Tuesday, October 25, 2005

March of the Evolutionists: ID "Hijacks" Penguin Film


According to the UK's Times Online, Luc Jacquet, the director of National Geographic's enchanting March of the Penguins is a bit disturbed that some religious minded movie buffs have provided such positive reviews of his film - using it as an example of Intelligent Design:

Mr Jacquet . . . is concerned that his documentary has been hijacked. "It does annoy me to a certain degree," he said. "For me there is no doubt about evolution. I am a scientist. The intelligent design theory is a step back to the thinking of 300 years ago. My film is not supposed to be interpreted in this way. Some scientists I know find the film interesting because it can be a good argument against intelligent design. People should not jump on these bandwagons." (emphasis added)
Hmm, this is an interesting position for a modern film-maker to take. Jacquet believes his work should have a specific interpretation. According to some postmoderns (I don't know if Jacquet would or would not classify himself as one) anything and everything is up for interpretation.

Although I agree that one can not coopt the intentional meaning of a piece of literature or work of art for one's own end, it does remain that that work can impact the audience in significantly different ways. Film is an especially appropriate medium for this type of reflection.

And since the 70 mile back and forth march of the penguins, their mating, and their waiting is such an extraordinary happening, it's not inappropriate to want to put some meaning to it. As the review in World Magazine states:
That any one of these eggs survives is a remarkable feat - and, some might suppose, a strong case for intelligent design. It's sad that acknowledgment of a creator is absent in the examination of such strange and wonderful animals. But it's also a gap easily filled by family discussion after the film.
I'm not worried that Jacquet left out any reference to a creator. That's his prerogative. I'm just amazed that he is marching to the tune of the evolutionists and, a priori, has dismissed God from the equation and would object to a good discussion. Who's jumping on which bandwagons now?

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