Science vs. Religion

First of all. Great Movie.

This movie has several themes, and many of them are mentioned on this board.

However, no one has discussed religion and science.

Allie and the Reverend, I think, represent the extremes of science and religion, and in this movie, we see how neither provide the solution.

Who is right or wrong and why? And just where do they make their mistakes?

I would very much like to hear your opinion to this topic.



Exactly. You said that very well.

"Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night."


I didn't see it as science versus religion, I saw it as action versus inaction.

Allie believed in hard work and reaping benefits from labour, Spellgood believed god provides you with all that you need, Allie saw religious folk as being brainwashed into laziness. Still very opposite ideals.

Opinions are just onions with pi in them.


I didn't see it as science vs. religion, either. I think that Allie and the preacher are really two sides of the same coin: the self-righteous belief that your way is the only way and everyone else is beneath you if they don't agree.

The story to me is really about human arrogance more than anything else. Both patriarch characters were extremists in a way.


Just had my second viewing and scrolled through the message board, discovering that I had posted this thread.

Huzdaman: spot-on!


The film asks: What creates a better lasting society: science/technology or Christianity?

Both Allie (Ford) and the missionary, Spellgood, take their families to the Mosquito Coast to start societies. Allie's society fails because of his devolving megalomania, whereas Spellgood's is obviously successful -- his village is clean, orderly and happy; they have built a magnificent facility and comfortable housing; his people are clothed and fed; they sing so sweetly that Allie's children mistake them for angels. Spellgood's people may have given up some freedom but in return they had a thriving, disciplined society. Spellgood's success naturally gives birth to another evil within Allie's heart: envy. He becomes so envious & hateful that he literally tries to incinerate Spellgood's jungle utopia!

Of course, Spellgood isn't depicted as the 'good guy.' It's obvious that he's a bit of a loon himself with the typical negative connotations of Christian ministers usually seen in movies. In fact, it's clear that Spellgood is a megalomaniac like Allie. So what's the difference between the two? Unlike Allie, Spellgood has faith in -- and submits to -- something beyond himself, something greater -- God -- and this belief and reverence keeps his pride in check; it keeps him humble. Evidence of this is shown in the church scene where the congregation watches Spellgood on TV; his sermon doesn't attempt to bring glory to himself but rather focuses on teaching the people how to commune with the Almighty, using a telephone as a simple object lesson. Which brings us to...

Having no faith except in yourself is not good. Allie believed that technology and his genius alone would save them, but it was this that destroyed them. Allie had no faith but in himself. When this happens one's pride remains unchecked and will run its natural course. Most important to him was freedom -- yet only [b]for himself[/i] since he was a tyrant with his family.