Darwinists Driven to the Edge of Madness by…Cars 2

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Pixar is one of our favorite movie studios in history. That said, we missed both Cars and Cars 2 and a friend advised us, regarding the latter, that he found it so boring he walked out halfway through. Boring or not, this pair of seemingly harmless animated films about anthropoid automobiles has pushed some Darwinists to the edge of madness.
How so? A good question and one whose answer we’re still not sure we entirely grasp. Reportedly there is some extremely subtle nod to intelligent design in the films, subtle perhaps to the point of being imagined, as if in a paranoid fever dream, rather than real. We came across a review by MaryAnn Johanson, the Flik Filosopher, who rants:

Simmering below the surface of this story is the horrifying prospect of another kind of American idiocy taking hold around the world.
I speak of the American idiocy of “intelligent design.” The universe of Cars 2 has been clearly and carefully constructed by the writers to be one in which — unlike our universe — the evidence for intelligent design is unequivocal. One major giveaway is that the car-people don’t have hands to make anything: not the buildings they live in, not the oil rigs they rely on for their food, not the uncarlike modifications a car-person such as British spy Finn McMissile (the voice of Michael Caine: Gnomeo & Juliet, Inception) uses in his line of work; Finn is practically a car-cyborg, and yet there is no one around who could have made him this way. One plot point turns on cars “made” with a certain kind of engine — “Made by whom?” is the unasked question that hangs dramatically in the air.

Is she kidding? Is this some sort of ham-handed pro-ID satire of what a lady afflicted with DADDS (Darwinism-Driven Derangement Syndrome) might experience upon viewing an innocuous cartoon about cute car-creatures? But no, in a lengthy thread of comments and back-and-forths with readers, Ms. Johanson clarifies that she is quite certifiably serious:

You’re getting closer to understanding the point of my review.
Here’s a hint: The world of Cars is a world in which evidence of intelligent design is irrefutable. In that way, it is wholly unlike our world, in which such evidence does not exist.

Nor is the Flik Filosopher’s response to Cars and Cars 2 merely the reflection of her own idiosyncrasy. Another reviewer, Josh Berta, writing in horrified anticipation of Cars 2‘s release, is all in flames at the thought that “Cars is a vehicle for the conservative, science-denying belief known as Intelligent Design.”

The design of the vehicles is devoid of any suggestion of natural selection. The cars have eyes in their windshield, and mouths, complete with teeth and tongues, between their headlights. (Apparently motorcycles don’t exist, presumably because the Designer couldn’t figure out how to give them a face.) They can flex and move their metal frames, undercarriages, and tires at will, and yet they are undoubtedly made of metal, plastic and rubber. They are imbibed [sic] with life, which apparently allows them to ignore the laws of physics. Conveniently, non-living fixtures made of those same materials (buildings, furniture, etc.), obey those laws. Indeed, it is those very fixtures that offer the most disturbing glimpse into the Designer’s machinations.

Just imagine will you, an animated feature film about talking cars that fails conspicuously to express due respect for Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection! The horror, indeed!
Berta closes with the regretful observation:

This weekend Cars 2 opens. It will be the first Pixar movie I make a point of not seeing. It’s not that I even mind so much that it’s propaganda, or even that it’s propaganda for “The Manufacturer.” In theory, I could forgive that. What I can’t forgive is that director John Lasseter and his team hung their hat on Intelligent Design, and alas, it’s anything but.

The reference to “The Manufacturer” alludes to race-car Lightning McQueen’s expression of gratitude, “Thank the Manufacturer!” (voiced by Owen Wilson), upon experiencing a positive turn of fortune. This, above all, seems to be what drove Mr. Berta around the bend.
These Darwinist reviewers need to lighten up a bit, in our opinion. With apologies to Dr. Freud, sometimes a car is just a car.

Evolution News

Evolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues.



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