Correcting Kirk Fithzhugh’s Misunderstandings About Intelligent Design

In my prior post, I noted that for years I’ve owned a graduate assignment on evolutionary classification by LA County Museum of Natural History scientist Kirk Fitzhugh. After completing this “Classification” project, he went on to earn his PhD in biology and today is Curator of Polychaetes at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC). Fitzhugh was part of the internal discussions at NHMLAC that I’ve been writing about, in which participants at one point planned to tell the California Science Center (CSC), “We urge you to cancel this event.” Fitzhugh, however, is not nearly so private about his disagreement with ID as some of his NHMLAC colleagues. It’s important to note that Dr. Fitzhugh should have every Read More ›

Responding to LA County Natural History Museum Scientist Kirk Fitzhugh

In a prior post, we saw how the LA County Museum of Natural History (LACMNH) contributed to the pressure on the California Science Center to cancel a pro-ID event sponsored by American Freedom Alliance. But there’s a little story to tell here about a fairly vocal anti-ID scientist at the LACMNH. When I was an undergraduate, a friend gave me a packet titled “Classification: Graduate Student Project,” which explained various methods of building phylogenetic trees. The packet is a three-ring binder collecting the pages of a project completed in 1983 by a then-graduate student at George Washington University, Kirk Fitzhugh. His name came up as I was reviewing e-mail correspondence related to the California Science Center’s cancellation of its contract Read More ›

An Enclave of Intolerance: Anti-Intelligent Design Pressure from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

A major reason that the California Science Center (CSC) ultimately cancelled its contract with the American Freedom Alliance (AFA) to show a pro-intelligent design film was pressure from museums — both nearby and far away — to distance itself from anything associated with intelligent design (ID). My previous post recounted the Smithsonian’s opposition to the CSC’s allowing a pro-ID event. But there was also pressure from much closer to home — from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC), right across the street in Exposition Park. NHMLAC’s involvement began after the NCSE sent an e-mail warning Southern California-area evolutionists about the imminent pro-ID event at CSC. USC marine paleoecologist David Bottjer forwarded the e-mail on to various colleagues, Read More ›

How Smithsonian Institution Pressured the California Science Center

In my previous post in this series about the California Science Center (CSC), we saw that the CSC might not have rented its facilities to a pro-intelligent design (ID) group like the American Freedom Alliance (AFA) had they known about “the nature of the groups involved.” At the same time that the CSC learned that a pro-ID group had booked its facilities, on the other side of the country, head staff at the Smithsonian Institution were outraged that one of their affiliates was allowing a pro-ID event. The Smithsonian’s Chief Spokesperson, Linda St. Thomas, was so upset about CSC’s rental to a pro-ID group that she asked the Smithsonian’s Director of Affiliates, Harold Closter, to send a “cease and desist” Read More ›

Actions Speak Louder: Exposing Kirk Fitzhugh’s Denial of Suppressing Freedom of Thought on Intelligent Design

After reviewing the severe misconceptions that Natural History Museum of LA County (NHMLAC) scientist Kirk Fitzhugh has about the theory of intelligent design, we come to the California Science Center and its decision to cancel the screening of Darwin’s Dilemma. In that decision, Kirk Fitzhugh played no direct role but he did participate in the correspondence surrounding it. On October 15, under the subject heading “DI spin,” John Long e-mailed Fitzhugh about attending the rescheduled American Freedom Alliance event on October 25. He wrote: “I enjoy reading your commentary on the ID issues. Will catch you feeding the leeches on Sat night.” Kirk Fitzhugh replied — without protesting John Long’s description of ID proponents as “leeches” but merely pointing out Read More ›