Computer Guru Son, Organizer Daughter, and I went to see this movie last night, and I can now say with some authority that, although I’ve never read the book, both book and movie are:
A. seriously odd,
B. full of Darwinian nonsense,
C. full of lots of other nonsense,
D. NOT a source for the true meaning of life, the universe, and everything, and
E. really funny.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (originally a radio series) was written as a parody of 1960’s/70’s sci-fi, and as such it works admirably. Adams also considered himself “an evangelical atheist,” and as such he’s funny, but unconvincing. Try these quotations on for size:
“He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.”
‘Now it is such a bizarrely improbably coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful [the Babel fish] could have evolved by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
“But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”
“Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.”
He’s jollied you right out of all that God stuff, right? Don’t panic! You can watch the movie with discerning detachment and laugh and have a good time and still believe in God when it’s all over.