Let's start with Monday's episode. Entitled "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," the two-hour opening segment purports to tell the story of Darwin's discovery of evolution via natural selection. I have to say "purports," however, because what the program actually presents is false history--in some instances, shamelessly false.
Plus: Explore PBS' extraordinary interactive website on the "Evolution" series
Real history? No. This conversation between Darwin and FitzRoy never took place. The scene is entirely fictitious. And while one might allow for some artistic license in an historical drama, this scene actually falsifies history. FitzRoy's own writings make plain that during the Beagle voyage, he doubted the Biblical Flood. Thus the opening scene isn't reasonable artistic conjecture. It's an outright falsehood.
In the next scene, FitzRoy is shown reading loudly to the ship's crew from Genesis, while Darwin rolls his eyes in his cabin below. But--again--this scene falsifies history. The evidence indicates that Darwin regularly attended the Beagle's church services. In fact, Darwin and FitzRoy published a joint letter defending the work of missionaries in Tahiti and New Zealand.
But the scriptwriters apparently needed a religious villain to contrast with their idea of an open-minded, enlightened Darwin. A fictionalized "Captain FitzRoy" fit the role, despite the actual evidence.
Worst of all, midway through the program a scene depicts Erasmus Darwin, Charles' older brother, singing the hymn "Rock of Ages" in the family church. Erasmus isn't so much singing the hymn as he is mocking it, by singing loudly, out of tempo, and off-key.
There's absolutely no evidence that this or anything like it ever happened. It's another fabrication. So ask yourself--why did PBS put this scene in the show? What's the point of mocking a classic Christian hymn?
The science of evolutionary biology doesn't need to make fun of Christianity. But the worldview of evolutionary naturalism, whose credibility is in doubt, does--and that worldview is what this program promotes.
Public tax dollars fund PBS, and the public deserves better than this. And we deserve time to respond to falsified history and religious bias. Let's let PBS know that "Evolution" needs a reply.