On a new ID the Future episode, Rachel Adams chats with Rob Crowther and reviews the mega-hit Avengers: Infinity War, the #4 top box officer performer of all Hollywood history. (!) They give some spoilers, assuming that you’ve seen the movie already. (Actually I haven’t but that’s OK.) In the film, the grumpy arch-villain Thanos seeks to wipe out half the population of the galaxy as a response to overconsumption of natural resources. It’s for our own good, he thinks.
What does this have to do with intelligent design or Darwinism? As Rachel explains, while the concept of human exceptionalism fits well with ID, one of the concomitants of materialism is the idea of humans as no more than another animal in the forest. With animals, like the deer population in Eastern Washington, she notes, we don’t hesitate to thin the herd for the good of the larger number of creatures. This sort of thinking is applied by some in a human, though not a humane, context. Evolutionary ecologist Eric Pianka, for one, has mused about a dramatic culling of the human race, by 90 percent, courtesy of the “efficient” Ebola virus. Such a solution goes right along with materialist presuppositions.
So is Thanos bad news for the culture, or good news? Rob points out that it’s remarkable that these ideas are getting a hearing in such a wildly popular venue. Rachel counters that it’s the villain of the film who takes the Pianka view, which is strongly rejected by the hero, Captain America. A very interesting conversation! Listen to the podcast or download it here.