David Attenborough Censored

OK, I can't let this pass (seen via Dave P on Twitter) without comment. David Attenborough is, together with the excellent BBC Natural History Unit, one of the finest natural history documentary makers on the planet. He has made truly stunning programmes over the years including Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), Life of Birds (1998), The Blue Planet (showing next week on the Discovery Channel in the US) and Planet Earth (2006) to name just a few. He has even made the unpromising premise of an entire series about plants into a thrilling and captivating story in The Private Life of Plants (1995). Now, it appears that his excellent series The Life of Mammals (2002) is being censored in the Netherlands. Why? Well, the series shows fossils and refers to how life has lived on Earth for millions of years.

Dutch TV channel Evangelische Omroep/Evangelical Broadcaster have removed whole scenes (some of the video clips have Dutch captions but you should be able to get the jist) which show evidence which suggests things that do not agree with the broadcaster's world view i.e. that dinosaurs roamed the Earth, continental drift occurred, and that life has existed on Earth for millions of years. This cherry-picking of the parts of the natural world that EO like and removal of all references to those bits they don't is intellectually bankrupt and totally objectionable. Apart from that, I'm also hugely annoyed that the resulting programmes are a misrepresentation of the scientific integrity of David Attenborough.

I still find it hard to comprehend that people willingly ignore the real world where it doesn't agree with their pre-conceived notions. They seem happier to reside in their own fluffy, distorted view of reality with their fingers in their ears saying "La la la. I can't hear you". Sure I have pre-conceived notions about the world, but I'm aware of that and I'm willing to revise or remove those notions in the light of evidence.

If you live in the Netherlands I suggest that you get a hold of the original BBC version or at least watch the YouTube clips showing the omissions. Many thanks to YouTube user Obdurodon for highlighting this. David Attenborough should not be treated like this.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 06th Aug 2007 (13:09 PDT) | Permalink
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