Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Battlestar Galactica offers a surprising faith challenge

Yesterday I mentioned the blog maintained by Battlestar Galactica producer Ron Moore. On it, he'll respond to fan questions about the show. Moore used to do this on AOL's "Star Trek" forum back when he was one of the producers on "Deep Space Nine," so I'm not surprised to see him doing it again.

Here's one question posed to Moore that I find rather curious.

"The question I would really like to see addressed is how to reconcile the underlying quest of Battlestar Galactica with actual scientific plausiability. The quest of Battlestar Galactica is to find Earth, the 13th Colony. However, it is a basic and well-substantiated tenet of science that human life here on Earth evolved slowly from a primate ancestor. Attempts to deny evolution based on the notion that human kind deserves a far more worthy origin than what evolution details, are a diservice to the pursuit of scientific truth and endeavors in our own world. There was always that reactionary sense to the original series, which drove it away from a secure standing as *science* fiction. How will the new series avoid this pitfall?"

(Here's where William Shatner steps in and says "Get a life!")

Okay, since Battlestar Galactica suggests that the origin of life on earth is found in outer space, not only does it run counter to evolutionary theory, but it runs counter to the Christian teachings on the origins of life. So neither of the competing theories is supported by the show.

But as a Christian I'm not offended at all.

Maybe it's because I'm used to the way science fiction assumes that God is a myth. Maybe it's because I've heard Captain Picard announce once too often that humanity has outgrown the need for God, or I'm no longer surprised when Q whisks us back in time to watch life spring up from the primordial ooze.

And maybe it doesn't bother me because . . . it's fiction!

But I find it interesting that someone is seriously bothered that a fictional television show might not support the theory of evolution. Every day I encounter challenges to my faith in the entertainment industry. Yet my faith suffers not. How strong is this viewer's faith in evolution if a fictional television show causes such a crisis?

Moore's response should cheer him:

I don't have a direct answer for this question yet. There are a couple of notions rolling around in my head as to how we reconcile the very real fact of evolution with the Galactica mythos, but I haven't decided which approach to take. However, it was a fundamental element of the orginal Galactica mythos that "Life here began out there..." and I decided early on that it was crucial to maintain it.

"The very real fact of evolution."

Don't worry, little fanboy. The producer is on your side.


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