The California Science Center in Los Angeles canceled its screening of the documentary, “Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record.” The documentary promotes the theory of intelligent design rather than the theory of evolution for the creation of human beings. The documentary specifically criticizes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Moreover, because of this cancelation, the museum is being sued.
The American Freedom Alliance says it has no position on intelligent design but does say that the filing of the lawsuit against the science center is necessary since the center is stifling debate on the topic by canceling it. The organization brought the lawsuit against the California Science Center in October, in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The science center was set to show the program in October of 2009. However, it pulls it after being pressured to do so by the Smithsonian and other scientific academies.
This is not the first time that this topic has come up in a court of law. In 2005, for example, the case of Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District resulted in a federal judge issuing a ruling that public school classes cannot present intelligent design as an argument for the creation of humans because it is a form of Creationism. It also occurred in 2005, when The Smithsonian approved auditorium space in its National Museum of Natural History to screen another intelligent design type of documentary. The scientific community opposed this, but The Smithsonian was unable to back out of the previously signed contract. It did refund the rental fee for the space and publically stated it was not endorsing the screening of the documentary.
The pretrial hearing in this case is scheduled for January 26th, 2010. The American Freedom Alliance claims that the cancelation of the screening was done under a false pretext and therefore that the science center committed contract fraud. It is seeking punitive damages.