Daniel and Eve take a random diversion from their previously planned discussion and get together with their guest, Chris Jones, to discuss , a wacky and irreverent movie that is good for not much else but lots of laughs.
Luckily, all three of us have read the books, though some more recently than others. (the book and series) is by Douglas Adams, a man who was definitely not a Christian, and his works contain more than their fair share of anti-Christian statements. This movie is definitely no exception to that rule, and there is much to discuss with Christian critical thinking.
Since this movie is rather random, our coverage of it will be somewhat random, too, but we’ll start with what the movie begins by saying about reality.
“Things are not always what they seem.”
Is this a true statement?
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians [6:12], ESV)
The Bible tells us about the spiritual realm that we do not perceive, so in that since, “things are not always what they seem” could be true. There is also the element that our expectations play in our perceptions (i.e., our worldview), that can cause us to make false assumptions about reality and the world around us. However, this is definitely not the real meaning of the statement as used by the movie—the understand that nothing about reality can be trusted.
In the movie, they refer to an offended alien culture that comes to earth for revenge and is swallowed by a dog. This play on scale reminds Daniel of the ending scene of , where our entire galaxy is shown as a marble that some large alien is playing. This is ridiculous, but yet some people have this kind of view of God. This kind of perception is the kind of mythological nonsense that is often confused with Christianity. But if people would just read their Bibles they would realize nonscientific things like belief in flat earth are not biblical.
There is a lot of evolutionary content in . The main character, Arthur, is introduced as an ape-descendant. Yet, none of the other humanoid characters are introduced that way. According to the movie, the first and second most intelligent species on earth are the mice and dolphins. Trisha Macmillan (Trillain) goes to the dress-up party as Darwin, which leads to an interesting discussion about devolution, evolution from single-celled organisms, and random chance.
Was Douglas Adams writing the book with an agenda, or was he just being consistent with his own worldview? Chris speculates that it’s probably elements of both. When you write something consistent with your worldview, you are leading someone to see it your way—pushing your agenda. Eve raises the fact that there is an element of self-mockery for evolutionists in the book, in that it shows Earth being built with all the elements that evolutionists claim are the indications of great age. In this movie, Earth Mark II is created to look the way we know it within a very brief amount of time and then life simply starts. Daniel references a statement in the book about seeding the planet with fossils, and we discuss the fallacy that biblical Christianity cannot explain fossils.
Speaking of the rates of things, Daniel diverts the conversation to the Vogons and how the movie makes fun of bureaucracy. Eve points out that the swiftness with which Trillian’s death sentence is carried out is very unlike real bureaucracy. Daniel has a new quotation, “In Christianity, we believe in life after death. In bureaucracy, it’s a death sentence after a life sentence.”
“Space … is big, really big …”
Eve mentions the planetarium movie , at the Creation Museum, and how it addresses the incredible scale of the universe. For us, that incredible scale of the universe is just an indication of how awesome God is. In fact, the creation of the rest of the universe beyond our solar system is referred to in one short phrase, “He made the stars also” (Genesis [1:16]). God is not just a matter of scale—He is outside physical restraints and measurements altogether!
“Improbable, but not impossible.”
Evolution believes that anything is probable. At what point is something so improbable, that it is virtually impossible? This movie plays up the improbability of things to the level of the absurd.
“In the beginning, the universe was created …”
This entire section from is a statement that seems put there just to mock the historical narrative of biblical creation as a myth. It is funny, but it seems irreverent to laugh at it. They seem to want people to think that any creation account is just as ridiculous as a deity sneezing the universe into being. Yet, a sneeze is an accidental action, instead of the purposeful creation that is described in the Bible.
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens
(He is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(He established it;
He did not create it empty,
He formed it to be inhabited!). (Isaiah [45:18], ESV)
Commit your work to the LORD,
and your plans will be established.
The LORD has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble. (Proverbs 16:3-4, ESV)
However, if you take God out of our world, every religion that man can conceive on his own is purely ridiculous.
“Oh no, not again!”
So does this mean that bowls of petunias fall a lot? How does this answer the meaning of life? The contradiction of the movie is that everyone is looking for a point of life and yet, according to the movie, there isn’t one. Which is the pointless point that the movie is trying to make. [Editor’s note: huh?] But it makes sense that people are searching for a purpose because we are designed by God to have a purpose.
All men yearn after a purpose, and those who reject God, must replace that purpose with something, even if it’s just their own pleasure.
“Calculate the answer to life, the universe and everything”
Daniel takes issue that we can create something more consciously intelligent that us (this being different than more efficient than us). Chris mentions that it isn’t so much creating something more intelligent, but actually using technology as a crutch in attempt to reap benefits without the cost.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah [29:13], ESV)
The only reason that they didn’t get an answer that made sense was that they tried to take the easy way out. Another irony is that they were looking for an ultimate answer that everyone could accept because they were tired of bickering about it themselves. So what made them think that they could create an authority that everyone would agree was speaking ultimate truth?
This scene is extremely funny. The characters land on a bureaucratic planet where thinking is punished. Is this a mockery of religion? The Vogons don’t seem to be presented as religious, just lazy and lost in a bureaucracy that does not reward creative thought.
“I suppose I should start finding names for things …”
There is a lot in the sperm whale scene, but Chris talks about the invention of language. What is the source of language? Is language arbitrary? Language can only come from an intelligence. And we know from the Bible that language was created by God—He even used language to speak the universe into existence. His Word existed first (John 1:1). Evolutionists believe that language is arbitrary, a product of our randomly acquired existence. But if language is arbitrary, how can we communicate? Agreement on the names of things requires a language to discuss and arrive at an agreement in the first place.
Our randomness has filled up the time we allow for an episode, and so we’re going to continue the discussion in part 2.
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