New Mexico PBS Station Bans Science Documentary on Intelligent Design Theory

SEATTLE, JAN. 4 — KNME, a local PBS station in Albuquerque New Mexico, has banned “Unlocking the Mystery of Life,” a science documentary about intelligent design. According to KNME’s website the program was originally scheduled to air Friday, Jan. 7 at 9pm, and it was still listed there on Monday afternoon.

According to New Mexico scientist Phil Robinson who worked with KNME staff to arrange for the documentary to air, Monday morning he found out by accident that the show had been pulled and newspaper advertising for it had been cancelled, just four days before it was to air.

“It is simply astounding that a public television station would engage in this sort of politically-correct censorship ,” said Rob Crowther, director of communications for Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. “Public television usually prides itself in exploring new ideas, not suppressing them. Doesn’t anyone at KNME believe in free speech?.”

Crowther noted that the film KNME censored is currently for sale on PBS’s national website, and to date “Unlocking” has aired in almost every top-20 media market in the country, including PBS stations in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington state and Washington, DC. The documentary was made available to PBS affiliates across the nation in April of 2003. The program was up-linked by a satellite feed offered and coordinated by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA).

“The real losers here are New Mexico viewers who will be denied the chance to see a fascinating documentary that public television viewers in other states have already had the opportunity to see,” Crowther added. “I guess if New Mexico viewers want to learn more about intelligent design, they will have to go the national PBS website”

“Unlocking the Mystery of Life” is a 58-minute program exploring what DNA reveals about the origin of life and documents how some scientists are skeptical about naturalistic explanations for the origin of genetic information and looking to theories of design instead. Employing state of the art computer animation and other visuals, the documentary follows the development of intelligent design theory through interviews with key design scientists such as biochemistry professor Michael Behe of Lehigh University, biologist Dean Kenyon of San Francisco State University, mathematician William Dembski of Baylor University, microbiologist Scott Minnich of the University of Idaho, and Cambridge-trained philosopher of science Stephen Meyer.

For more information on Unlocking the Mystery of Life please visit Discovery Institute’s website at

Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. The Institute is home to an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.