Ariane Sherine’s Review of Creation September 22, 2009

Ariane Sherine’s Review of Creation

Ariane Sherine, the brain behind the original Atheist Bus Campaign and the author of the forthcoming The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, wrote a review of the new Creation movie for The Guardian:

A kind, funny and humble family man, Darwin is as endearing as they come, and yet he refuses to sing or pray in church, walks abruptly out of a service and takes issue with the cruel local vicar.

He can’t accept the idea of a God who would knowingly create parasitic, tortuous creatures, or sculpt a system featuring so much natural wastage. The guileless candour of his winsome and fiercely bright daughter also encourages Darwin to pursue his scientific endeavours.

Evolution and doubt are equated with truth and courage throughout the film, and the adverse consequences of blind faith and superstition are amply demonstrated.

The film is nuanced and intelligent enough, however, not to cast all its religious characters as merely backward. Emma is a complex yet ultimately sympathetic God-botherer; in the end, paradoxically, she is redeemed in the eyes of the viewer by a faithless yet utterly faithful gesture.

“God-botherer”? That’s a new one. I like it. Dismissive of God without being overly offensive.

I wish the producers would hurry up and find an American distributor already so I could see this film…

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  • JHGRedekop

    God-botherer” is a venerable bit of British slang for over-enthusiastic religious types.

  • While I’ve always been skeptical of creationism, my own personal observations of America and Unnatural Selection have led me to question a lot of the basic “truths” I have had for so long. The aforementioned article is a good, and enlightening read. I hope it helps enrich this topic. I still am totally evolution all the way, however, the ominous signs all around are definitely worth observing and reacting upon.

  • Hemant, I’ve been a fan of Jennifer Connelly longer than you have. Just sayin…

  • Erp

    I have a suspicion the vicar’s family could be upset by his depiction as cruel. Darwin got along well with the local minister up until 1861, John Brodie (later John Brodie Innes after he inherited property and moved away). The Darwins took in the dog the vicar had to leave behind and they continued to correspond until Charles Darwin’s death. Innes never accepted the theory, but, he never as far as I know was cruel to Charles. His ultimate successor, George Ffinden, who came in 1871 seems to have been a different matter but that was well after the movie’s timeframe. I suspect the movie does not show Emma refusing to say the creed (she may have been a god-botherer but she was a unitarian god-botherer not a trinitarian).

  • Daktar

    Haven’t heard God-botherer before? It’s quite a popular one here in the UK. It’d be quite a good one for a deist, implying that the god of the universe doesn’t want to be pestered by the petty concerns of one of its creations.

    I really must go and see Creation. With a spot of luck my university will show it when I get back.

  • Colin

    I second Paul. Whenever, however they actually get this film released, I will see it, but then again, I’d pay $10 to watch Jennifer Connelly read a phone book.

  • Pete in the Netherlands

    we also have another nice term in the UK in the same vein..

    God-squadder…slightly more negative than god-botherer…and there’s a slight difference..a God-squadder goes about their sky fairy business without bothering/annoying anyone else too much…and God-botherer..well they’re the opposite..think Jehovah’s Witness and Mormons knocking on your door when you’re fave Tv program is on…they’re God Botherers !

    Yeah and it’s says I’m in NL..but from UK originally !

  • I’ve heard “god botherer” many times, since I was a kid. It’s widely used here in Australia, though I have heard it less as the world becomes increasingly PC.

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