Disclaimer: I haven’t actually seen the movie, so I am relying upon other sources for specifics from the film.
Remember Expelled? That “documentary” by Ben Stein and Co. that sought to prove that Big Science was actively censoring anyone who had evidence of Intelligent Design. Well, while that may have been the most obviously pro-Intelligent Design movie of the year, it seems that M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening demonstrates an apparently tenuous grasp of science as well as the influence of “spirituality”.
In an interview, he was asked what influence religion and spirituality had on his film. He states that “”the Native American culture and relationship with nature, the relationship with the sky, the earth, the rock the bear.” He also claimed that cast he Mark Wahlberg because of his strong faith in Jesus. But Wahlberg’s religious faith ended up causing a ton of reshoots. Whenever Shyamalan would ask Wahlberg what he was thinking about, and Wahlberg replied, “Jesus,” Shyamalan would make him reshoot the scene in question”. It turns out, as the title of the interview states the science behind The Happening is Jesus. Which of course means there is very little science at all.
Apparently, in the movie Mark “Can’t stop thinking about Jesus” Wahlberg plays a science teacher who explains to his students that “Evolution” is “just” a “theory” (They keep using that word, I do not think they know what it means). Of course, when asking why the bees are apparently disappearing, we are told that it is an “act of nature that we simply cannot understand”. This sounds suspciously close to the IDiots idea that science doesn’t really allow us to understand the world around us because of Jesus (or something of the sort).
This type of attitude in movies is annoying. The stereotype of science being something that should be taken less serious that religion and spirituality because science isn’t as “deep” as religion. Well, I call that bullshit. Science goes far deeper than religion and spirituality ever have and ever will. Scientists do not accept the answer that is so commonly peddled by pseudointellectual theologians, that is, that “God works in mysterious ways” and that we should not try to understand everything about the world around us. It’s frustrating when mysticism is placed on a pedestal and the “cold, materialistic, scientific world-view” is chastised as being too cold, when without the methods inherent to science, our lives would be far worse off than they are today.
Sure, nature can be cruel, nature can be cold and unfeeling. That doesn’t mean that we should make up fantasies instead of learning about the world around us.
Read a review of The Happening here.