Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If Emperor Penguins Go Extinct, Will Evangelicals Think God Has Abandoned Them?

One of the most annoying events in film during this decade was how evangelicals interpreted the documentary March of the Penguins to say that evolution could never have created such monogamous and self-sacrificing creatures as emperor penguins. I like the documentary pretty well, even though it went way over the top in manipulating your emotions. But they wanted to make big money on a nature film, so I can forgive that to a certain extent. Less forgivable is taking a movie about penguins and distorting for political ends that have nothing to do with penguins.

Alas we find out that climate change could send emperor penguins to extinction. They rely on the ice at the edge of Antarctica. Without those ice shelves, they may not survive.

So if evangelicals see emperor penguins as clear evidence of intelligent design, how will they interpret their impending demise? That God has determined the penguins are too pure for the Earth? That God has abandoned them? That they are wrong?

Note that I'm not making fun of religion here, but simply how religious groups made a political point out of a penguin documentary.