“You’re kidding me,” I said. She then told me all the details of what she’d discovered in the movie. As I hung up, it really hit me: the years my wife and I spent teaching our children how to think critically had actually paid off.
It all started with my favorite childhood movie, The Incredible Mr. Limpet. When I found the VHS, I was ecstatic to share it with my two children (then 15 and 16) and my wife. We were no more than ten minutes into the 1964 classic when I was caught off guard. “Do you realize our ancestors were fish?” Henry Limpet (played by Don Knotts) tells his friend.
“Whoa! Stop the tape, kids; we need to talk.”
After discussing this scene, we turned the tape back on. But soon there was another scene. This time Mr. Limpet, with a book titled The Theory of Reverse Evolution in hand, prays, “I wish—I wish—I wish I were a fish.” Suddenly, an unknown god answers his prayer. Mr. Limpet falls into the water and begins the reverse evolution process—man to amphibian, amphibian to fish.
The Appeal of the Media
I hit the pause button again, and we discussed the film some more. I wondered why I hadn’t caught any of this when I was a child. But growing up in the public schools and a liberal church, I had been taught that evolution and the Bible could be combined, and I had been desensitized to this kind of content.
The turning point came when my life was transformed. After reading the book The Lie: Evolution in the late 1980s, I came to understand that I could trust the Bible as God’s Word—truth from the very first verse.
As a Christian who now trusted God’s Word completely, I had a newfound sensitivity (a “radar”) that identified things of the world that undermined the truth of God’s Word. As time went by and as I read solid materials dealing with biblical creation, I came to a fuller realization of how evolutionary ideas are used to undermine God’s Word. These ideas are placed into the culture in very subtle ways. I found the lies of evolution in places that I had never previously noticed them: television, news, cereal boxes, toys, movies, cartoons, and advertising.
After we became parents, my wife and I wanted to teach our children how to think critically. So our family practiced while we watched movies. Throughout each, we listened for unbiblical teaching and then discussed the problems immediately or after the movie was over.
This regular practice became the inspiration for presentations I now give to churches and youth groups. I ask audiences the following question: “There are 400,000 churches and 6,000 first-run theaters in the USA; which, do you think, impacts our country more?”
Sadly, the answer is always the same—theaters. Hollywood’s goal is not strictly entertainment and profit. Writers, directors, and others in the entertainment business are on-record saying that they want to get viewers to adopt what they believe. And one way they do this is to make these beliefs palatable by presenting them as something funny or cute.
Christians must be aware of Hollywood’s methods and philosophies, and we must use the Bible as our radar system to keep us from buying into the lies of the world. As Christians, we need to discern and expose untruth, and we need to take advantage of teachable moments with our children.
Examples of evolutionary references are not hard to find. Often these references are subtle, but they show how widespread and accepted the lie of evolution has become. We must train ourselves and our children to be alert to these lies.
The following are a few examples:
- In the Bugs Bunny episode entitled “Prehysterical Hare,” Elmer Fudd is chasing Bugs Bunny when Bugs discovers a film—a documentary in Cromagnum Scope Color by Neanderthal Color—and watches it. In the film, Elmer Fuddstone is hunting the saber-toothed rabbit. While watching the film, Bugs jokingly says, “Get a load of that snaggle-tooth aboriginally. Could he be one of my ancestors?”
- In the movie Fantasia, Mickey Mouse tells the story of evolution from single-cell organism to man.
- In Finding Nemo when Marlin (Nemo’s dad) and Dory are racing through the mass of jellyfish, Dory says to Marlin, “Give it up, old man. You can’t fight evolution; I was built for speed.”
- The evolutionary reference in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding occurs when Toula’s fiancé attempts to say “Happy Easter” in Greek to her father. The dad is not impressed and says back to him in Greek (shown in subtitles), “When my people were writing philosophy, your people were still swinging from trees.”
- In SpongeBob SquarePants, you’ll find evolution under the sea. The following is from an episode called “Ugh!”: “Dawn breaks over the primordial sea. It is here that millions of years ago life began taking its first clumsy steps out of the darkness, opening its newly formed eyeballs to stare into the blinding light of intelligence.”
- Evolutionary content is even in a preschool program like Bob the Builder. In the episode titled “Scoop’s Stegosaurus,” Bob digs a hole and finds a bone. He says it must be a dinosaur bone. Lofty is frightened, but Bob reassures her by saying, “It’s all right, Lofty; the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago.”
- In Peter Pan, the song “What Made the Red Man Red?” states, “Let’s go back a million years to the very first Indian prince.”
- Commercials that promote everything from auto insurance to high-speed internet contain allusions to evolution. A FedEx commercial that aired during the 2005 Super Bowl depicted a primitive caveman who tied his package to the leg of a pterodactyl, which was eaten shortly after by a T. rex. In spite of the commercial’s humor, the subtle evolutionary message reinforces the idea of molecules-to-man evolution, not the truth of creation found in Genesis.