Planet of the Ape Theists

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.

Reason With Me


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…

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