‘Prometheus’ Offers a Creationist Indulgence for Science Geeks
“Prometheus,” the new movie from the director Ridley Scott, is a scientific and spiritual quest. The scientists in the movie think somebody or something else created us. Creationism? Yes, in a way, but creationism for geeks, of the sort that science fiction writers and scientists have long indulged in. It does not run counter to the idea of the process of evolution; it just sets the beginning of the whole business somewhere and some time other than the Earth.
Does this geek creationism conflict with the idea of evolution by natural selection? Not necessarily. A character in “Prometheus” argues that the scientists who have come up with the weird interstellar quest in the movie are throwing out several hundred years of Darwin. But there is nothing about the scientific method or about Darwinian evolution to suggest that it all had to happen on Earth. The basic notion that some organisms leave more offspring than others, and that their genes are preserved, works regardless of location.