Science & Faith
11/18/13 at 09:37 PM 32 Comments

New Documentary Explores C.S. Lewis's Struggle with Arguments for Intelligent Design

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Wikipedia: C.S. Lewis

A new documentary has just been released in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis's death (November 22, 1963). Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia and many literary-philosophical works, engaged in a life-long struggle to find meaningful design and enduring purpose in a world filled with cruelty, pain, and imperfection.

The documentary "C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design" premieres today on the NRB cable and satellite network and the YouTube C.S. Lewis Channel. The documentary unpacks portions of a book edited by Dr. John West titled The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society.

"C.S. Lewis is well-known for defending the existence of God, but he actually struggled for much of his life to see purpose in a universe that often seemed cold and heartless," says West. "In 'C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design,' we explore the fascinating story of how Lewis became persuaded that design in nature was real."

"One of the things that may surprise some viewers is just how angry Lewis's atheism could be in his earlier years, including a little-known poem about nature he wrote around the time of World War I titled 'Satan Speaks.'"

In addition to West, the documentary features interviews with noted Lewis experts Angus Menuge, editor of C.S. Lewis: Lightbearer in the Shadowlands, and Victor Reppert, author of C.S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea. It also contains footage of from an interview with the late Antony Flew, one of the world’s leading atheists who knew Lewis and who later came to believe in God before his death.

My students will enjoy this new documentary as a companion to The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, which is one of the required textbooks in a "science in cultural context" course that I teach each fall at the College at Southwestern. Among the common myths that I debunk in my course are: C.S. Lewis was a theistic evolutionist, intelligent design is just religion disguised as science, Darwin’s theory did not contribute to racism or forced sterilizations in the USA and Nazi Germany, and Darwin doubters reject the scientific method. Although we spend much more time looking at the scientific evidence for and against neo-Darwinian evolution, we also pay attention to the larger cultural issues, some of which are addressed in the new Lewis documentary written and directed by John West.

Two earlier documentaries in this C.S. Lewis & science/scientism series are found here (part 1) and here (part 2). Join the 50,000+ people who have already watched at least one of the earlier documentaries at YouTube. In a series of earlier blogs (backward linked starting here) I discuss part 1 of this documentary series. You may also wish to read a few excerpts of the book upon which these documentaries are based.

Best remembered today for his Narnian stories and books on theology like Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis also was a renowned scholar of Medieval and Renaissance English literature, first at Oxford University and later at Cambridge University. His books have reportedly sold more than 200 million copies. On Nov. 22, he will be honored with a memorial at the renowned Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey, London, placing him alongside other distinguished English writers such as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and T.S. Eliot.

If you’d like to interview Dr. West, contact Robert Crowther at, (206) 292-0401 x107.

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