A friend forwards this from Wired:
The words “molecular biology thriller” don’t come up a lot when describing movies, but director Mike Cahill’s I Origins aims to be different. The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this week, revolves around the concept of ”irreducible complexity,” the argument put forth by proponents of intelligent design who believe some biological systems are too intricate to have evolved naturally. It’s not an easy concept to cram into a suspense thriller, but Cahill had a guiding principle: Make a movie compelling enough that even an evolutionary biologist or staunch atheist might stop and ponder.
In the film, a young molecular biology Ph.D. student named Ian Gray (Michael Pitt) is researching the development of the eyes — organs often cited by intelligent design proponents as examples of “irreducible complexity” – in an attempt to put the argument to rest forever. In the process, he discovers that eyes may not be the unique fingerprints we think they are, and may even have deeper and more ethereal purposes. The story is told from the perspective of Ian, a scientist and skeptic who was partly inspired by one of the most noted evolutionary biologists and staunch atheists in popular culture, The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins.
Worth a look, even if it deaks out into mysticism. It may persuade some viewers to actually think about the issues vision raises, for example, the intricate eyes of supposedly primitive Cambrian creatures more than half a billion years ago (and complex life is not thought to be much older than that).
Actually, a number of good films could be made, replanting our understanding of evolution, reclaiming the landscape after decades of devastation by Darwin’s profbots.
More about I, Origins.
Note: When ID surfaced in an Inspector Lewis mystery, it was pointed out here that the significant thing is that the audience for Brit cozies had even the foggiest what Hathaway was talking about when he used the term. While what he said isn’t strictly correct, it isn’t the usual rubbish you’d hear from Wikipedia’s trolls; indeed, there are dozens of possible interesting story premises from ID, well suited to the mystery genre.
If ID themes continue to be filmed, it will be interesting to see if materialism or creativity wins – that is, will filmmakers know how they “must” portray things or will creativity surface? They will get no help from critics who will (easy prediction here) prove less cognizant than average viewers who do not necessarily bring so many prejudices to the subject.