"Humanist Nature Doc"
What You Need To Know:
ISLAND OF LEMURS: MADAGASCAR is very entertaining and informative. The effort to preserve the island habitats for the lemurs is a laudable goal. Sadly, however, ISLAND OF LEMURS has a humanist worldview that mentions the “evolution” of lemurs several times. The movie’s apparent definition of evolution is misleading and, ultimately, false. God created all the different lemurs; they did not “evolve.” Consequently, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for this particular nature documentary, ISLAND OF LEMURS.
(HH, B, EvEv, FR, L, M) Strong humanist worldview, mitigated by some moral elements about saving some animals in danger of dying out and a reference to the “miraculous” survival of an animal species, but with overt references to evolution (some of which are a false distortion of the “scientific” meaning of evolution), including a picture of a phony species “tree” with a human at the top of it and lemurs and apes/monkeys on separate branches off to the sides; no foul language; no violence; no sex but a brief sequence about getting mates for one male lemur and its daughter by bringing in some other lemurs of its breed living in another location; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, an image of a snake climbing a tree, and humans on Madagascar are slightly depicted as somewhat careless and predatory when it comes to the island’s unique wildlife.
ISLAND OF LEMURS: MADAGASCAR is an entertaining nature documentary in IMAX theaters, about the funny-looking “primates” from Africa who allegedly made their home on the island nation of Madagascar 65 million years ago. Sadly, though the documentary makes a strong persuasive case for the preservation of these unique mammals, it includes false, overt references to the “evolution” of lemurs, even though lemurs are not really related to apes, monkeys, or man. The many varieties of lemurs on Madagascar are not the result of “evolution,” but are merely examples of the wonderful variety of God’s Creation, as seen, for example, in the many different breeds of dogs one can see today.
The documentary opens by claiming that, 65 million years ago (or thereabouts), lemurs left Africa and traveled on little rafts that landed them on Madagascar. Apparently, Madagascar was much more hospitable to these creatures. So, on Madagascar, lemurs flourished, but on Africa, the species died out, probably because of predators.
However, about 2,000 years ago, people started coming to Madagascar and lemurs eventually became endangered. Today, these incredibly cute mammals are at risk of dying out due to farming, especially fires that humans use to clear their fields. These fires, says the movie’s narrator, Morgan Freeman, often jump to the forests where the lemurs live.
Enter scientists like Dr. Patricia Wright who are trying to preserve the lemur species on a couple habitats set aside for them and other animals. Dr. Wright and others have gotten local people involved, including young people, who are being taught to help stop the field fires from taking any more of the forests and small mountain areas where lemurs are living.
ISLAND OF LEMURS: MADAGASCAR is very entertaining and informative. The effort to preserve the island habitats for the lemurs is a laudable goal. It also may remind Bible-believing Christians and Jews of God’s Creation mandate to mankind in Genesis 1:26-28 to rule over the fish, the birds, the animals, and the earth in Genesis 1:26-28. The Hebrew words in these verses, however, are not some wimpy, watered-down, modern-day definition of “stewardship” or “management,” but a divine command to actually bring the earth under our control and “subdue” it.
Sadly, however, ISLAND OF LEMURS has a humanist worldview that mentions the “evolution” of lemurs several times. It even has an image of a “family tree” with humans at the top and lemurs and monkeys/apes off to the sides on separate branches. This is a misuse or false use of the term evolution. There is no “evolution” of the lemurs from one species to an entirely different species, neither in Africa nor on Madagascar. What you have is the creation and development of different breeds or kinds of lemurs, much like the different breeds of cats, dogs, and cows.
Despite this, ISLAND OF LEMURS has one line from Morgan Freeman about the “miraculous” survival of lemurs down through the centuries or millennia. Other than that, however, there is no spiritual or religious content in the movie, and certainly no references to God and His Creation.
Consequently, because of the humanist, pro-evolution content in ISLAND OF LEMURS, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for this particular nature documentary.
No one should believe, much less teach, the false, ultimately irrational theory of “evolution,” no matter how you define it. The theory has been refuted by scientific, historical, and other empirical evidence and logical arguments coming from a variety of viewpoints, both Christian and Non-Christian. Some of those viewpoints admittedly seem more credible than others, depending on one’s opinion and knowledge, but that’s a complicated topic that won’t be resolved by MOVIEGUIDE®.