I was a victim, I got marvelous support from a volunteer at the old Cult Awareness Network of New York and New Jersey.  That brave organization has since been destroyed by litigation from Scientology, which now exploits the name and "CAN" logo to further its own profits.  You can read a "60 Minutes" transcript about that sorry story at: http://www.xenutv.com/us/60min-can.htm

    Please, I urge you to drop this deal and stick to rational movies about real science.

    Sincerely,

    [This is a letter written by a good friend of Einsteinia]

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:12:51 PM PDT

  •  Experience with this cult. What my friend tells me (none)
    Randall Kremer
    Smithsonian Institution
    10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20560
    info@si.edu
    paleodept@si.edu

    June 2, 2005

    Dear Mr. Kremer:

    I was disturbed to read in The New York Times that Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History plans to screen "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" ("Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution," by John Schwartz, Saturday, May 28, 2005).

    First, I am appalled that Smithsonian would host a movie that is hostile to science.  Evolutionary science encompasses geology, botany, archaeology, biochemistry, paleoclimatology and paleometeorology, and other rigorous disciplines.  I understand the museum rents out Baird Auditorium in order to make money; however, I would expect Smithsonian to be discerning enough to reject a movie that advances "intelligent design," a religious ideology based on sophistry.  Smithsonian's own policy forbids sponsoring "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

    Second, I looked at the website of Discovery Institute, the movie's producer: http://www.discoveryinstitute.org/
    I was alarmed to find that it's a front for the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cultnetwork.

    I had a brush with a branch of this cult in the 1980's, when I lived in New York City.  It preyed on young, single people through recruiters who engaged in a pretended romance with many victims at once.  Recruiters enticed each victim separately to join a fascinating "class" on "self improvement," collected pricey "tuition," then abandoned each batch of victims to the cult management, on a designated evening.

    There, in the company of seasoned cult members, each new victim was distracted from facing the raw truth that their romance had been a sham. Skilled members exploited the victims' shock and confusion to induct them further into the cult.  They urged us to remain open-minded, promised revelation of a great truth, used theater games to break down personal reserve, forbade questions, and withheld food (all the victims missed dinner).  The leader gave an interminable lecture that lasted till 11:00 p.m., during which everyone was told to sit at attention, while he ostentatiously ate and drank and spoke at his leisure.

    During the one evening I spent with the New York group, I saw the leader drive one young member to the point of an apparent nervous breakdown.  The leader browbeat the youngster and insisted he was overdue in obeying orders to abandon his parents and his home, in order to fulfill his own "potential"--and incidentally hand over more money.  The young man was in a state of high agitation, which visibly increased as the evening wore on. Others criticized him for not caring enough about his personal development.

    The Times article quotes you as having said, "'It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.'" Mr. Kremer, whether or not Smithsonian endorses the video or its ideology, the museum is pimping for Discovery Institute to advance the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cult network.  You are colluding in a massive scam and risking your reputation to earn $16,000.  I even wonder whether you, yourself, have been recruited by the cult.

    When I was a victim, I got marvelous support from a volunteer at the old Cult Awareness Network of New York and New Jersey.  That brave organization has since been destroyed by litigation from Scientology, which now exploits the name and "CAN" logo to further its own profits.  You can read a "60 Minutes" transcript about that sorry story at: http://www.xenutv.com/us/60min-can.htm

    Please, I urge you to drop this deal and stick to rational movies about real science.

    Sincerely,

    [This is a letter written by a good friend of Einsteinia]

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:15:31 PM PDT

  •  A letter written by a good friend (none)
    Randall Kremer
    Smithsonian Institution
    10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20560
    info@si.edu
    paleodept@si.edu

    June 2, 2005

    Dear Mr. Kremer:

    I was disturbed to read in The New York Times that Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History plans to screen "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" ("Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution," by John Schwartz, Saturday, May 28, 2005).

    First, I am appalled that Smithsonian would host a movie that is hostile to science.  Evolutionary science encompasses geology, botany, archaeology, biochemistry, paleoclimatology and paleometeorology, and other rigorous disciplines.  I understand the museum rents out Baird Auditorium in order to make money; however, I would expect Smithsonian to be discerning enough to reject a movie that advances "intelligent design," a religious ideology based on sophistry.  Smithsonian's own policy forbids sponsoring "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

    Second, I looked at the website of Discovery Institute, the movie's producer: http://www.discoveryinstitute.org/
    I was alarmed to find that it's a front for the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cultnetwork.

    I had a brush with a branch of this cult in the 1980's, when I lived in New York City.  It preyed on young, single people through recruiters who engaged in a pretended romance with many victims at once.  Recruiters enticed each victim separately to join a fascinating "class" on "self improvement," collected pricey "tuition," then abandoned each batch of victims to the cult management, on a designated evening.

    There, in the company of seasoned cult members, each new victim was distracted from facing the raw truth that their romance had been a sham. Skilled members exploited the victims' shock and confusion to induct them further into the cult.  They urged us to remain open-minded, promised revelation of a great truth, used theater games to break down personal reserve, forbade questions, and withheld food (all the victims missed dinner).  The leader gave an interminable lecture that lasted till 11:00 p.m., during which everyone was told to sit at attention, while he ostentatiously ate and drank and spoke at his leisure.

    During the one evening I spent with the New York group, I saw the leader drive one young member to the point of an apparent nervous breakdown.  The leader browbeat the youngster and insisted he was overdue in obeying orders to abandon his parents and his home, in order to fulfill his own "potential"--and incidentally hand over more money.  The young man was in a state of high agitation, which visibly increased as the evening wore on. Others criticized him for not caring enough about his personal development.

    The Times article quotes you as having said, "'It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.'" Mr. Kremer, whether or not Smithsonian endorses the video or its ideology, the museum is pimping for Discovery Institute to advance the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cult network.  You are colluding in a massive scam and risking your reputation to earn $16,000.  I even wonder whether you, yourself, have been recruited by the cult.

    When I was a victim, I got marvelous support from a volunteer at the old Cult Awareness Network of New York and New Jersey.  That brave organization has since been destroyed by litigation from Scientology, which now exploits the name and "CAN" logo to further its own profits.  You can read a "60 Minutes" transcript about that sorry story at: http://www.xenutv.com/us/60min-can.htm

    Please, I urge you to drop this deal and stick to rational movies about real science.

    Sincerely,

    [This is a letter written by a good friend of Einsteinia]

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:18:08 PM PDT

  •  What a good friend wrote: (none)
    Randall Kremer
    Smithsonian Institution
    10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20560
    info@si.edu
    paleodept@si.edu

    June 2, 2005

    Dear Mr. Kremer:

    I was disturbed to read in The New York Times that Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History plans to screen "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" ("Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution," by John Schwartz, Saturday, May 28, 2005).

    First, I am appalled that Smithsonian would host a movie that is hostile to science.  Evolutionary science encompasses geology, botany, archaeology, biochemistry, paleoclimatology and paleometeorology, and other rigorous disciplines.  I understand the museum rents out Baird Auditorium in order to make money; however, I would expect Smithsonian to be discerning enough to reject a movie that advances "intelligent design," a religious ideology based on sophistry.  Smithsonian's own policy forbids sponsoring "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

    Second, I looked at the website of Discovery Institute, the movie's producer: http://www.discoveryinstitute.org/
    I was alarmed to find that it's a front for the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cultnetwork.

    I had a brush with a branch of this cult in the 1980's, when I lived in New York City.  It preyed on young, single people through recruiters who engaged in a pretended romance with many victims at once.  Recruiters enticed each victim separately to join a fascinating "class" on "self improvement," collected pricey "tuition," then abandoned each batch of victims to the cult management, on a designated evening.

    There, in the company of seasoned cult members, each new victim was distracted from facing the raw truth that their romance had been a sham. Skilled members exploited the victims' shock and confusion to induct them further into the cult.  They urged us to remain open-minded, promised revelation of a great truth, used theater games to break down personal reserve, forbade questions, and withheld food (all the victims missed dinner).  The leader gave an interminable lecture that lasted till 11:00 p.m., during which everyone was told to sit at attention, while he ostentatiously ate and drank and spoke at his leisure.

    During the one evening I spent with the New York group, I saw the leader drive one young member to the point of an apparent nervous breakdown.  The leader browbeat the youngster and insisted he was overdue in obeying orders to abandon his parents and his home, in order to fulfill his own "potential"--and incidentally hand over more money.  The young man was in a state of high agitation, which visibly increased as the evening wore on. Others criticized him for not caring enough about his personal development.

    The Times article quotes you as having said, "'It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.'" Mr. Kremer, whether or not Smithsonian endorses the video or its ideology, the museum is pimping for Discovery Institute to advance the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cult network.  You are colluding in a massive scam and risking your reputation to earn $16,000.  I even wonder whether you, yourself, have been recruited by the cult.

    When I was a victim, I got marvelous support from a volunteer at the old Cult Awareness Network of New York and New Jersey.  That brave organization has since been destroyed by litigation from Scientology, which now exploits the name and "CAN" logo to further its own profits.  You can read a "60 Minutes" transcript about that sorry story at: http://www.xenutv.com/us/60min-can.htm

    Please, I urge you to drop this deal and stick to rational movies about real science.

    Sincerely,

    [This is a letter written by a good friend of Einsteinia]

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:20:13 PM PDT

  •  What a good friend wrote: (none)
    Randall Kremer
    Smithsonian Institution
    10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20560
    info@si.edu
    paleodept@si.edu

    June 2, 2005

    Dear Mr. Kremer:

    I was disturbed to read in The New York Times that Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History plans to screen "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" ("Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution," by John Schwartz, Saturday, May 28, 2005).

    First, I am appalled that Smithsonian would host a movie that is hostile to science.  Evolutionary science encompasses geology, botany, archaeology, biochemistry, paleoclimatology and paleometeorology, and other rigorous disciplines.  I understand the museum rents out Baird Auditorium in order to make money; however, I would expect Smithsonian to be discerning enough to reject a movie that advances "intelligent design," a religious ideology based on sophistry.  Smithsonian's own policy forbids sponsoring "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

    Second, I looked at the website of Discovery Institute, the movie's producer: http://www.discoveryinstitute.org/
    I was alarmed to find that it's a front for the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cultnetwork.

    I had a brush with a branch of this cult in the 1980's, when I lived in New York City.  It preyed on young, single people through recruiters who engaged in a pretended romance with many victims at once.  Recruiters enticed each victim separately to join a fascinating "class" on "self improvement," collected pricey "tuition," then abandoned each batch of victims to the cult management, on a designated evening.

    There, in the company of seasoned cult members, each new victim was distracted from facing the raw truth that their romance had been a sham. Skilled members exploited the victims' shock and confusion to induct them further into the cult.  They urged us to remain open-minded, promised revelation of a great truth, used theater games to break down personal reserve, forbade questions, and withheld food (all the victims missed dinner).  The leader gave an interminable lecture that lasted till 11:00 p.m., during which everyone was told to sit at attention, while he ostentatiously ate and drank and spoke at his leisure.

    During the one evening I spent with the New York group, I saw the leader drive one young member to the point of an apparent nervous breakdown.  The leader browbeat the youngster and insisted he was overdue in obeying orders to abandon his parents and his home, in order to fulfill his own "potential"--and incidentally hand over more money.  The young man was in a state of high agitation, which visibly increased as the evening wore on. Others criticized him for not caring enough about his personal development.

    The Times article quotes you as having said, "'It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.'" Mr. Kremer, whether or not Smithsonian endorses the video or its ideology, the museum is pimping for Discovery Institute to advance the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cult network.  You are colluding in a massive scam and risking your reputation to earn $16,000.  I even wonder whether you, yourself, have been recruited by the cult.

    When I was a victim, I got marvelous support from a volunteer at the old Cult Awareness Network of New York and New Jersey.  That brave organization has since been destroyed by litigation from Scientology, which now exploits the name and "CAN" logo to further its own profits.  You can read a "60 Minutes" transcript about that sorry story at: http://www.xenutv.com/us/60min-can.htm

    Please, I urge you to drop this deal and stick to rational movies about real science.

    Sincerely,

    [This is a letter written by a good friend of Einsteinia]

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:21:14 PM PDT

  •  My friend's Letter: (none)
    Randall Kremer
    Smithsonian Institution
    10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20560
    info@si.edu
    paleodept@si.edu

    June 2, 2005

    Dear Mr. Kremer:

    I was disturbed to read in The New York Times that Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History plans to screen "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" ("Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution," by John Schwartz, Saturday, May 28, 2005).

    First, I am appalled that Smithsonian would host a movie that is hostile to science.  Evolutionary science encompasses geology, botany, archaeology, biochemistry, paleoclimatology and paleometeorology, and other rigorous disciplines.  I understand the museum rents out Baird Auditorium in order to make money; however, I would expect Smithsonian to be discerning enough to reject a movie that advances "intelligent design," a religious ideology based on sophistry.  Smithsonian's own policy forbids sponsoring "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

    Second, I looked at the website of Discovery Institute, the movie's producer: http://www.discoveryinstitute.org/
    I was alarmed to find that it's a front for the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cultnetwork.

    I had a brush with a branch of this cult in the 1980's, when I lived in New York City.  It preyed on young, single people through recruiters who engaged in a pretended romance with many victims at once.  Recruiters enticed each victim separately to join a fascinating "class" on "self improvement," collected pricey "tuition," then abandoned each batch of victims to the cult management, on a designated evening.

    There, in the company of seasoned cult members, each new victim was distracted from facing the raw truth that their romance had been a sham. Skilled members exploited the victims' shock and confusion to induct them further into the cult.  They urged us to remain open-minded, promised revelation of a great truth, used theater games to break down personal reserve, forbade questions, and withheld food (all the victims missed dinner).  The leader gave an interminable lecture that lasted till 11:00 p.m., during which everyone was told to sit at attention, while he ostentatiously ate and drank and spoke at his leisure.

    During the one evening I spent with the New York group, I saw the leader drive one young member to the point of an apparent nervous breakdown.  The leader browbeat the youngster and insisted he was overdue in obeying orders to abandon his parents and his home, in order to fulfill his own "potential"--and incidentally hand over more money.  The young man was in a state of high agitation, which visibly increased as the evening wore on. Others criticized him for not caring enough about his personal development.

    The Times article quotes you as having said, "'It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.'" Mr. Kremer, whether or not Smithsonian endorses the video or its ideology, the museum is pimping for Discovery Institute to advance the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky cult network.  You are colluding in a massive scam and risking your reputation to earn $16,000.  I even wonder whether you, yourself, have been recruited by the cult.

    When I was a victim, I got marvelous support from a volunteer at the old Cult Awareness Network of New York and New Jersey.  That brave organization has since been destroyed by litigation from Scientology, which now exploits the name and "CAN" logo to further its own profits.  You can read a "60 Minutes" transcript about that sorry story at: http://www.xenutv.com/us/60min-can.htm

    Please, I urge you to drop this deal and stick to rational movies about real science.

    Sincerely,

    [This is a letter written by a good friend of Einsteinia]

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 11:19:27 PM PDT

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