Downrigging: Filmmaker David Conover Takes on Science and Religion in “Behold the Earth”


Filmmaker David Conover, who will be presenting out-takes of his documentary “Behold the Earth,” Saturday night of Sultana’s Downrigging Weekend, is on a mission to find the common ground between science and religion.  This is not an easy task; these two powerful concepts have been at odds with each other for centuries. In fact, for some it remains one of the great unresolved issues for mankind.

And yet for the Emmy-nominated filmmaker, the perceived gap  seemed to dramatically shrink as he began to capture his conversations with scientists and theologians on these two powerful forces.  “There is knee-jerk reaction in both camps that there isn’t much common ground, but what I’ve seen in making this film is a huge overlap that we’re just beginning to understand,” said Conover.

Part of Conover’s discovery of common ground was the result of using the right  language to start the conversation.  “I think it was Bill Moyers who was the first to point out for me that using the right words is the first step in starting the dialogue, particularly when 40% of Americans are not on board with evolution. For example, to start with the story of Noah’s ark and eventually discuss the dangers of global warning leads to different view of the world.”

The other discovery was the awareness that even within evangelical faiths, there exists a wide range of conservation ideology.  Conover noticed that there was a right, center and progressive elements within each of  these groups. “Clearly some are less open than others, but many evangelicals understand the  important need for the scientific to deal with threats to the planet,” noted Conover.

Conover gets part of his message across by enlisting the help of such highly respected scientists like biologist E. O. Wilson from Harvard, and Cal DeWitt, one of the great influences in the evangelical environmentalism movement.  “Behold The Earth provides an opportunity to hold steady within the BIG PICTURE of American identity and the natural world. It asks the big questions of thought leaders like Wilson, Dewitt, Richard Louv, Theo Colborn, and others. Where have we come from? Where are we going? How do we know what we know?”


David Conover
An Inquiry into America’s Divorce from the Outdoors
Saturday, October 27 / 5:00pm (FREE)
Garfield Center for the Arts
210 High St Chestertown

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