America’s Scientific Illiteracy: Darwin Film Too Controversial

September 14, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Sadly, America has become a nation of scientific illiterates and darn proud of it! Our country once prided itself as the global leader in technological advances, but no longer.

America is now held hostage to the religious right and it’s nearly the only country in the world that won’t be seeing a blockbuster new biopic film on Charles Darwin’s life, because the topic of evolution is too controversial for U.S. audiences say distributors.

The film, “Creation” explores Charles Darwin’s “struggle between faith and reason” as he wrote “On The Origin of Species” 150 years ago. The film stars Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly and has already received early rave reviews.

The Oscar-winning producer of “Creation,” Jeremy Thomas is dumbfounded that in the 21st century, American distributors refuse to back a film based on a scientific theory of evolution, which has been universally validated by scientists and forms the basis for advancements in modern genetics.

“That’s what we’re up against in 2009. It’s amazing,” said Thomas.

Christian fundamentalists have waged a war on science for decades and the well-funded right-wing conservative groups have influenced American lawmakers and public school officials to reject science and Darwin’s theory of evolution and instead, adopt the Biblical concept of creationism, which advances the premise that God created the world in seven days and that the world is just 6,000 years old.

Or to put it another way, endorse scientific illiteracy to appease the Christian right. Fundamental Christians view Charles Darwin as the father of eugenics and the theory of evolution as a “half-baked theory,” which is responsible for all the ills of the world, including Adolf Hitler and his atrocities of mass murder.

These beliefs are extreme, but they have somehow escaped from the fringe into mainstream American society. Europeans now view Americans, as backwards religious extremists. And they may not be wrong. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 39 percent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

Meanwhile, producer Jeremy Thomas is banking on the fact, that with good reviews, U.S. distributors may reconsider and pick up the film for American audiences.

“It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America. There’s still a great belief that He made the world in six days. It’s quite difficult for we in the UK to imagine religion in America. We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the US, outside of New York and LA, religion rules,” said Thomas.

The film “Creation” will headline the Toronto Film Festival and premieres in England on Sunday.



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