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Literal and creationist interpretation of the Bible is the fastest-growing branch of Christianity in the U.S. This film takes an in-depth look at the views of these Christians who reject Charles Darwin's theory of evolution--while also examining how Darwin handled the question of God himself as he developed his theory of natural selection in the mid-1800s. Featuring interviews with Darwin historians, biographers, ministers and creationist Christians, along with letters and writings of Darwin (voiced by actor Sam West), the film takes a balanced look at this 150-year-old debate.Written by
A movie showing a specific group of biblical literalists with Darwins loss of faith as its' background.
This movie has several problems, but the biggest one is that this documentary does not present any information or point of view that might give the viewer a reason to ponder either evolution or creation. Rather, this movie consists almost entirely of short segments describing the life of Charles Darwin after he began his research into evolution followed by declarations of belief by the strict creationists that this movie is about.
First of all, this movie is not a Christian propaganda film. The director is an admitted agnostic that agrees with the handful of scientists in this documentary, not with the creationists. It is great that he was able to keep his views from clouding the documentary, but the fact that the majority of people reviewing this movie on this site and others think that it is a Christian propaganda film means that he went too far in the other direction, never questioning or exploring the beliefs of these people in any critical or academic way.
No Christian in this documentary ever gives any rationale for their belief that the Bible is 100% true and the word of God other than that the Bible says so and this is good enough for them. Their entire view of the world starts from the idea that their religion is true and their God and the Bible are infallible, and then everything else is either derived from that basis or twisted to coexist with that truth. To them, there can be no evidence that contradicts that view without that evidence being obviously (for them) wrong, and if there seems to be contradictory evidence they will set their "scientists" at the Creation Museum among other places to the task of trying to make this evidence fit with what they already know to be the ultimate truth in the Bible. This is all a very fascinating idea, and the mental hoops that these people have to jump through in order to continually justify their rigid belief system are amazing, but none of that is explored in this documentary. The results are on display, but all of the fascinating stuff under the surface is just left sitting there.
There is absolutely nothing deep or revealing in the documentary, which, in my opinion, is really what a documentary is supposed to be. Rather, this is just a superficial parade of quotes by strict creationists surrounded by a very, very shallow and weak description of Darwins' life and the history of the fight over scientific education. Truly, the sections dealing with Darwin and science education take up maybe 25% of this already short documentary, revealing nothing that anyone with even the most cursory familiarity with either subject would not already know.
The people in this Documentary are fascinating and strangely likable even when I disagree with their views, mostly due to their convictions and the purity of their belief, and hopefully someday someone will make a decent documentary that actually explores these fascinating people and their beliefs.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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