Settlement of Intelligent Design Discrimination Lawsuit Warns Darwin's Bullies to Stop Censoring Intellectual Freedom

Sep 01, 2011, 08:00 ET from Discovery Institute

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Three case settlements this year show that it is a costly mistake for intolerant academic elites to suppress the viewpoints of Darwin-critics," said Casey Luskin, an attorney with Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture. "The growing trend is that those who discriminate against intelligent design face stiff penalties."

In August, the state-run California Science Center (CSC) paid $110,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by American Freedom Alliance (AFA). CSC rented its IMAX theater to AFA to show Darwin's Dilemma, a science documentary advocating ID. However, when CSC learned the film would portray ID favorably, CSC cancelled AFA's event. The suit was filed because CSC violated AFA's First Amendment right to discuss intelligent design (ID). The case number is BC 423687.

The settlement is the third this year. First, the University of Kentucky paid over $100,000 to settle astronomer Martin Gaskell's claim that he was wrongfully denied employment for doubting Darwinism. Later, Applied Mathematics Letters paid thousands of dollars and publicly apologized to avoid litigation after it wrongfully withdrew mathematician Granville Sewell's peer-reviewed paper critiquing neo-Darwinism.

This is the latest in a long line of well-documented incidents of discrimination against proponents of intelligent design. In 2004, biologist Richard Sternberg was ousted from a research position at the Smithsonian Institution after he allowed a pro-ID paper to be published in a Smithsonian biology journal. Two federal investigations found he was the victim of a campaign to investigate and intimidate him due to his skepticism of Darwinian evolution.

In 2006, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez was denied tenure at Iowa State University in large part due to his work developing arguments for intelligent design from cosmic fine-tuning. E-mails uncovered during a public records request showed that Gonzalez's colleagues engaged in secret tenure deliberations where support for ID was counted as an automatic negative.

"The CSC settlement puts a high price tag on censorship of the ID viewpoint," said Joshua Youngkin, Discovery's Program Officer in Public Policy and Legal Affairs. "The going penalty for viewpoint discrimination against ID is about $100,000, though successfully defending freedom of ID expression is priceless."

SOURCE Discovery Institute