Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Not Bad

The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History has issued a statement on its website about the Discovery Institute's screening of the propaganda film, Darwin's Dilemma, at the museum's Kerr Auditorium:

Although the museum does not support unscientific views masquerading as science, such as those espoused by the Discovery Institute, the museum does respect the religious beliefs of all people. Moreover, the museum is obligated to rent its public space to any organization that is engaged in lawful activities, free speech and open discourse. The museum does not discriminate against recognized campus organizations based on their religious beliefs, political philosophy, scientific literacy, or any other factors.

Heh! I thought "scientific literacy" was a nice touch. I think that falls within the "strongest terms" I recommended. Furthermore, the museum stated:

The museum's many galleries will be open for free before and after the showing of the Discovery Institute's film "Darwin's Dilemma" on Sept. 29 so the public can see that there is no scientific controversy in evolutionary science's explanation of the development and history of Earth's biodiversity.

It's not quite clear if this is a special arrangement because of the DI's event but, if it is, that's a good step as far as it goes, especially if it is prominently advertised at the time of the screening. If docents were present with familiarity with the sort of nonsense the DI is spreading and what exhibits best counter it, that would be even better.

The museum also highlights its extensive upcoming series of public education programs on evolution. I still think a program directly addressing the claims of the film would be appropriate and not that hard to organize.

Overall, though, I think the museum is doing the right things.



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