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Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution

  1. May 30, 2005 #1

    hypnagogue

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/28/national/28smithsonian.html

    Sell-outs. :grumpy: I can't believe this.
     
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  3. May 30, 2005 #2

    Math Is Hard

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    Darn - I wish I could see the whole article. I would like to know exactly what they mean by "undercut" evolution. ID supporters certainly can't deny evolution. There's just too much evidence. So there must be some points where they have to agree and some where they disagree and I would like to know which these are. It's confusing.
     
  4. May 30, 2005 #3

    Evo

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    It sounds like the museum was unable to turn them down. If they let others rent out the auditorium for a "contribution" they probabably had no legal recourse. People just need to understand that the museum has to let these nuts use the place and are not endorsing them.

    Here's the link to the policy right off of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum's website -

    "SPECIAL EVENTS POLICY

    Corporations and organizations making an unrestricted contribution to the National Museum of Natural History may co-sponsor an event in celebration of their gift. Your gift helps to support the scientific and educational work of the Museum. Personal events (i.e. weddings, etc.), fund raising events, and events of a religious or partisan political nature are not permitted. Cash bars, raffles and the display or promotion of commercial products are also prohibited."


    http://www.nmnh.si.edu/specialevents/policy.html

    also see http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/001078.html
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2005
  5. May 30, 2005 #4
    I think the ID people have a right to explain themselves. The Smithsonian People need only make a point of saying this isn't their belief.

    I kind of feel that ID is so stupid that anyone who believes it deserves to believe it.
     
  6. May 30, 2005 #5

    Evo

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    Unfortunately it seems the majority of people in this world are stupid. :frown:
     
  7. May 30, 2005 #6
    I know. What actually bothers me is that creationists are going to me writing this situation up in their pamphlets with the facts migrating from "Smithsonian Unable to Refuse Presentation of Bad Science" to "Smithsonian Presents Case Against Evolution."
     
  8. May 30, 2005 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    I have a really hard time with this sort of stuff. On one hand, there are genuine experts in related fields of study who believe that evolution alone can't explain all that we see. And the idea that anyone has a problem with scientists, or even devotees making their case, connotes the idea of censorship; and even a sort of faith based pro-scientific fervor. The question is, will there be a scientific case made, or will this be some twisted version of the truth sold to an unwitting public desperate to believe what their faith based religions teach? Obviously most here assume the latter.

    Has anyone seen the commercial for the Church of Christ, where some new-age fundamentalist church has thugs standing guard to decide who may and may not enter? The message is that all are welcome at the Church of Christ, but to me, the real point is how they portray the mentality of this new religious movement. Scary stuff!
     
  9. May 30, 2005 #8
    I think many points of evolution are open to refutation, but not by a dumb argument like ID. ID is pseudoscience and probably has an agenda. Evolution, like everything else, should be questioned all the time, but by the presentation of evidence, and by showing any flaws in logic. The logic behind ID is like something out of the Stupid Quetion thread.
     
  10. May 30, 2005 #9

    hypnagogue

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    Sure, ID people have the right to explain themselves, and sure, any scientific theory should be open to legitimate critique. The thing that bothers me about this is that an esteemed scientific institution is hosting an idea not based on its content, but on how much money they're making off of it. This is sort of like a physics journal agreeing to publish a crackpot theory about perpetual motion or something because the author slipped the referees some cash-- that's an exaggeration, but there are obvious and troubling parallels nonetheless. Maybe Evo is right and they legally have no recourse, and yes, they have publically stated that they're not endorsing the content of the video. Maybe somehow the way the 'system' is set up is to blame more than anything else, and the people running the Smithsonian are more or less powerless here. But that doesn't completely wash the bad taste from my mouth. yuck.
     
  11. May 30, 2005 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    With the understanding that I've never heard of these people, but based on what I read here, I agree.

    The one that surprised me more was when MIT hosted an alien abductee seminar.
     
  12. May 30, 2005 #11
    http://www.bugmenot.com/

    "Next month the museum will play host to a film intended to promote delusions and teach ignorance." :grumpy:
     
  13. May 30, 2005 #12

    Pengwuino

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    I think those who criticize creationism as ignorance show their own ignorance in the belief that evolution and creationism are somehow mutually exclusive. But thats just in my opinion :D
     
  14. May 30, 2005 #13

    Evo

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    It's not quite creationism, it's "Intelligent Design". They claim that life is too complex to be an accident and that it was specifically designed complete just as we see it today. They are the ones that are claiming that evolution doesn't exist.
     
  15. May 30, 2005 #14
    From what I have read while there are those that think along the lines that you have pointed out there are others besides in the "Intelligent Design" community. There are those that believe there is possibly an inherant pattern in life that helped shape evolution along with natural selection. They don't discount evolution at all they just don't believe that natural selection by itself is a sufficient explination of how it happened.

    ----edit----

    I'll also conceed that I have had difficulty finding much material by people with this view point. They aren't the ones that get all the press and very possibly are a small minority.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2005
  16. May 30, 2005 #15

    Evo

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    This particular group falls under my explanation, if I'm not mistaken.
     
  17. May 30, 2005 #16
    Sorry, I thought by saying that they refute the existance of evolution you weren't taking them into account.
     
  18. May 31, 2005 #17
    Perhaps its not too late for the Smithsonian Institute.

    http://www.randi.org/jr/052705a.html
     
  19. May 31, 2005 #18

    Moonbear

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    Well, it does describe the event as a "private evening reception," which means this isn't going to be something the general public is viewing during normal visiting hours. Most likely, it's only going to be aired to people who already believe this stuff. Many museums allow after-hours receptions to be held on their premises as a means of fundraising, and the receptions don't have to have anything to do with the museum's mission.

    I'm not thrilled that it's hitting the headlines in a way that suggests the Smithsonian is endorsing it though. Of course, if they're going to air an opposing viewpoint, it would be nice to invite credible scientists who would have an opportunity to discuss and refute the contents of the film.

    There is also a huge difference between pointing out where our gaps in knowledge are, which are the limitations of evolutionary theory, and in claiming those gaps support an alternative theory (gaps are gaps, they don't support any theory; even if somebody found some huge problem that truly knocked out evolution as a theory, it wouldn't automatically make either ID or creationism legitimate, because they still aren't consistent with the evidence we do have).
     
  20. May 31, 2005 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    Now that would really tick me off! I would tell Randi exactly where he can put his money.
     
  21. May 31, 2005 #20

    Pengwuino

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    Well, a lot of the tragic accidents we hear about in life (lol not implying humans are a tragic accident) are the result of a lot of complex things going wrong all at the same time so this intelligent design doesnt sound like something i'd buy into.

    Got any links on it anyhow?
     
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