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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Evolution: Too Hot for IMAX

Posted by on March 23 at 10:52 AM

So I saw the new IMAX/Warner Bros. production, Deep Sea 3-D a few days ago, and for the most part, I was impressed. You can read my review in this week’s Film Shorts. It’s gorgeous, there are some amazing-looking creatures, and the kid-friendly narration (by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet) has a sense of humor about itself. (The movie opens Friday at Pacific Science Center.)

Director Howard Hall and producer Michelle Hall were at the screening, and afterward, someone in the audience had the sense to ask, “I noticed you touched on symbiosis and other biology concepts in the narration. But you never used the word ‘evolution.’ Was that on purpose?

(If the interlocutor had been really clever, he would have said, “by design.”)

Howard Hall replied, “Absolutely. The word ‘evolution’ does not appear in this film. Neither does ‘sex.’ This is on purpose. There are some things you just don’t say in a commercial theater.”

He went on to refer obliquely to evolution-haters “in the Midwest” and quickly said he hadn’t seen that sort of thing here in the Northwest. (Hello, Discovery Institute.)

I can’t endorse a boycott, which I think would be counterproductive, but I am going to write a letter to IMAX and Warner Bros. If a SCIENCE DOCUMENTARY isn’t a safe forum for discussion of evolution, what next?

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If a SCIENCE DOCUMENTARY isn’t a safe forum for discussion of evolution, what next?

It's a slippery slope indeed--well lubricated if you will. Before you know it, religious nuts will outlaw sex toys or something. Unless those sex toys involve a car battery and a set of electrodes, they aren't Jesus-approved. Hell, if we let them get away with this, who knows what kind of atrocious behaviors our country will sanction?

science is the product of satan. praise jesus, hallelujah.

Now -- from the people who don't belive in gravity: "The Amazing Story of How Angels Hold Our Feet to the Ground! (narrated by Mel Gibson and Andrew Sullivan)."

Roger Ebert wrote about this a year ago: A movie about undersea volcanos mentioned the e-word and was banned from a number of Southern cities.

IMAX documentaries are designed -- though for the most part, not intelligently designed -- to sell tickets. (They're certainly not meant for DVD.) References to evolution create problems at the box office. Therefore, the filmmakers avoid the subject.

The best way to respond, I suppose, is to stage a boycott of all biology documentaries that do not refer to evolution.

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