Documentary on Intelligent Design Premieres at Smithsonian Museum

A new documentary on intelligent design (ID) made its debut Thursday at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

"The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe" is a 60-minute science documentary produced by Discovery Institute, based on the book written by Jay Richards -- the vice president of a Seattle-based ID think tank.

While the museum allowed the presentation on its premises, it did not co-sponsor the film as originally planned because it said the content was "not consistent" with scientific research, according to Agape Press.

“Upon further review we have determined that the content of the film is not consistent with the mission of the Smithsonian Institution's scientific research,” a statement from the museum read.

Richards meanwhile, said he wishes the argument about ID would be an “intellectual” one that discusses the evidence, not “motivations or theological implications," according to Agape Press.

"Unfortunately, this is one of a number of examples of opponents of intelligent design theory preferring to simply try to get discussion squelched," said Richards, the former Teacher Fellow of Princeton Theological Seminary. "They don't want to see a public debate about the evidence for design take place."

Richards further said such censorship will not last.

"It may work in the short run, but whenever someone tries to silence a public debate about intelligent design in one place, it seems to spring up in 20 other places,” he said.

The Smithsonian museum said it will provide space for the event, “given that the Discovery Institute has already issued invitations,” adding that it “will not participate or accept a donation for it.”