Those biased Smithsonian scientists

THOSE BIASED SMITHSONIAN SCIENTISTS…. The Washington Post had an interesting piece the other day on creationist groups visiting the Smithsonian, ostensibly to see what they’re up against. The piece highlighted a field trip with students from Jerry Falwell’s college.

Every winter, David DeWitt takes his biology class to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, but for a purpose far different from that of other professors.

DeWitt brings his Advanced Creation Studies class (CRST 390, Origins) up from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., hoping to strengthen his students’ belief in a biblical view of natural history, even in the lion’s den of evolution.

His yearly visit to the Smithsonian is part of a wider movement by creationists to confront Darwinism in some of its most redoubtable secular strongholds. As scientists celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, his doubters are taking themselves on Genesis-based tours of natural history museums, aquariums, geologic sites and even dinosaur parks.

“There’s nothing balanced here. It’s completely, 100 percent evolution-based,” said DeWitt, a professor of biology.

Imagine that. The National Museum of Natural History is limited, exclusively, to natural history. The nerve.

Indeed, the dreaded Accuracy Scourge is common throughout the Smithsonian Institution. At the National Air and Space Museum, it’s completely, 100% based on the notion that planets in our galaxy orbit the sun. You won’t find one word about the geocentric model. At the National Museum of American History, museum officials insist on presenting history as it actually happened. At the National Portrait Gallery, they insist on showing portraits.

It’s outrageous.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.