A prominent young earth creationist said recent claims by the producer of the movie "Creation" are "nonsense" and simply part of an effort to create controversy and garner publicity.
In an interview with the London-based Telegraph ahead of last week's European premiere of "Creation," producer Jeremy Thomas had suggested that the debate over creation and evolution in America was what kept potential U.S. distributors of the Charles Darwin movie at bay.
"It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the U.S., and it's because of what the film is about," Thomas had said.
"People have been saying this is the best film they've seen all year, yet nobody in the U.S. has picked it up," he added. "It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America."
"Creation," which opened the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month and made its European premiere last Sunday, tells the story of Darwin and how the 19th-century naturalist's landmark work, "The Origin of Species," came to light.
It also reveals the world-renowned scientist as a dedicated family man struggling to accept his daughter's death and torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own "growing belief in a world where God has no place," according to the film's synopsis.
"You've got a film that is a very intimate biographical portrait of a man and that's a rich and beautiful and informing celebration of his life," said actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars in the movie as Joseph Dalton Hooker, one of the founders of geographical botany and Darwin's closest friend.
Despite the "very universal" storyline, the film's producer said "Creation" is apparently "too controversial for religious America."
"There's still a great belief that He (God) made the world in six days," Thomas told the Telegraph. "It's quite difficult for we (sic) in the U.K. to imagine religion in America. We live in a country which is no longer so religious. But in the U.S., outside of New York and LA, religion rules."
Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation museum, however, believes Thomas' claim is "nonsense."
"If a movie is controversial, I'm sure it would be shown - as it would probably get good attendance and make money," he commented Sunday. "And if the movie was anti-creation/anti-Christian, would that stop the movie industry taking it up? Not at all-to the contrary."
To make his point, Ham noted anti-Christian and anti-creationism movies such as Bill Maher's "Religulous" and "Inherit the Wind," which were shown in theaters nationwide.
"In fact, it seems to me that if a film attacks Christianity and is well produced, the movie industry in America would jump at the opportunity to show it to the public," he stated.
But that is if it would make money.
Ham suggested the reason why "Creation" has not picked up a U.S. distributor is because a film about the life of Charles Darwin may not do well in American theaters, though it might do well as a "docu-drama" on a television station such as the History Channel.
"I haven't seen the movie, but I have read a number of reviews - and it seems to me from what I've read that it is not really an exciting movie. Some have even called it 'boring,'" Ham stated.
That said, Ham reported that he does hope to hear from supporters of his ministry in the United Kingdom regarding the movie when it hits theaters there this Friday.
That is, however, if they do choose to spend money on such a movie.
Ham and his supporters, like other young earth creationists, ascribe to a literal understanding of the book of Genesis and therefore believe God created all things over the course of six literal days.
According to the Gallup organization, which has polled U.S. adults about their beliefs on evolution and creation since 1982, 44 percent of Americans surveyed last year said they believe God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.
Thirty-six percent, meanwhile, said they believe that man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but that God guided the process, including man's creation.
Only 14 percent believe man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life and that God had no part in the process.
The figures have remained relatively the same over the past nearly three-decades, with the last group having shown a significant – though slight – increase.