Yes, that Roger Ebert. In the wake of the recent controversy over IMAX theaters, including museums, around the country deciding not to show movies that discuss evolution because of potential controversy among moviegoers, Ebert has written a column taking them to task for it. Along the way, he shows a surprising knowledge of the subject:
IMAX theaters in several Southern cities have decided not to show a film on volcanoes out of concern that its references to evolution might offend those with fundamental religious beliefs. — Associated Press
I suppose the AP meant to say “fundamentalist,” since most people with fundamental religious beliefs, including the pope, believe in the theory of evolution. But what is more disturbing is that the theaters have made this decision simply because they are afraid someone might be offended. Not even a single protester needed to appear before the chilling effect of faith-based intolerance was felt.
He goes on to discuss the nature of a scientific theory, getting it mostly right. Pretty impressive for a film critic. He also plugs the TalkOrigins Archive, which I’ve been proud to be associated with for many years:
An industry has grown up around the “science” supporting the “argument for intelligent design.” It refuses the possibility that evolution itself is the most elegant and plausible argument for those who wish to believe in intelligent design. If you are interested, you might want to go to www.talkorigins.org, where the errors of creationist science are patiently explained. And you might want to ask at your local IMAX theater why they allow a few of their customers to make decisions for all of the rest.
Hear, hear. It’s worth noting that in the last few days, some of the larger IMAX theaters have retracted their decision not to show the film in reaction to public outcry.