(Editor’s Note: Paramount Pictures has contacted WND and claims substantial changes have been made to the screenplay that formed the basis for this article. The film company asserts the script quoted below is not representative of the final work scheduled to be released in theaters on March 28, 2014.)
Millions of Americans tuned in to watch Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and Creation Museum Founder Ken Ham debate creationism vs. evolution as a viable explanation for the origins of mankind.
But on March 28 a new voice will speak out on the subject after being silent for more than 4,000 years: Noah, the Ark builder.
Thanks to some Hollywood special effects and the acting of Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe, “Noah” will be giving movie audiences a stirring lecture on the subject of what came first, the chicken or the dinosaur egg.
An early, draft copy of the film’s original screenplay distributed in 2012 reveals a scene in the film where “Noah” explains to his family how all of creation came to pass.
Only instead of backing Nye’s theory of random evolution or Ham’s insistence on God’s six-day creation, director Darren Aronofsky’s early “Noah” script pushes for one of the compromise positions that have sprung up as many people have attempted to reconcile the biblical account with Charles Darwin’s theories on the origin of the world’s species.
In one scene aboard the famous Ark, Noah’s monologue gives a day-by-day account of creation, almost right out of the Bible’s book of Genesis. But the screenwriter’s directions for what appears on screen doesn’t reflect six, single “days” of creation, but rather millennia passing in between each “day” and an evolutionary process enfolding long before the arrival of Adam and Eve.
Ham describes this compromise position as “progressive creationism.”
“And the waters brought forth swarms of living creatures,” Noah states in the film, a reference to the biblical fifth day of creation.
But then the screenwriter then describes what audiences will see while Noah is talking: “Soon there are vertebrates: fish, eels, all life under the sea. We follow one creature and with each frame it morphs into a new creature, a distant descendent, evolving as time shoots by at unimaginable speeds. This evolving creature swims underwater dodging other evolving creatures. Above the surface of the water we catch glimpses of dinosaurs ruling the planet.”
After Noah describes the sixth day of creation, the screenplay continues: “And still our ancestor evolves. Moving away from the water. Up through the chain of mammals. And soon our distant primate fore-father [sic] swings through the trees above the earth. Some form of monkey. Still evolving.”
Though these scenes may or may not make the final cut of the movie (films often undergo extensive edits in the weeks leading up to a major release), the intended depiction is of a theory Ham dismisses as common among well-intended Christians, but one that is nonetheless both biblically and scientifically untenable.
“Progressive creationists claim that the days of creation in Genesis 1 represent long periods of time,” Ham writes in a rebuttal of the theory on his Answers in Genesis website. “This assertion is made in order to allow for the billions of years that evolutionists claim are represented in the rock layers of earth. This position, however, has problems, both biblically and scientifically.”
Ham then explains why the ancient Hebrew that Genesis was written in is clear in distinguishing each “day” of creation as a 24-hour period and not some collection of billions of years.
“To accept millions of years of animal death before the creation and Fall of man contradicts and destroys the Bible’s teaching on death and the full redemptive work of Christ,” Ham continues. “It also makes God into a bumbling, cruel creator who uses (or can’t prevent) disease, natural disasters, and extinctions to mar His creative work, without any moral cause, but still calls it all ‘very good.’”
As WND reported, this creation scene isn’t the only place where Aronofsky’s “Noah” film wildly diverges or even flatly contradicts its scriptural source material.
For example, while in the biblical account of Noah and his famous Ark, God is so grieved by wickedness, corruption, violence and evil in the world that he resolves to destroy all the earth’s creatures by flood, God’s grief in “Noah” is less about murder and violence, more about abuse of natural resources.
In the movie’s pivotal early scene, when Noah’s wife asks him why the Creator is planning to destroy the world, Noah gets a vision of the pristine environment before mankind, a taste of the barren land after humanity’s crimes against the planet and responds, “Because it is dying already. At our hand, all he created is dying. … If we work to save it, perhaps he will too.”
Later in the film, Noah asserts, “We must change. We must treat the world with mercy so that the Creator will show us mercy. … We must respect the ground. Respect the rivers and seas. Respect the other beasts of the Earth. Stop the slaughter, the rape, the carnage.”
This environmentalist message, which Aronofsky freely admits is a “big theme” in the film, is even taken to the extreme, when Noah later decides to kill his own grandchildren so the earth won’t again be poisoned by humanity’s carelessness.
“The old adage that says the book is usually better than the movie is frequently true,” writes Larry Stone in the chapter titled “Noah Goes to Hollywood” in his new book, “Noah: The Real Story.”
Stone told WND the differences between Aronofsky’s “Noah” and the Bible’s Noah are no surprise. Last fall Paramount, which has more than $100 million riding on Noah, decided to hold some test screenings – over the vehement objections of Aronofsky – to see if the movie would appeal to Christian viewers. The blog Beginning and End stated the obvious: “It’s clear that Noah is not a Christian film.”
Stone, who has also has written “The Story of the Bible” and “Women of the Bible,” said that the story of Noah and the Ark has been filmed many times, and usually the biblical story is a framework on which the writer and director can hang their own story with their own viewpoint, and which usually has little to do with the Bible’s Noah and the ark. One of the first talkies – “Noah’s Ark” – did just that in 1928. The writer mixed up Noah with Moses, Samson and even the Sermon on the Mount.
In “Noah: The Real Story,” Stone points out some of the material from Aronofsky’s movie adaptation of “Noah” most contradictory to the scriptural account and most likely to offend Christian viewers.
“The world of Aronofsky’s Noah is a bleak one,” Stone writes. “Noah decides the only reason God preserved him and his family is to make sure the animals on the Ark return to the earth safely. If mankind disappeared, ‘it would be a better world.’ His family should have no more births so that humans will eventually die out and then ‘the creatures of the earth, the world itself, shall be safe.’ But one of his daughters-in-law is pregnant. If it is a boy, Noah will let it live; but if it is a girl, it will be killed. The woman gives birth to twin girls and Noah sets out to kill them both while the animals on the Ark help pin down his family. But he’s too weak to carry out his task. ‘I can’t do it,’ he says to himself and to God. ‘I am sorry.’”
Brian Godawa is the screenwriter for the award-winning feature film, “To End All Wars,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, and author of “Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment.”
In an October 2012 blog post, Godawa explains why the near murders upon the Ark in Aronofsky’s “Noah” are such an affront to the Jewish and Christian faiths:
“The movie script for ‘Noah’ is deeply anti-biblical in its moral vision,” Godawa writes. “While the Bible commands mankind to ‘work and keep’ the garden of earth as its stewards, the sin that brought about the judgment of the Flood was not violence against the environment as depicted in the script; it was violence against God and his image in man. That’s no minor difference.
“Also, at the end, when psycho Noah realizes that he cannot kill the baby girl to stop the human race, the reason is not because he realized he was too extreme against humans, but because he was too weak to follow through with God’s commands and his ‘higher cause’ of genocide,” Godawa continues. “This Humanistic worldview certainly tugs at the heartstrings of our hubris. Man’s weakness of compassion makes him superior to God.
“Most of the last half of the script is a family killer thriller like ‘Sleeping With the Enemy,’ that asks the dark dramatic movie question, ‘Will Noah kill the child if it is a girl or not?’ Ancient sex-selection infanticide,” Godawa writes. “But in the end, he fails. … He is just too compassionate to carry out God’s cruel plan. Noah is more loving than God.”
Stone insists there’s a greater and truer lesson behind the biblical account of Noah that Aronofsky’s version of the tale misses completely.
“When Noah was warned of disaster, God told him how to survive the Great Flood,” Stone writes in “Noah: The Real Story.”
What can we do now to survive the end of the world that both futurists and the Bible say is coming?
“Noah’s secret on how to survive the end of the world is to watch, be ready, and choose now which side you are on … who you will believe and serve,” Stone writes.
He quotes Christian author C.S. Lewis, who wrote, “God will invade … When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right, but … this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature.
“It will be too late then to choose your side … It will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.”
“If you’re looking for spectacular special effects, the most complex scene ever created by Industrial Light & Magic and a story line inspired by the account of Noah and the Ark on which Darren Aronofsky hangs his own message, enjoy ‘Noah,’” Stone told WND. “But don’t look to it for biblical accuracy. Why would you expect that?”
See the trailer for Stone’s “Noah: The Real Story” below:
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