Saturday, October 22, 2005
It's Not Nice To Quote-Mine Mother Nature
Responding to claims that the movie supports "traditional norms" like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing, Jacquet is quoted in a London Times piece on the premier of his movie in England as saying:
The divorce rate in emperor penguins is 80 to 90 per cent each year. After they see the chick is OK, most of them divorce. They change every year.
It does annoy me to a certain degree. 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.
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. Talk of evolution is minimal, as is much scientific discussion of onscreen events, with Mr. Freeman's narration focused more on the poetic than Discovery Channel-style details.
But maybe the thing I found most amusing was the notion of the Discovery Channel as some sort of paradigm of "scientific discussion".
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