Planet of the Ape Theists


Spending so much time debating with theists makes me feel like I am living on the Planet of the Apes. Theists constantly quote from their ancient texts while denying reason and science. The theists sound shockingly like Dr. Zaius, the Minster of Science but also the chief Defender of the Faith. The apes use their ancient scrolls to justify hunting, beating and enslaving humans. They defend taking away the rights of other sentient beings based on ancient folklore.

Dr. Zaius states that “there is no contradiction between faith and science… true science.”


But Cornelius, wonderfully played by Roddy McDowell, is the embodiment of reason and the scientific method. Cornelius finds ancient artifacts that would suggest that man came before the apes (sort of a reverse evolution theory). Cornelius is accused of heresy.

Dr. Zaius isn’t that far removed from Christian apologists today who try to use junk science to support their faith claims. Even in the face of reason, those who have faith in ancient texts will deny truth. Religion trumps science in the ape world as well as in today’s apologists world. How is it that our world today so closely resembles a movie that was released in 1968? Shouldn’t we be further along by now?

Great science fiction is able to entertain as well as have something to say about the world. This is why Planet of the Apes has stood the test of time.

Some people believe that we are moving backwards into a second dark age instead of forward into enlightenment. If reason and science lose to religious dogma a second dark age is not that far out of question. Faith is a very dangerous thing. When conflicting dogmas explode into violence our entire world is threatened by extinction. It only takes one group to be convinced that their god is the right god and another group to believe the same thing. Add weapons of mass destruction and the ending of Planet of the Apes is frighteningly plausible.

You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!



2 responses to “Planet of the Ape Theists

  1. Reblogged this on Chris Winstead and commented:
    At the risk of re-blogging too much from “Reason With Me,” I just had to highlight this post about the Planet of the Apes, a beloved movie from my childhood that delivers a potent allegory for faulty theological reasoning. This film reminds of science fiction’s power to explore deeply controversial topics in a manner that is accessible to everyone. Good science fiction can address the substance of an argument while providing some distance from the passion.

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