NCSE Gives ‘Favorable’ Review of The Voyage that Shook the World

(but with painfully predictable paradigm patting)

by Dr Robert W. Carter

It took over a year, but the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) followed through with their undertaking to review our documentary on the life and legacy of Charles Darwin, Darwin: the Voyage that Shook the World.1 The review2 was surprisingly friendly, considering what a staunch opponent of creationism the NCSE has been over the years and what they had said about the movie previously.3
Founded by atheists, and now headed by atheist Eugenie Scott, the NCSE is at the forefront of attacking creation in the public sphere anywhere and everywhere they can, but especially in the educational arena.

They certainly took exception to much of what was in the video, but they did so without the invective typically heaped upon us by the likes of Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, and others. Perhaps this was due to the tone we struck in the movie. We presented our case in as matter-of-fact a manner as possible, without emotional pleas, and treated Darwin and other evolutionists with respect. Even though they missed the big picture, they seem to have replied in kind, until one realizes that they resorted to many slights of our characters.

They comment favorably on the production quality, saying “The film features excellent cinematography, high quality graphics and effects and re-enactments of scenes from Darwin’s life by actors in period dress,” but right away attempt to chip away at our conclusions by saying the creationists in the film have “little or no historical training” (this is an AD hominem argument; attacking the man rather than the argument). While the creationists are mostly scientists, not historians, it does not mean the historical statements coming from their side are therefore inaccurate. Are scientists not allowed to read history books? Are we unable to get an accurate understanding of history? And, once we read such books, are we not allowed to use that historical understanding to shape our views? Using their logic, historians should never comment on scientific issues. Of course, the NCSE authors’ credentials indicate they are qualified to comment in both realms, so, according to their logic, poor saps like us are locked out. Darwin himself very often strayed outside his field, which was originally geology, to write on subjects as diverse as coral reefs, pollination in orchids, and human emotions.4 In fact, it is common practice for most secular scientists today to at least occasionally branch out of their fields of expertise, and this very often leads to new and productive collaborations, publications, and leads for new research….

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