George Will On Intelligent Design (And Penguins)

Ken AshfordGodstuffLeave a Comment

Marchofthepenguins200x330 When he’s right, he’s right:

"March of the Penguins" raises this question: If an Intelligent Designer designed nature, why did it decide to make breeding so tedious for those penguins? The movie documents the 70-mile march of thousands of Antarctic penguins from the sea to an icy breeding place barren of nutrition. These perhaps intelligently but certainly oddly designed birds march because they cannot fly. They cannot even march well, being most at home in the sea.

In temperatures of 80 below and lashed by 100 miles per hour winds, the females take months to produce an egg while the males trek back to the sea to fatten up.

Returning, the males are entrusted with keeping the eggs warm during foodless months while the females march back to the sea to fill their stomachs with nutriments they will share with the hatched chicks.

The penguins’ hardiness is remarkable, as is the intricate choreography of the march, the breeding and the nurturing. But the movie, vigorously anthropomorphizing the birds, invites us to find all this inexplicably amazing, even heroic. But the penguins are made for that behavior in that place. What made them? Adaptive evolution. They have been "designed" for all that rigor — meaning they have been shaped by adapting to many millennia of nature’s harshness.

Mmmmmm.  Apparently the ChildCare Action Project (sorry, that’s the best link) movie reviewer thinks differently:

March of the Penguins has it all! Love! Romance! Terror! Sex! Hardship! Violence! In my opinion, March of the Penguins is pure entertainment. If you like to think movies are "real world", this one is.

Emperor penguins make their "migratory" march to their breeding grounds … 70 miles from their ocean home. Nearly single file, thousands of penguins march to the relative safety of their birthplace to start the cycle again. They choose this remote location because as the summer and fall months come, the ice gives way to the ocean. But under the ice blanket of their breeding grounds is solid earth.

How they remember to get there is part of God’s Design. While the location never changes, the path does. Storms and the ever-changing face of ice create many roadblocks, but they never fail to get to their destination.

"Part of God’s design", because God hates penguins, I guess.  (It’s worth noting that the G-rated documentary scored 97 out of a possible 100 in the CAP rating system — it lost points because in one scene, the penguins screw, and some penguins die in another scene.  Apprently, dying animals is ungodly.)