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Friday, February 7, 2014

HBO to Produce Questioning Darwin Documentary

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM

"I am saddened for Charles Darwin, leading so many others astray with his philosophies."

The woman who proclaims this at the beginning of the YouTube video promoting the upcoming HBO documentary Questioning Darwin seems genuinely concerned as she purses her red-lipsticked lips together and knits her brow to show her sadness for poor, misled Charles Darwin.

However, it also seems that this woman has not done her homework on Charles Darwin.

Despite the fact that Darwin's Theory of Evolution has angered many Christians since it was developed in 1859, Darwin attended Christ's College at the University of Cambridge while he was studying to become a clergyman. Darwin is quoted, on the HBO website, saying:

"I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of God... I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might just as well speculate on the mind of Newton."

Given his religious background, Darwin was perturbed when he discovered the process of natural selection on the Galapagos Islands in the early 1830s. As he wrote in his 1844 letter to botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, "At last gleams of light have come, and I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable."

From the description of the documentary featured on the HBO website, Questioning Darwin doesn't appear to be a documentary bashing Darwin and extolling creationist ideals, as many people who commented on the YouTube video are apparently very distressed that will turn out to be. It appears Questioning Darwin will cover the beliefs of contemporary creationists, while also examining how both Darwin's religious beliefs and his knowledge of science informed his discoveries.

The new documentary is set to air this Monday (Feb. 10) at 9 p.m., six days after the much-talked-about creation vs. evolution debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy and young-Earth creationist Ken Ham took place at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, (home of fried chicken, lots of whiskey distilleries, and people who would frequent a Creation Museum enough to have kept one there since its opening seven years ago).

We are certain that our Facebook feeds will still be cluttered with opinions about the debate after this documentary airs, which will no doubt be furthered by the documentary debut, so look forward to discussions about creationism and evolution flooding your social media platforms for the entire month of February.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Jessica Nemire

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