I recently saw the film about Darwin’s personal struggles while writing On The Origin of Species called Creation, which stars real life husband and wife duo Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles Darwin and his deeply religious wife Emma, respectively. I heard from a fellow atheist friend that he was upset after seeing the film because he held Darwin in such high regard and Creation showed the more questionable aspects of his life. But, he then did some research and saw that the movie was fairly accurate in its portrayal of the man and his family, which led my friend to accept it more easily. My impressions were that while it’s understandable how some people might be bothered by seeing such a well respected figure shown in a more down-to-earth light, I admire the film for taking this approach.

This brings up an interesting point. It seems to me that many religious people are under the impression that we who believe in the reality of evolution in some way or another worship Charles Darwin as some kind of prophet or saint. This is simply not the case at all. Darwin was a very intelligent man who did something very brave and very important in publishing his book. The theory of evolution by natural selection is arguably the single most unifying theory that any branch of science currently offers, and biologists relish in that notion. Speaking only for myself, I don’t revere Darwin as any kind of superhuman, but I of course recognize the importance of his accomplishments and respect him appropriately.

The film Creation will see its Portland premiere on Sunday October 10 at the Portland Humanist Film Festival.


One Response to Creation

  1. I’m not sure that the creationists believe that Darwin was superhuman. Rather, it was the explosion of thought and idea that followed, shaking their innermost thoughts about the world and how we came to be. The closest thing that religions themselves have are in fact prophets and saints. I think it’s both natural and unfortunate they hold Darwin in such a negative light. At the end of the day, he was simply a man with an interesting idea.

    Definitely putting Creation on my list of movies to watch.

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