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California Science Center settles anti-Darwin film lawsuit

August 29, 2011 |  3:12 pm

California Science Center
The California Science Center Foundation has settled a long-running legal dispute over the 2009 cancellation of a documentary attacking Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Neither the Center nor the American Freedom Alliance, which filed suit in the contract dispute, admitted wrongdoing, and the film, "Darwin's Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record," will not be shown at the Center's IMAX theater in Exposition Park, officials said.

Instead, in an unusual provision, the settlement called for Science Center officials to invite the Freedom Assn. to show the film and for the association to immediately turn them down, a statement from the center said.

"Darwin's Dilemma" promoted intelligent design, the belief that a single being, rather than impersonal forces such as Darwinian natural selection, is responsible for shaping life on Earth.

An overwhelming majority of scientists, as well as science and natural history museums, consider evidence of evolution in the genetic and fossil record to be definitive.

American Freedom Alliance, in its lawsuit, had contended that the state-owned center improperly bowed to pressure from the Smithsonian Institution, as well as emailed complaints from USC professors and others, to cancel a private screening of the film that was to coincide with the 2009 bicentennial of Darwin's birth.


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-- Gale Holland

Photo: The California Science Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times