Florida Rep. D. Alan Hays, who filed creationism bill (“academic freedom”) HB 1483, has invited his fellow lawmakers out to a movie. Let’s see here … what’s good playing right now that Florida’s legislator’s might like to see. Oh! I know! How about a film where good ol’ fashioned creationism is re-branded as persecuted “academic freedom.” That should be right up everyone’s alley.
That’s right, Ben Stein and the Discovery Institute’s Expelled is coming to a theater near … no, not you … near your in-session legislature, which just so happens to have two bills before it expounding the virtues of so-called “academic freedom.” Here’s the e-mail invite:
From: Rousseau, Tiffany
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 3:18 PM
To: !HSE All House Members & LAs
Subject: Special Invitation from Representative Hays
An exclusive invitation to members of the Florida Legislature:
Representative Alan Hays Invites you to attend an exclusive pre-screening to be held by Motive Entertainment of the New Major Picture Documentary:
No Intelligence Allowed
Starring Ben Stein
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, follows Ben Stein on his journey around the globe where he discovers that scientists, educators and philosophers are being persecuted because they dare to go against the theory of evolution.
Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee
200 South Duval Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Wednesday, March 12th 2008
RSVP Online at
As a member of the Legislature, you are invited to attend this screening with 1 guest.
For questions, please contact Tiffany at: Tiffany.Rousseau@myfloridahouse.gov
***This event has been approved by House General Counsel and is not paid for by a lobbyist/principal.
Florida Citizens for Science has some questions here:
This is not paid for a lobbyist/principal. But would the benefactor possibly be crossing any lines here seeing as how this movie has direct relations to HB 1483 and SB 2692? I have no knowledge of such things, so please enlighten me in the comments, folks.
What in the world is the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee doing allowing this to happen at their facility? Take a look at their mission statement.
Our missions include the provision to K-12 students of standards-aligned, high-quality â€œhands-onâ€ educational experiences in science and engineering through the use of high-fidelity aerospace simulators.
Expelled and the related bills filed in the legislature are the complete opposite of standards-aligned. Florida Citizens for Science is definitely going to be asking some questions. I encourage you to do so, too. At the very least, they should do as the Smithsonian Institution did in issuing a statement removing their co-sponsorship of the movie The Privileged Planet.
[edited to add: It is important to highlight two posts from the comments thread: “I am told by Norman Thagard, MD, the director of the Challenger Center, that anyone not showing pornography is allowed to rent the CC and they cannot discriminate among those to whom they rent. Evidently this legislator has arranged this showing and rented the facility.” And: “The IMAX theater that is being rented has nothing to do with the Challenger Center. The IMAX theater is rented out by an organization that has no organizational or fiscal ties to the Challenger Center.”]