Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oklahoma Museum of Natural History vs. The Discovery Institute

The anti-science movie Darwin's Dilemma is an attempt to discredit evolution by pointing to "problems" with the evolution of animals during the early to mid-Cambrian.

The IDiots who promote this movie were clever enough to have arranged for a showing at the Sam Nobel Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, a museum associated with the University of Oklahoma. The IDiot IDEA Club of the university knew full well that the museum is legally obligated to host public lectures regardless of how unscientific they might be.

Here's a brief description of Student's IDEA Clubs from their website.
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Clubs are student-initiated clubs on high school and college campuses where students can promote scientific evidence that supports intelligent design. IDEA Clubs are a growing network of student-led clubs on university and high school campuses around the United States, and worldwide.

Today there is a great inequality in the science classroom. Students in most public or private high schools and universities are not exposed to the full range of scientific evidence and opinions about how living organisms arose and diversified. IDEA Clubs help fill the gaps in science education by providing the opportunity for students to educate their fellow students, friends, and even faculty about scientific evidence for intelligent design theory and problems with evolutionary theory. By this, people are naturally challenged by the metaphysical implications of the scientific evidence.
Naturally, the scientists at the museum are upset about this. It prompted the Museum Director, Michael A. Mares, to issue a disclaimer on the museum's website: An Open Letter from Dr. Michael A. Mares, Museum Director.
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is dedicated to science and to elucidating the remarkable evolutionary history of life on Earth. The museum actively engages in public programs, undergraduate and graduate education, outreach education, and other efforts to increase the scientific literacy of visitors to the museum and the people of Oklahoma.

Although the museum does not support unscientific views masquerading as science, such as those espoused by the Discovery Institute, the museum does respect the religious beliefs of all people. Moreover, the museum is obligated to rent its public space to any organization that is engaged in lawful activities, free speech and open discourse. The museum does not discriminate against recognized campus organizations based on their religious beliefs, political philosophy, scientific literacy, or any other factors.

We invite everyone interested in an accurate description of how life developed over the last four billion years to visit our galleries. The well-organized and scientifically accurate exhibits illustrate – through real specimens and scientific methods – the fact of evolution by natural selection as first described by Charles Darwin and continually supported by all branches of science ever since that time. The museum also recommends that people interested in evolutionary science review the more than 1,000 publications by our curators and professional staff that are based in evolutionary biology.

The museum's many galleries will be open for free before and after the showing of the Discovery Institute’s film "Darwin’s Dilemma" on Sept. 29 so the public can see that there is no scientific controversy in evolutionary science's explanation of the development and history of Earth's biodiversity.

This calendar year – the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species – the museum, in partnership with OU departments of Zoology, the Department of Botany and Microbiology, the Department of Anthropology, and the History of Science and History of Science Collections of the OU Library, has presented more than 15 public education programs related to evolution, with many more on the calendar ahead. We encourage the public to take part in these programs, many of which are free, to educate themselves about the true nature of the science of evolutionary biology.
Well said, and opening up the museum free of charge before and after the movie is a brilliant move.

Now the next question is, when are the IDiots actually going to get around to fulfilling their promise to present real evidence for Intelligent Design Creationism? So far, all we've seen is scientifically amateurish attempts to discredit evolution.1.

1. While the attempts are scientifically at a kindergarten level, they are often dressed up in all the glitz and glamor of a Hollywood production. Most people aren't fooled by this, right? Please tell me I'm right.


  1. IDEA Clubs are a growing network...

    I'd like to see evidence of that.

  2. OUs IDEA club was dead. Its been dead for a long time.

    But after a local church (Trinity Baptist) brought Dembski to OU in 2007, they got a bright idea to 'resurrect' OU IDEA so they could pull shit exactly like this.

    OU IDEA is strictly a church group (I dont believe they have any science student members-- the Pres is a journalism major, and I dont think many (if any) of the members dont belong to Trinity), which then uses its 'OU club' status to reserve OU facilities like the Sam Noble museum.

    Its surprisingly clever, actually.

  3. I lied. Ray Martin is no longer the pres-- Joshua Malone now is, who while formally home schooled, is now a chem/math major. Malones religious beliefs are described as "Sola Scriptura".

  4. IDEA Clubs are a growing network...

    I'd like to see evidence of that

    Actually, the evidence is to the contrary.

    Most people aren't fooled by this, right? Please tell me I'm right.

    Larry, you teach freshmen ... er ... freshpeople, right? Can't you answer your own question?

  5. You ought to at least watch the Darwin's Dilemma and read Stephen Meyer's book, Signature in the Cell, before pretending to know anything about them. Once you've done that you're welcome to call them whatever you want.

  6. Right, Robert.

    I'm sure what is contained is absolutely nothing like the voluminous material that Meyer and pals have littered the internet and bookstores with fore the last several years, and I am sure that anyone would immediately reject evolution after seeing/reading the TROOOF in such works of scholarship.

  7. Hurrr duuur... ya Robert (Robert Deyes?) I should read 'Signature of the Cell'. An Earth Science major could totally teach me something about molecular biology I havent learned in graduate school studying molecular biology.




  9. I presented a paper for our lab's journal club that tangentially provided evidence against ID. This resulted in discussion that revealed that nearly half of our grad students believed in some kind of hand waving intelligent design creation theory.

    What was even more alarming was an apparent ambivalence about whether or not ID is science.

    I don't think any of them had really thought about it much or were even aware that there was an organized movement to discredit evolutionary theory.

    So, I think people are fooled by it. At least, they don't think hard enough about it to care.

  10. Clicking on Robert's name gets you to

  11. You atheistic bigots have had 150 years to make your case. Now the wheels are coming off your precious theory and all you can do is hyperventilate and try to suppress sound objections.

  12. The only real alternative to design is accident, which I’ve never seen put so well as this:

    The belief that there was nothing, & nothing happened to that nothing, then the nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything, then a bunch of nothing magically rearranged itself due to no cause whatever into self-replicating things which turned into dinosaurs.

    Makes perfect sense, dunnit? (-: