Sunday, May 29, 2005

ID at the Smithsonian?

Be sure to read this important post from Panda's Thumb contributor Burt Humburg.

It seems that the ID friendly video The Privileged Planet will be screened at the Baird Auditorium of the Smithsonian Institute. This has prompted various ID friendly outlets to blather about how the Smithsonian is warming up to ID. The reality is both predictable and annoying. Here's the money quote from Humburg:


The article explains how the Discovery Institute donated $16,000 to the Smithsonian. In exchange for this contribution, the Smithsonian allowed them to use the Baird Auditorium. And, instead of advancing science or talking about any actual controversy, the DI are playing a video that involved Intelligent Design.

In other words, the DI’s best efforts to get scientific support at the Smithsonian involves payola. They had to pay $16K for the privilege of showing their movie to a hand-picked, 100%-ID-friendly audience at the Smithsonian. Oddly enough, we here at the Thumb think this is the Discovery Institute’s biggest contribution to science in the last decade. It’s also significant that this is in keeping with the Wedge Strategy, gaining notoriety as having their views addressed in academic and scientific venues.


The article being referred to is this one from The New York Times.

This is yet another illustration of something that has been obvious for quite some time now. ID is about money and public realtions. It has nothing to do with science. The Discovery Institute has $16,000 to throw around, and they decided the best use of that money was buy a chance to associate their name with the Smithsonian.

Ask yourself what real scientists would do with $16,000. Do you think that the William Dembski's and Michael Behe's of the world will protest that instead of paying for $16,000 worth of scientific research in ID, the Discovery Institute chose instead to spend the money on a cheap publicity stunt? Does anyone seriously believe anymore that ID has anything to do with science?

3 Comments:

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the Smithsonian that hard up for cash?
16K doesn't seem like an awfully large sum of money considering the long-term damage stories like this can do to science, especially when they are picked up and presented incorrectly by major media outlets.

 
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