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Los Angeles Daily News: Cancellation of Darwin Film Creates Uproar

John G. West

The Los Angeles Daily News this morning is reporting the California Science Center’s outrageous cancellation of a screening of the new intelligent design documentary, Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record. The California Science Center is a “department of the State of California,” and its IMAX Theater had been rented by a private group, the American Freedom Alliance, to hold the Los Angeles premiere of the film as part of a series of activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. But after the screening became public knowledge, the pressure from Darwinist censors apparently became too intense. So this week the Science Center expelled the film, possibly after being intimidated by the Smithsonian Institution, which clearly was upset by publicity promoting the screening that mentioned the true fact that the Science Center is an official “Smithsonian Affiliate.” The Science Center is now claiming that it canceled the event “because of issues related to the contract,” issues its spokesperson conveniently refuses to identify. If you believe that, I have some swamp land you might like to buy in Florida.

Censorship is apparently alive and well in southern California. Given that the Science Center is a state entity, its heavy-handed cancellation of this event raises significant free speech issues. This is viewpoint discrimination plain and simple. A state agency has decided to ban speech it doesn’t like in a public facility that is supposed to be open to all citizens. And that’s an outrage.

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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