John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Smithsonian Premiere of Privileged Planet Tonight; Seth’s Free Help for Critics

Published at Evolution News

The long-awaited screening of The Privileged Planet documentary at the Smithsonian takes place this evening in Washington, D.C. Stay tuned for some first-hand reporting of the event later tonight and on Friday from Rob Crowther.

In the meantime, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all of the Darwinists who provided free publicity for the screening by denouncing a film they had never even seen. (If they had seen the film, they would have known that it doesn’t deal with biological evolution. See Rob Crowther and Bruce Chapman’s prior posts, here and here, respectively.)

After tonight’s screening, I’m sure we can look forward to still more encores from the pro-Darwin chorus. Keeping in mind that the most vocal critics to this point have neither read the book nor seen the movie, Discovery’s Seth Cooper decided to help out by drafting a few form letters critics can send to newspaper editors tomorrow :

Dear Editor,

Shame on the Smithsonian for showing the intelligent design film The Privileged Planet! How dare they! NO reputable scientist anywhere dares think that the Earth is either habitable or discoverable—which is why I refused to watch the film at all. Only religious zealots think such things.


Dear Editor,

The Smithsonian Institution has lost all credibility for hosting a viewing of the ID film The Privileged Planet. Proponents of the “privileged planet hypothesis” featured in the movie (which I adamantly refuse to ever watch), are committed to the arrogant and gruesome ideology of planetism—they dare think that Earth is more important or special than other planets. Real scientists know that ALL planets are the same.


Dear Editor

America is now a theocratic dictatorship, thanks to the Smithsonian and its decision to allow a showing of the “intelligent design” movie The Privileged Planet. The un-scientific “intelligent design” proponents in the film might have slick Ph.D.s, but they are religious fundamentalists who believe in a literal reading of the Bible. They raise doubts about what all serious scientists believe—namely, that the Earth is a literal, pale blue dot. Like me, I hope no other Americans will consent to watching this movie.


John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
Discovery Institute