Last night I had the fun experience of going to Queen's Film Theatre in Belfast to watch the famous epic "Inherit the Wind", and to discuss the film and its implications afterwards in a panel discussion.
It's a great movie, based on a play of the same name, itself loosely based on the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial", where a schoolteacher was brought to trial for teaching evolution in Tennessee, in contravention of a crazy law that prohibited it. The facts of the case are somewhat different in the play and in real life, but the movie iconicised the dramatic conflict between science and religious fundamentalism.
After the film I participated in a panel discussion with Rev Scott Peddie and Prof Norman Nevin. We had a very amicable and (I hope) entertaining discussion, expertly chaired by William Crawley of the BBC (who put the film series together of which this was part). I never know whether minds are changed by debates or panel discussions, but we had a lot of fun, and I'm wondering if someone is going to make a similar film around the 2005 Kitzmiller trial, which in many ways would make for excellent drama fodder in its own right. I do think that ITW held up creationism and biblical literalism/inerrancy to very appropriate ridicule; it deserves a wide audience.
We're doing it again! This time we are biking from Petra in Jordan up to Nazareth in Israel, to raise money for the Nazareth Hospital CT Scanner appeal. Last year we raised over £50,000 for the Children's Unit! Nazareth is the largest Arab town in Israel; the people are lovely, and the kids are awesome. Nazareth also treats kids in the West Bank of Palestine who have very limited access to healthcare. They need your help! Go to my sponsorship page to find out more and see what you can do! Maybe even join us..?