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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  13:34:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
Dave, I saw that statement, but I don't understand it.

How can the museum director say "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," only to follow it up with "we will honor the commitment made to provide space for the event?"

If you determine the film is antithetical to your mission then the correct response is to pull it, not show it anyway, especially as co-sponsorship is a direct stipulation.

I cannot follow the reasoning behind that paragraph.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 06/01/2005 13:41:19
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  16:49:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
Once you've sold your soul to the Devil refund is not an option. There will be hell to pay for this.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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the_ignored
SFN Addict

2558 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  16:59:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message
Unfortunately, the fundies are starting to make hay of this on Theology Web. It seems James Randi's made a counter-proposal to them, and the thread starter doesn't like it.

Fortunately, there's 2 or 3 guys (including me) who are arguing against that idiot.

The point is: Dr. Mabuse is right. Once you've sold out, if you change your mind, you'll get attacked.


The irony is: wasn't it a bribe that got the film IN in the first place?

>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.
Edited by - the_ignored on 06/01/2005 17:01:22
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  17:21:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
What's being said on the Thumb in that thread is, it seems to me, correct. The solution the Smithsonian has come up with - emphatically deny any endorsement of the film (in fact, describe it as anathema), but allow it to be shown, anyway - is the best they can do with this PR nightmare.

That is, after all, the only thing the DI wants out of the deal: more PR spin to put on a theory without any theory. The Smithsonian, on the other hand, doesn't want to tarnish their reputation by backing out of a signed contract, especially when the DI would just spin that to their advantage, as well ("we tried to do an event at the museum, but pressure from the scientific elite made them cave in and break our contract").

It was a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation once the contract was signed (probably by an event coordinator with little knowledge of the "science"), and I think the director is doing the best thing possible with such a crappy hand.

And no, Ig, it wasn't a bribe. The Smithsonian regularly "rents" that particular venue for all sorts of events, in return for unrestricted grant money. The DI is no different from anyone else in that regard. The real difference only came to light - apparently - after people who know the DI raised a ruckus.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  17:31:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
So it will be up to us now, to work damage control.
Every single time the Smithsonian is referenced in ID, and DI discussions, we have to call the lies when we see them. We should compile a link set for reference as evidence in case they try to spin any "Smithsonian endorsement".

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
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the_ignored
SFN Addict

2558 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  18:10:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message
Ok, Dave, I stand corrected about it not being a "bribe". It just looked like one to me.

>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  18:19:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.
The Smithsonian regularly "rents" that particular venue for all sorts of events, in return for unrestricted grant money. The DI is no different from anyone else in that regard.
I disagree that the DI is no different. The Smithsonian's own Special Events Policy prohibits "events of a religious or partisan political nature."

By agreeing to screen this film, the Smithsonian is tacitly saying that Intelligent Design is neither a religious or political movement. Nothing could be further from the truth.

They aren't endorsing it, but neither are they openly rejecting it, which is what needs to be done with any pseudoscience desperate to lend itself an air of respectability. The DI doesn't need to claim the Smithsonian endorses ID, they just need to imply that Intelligent Design is scientific enough to have deserved a "showing" at the Smithsonian.

ID isn't science. It doesn't belong in science classrooms and it certainly doesn't belong in the country's preeminent science museum, under whatever pretenses.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 06/01/2005 18:27:00
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  18:25:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Good idea, Mab. There's already a handful of links to be found at the Thumb links in this thread, and the spin - obviously - has already begun (see the Thumb posts re Denyse O'Leary, and Ig's TheologyWeb link, above).

And Ig, if you've got money to throw at the Smithsonian, I'm sure you, too, can run a film at Baird Auditorium, so long as you follow the established policy. Several have suggested that the DI's film falls under the prohibition against political and/or religious events, but apparently such objections didn't get to the right ears quickly enough.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  18:56:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

I disagree that the DI is no different. The Smithsonian's own Special Events Policy prohibits "events of a religious or partisan political nature."
To understand that the DI is leading a political movement, one must first get past their insistence that they are a "non-partisan think tank" and find things like "the Wedge Document," which the DI has since "disowned." They weren't asking to show a film promoting teaching ID in public schools, after all (they're not so stupid as that). The DI is very good at hiding its politics, and I wouldn't expect museum workers to be on the cutting edge of the "controversy."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  19:13:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.
To understand that the DI is leading a political movement, one must first get past their insistence that they are a "non-partisan think tank" and find things like "the Wedge Document," which the DI has since "disowned." They weren't asking to show a film promoting teaching ID in public schools, after all (they're not so stupid as that). The DI is very good at hiding its politics, and I wouldn't expect museum workers to be on the cutting edge of the "controversy."

No, I understand, and like you said some poor PR director probably signed a contract with the Discovery Institute without knowing any better.

Where I disagree with you is in thinking the best course of action now is to proceed with the screening. I absolutely think they should default on the contract (maybe even on the grounds that the DI misrepresented itself). Yes, the DI will howl "censorship." So what else is new? John Q. Public needs to hear one message repeated loud and clear: "Intelligent Design is not science and will never receive the legitimacy of a scientific forum."

In my opinion, its much more damaging to blur the lines like this than to put up with any negative PR that stems from breaking the contract. I think the negative effects of showing this film will last much longer. This will become yet one more half-truth that will be milked by the ID community for years to come.

Am I overreacting? Perhaps. Maybe this event passes and is never brought up again. Yet somehow I think, as Dr. Mab implied, we will now have to continuously correct people about the Smithsonian's relationship to this film and their stance on the ID movement as a whole. I just see this as more fodder for the ID cannon, and I can't see why the Smithsonian should willingly provide it.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 06/01/2005 20:47:23
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  19:43:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

John Q. Public needs to hear one message repeated loud and clear: "Intelligent Design is not science and will never receive the legitimacy of a scientific forum."
The problem is that John Q. Public won't hear that but maybe once. However, the DI will howl for years that they were snubbed due to "materialist" pressure, and if you repeat a lie often enough, many people will believe it. That's how the DI has gotten as far as it has in the last 14 years.
quote:
Yet somehow I think, as Dr. Mab implied, we will now have to continuously correct people about the Smithsonian's relationship to this film and their stance on the ID movement as a whole. I just see this as more fodder for the ID cannon, and I can't see why the Smithsonian should willingly provide it.
No matter what happens, the DI will use this event for years. The decision made by the Smithsonian is so that the museum can save a modicum of its own dignity - which has undoubtedly been irrevocably tarnished in some eyes, anyway.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  20:12:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.
The problem is that John Q. Public won't hear that but maybe once. However, the DI will howl for years that they were snubbed due to "materialist" pressure, and if you repeat a lie often enough, many people will believe it. That's how the DI has gotten as far as it has in the last 14 years.
The Intelligent Design movement relies on misdirection and dishonesty to promote its goals. We know this. Most of the public doesn't (yet). They hear words like "theory," "scientific," "not religious," etc. They might know enough to be vaguely intrigued or slightly interested.

On the other hand, I would think that majority of Americans know of the Smithsonian and hold the museum in high esteem. When they think of it other words come to mind, like "credible," "trusted," "long tradition" or "authoritative."

So when John Q. Public thinks of "Smithsonian" and "ID" in the same sentence, the words linking those two concepts had better be "rejects," "scorns," or "dismisses." Even "suppresses" or "censors" is better than anything with positive connotations.

Of course the DI would be forced to hurl accusations at the Smithsonian if it decided to withdraw its invitation to show the film. But I believe the reputation of the Smithsonian is great enough in the public eye to make those that would hurl accusations appear suspect. I mean, the Smithsonian's sterling reputation is what this whole thing is about. The DI wants to soak up a bit of the Smithsonian's golden glow. Force their hand. Make them publically oppose this cherished scientific institution. I'm far from convinced it would be the DI which would come out on top.
quote:
No matter what happens, the DI will use this event for years. The decision made by the Smithsonian is so that the museum can save a modicum of its own dignity - which has undoubtedly been irrevocably tarnished in some eyes, anyway.

Well, I agree that the Smithsonian has a chance to save a modicum of its dignity, but in my opinion not by the path it's chosen.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 06/01/2005 20:18:30
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  20:21:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
No, H., the DI's propaganda machine is probably up to the task of turning a snubbing by the Smithsonian into "proof" that the government is a puppet of the materialistic scientific elite. That would massively further their own agenda with the public, as the ultra-conservatives don't have a problem with tossing the 1st Amendment out the window.

With the decision to allow them to proceed, the DI can't do that, but will still try to claim legitimacy from the false "endorsement." That's much easier to cope with, at least in my opinion.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  20:30:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
Yeah, Dave, we're going to have to agree to disagree. Caving into the DI is too much like "teaching the controversy" for me. The battle lines have to be drawn some time. Better to make a clear enemy of ID now, in my opinion, than waiting until the movement finds even greater purchase.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  20:37:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
ID has been whining for years about their lack of articles in scientific journals, so I can't see how the Smithsonian refusing them would change much.

On the other hand, they've been trying to get a foot in for a long time and almost succeded once (don't recall the publication, but one of the editors managed to sneek one, unrelated to the journal, though the peer reviev). The Smithsonian has now provided what the wanted: Recognition (even if they have to lie about it, which they already have). I'm leaning toward agreeing with H. Humbert.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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