NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2009/09/25
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, A new drama about Darwin is scheduled to air on public television, while Creation found a theatrical distributor in the United States. Plus new selected content from RNCSE is now available.
DARWIN'S DARKEST HOUR Darwin’s Darkest Hour -- a new drama about Darwin's decision to publish his work on evolution -- will air on October 6, 2009, on public broadcasting stations around the country. According to a press release: *** NOVA and National Geographic Television present the extraordinary human drama that led to the birth of the most influential scientific theory of all time. Acclaimed screenwriter John Goldsmith (David Copperfield, Victoria and Albert) brings to life Charles Darwin’s greatest personal crisis: the anguishing decision over whether to "go public" with his theory of evolution. Darwin, portrayed by Henry Ian Cusick (Lost), spent years refining his ideas and penning his book the Origin of Species. Yet, daunted by looming conflict with the orthodox religious values of his day, he resisted publishing -- until a letter from naturalist Alfred Wallace forced his hand. In 1858, Darwin learned that Wallace was ready to publish ideas very similar to his own. In a sickened panic, Darwin grasped his dilemma: To delay publishing any longer would be to condemn all of his work to obscurity -- his voyage on the Beagle, his adventures in the Andes, the gauchos and bizarre fossils of Patagonia, the finches and giant tortoises of the Galapagos. But to come forward with his ideas risked the fury of the Church and perhaps a rift with his own devoted wife, Emma, portrayed by Frances O'Connor (Mansfield Park, The Importance of Being Earnest, Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence), who was a strong believer in the view of creation and honestly feared for her husband’s soul. Darwin's Darkest Hour is a moving drama about the birth of a great idea seen through the inspiration and personal sufferings of its brilliant originator. *** Further information about the film, including a preview and interviews with John Goldsmith and Henry Ian Cusick, is available at NOVA's website. Information on finding local public broadcasting stations is available via PBS's website. For the press release (PDF), visit: http://streams.wgbh.org/online/pressroom/2009_09/NOVAFall09.pdf For further information about the film, visit: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/darwin/index.html For information on finding local stations, visit: http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html CREATION FINDS DISTRIBUTOR The new film about Darwin, Creation, will be distributed in the United States after all, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter (September 24, 2009). The film is expected to be released by Newmarket Films in December 2009. Earlier the producer of the film, Jeremy Thomas, lamented to the Telegraph (September 11, 2009), "It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it's because of what the film is about. ... It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America." A few days later, however, NBC Bay Area (September 15, 2009) reported that a distribution deal was imminent. In her review of Creation at The Panda's Thumb blog, NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott described it as "a thoughtful, well-made film that will change many views of Darwin held by the public -- for the good." It also received praise from Steve Jones in Time Out London (September 22, 2009), who called it "a great film about a great man and a greater theory" and by Adam Rutherford in his Guardian blog (September 23, 2009), where he wrote, "we should ... be grateful that this film is moving and beautiful, just like the creation Darwin so luminously untangled," adding, "Creationists the world over deserve to see it." For the story in the Hollywood Reporter, visit: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3icbd5f8a8048766fc75dfd9b5e88dfce1 For the stories in the Telegraph and NBC Bay Area, visit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6173399/Charles-Darwin-film-too-controversial-for-religious-America.html http://www.nbcbayarea.com/entertainment/movies/Creation-May-Cause-Big-Bang-in-US-59246832.html For Scott's, Jones's, and Rutherford's comments on Creation, visit: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/09/eugenie-scott-r.html http://www.timeout.com/film/features/show-feature/8775/close-up-steve-jones-assesses-creation.html http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/sep/23/darwin-creation-film For Creation's website, visit: http://creationthemovie.com/ CATCHING UP WITH RNCSE Selected content from volume 29, number 3, of Reports of the National Center for Science Education is now available on NCSE's website. Featured are Steven Schaferman's report on the adoption of a seriously flawed set of science standards in Texas, along with NCSE's Joshua Rosenau's testimony before the Texas state board of education. And Donald R. Prothero reviews Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True, Andrea Bottaro reviews Kenneth R. Miller's Only a Theory, and Peter Dodson reviews Donald Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. If you like what you see, why not subscribe to RNCSE today? In the next issue (volume 29, number 5), NCSE's Joshua Rosenau explains how the Institute for Creation Research distorted a Nobel laureate's views, while Raymond Eve reflects on his visit to Answers in Genesis's Creation Museum and Randy Moore describes his visit to Carl Baugh's Creation Evidence Museum. And there are reviews, too, including Charles Israel's review of Reframing Scopes and David Koerner's review of Why the Universe Is the Way It Is. Don't miss out -- subscribe now! For the selected content from RNCSE 29:3, visit: http://ncseweb.org/rncse/29/3 For subscription information, visit: http://ncseweb.org/membership Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- http://ncseweb.org -- where you can always find the latest news on evolution education and threats to it. -- Sincerely, Glenn Branch Deputy Director National Center for Science Education, Inc. 420 40th Street, Suite 2 Oakland, CA 94609-2509 510-601-7203 x310 fax: 510-601-7204 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncseweb.org Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/evolution.ncse http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd http://twitter.com/ncse NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today! http://ncseweb.org/membership