Last year, the American Freedom Alliance, a California based Don’t Think Tank, attempted to insert, Trojan style,* a creationist film called Darwin’s Dilemma into the repertoire of films shown at the California Science Center.
The film is a pro-Intelligent Design film, and behind this insulting and immature ruse was, you guessed it, the Discovery Institute.
When the California Science Center reviewed the film, they found its science content lacking in accuracy, truth, integrity, and stuff and canceled the showing. In so doing, the CSC was carrying out its obligation to promote excellent science and acted well within their legal rights, as the contract for screening states that only material that passes muster after review will be shown.
The AFA got all first amendmenty about it (inappropriately so) and sued the CSC.
The complained alleged that the film was canceled as part of a conspiracy of “a broad network of Darwin advocates”
Indeed. We’re called the community of scientists that does its best to promote, teach, and develop consensus based on the preponderance of evidence.
Well, now the California Science Center Foundation has struck back! They have filed a complaint that …
“AFA and the Discovery Institute consistently communicated and collaborated on the Event up to, and even after, its cancellation. … AFA was cognizant that its publicity efforts might impact its alleged contractual relationship with the Foundation. … [The Discovery Institute's Robert Crowther] noted in his email to the AFA: ‘Once we let the jinni [sic] out of the bottle it’s likely all hell will break loose.’ … And in a later email, [the AFA's] Avi Davis admits that the Discovery Institute warned AFA that a cancellation might happen due to the Discovery Institute’s publicity”
According to the CSCF’s complaint:
- The AFA “materially breached the alleged contract” by issuing publicity, both in coordination with the Discovery Institute and on its own, about the screening without seeking the approval of the CSCF, as required by the contract.
- This violated “the covenant of good faith and fair dealing” (p. 7) even if it was not a material violation of the contract.
- Since “AFA entered into the alleged agreement with the Foundation and agreed to seek pre-approval of any publicity materials, all the while coordinating with the Discovery Institute to promote the Event and never intending on planning to obtain such pre-approval and fulfill its obligations of the alleged contract” (p. 10), the AFA committed actual fraud.
The CSCF is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. A jury trial is currently scheduled to begin on June 13, 2011. This could be interesting.
Numerous important documents pertaining to this case are organized and available by your friends at the National Center for Science Education, here.
The information in this blog post comes from the grapevine and this press release.
* as in Trojan Horse. Why, what were you thinking?