In case you don’t want to listen to a whole half hour of this, here’s my concluding statement:
Look. I’m an atheist. This stuff plays directly into my hands — if your religion demands that every statement in your holy book must be absolutely, inarguably true, and that your entire faith hinges on a complete lack of metaphor, poetry, allusion, and analogy in that book — that it is as dry and literal and factual as a table of measures in an engineering text — then I’ve got you. I am going to win over your children to my side, and you know it.
As an atheist, I’m often told that I don’t understand your religion. But I do. I understand it better than the fanatical literalists, anyway. Religion has a long history of struggling to reconcile reality and belief, to find humanity’s place in a largely unknown and complex and frequently hostile universe. If there is any saving grace in faith at all, it is that it is an attempt to find a rock of certainty in the unpredictable chaos of life — it is aspirational, a search for truth. As such, religion changes over time. It evolves.
Where it fails is when people like Ham and the Hovinds give up on the search and the struggle and decide that they have an absolute lock on an irrevocable and ultimate truth, one that will no longer bend to the evidence, that will no longer care about the nature of reality, but only the nature of one antique interpretation of the words of a book. They will not change any more. They will cling stubbornly to this one unmoving stone of dogma, and they will insist that everything else is wrong. They will close their eyes and grasp tighter and tighter to that one illusion of certainty as it crumbles around them. By refusing to bend, they commit themselves to someday breaking.
The movie goes on like this for another hour and a half: more tiresome and tired old creationist arguments interspersed with brief episodes of bad CGI accompanied by a slow, lugubrious voice of god. It ends with another 10 or 15 minutes of fast cuts between their cast members, all testifying and preachifying about the glory of god and how lovely Jesus makes them feel.
It just makes me terribly sad. These are lost minds committed to battling against the real world.