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Darwinism and popular culture: Tell me again that Darwinism isn’t a religion?

A press release just landed in my mailbox for Creation, a pro-Darwin film to be aired at the Toronto International Film Festival, according to which we learn,

“Creation” is the story of Charles Darwin and his master-work “The Origin of Species.” It tells the story of the world-renowned scientist, crushed by the loss of a daughter, who conceives a book about the non-existence of God and the global revolution played out in the confines of a small English village.

Oh, so that’s what it really is all about then?

Someone from the BBC wants to interview me. I am not sure about that, because I am concerned that they are looking for a gap-tooth Canadian moron to spout Bible verses, rock the tent, and handle snakes. I’m okay with the last, with proper tools, though not as a religious exercise. (In case anyone cares, the main thing is to grab the snake firmly by the neck with long-handled tongs, at which point he has no further defences.)

As I have pointed out many times, the issues around the Darwin cult have never been politicized in Canada, for good political reasons. Various Darwinists have also tried to flog up a big scare about Canadians being afraid of science, but it is rubbish. Maybe the BBC will believe it though.

Aw, let ‘em believe what they want. Bring it on.

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21 Responses to Darwinism and popular culture: Tell me again that Darwinism isn’t a religion?

  1. Does that mean that anyone that enjoys The Chronicles of Narnia series or watched the movie Shadowlands belongs to the cult of C.S. Lewis?

  2. Guys, the press release tells us how the PR industry plans to sell Darwin at the Festival.

    This is Darwinism and popular culture, nailed down perfectly.

    Darwinism, in popular culture, is atheism with an aura of science.

    But MY concern actually has nothing to do with religion, and I do not expect any non-Canadian to care. I am concerned that these BBC types have come looking for gap tooth morons in Canada, my home and native land.

    First, there are not that many gap tooth morons here.

    Second, the people who doubt Darwin that I have dealt with are mostly well educated and have good reason for doubt.

    Okay, I will talk to the BBC people if they still want to talk to me. But if this ends up as a game of Silly Buggers, like happened recently at Blogging Heads TV, I’ll find some way to bring it home to them.

  3. Wikipedia says “English naturalist Charles Darwin finds himself torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own theory that creation may be explained without God.” – which is not exactly the same as “conceiv(ing) a book about the non-existence of God…”

    Darwin didn’t want to make the same claim as Laplace, who famously replied to Napolean’s question about where did God fit into the creation of the solar system: “Sire, I have no need for that hypothesis.”

  4. Denyse, since you mentioned “gap-tooth morons,” you might get a chuckle out of http://www.paulburnett.com/toothless – see who votes for Republican versus Democratic presidential candidates in the last couple of elections. The correlation is almost unbelievable…but it’s true.

  5. Denyse: Give them hell on BBC!

  6. If you do make your way onto the BBC do let us know–especially if you do that snake thing! Either way I am sure it would be entertaining and instructive.

  7. Denyse: “Guys, the press release tells us how the PR industry plans to sell Darwin at the Festival.”

    Judging by the extract from the PR press release, it doesn’t seem that it is any more overhyped than other movie would be (at least it doesn’t start with “In a world where…”). Looks like PR movie types just doing their job.

    Is it honestly any more hyperbolic than this:

    In a Major Motion Picture Release Ben Stein exposes the frightening agenda of the “Darwinian Machine” in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

  8. Tell me again that Darwinism isn’t a religion?

    Okay

    Darwinism isn’t a religion.

    But Paleyism is.

    Except for Cornelius Hunter

    For whom everything is.

  9. Tell me again that Darwinism isn’t a religion?

    Okay

    Darwinism isn’t a religion.

    But Paleyism is.

    Except for Cornelius Hunter

    For whom everything is.

  10. Sorry about the duplication. I thought it hadn’t gone through the first time.

  11. Enezio E. De Almeida Filho: Denyse: Give them hell on BBC!

    Knowing the history of these types of programs, even if Denyse O’Leary was interviewed and gave a good showing (and I’m sure she would), the producers could edit it radically to fit their agenda.

    It’s truly despicable behavior, but it’s par for the course when it comes to Darwinists who feel their “scientific” world view is being threatened.

  12. 12

    Denyse,

    Just make sure they don’t provide you with a Dawkins moment. :)

    Nahh, not likely.

  13. “Knowing the history of these types of programs, even if Denyse O’Leary was interviewed and gave a good showing (and I’m sure she would), the producers could edit it radically to fit their agenda”.

    I’m afraid I have to agree. When the BBC held their recent Darwin celebrations, they defined those who advocated ID as those held by ignorance, having nothing to contribute to the ‘genuine’ understanding of the issues. Theistic evolution is virtually assumed amongst the majority of theologians and public ‘christian’ comment on the topic here, so those of us who want to question this view who live here are unheard, save as a n example of folly. The BBC are top of the list for such an attitude.

  14. Denyse,

    Darwinism, in popular culture, is atheism with an aura of science.

    If that is a fact, I suggest it is because popular culture is more influenced by religious propaganda than by science. Who cares about science when afterlife is at stake?
    Otherwise, it would be more like science without religion. (Incidentally, that’s what science is all about.)

  15. darwinism is a religion…and its leaders act like imams to any criticism of their hairygod darwin…and the darwinists admit it..

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent.”

    Provine, William B. [Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University], “, “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life”, Abstract of Will Provine’s 1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address.

  16. ShawnBoy: it is definitely a risk that you will get framed, which is why it is really worth spending some time talking to the director to find out what the film is trying to do. If it becomes clear that it is trying to construct a zoo for crazies as Denyse suggests then I would decline.

    If they are trying to understand the controversy then that is another matter. they will be looking for lucid presenters for both sides–there will be a confluence of interests all round.

    Cabal: one thing we know from the ID controversy is that science is certainly a cover for atheistic religion. There is just no other possible explanation for the marked and pervasive pathological irrationalism we see coming from a body of professionals that prides itself on its rationality, objectivity and desire to get at the truth, no matter what established ideas have to be sacrificed. When it comes to certain faith-based assumptions intimately connected with philosophical materialism (e.g., that all living were created through natural selection) this professed love of truth and knowledge has been shown to be utter bunk.

  17. Denyse, Is that really a direct quote from the PR? That’s appalling – who produced such a misleading PR – was it Hanway?

  18. DNA-Jock, if I put it in block, it is a direct quote, copy pasted – as in this case.

    The firm is “that PR thing” and the publicist is Danielle Iversen.

    I ended up getting interviewed by the Beeb, on the steps of the Royal Ontario Museum, new wing.

    Nice fellows, really, and I felt badly for the interviewer, as he needed me to say I opposed the showing of the Darwin film. I must have disappointed him.

    Why should I, of all people, oppose it? I am a free speech journalist here in Canada. I even had to write the government to find out if I am on the Human Rights Commission head’s “enemies” watch list.

    So, the heck I would oppose the showing of some film I didn’t even know existed until yesterday morning, that sounds like just the usual Darwin industry sludge.

    My interviewer asked me if I’d go to see it, and I said, sure if someone gives me a ticket [hint, hint].

    Otherwise, I’ll rent it when it comes round in DVD. Seeing films at home is cheaper, easier, and more time-efficient, especially for making notes and, uh, popcorn nuisance avoidance.

  19. On this Darwinism as a religion thing I got into a discussion of Behe IC critique and got a couple of useful things out of it before the discussion inevitably degenerated. I have written it up at Natural Selection, Faith and Reason.

    I was asked, in effect, why should natural selection be different from gravity, why should we take someone seriously when they say gravity might not operate over here.

    My answer of course was that people try to destroy theories of gravity, and of course Einstein succeeded and now we have a theory of gravity that explains why the sun’s gravitational field allows us to see stars that are behind the sun.

    Gravity is in the field of knowledge for scientists so they are in the business of attacking theories of gravitation.

    Michael Behe clearly thinks that natural selection should also be in our field of knowledge and would like to make the theory fit for purpose by trying to characterise it–find out where it works and where it can’t and so on. However, as we know, it is not in biology’s field of knowledge but stitched into its medthodological and metaphysical fabric.

    So, instead of trying to knock down NS and characterise it we see this compulsive activity of constantly reaffirming it like a jealous lover.

  20. It seems like we’re painting in brush strokes the size of Texas.

    1. What is a “Darwinist?”

    2. Please define religion.

  21. To be fair KibyNp, this is part of a series of posts by O’Leary, the earlier ones providing the context. I think we can take a Darwinist to be a neo-Darwinist. Why does it qualify as a religion? I think for the kind of reason that I have just pointed out. Neo-Darwinism incorporates metaphysical elements that are now doing much more than providing a framework for enquiry, but have been integrated into the belief systems of their adherents and are being used as personal frameworks for making sense of reality.

    The problem with this is that the personal belief system is contingent and vulnerable to refutation. These are not good characteristics to have in a personal belief system, and why I would recommend a classical one every time (i.e., the usual suspects, or failing that a very open agnosticism).

    I am sure Denyse will provide a pithier and more accurate answer.

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