Preposterous Universe

Sunday, March 20, 2005
Outrage calibration

Sometimes my expectations need to be re-adjusted, and other times they're right on.

Even in the face of all the assaults against teaching evolution in this country, this story mentioned at Pharyngula took me by surprise: science museums that won't show IMAX films that mention evolution, the Big Bang, or geology.
The fight over evolution has reached the big, big screen.

Several Imax theaters, including some in science museums, are refusing to show movies that mention the subject - or the Big Bang or the geology of the earth - fearing protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of Earth and its creatures.

The number of theaters rejecting such films is small, people in the industry say - perhaps a dozen or fewer, most in the South. But because only a few dozen Imax theaters routinely show science documentaries, the decisions of a few can have a big impact on a film's bottom line - or a producer's decision to make a documentary in the first place.

Okay, science museums. That are afraid to talk about evolution, the Big Bang, and geology. Institutions whose nominal purpose is to educate people about science. I just can't quite wrap my head around this idea. And somehow I don't think that squeals of outrage from elite Northern liberal bloggers are going to make them change their minds. I'm going to redouble my efforts to help promote the Project Exploration science center that we're planning here in Chicago, and suggest a greater emphasis on traveling exhibitions of some sort or another.

On the other side of the ledger, we have the Terri Schiavo melodrama. (Good articles at Majikthise and Alas, a Blog.) The last thing the blogosphere needs is more comment about the case. But I was struck by the mention by Ezra Klein (that he got from No More Mister Nice Blog) of a set of talking points being passed around by Republicans.
ABC News has obtained talking points circulated among Republican senators explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case. Among them: "This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited..." and "This is a great political issue... this is a tough issue for Democrats."
In all honesty, my reaction upon reading that was, "That seems like a pretty straightforward memo; I'm not sure what is so notable about it."

Finally I realized: the thing that was supposed to be shocking is that the GOP is consciously using the case to score political points. The thought that they weren't -- that Frist and DeLay were actually motivated by concern for the woman -- had simply never occurred to me.

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

Preposterous Home
Atom Site Feed (xml)
RSS Feed
Technorati Profile
Bloglines Citations
Blogroll Me

About Last Night
Alas, a Blog
The American Sector
Asymmetrical Information
Big Brass Blog
Bitch, Ph.D.
Body and Soul
Brad DeLong
Chris C Mooney
Collision Detection
Creek Running North
Crescat Sententia
Crooked Timber
Daily Kos
Daniel Drezner
Deepen the Mystery
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Dynamics of Cats
Electron Blue
Ezra Klein
The Fulcrum
Girls Are Pretty
Jacques Distler
James Wolcott
John and Belle
Julie Saltman
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Leiter Reports
The Loom
Matt McIrvin
Matthew Yglesias
Michael Bérubé
Michael Nielsen
Mixing Memory
Mr. Sun
Not Even Wrong
Obsidian Wings
Orange Quark
Paige's Page
Panda's Thumb
Playing School, Irreverently
Political Animal
The Poor Man
Quantum Diaries
Quark Soup
Real Climate
Roger Ailes
Rox Populi
Shakespeare's Sister
Simple Stories
Sisyphus Shrugged
Smijer & Buck
TPM Cafe
Uncertain Principles
Volokh Conspiracy

Powered by Blogger
Comments by Haloscan
RSS Feed by 2RSS.com

February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005