The director of “March of the Penguins,” a documentary about the mating ritual of Antarctic birds is lashing out against Christians and others who suggest the film helps prove “intelligent design” rather than the theory of evolution.
“It does annoy me to a certain degree,” Luc Jacquet told the Sunday Times of London. “For me there is no doubt about evolution. I am a scientist. The intelligent design theory is a step back to the thinking of 300 years ago. My film is not supposed to be interpreted in this way. Some scientists I know find the film interesting because it can be a good argument against intelligent design. People should not jump on these bandwagons.”
Some Christian-oriented commentators in the U.S. have said the penguins are symbols for everything from monogamy to the right to life. Radio host and film critic Michael Medved, noted the story of the emperor penguins’ journey “most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing.”
“If you want an example of monogamy, penguins are not a good choice,” Jacquet told The Times. “The divorce rate in emperor penguins is 80 to 90 per cent each year. … After they see the chick is OK, most of them divorce. They change every year.”
Writing in the Christian publication World magazine Andrew Coffin, wrote the complexity of the penguins’ lives was clear evidence of intelligent design, demonstrating it could not have come about through random selection.
“It’s sad that acknowledgment of a Creator is absent in the examination of such strange and wonderful animals,” he wrote. “But it is a gap easily filled by family discussion after the film.”