Skip navigation.
The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2009/09/25

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A new drama about Darwin is scheduled to air on public television,
while Creation found a theatrical distributor in the United States.
Plus new selected content from RNCSE is now available.


Darwin’s Darkest Hour -- a new drama about Darwin's decision to
publish his work on evolution -- will air on October 6, 2009, on
public broadcasting stations around the country. According to a press


NOVA and National Geographic Television present the extraordinary
human drama that led to the birth of the most influential scientific
theory of all time. Acclaimed screenwriter John Goldsmith (David
Copperfield, Victoria and Albert) brings to life Charles Darwin’s
greatest personal crisis: the anguishing decision over whether to "go
public" with his theory of evolution. Darwin, portrayed by Henry Ian
Cusick (Lost), spent years refining his ideas and penning his book the
Origin of Species. Yet, daunted by looming conflict with the orthodox
religious values of his day, he resisted publishing -- until a letter
from naturalist Alfred Wallace forced his hand. In 1858, Darwin
learned that Wallace was ready to publish ideas very similar to his
own. In a sickened panic, Darwin grasped his dilemma: To delay
publishing any longer would be to condemn all of his work to obscurity
-- his voyage on the Beagle, his adventures in the Andes, the gauchos
and bizarre fossils of Patagonia, the finches and giant tortoises of
the Galapagos. But to come forward with his ideas risked the fury of
the Church and perhaps a rift with his own devoted wife, Emma,
portrayed by Frances O'Connor (Mansfield Park, The Importance of Being
Earnest, Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence), who was a strong
believer in the view of creation and honestly feared for her husband’s
soul. Darwin's Darkest Hour is a moving drama about the birth of a
great idea seen through the inspiration and personal sufferings of its
brilliant originator.


Further information about the film, including a preview and interviews
with John Goldsmith and Henry Ian Cusick, is available at NOVA's
website. Information on finding local public broadcasting stations is
available via PBS's website.

For the press release (PDF), visit: 

For further information about the film, visit: 

For information on finding local stations, visit: 


The new film about Darwin, Creation, will be distributed in the United
States after all, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter
(September 24, 2009). The film is expected to be released by Newmarket
Films in December 2009. Earlier the producer of the film, Jeremy
Thomas, lamented to the Telegraph (September 11, 2009), "It has got a
deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it's because of
what the film is about. ... It is unbelievable to us that this is
still a really hot potato in America." A few days later, however, NBC
Bay Area (September 15, 2009) reported that a distribution deal was

In her review of Creation at The Panda's Thumb blog, NCSE's executive
director Eugenie C. Scott described it as "a thoughtful, well-made
film that will change many views of Darwin held by the public -- for
the good." It also received praise from Steve Jones in Time Out London
(September 22, 2009), who called it "a great film about a great man
and a greater theory" and by Adam Rutherford in his Guardian blog
(September 23, 2009), where he wrote, "we should ... be grateful that
this film is moving and beautiful, just like the creation Darwin so
luminously untangled," adding, "Creationists the world over deserve to
see it."

For the story in the Hollywood Reporter, visit: 

For the stories in the Telegraph and NBC Bay Area, visit: 

For Scott's, Jones's, and Rutherford's comments on Creation, visit: 

For Creation's website, visit: 


Selected content from volume 29, number 3, of Reports of the National
Center for Science Education is now available on NCSE's website.
Featured are Steven Schaferman's report on the adoption of a seriously
flawed set of science standards in Texas, along with NCSE's Joshua
Rosenau's testimony before the Texas state board of education. And
Donald R. Prothero reviews Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True, Andrea
Bottaro reviews Kenneth R. Miller's Only a Theory, and Peter Dodson
reviews Donald Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it

If you like what you see, why not subscribe to RNCSE today? In the
next issue (volume 29, number 5), NCSE's Joshua Rosenau explains how
the Institute for Creation Research distorted a Nobel laureate's
views, while Raymond Eve reflects on his visit to Answers in Genesis's
Creation Museum and Randy Moore describes his visit to Carl Baugh's
Creation Evidence Museum. And there are reviews, too, including
Charles Israel's review of Reframing Scopes and David Koerner's review
of Why the Universe Is the Way It Is. Don't miss out -- subscribe now!

For the selected content from RNCSE 29:3, visit: 

For subscription information, visit: 

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution education and threats to it.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x310
fax: 510-601-7204

Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: 

NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: 

NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today!