Are humans the enemy? That’s the question at the heart of the provocative and beautifully produced new documentary from Discovery Institute, The War on Humans. It had a great Seattle-area premiere last night at Northwest University. With a nicely filled auditorium, President Joseph Castleberry gave a welcome, followed by KTTH radio host David Boze who did a wonderful job as emcee. Wesley Smith, whose reporting is highlighted in the film, and Center for Science & Culture associate director John West were characteristically sharp, interesting and funny during the Q&A.
Despite its being a Seattle crowd, the audience was appreciative and gratifyingly civil. We did have a young man in the audience dressed with furry ears on top of his head and a foxtail, but he chose not to ask a question. Foxes rarely do. He came with a contingent of college students who turned out to be very gracious and thanked us for doing the event on their campus.
What was most impressive? Perhaps it was the bunch of preteens, high school and college students in attendance. So many young people can’t differentiate animal rights from animal welfare, or stewardship of the Earth’s resources from supposed "rights" of nature. They received a good introduction to the differences between two very different ways of thinking, and important insights about those "rights" that aren’t really rights at all.
Two students — one a girl in sixth grade and the other a boy in high school — asked particularly apt questions of Wesley one-on-one after the lecture. They pointed out that evolutionary thinking is being misapplied to support animal and plant rights. You can’t have it both ways: If evolution is all a matter of random mutations, natural selection and survival of the fittest, then it doesn’t support moral thinking or rights for any creature or plant. If evolution makes man no more exceptional than plants and animals, then man has no exceptional moral responsibilities either — including to safeguard the planet or care about other living beings, whether animal or human.
These kids seemed to get it. Why don’t many adults? That’s where Discovery Institute’s educational outreach efforts come in — including Wesley’s courageous blogging at National Review Online — and why they are so important.
You can see the trailer for The War on Humans now, or wait till the week of February 17 for the online premiere and publication of the companion e-book by Wesley Smith!
Photo credit: Robert L. Crowther.