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TV Review: THE VOYAGE THAT SHOOK THE WORLD
** Fascinating and Profound Insights **
Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +4
RATING: Not Rated
RELEASE: May/June 2009
TIME: 52 minutes
CONTENT: (CCC, Ev) Ultimately very Christian worldview that exposes and explores the true story of Darwin and presents his humanist, anti-Christian views with dignity and respect, but in the process reveals the flaws, confusion and falsehoods of his theories; and, nothing objectionable.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: All ages
REVIEWER: Dr. Ted Baehr
Mention the name Charles Darwin and people will get very upset or very enthusiastic. THE VOYAGE THAT SHOOK THE WORLD is an extremely well crafted exploration of who Charles Darwin was and what he believed, released in time for the 200th anniversary of his birth.
This fascinating documentary is not a hatchet job or a propaganda piece. Instead, it lets Darwin speak for himself and presents his story through the eyes of professors and others who admire the man. In the process, however, his flaws, confusion and false theories emerge.
The beginning shows that Darwin was a very curious boy who was deeply influenced by his humanist grandparents, one of whom developed a whole theory of evolution. As a boy, Darwin also liked to fabricate stories. As a young man, he got the great opportunity to sail around the world. Everywhere he went, he tried to look at the world through the prism of slow geological development. He knew that his position was contrary to the traditional interpretation of the Bible, Genesis and to God. And, he was clear that one could not hold to his position and to the Christian faith.
His geological uniformitarianism was refuted by some of the things he actually encountered on his trip. In Chile, he experienced an earthquake and an island off the coast rose 10 feet. Because this cataclysmic change did not fit his worldview, he had to discount it. The scientists who discuss Darwin point out that no one holds to strict uniformitarianism today.
We see how the development of Darwin’s theory of common descent through survival of the fittest was profoundly influenced by the death of three of his children, his uncomfortable meeting with natives in South America, and some of the evils he saw in nature. Again, today the facts belie some of the foundations of his theory.
What the program shows is that Darwin was able to popularize a crude, simple notion. But, even though most scientists are on his side, note that many of his ideas now prove unscientific.
This is a beautifully produced program, from the dramatic recreations to the interviews to the current and contemporary reflections. This is one of the best-produced documentaries ever made. Because of its fairness and clarity, it will likely air on many major networks, and if people watch it with an open mind, it may turn their hearts and minds away from the confusion that is Darwinism toward asking the right questions that can lead them to the truth.
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STARRING: Matthew O’Sullivan, narrator
DIRECTOR: Steve Murray
PRODUCERS: Ben Suter
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dr. Carl Wieland
WRITERS: George Marriott and Steve Murray
BASED ON AN ORIGINAL CONCEPT BY: Dr. Emil Silvestru
DISTRIBUTOR: TVF Ltd (broadcast) and Fathom Media (DVD)