Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Creation (Rhoades)

“Creation” Theorizes Darwin’s Conflicts
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

At one point in my youth I wanted to become a paleontologist. I took graduate courses in historical geology. I collected fossils. Today, a Connecticut nature center has an outstanding fossil exhibition – dinosaur eggs, triceratops cowl, trilobites, petrified bones, theropod footprint preserved in stone, an assortment of hadrosaur teeth, and a keichousaurus skeleton – that I donated.

So you can deduce that I believe in evolution.

Evolution is a theory put forth by Charles Darwin that explains how species evolve over time through a process of natural selection. It has been called “the most explosive idea in history.”
“Creation” – a new biopic at the Tropic Cinema – is the story of Darwin and his battle between faith and reason.

Fifteen years after returning from his voyage on the Beagle to the Galapagos Islands, he’s still trying to write “Origin of the Species,” the book putting forth his ideas about evolution. But the work is coming slowly because he doesn’t want to upset his religious wife Emma. She opposes his ungodly theory, fearful that she’ll go to heaven and he won’t.

Following the death of his 10-year-old daughter, Darwin finally publishes his work, barely beating out similar concepts by biologist Alfred Russel Wallace. But his relations with Emma are strained. Can this marriage survive its own extinction?

British actor Paul Bettany (“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”) plays atheist Charles Darwin, a very different role from the Opus Dei religious fanatic he portrayed in “The Da Vinci Code.” American actress Jennifer Connelly (“Requiem For a Dream,” “Blood Diamond”) is Darwin’s wife Emma. Bettany and Connelly are married in real life too. They met on the set of “A Beautiful Mind,” where she won an Academy Award.

Martha West is daughter Annie, the character around which much of the story is built. A ghostly figure that haunts the anguished Darwin.

Directed by Jon Amiel (“Entrapment,” “Sommersby”), the film is more about a marriage than science.

The script’s based on “Annie’s Box,” a biography of Charles Darwin written by his great-great grandson Randal Keynes. He attributes the theory’s debut to the supportive influence of his great aunt (Annie), although that is historically unlikely.

But better to argue over the nuances in a screenplay than the more controversial topic of creation versus evolution.
[from Solares Hill]

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