Kansas vs. Darwin, the Film
Last night I saw the documentary Kansas vs. Darwin at the Bell Auditorium. I highly recommend this film, so see it if you get a chance! Apparently, a Young Earth creationist was in the audience and told the director, Jeff Tamblyn, that it was a fair and compassionate treatment of the May, 2005 Kansas School Board hearings, which apparently mirrors what other Y.E.C.s have told the director about the film.
When I heard about that I did kind of feel a little bad for the Y.E.C., because we are all human beings after all, and the audience, including me (especially me, you know me by now), was verbally hooting at the creationists—but you just can’t help it, since they hang themselves by their own golden chains!
I also found the film to be objective and fair, and yet it got some digs in, too. The visual juxtapositions display a fine wit. It does take a point of view—all films do, no matter what—in its calm observation of the proceedings, in the gentle encouragement of the creationists to tell their stories, and in the deft interweaving of the testimony before the board, including statements by Jonathan Wells (whom I hissed—I harbor a secret affection for a lot of the ID folks but I simply detest Wells) with commentary from scientists (including Jack Krebs—I applauded for him) and the Kansas Citizens for Science group.
Mr.Tamblyn led a discusson about the film afterward, both in the auditorium and a little later at a cake-cutting for Darwin’s birthday sponsored by Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists (C.A.S.H.). The man is a wonderful speaker and thinker, and provoked some really good discussion on the issue of science education in this country and of the stereotypes that Americans on both sides of the issue have of each other. He challenged me to justify my opinions at one point, and he is as passionate and informed about this issue as anyone I’ve met. He made me think about a few things that I hadn’t before, and it was really a pleasure to meet him and to see his work. This film is truly a crucial document of an important point in American history and deserves a wide release.
And I noticed that Pat at RedStateRabble was among those thanked in the credits!
Next Tuesday, the Kansas School Board will vote on the ID-inspired standards adopted last year. The expectation is that these standards, which allow for supernatural explanations for phenomena, will be discarded in favor of science standards drafted by the curriculum writing committee, chaired by Steve Case. Stay tuned.
And don’t diss Kansas, people—that state is usually ahead of the rest of the nation in dealing with issues (remember Brown v. the Board of Education?) and is the canary in the coal mine for the rest of us.