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New York Times Should Screen “Privileged Planet” for Its Staff

John G. West

Rob Crowther blogged earlier about the New York Times article on the upcoming screening of “Privileged Planet” at the Smithsonian. The Times article is pretty fair and balanced, but it starts off with a big blooper in the headline and first sentence:

Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution

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.

In fact, Privileged Planet is not about biological evolution. It makes the case for intelligent design in the universe based on astronomy and cosmology. It doesn’t deal at all with the Darwinian account of how life developed. So it’s flat wrong to state that the movie “makes a case against evolution.” A much more accurate headline would be: “Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case for Intelligent Design.”

Although much of the public controversy over intelligent design has focused on the application of design to biology, it’s important to remember that design theory itself reaches well beyond biology, and that some of the strongest evidence for design comes from such fields as physics, astronomy, and cosmology.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

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