As followers of this controversy will remember from previous posts, the California Science Center (CSC) denied screening of Illustra Media’s film Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record. A lawsuit ensued, in which the California Science Center was sued to disclose documentation, of which they are legally bound under the Public Records Act to disclose, in an attempt to discover what provoked the obvious discrimination. The outcome of the suit is that the CSC has to disclose the documentation and pay the attorney’s fees of the Discovery Institute. Here is a short podcast from the Discovery Institute on the matter:
The film was originally slated to be shown at the CSC’s IMAX Theater, whose website states:
Turn your IMAX experience into an all-day science adventure! Our seven-story IMAX screen—the largest in Los Angeles—brings to life worlds as small as an atom and as vast as the universe. Over 100 hands-on exhibits in our FREE EXHIBIT HALLS make science concepts easy to grasp and fun to explore for the whole family. Experience an IMAX movie and get the big picture!
The irony of “getting the big picture”. All the Discovery Institute was trying to do was “get the big picture” by requesting full disclosure of documentation. Apparently it took a lawsuit for the CSC to disclose “the big picture”. The CSC initially gave some documentation, but not all (as they are legally obligated to do, given that the public pays for the center, given that it is a governmental unit). When the Discovery Institute wanted full disclosure, i.e. “the big picture”, the CSC claimed that some of their employees were hired by a private company and were thus not obligated to provide documentation under the California Public Records Act. Now can you imagine if the same were true of our government at large? Our government would become a mercenary government, a government for hire, beholden not to the people, but to private interests. This tactic was an obvious “shell game” as Discovery Institute’s resident attorney Casey Luskin pointed out, and which the Honorable James C. Chalfant agreed.