A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.Only in America.
Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.Here's the Gallup press release from February. Not surprising, the results:
The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.
However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.
As Darwin is being lauded as one of the most important scientists in history on the 200th anniversary of his birth (on Feb. 12, 1809), it is perhaps dismaying to scientists who study and respect his work to see that well less than half of Americans today say they believe in the theory of evolution, and that just 55% can associate the man with his theory.Back to the Telegraph:
Naturally, some of this is because of educational differences. Americans who have lower levels of formal education are significantly less likely than others to be able to identity Darwin with his theory, and to have an opinion on it either way. Still, the evidence is clear that even to this day, Americans' religious beliefs are a significant predictor of their attitudes toward Darwin's theory. Those who attend church most often are the least likely to believe in evolution, and most likely to say they do not believe in it.
The film has sparked fierce debate on US Christian websites, with a typical comment dismissing evolution as "a silly theory with a serious lack of evidence to support it despite over a century of trying".Not so amazing on this side of the pond, Jeremy. When only 3 out of 4 believe the president was born in the US and 1 out of 9 believe he wasn't (despite overwhelming evidence showing he was born in Hawaii), it's hardly surprising that large chunks of the population will ignore science.
Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Species was published.
"That's what we're up against. In 2009. It's amazing," he said.
America, what a country!