2010-06-28 11:01

What it's about:

English naturalist Charles Darwin struggles to find a balance between his revolutionary theories on evolution and the relationship with religious wife, whose faith contradicts his work.

What we thought:

Imagine a world in which people really believe that a divine being created the world in six days, and in which you could be cast out of society for believing the same? Yes, I am joking about the 80s… and parts of Benoni. But generally, we’ve moved on.

However people haven’t evolved all that much – at least not since the 19th century. Luckily. Because timeless human conflicts power this historical drama about the life of once-controversial scientist Charles Darwin, using the setting of the human family life of his time to explore what his work meant both for him, and for all us naked apes.

Paul Bettany plays a rather handsome Darwin, opposite real-life wife Jennifer Connelly as Emma. Obsessed with death, Darwin is unable to accept the death of his little daughter Annie (young newcomer Martha West) and Annie’s ghost visits his real life and becomes his scientific muse - whether in his mind or in reality isn’t clear.

As someone who has doubts about the spiritual world’s very existence, Darwin nevertheless lives in it.

Darwin’s torment is made even more painful by the all or nothing nature of spiritual discourse of the time in England. Although he appreciated and gloried in the wonderful variations on themes found in nature, Darwin was trapped in a very narrow time – a time when wondering at nature’s mysteries was not enough without the belief that some deity made it all, and when a child could be tortured at school for questioning creationism’s doctrines. This was also a time when belief in the reward of eternity in the afterlife was so doggedly literal that Emma was afraid he could not follow her there if he died, because he would not recant his scientific theories. 

Jennifer Connelly’s performance may (perhaps unfairly) remind you of her role in A Beautiful Mind – only in reverse. But both Bettany and Connelly work so hard in their characters that although Creation lacks va-va-voom and seems be a tad drawn out, every single moment is believable. It’s no wildly entertaining Amadeus (1984), but it’s quality cinema.

This film’s value mostly lies in the educational role it could play. Most of those who maligned Darwin in his youth, when he wrote his myth-shattering book Origin of the Species, had accepted evolution as scientific fact by the time he died, and he was given a state funeral. But it’s easy to forget the courage that it took, and the sacrifices he and his family made, to get to that point. Few of us step as far from our upbringing as he did – someone who was at one point training to become a parson in the Anglican church, and who was British enough at the time to marry his cousin (true story).

Creation is a good, though not overly creative, introduction to the concepts and human issues involved in the creation verses evolution debate. It should be shown in school R.E. classes – if they still even have those – to remind us that tolerance is important, no matter what we have been taught to believe.

Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly star in a biographical drama that recounts Charles Darwin's controversial, revolutionary theories of evolution.

Sadly not limited to Benoni... 2010/06/28 12:50 PM
Despite the overwhelming evidence of evolution, some people refuse to accept these facts & therefore the whole Bible myth is still widely believed out there :-(
jason 2010/06/28 1:06 PM
There is no "controversy". Evolution is a fact.
charles 2010/06/28 1:15 PM
Evolution is fact? Maybe, if so, all people in another million years then will be intelligent and white I presume? Seriously, to those who have heard the word of GOD and still do not believe, I feel sorry for you. It must be a very lonesome boring life you have....
Daemon 2010/06/28 1:29 PM
Watch, here come the creationists crawling out like cockroaches.....
Kobus 2010/06/28 1:31 PM
Charles, are you a racist? Seems like it. Does your god condone that? Life without a god is the ultimate freedom.
Erica 2010/06/28 1:40 PM
Evolution is a myth trying to convince people that there is no God. Evolution is not a fact. Jason show me the facts. Have a look at Kent Hovind he has proof apon proof that evolution is a myth.
Daemon@Erica 2010/06/28 1:49 PM
The same Kent Hovind that is locked up because of tax fraud? I suggest you read literature that was not written by a criminal. What does Kent Hovind know about biology?
Willem@Erica 2010/06/28 1:53 PM
Not to be insulting Erica, but if Kent Hovind of all ppl is your source of information you really don't know anything of evolution. What facts are you interested in?
Lord Foul@charles,erica 2010/06/28 1:59 PM
What does religion and evolution have to do with each other? Evolution is a scientific theory Religion is a mental virus Hmmm, I fail to see the connection :P
Willem@Erica 2010/06/28 2:06 PM
Dr Greenblood 2010/06/28 2:49 PM
@Erica... Kent Hovind?!?!? Are you kidding me? BWHAHAHAHAHA!!! That's bloody hillarious! That guy is the PRIME example of the kind of QUACKS that still believe evolution is a myth. Seriously! Get a clue!
@Erica & Charles 2010/06/28 3:09 PM
Evolution is a fact, only fundamentalists still refuse to see it as such. It is the only explanation for how life came to be. Infact, it is impropper to call it the theory of evolution as science has for many years now no longer viewed it as a theory but as gospel truth.
Elsabe 2010/06/28 3:41 PM
If you sit and really think about evolution you will realise the only truth is that GOD created the earth. People only believe in evolution because they dont want to accept the fact that they must one day report back on what they have done here on earth. Evolution is just a bunch of crap....
Vivienne 2010/06/28 3:41 PM
In the beginning, Man made a plane. It was a good plane, the best in fact, since it was the only one the flew at the time. But Man dreamt it could be better, so over time he tweaked it, he adjusted it, he redesigned it, and today we have thousands of different planes. Why can't creationists understand that this is exactly what God did through evolution, only with millions of species over millions of years? God is way more amazing than the creationists give Him credit for.
Willem@Elsabe 2010/06/28 3:46 PM
"Evolution is just a bunch of crap...." What a wonderful, well-researched opinion! What research have you done about evolution to say that? Have you done any research about your religion?
Daemon@Elsabe 2010/06/28 3:48 PM
"you will realise the only truth is that GOD created the earth" Evidence! Where is your evidence? Your big black book of myths called the bible? Come now, you took the effort of voicing your opinion, give us proof.
Elsabe@Daemon 2010/06/28 3:57 PM
Yes the bible is my evidence and I do live by it. And I do believe the earth is young +- 10 000 years. What is interesting is if you look at Dendrochronology and the oldest tree that they could age using this technology.... gives you something to think about.... And I do not need proof for everything - that is where faith come in to play.... I BELIEVE
Insightful 2010/06/28 4:00 PM Creation vs. Evolution
Daemon@Elsabe 2010/06/28 4:01 PM
DO yourself a favour and go speak to a geologist about the earth being so young That's right, just believe, be a sheep
Elsabe@Willem 2010/06/28 4:05 PM
Willem... I believe evolution is a bunch of crap. I know a lot about your theories etc... My opinion dont have to be well researched because none of these opinions here is..... It is my theory that evolution is crap and until you can prove otherwise it stands
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