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How can we understand and contextualize new information challenging what we take for granted as scientific fact? Disinherit the Wind, a play of ideas by Matt Chait asks us to view the wonders of science through a different lens.
In this riveting courtroom drama, a renowned neurobiologist sues a prominent university for the right to teach theories of evolution that challenge the scientific status quo. His argument: neo-Darwinian materialist thought, like Creationism — the biblical orthodoxy it once replaced — has itself become a kind of religion: just as rigid, just as resistant to change. Might further scientific inquiry, in light of new evidence, yield different and surprising answers? Should recent discoveries, including the extensive range of highly developed fossils that suddenly appear during the Cambrian period and our modern understanding of DNA, require a reevaluation of the scientific thought behind the Darwinian theory of evolution?
Taking its title and the names of its characters from Jerome Lawrence’s 1955 play Inherit the Wind — the fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes ‘Monkey Trial’ challenging the right of schools to teach evolution — Disinherit the Wind turns that challenge on its head to ask “Are we really no more than the sum of our physical parts?” According to Lawrence, the earlier play was written to criticize the then-current state of McCarthyism and defend intellectual freedom. “It's not about science versus religion. It's about the right to think,” he said. Now, 60-plus years later, Chait makes that same argument.
“If Sir Isaac Newton were deified in the same way that Darwin is, then anyone who contradicted him would be held in contempt,” notes neurobiologist Bertram Cates in Chait’s Disinherit the Wind. “Einstein would have lived out his days as an anonymous worker in a patent office in Switzerland, and Heisenberg would have been run out of Copenhagen on a rail for his heresy. Yet when it came to Newton, the tiniest discrepancies between Newtonian predictions and actual findings, caused the scientific community not to close ranks, but to search diligently for new answers that would explain those discrepancies hence relativity and quantum theory, transistors, GPS systems, lasers, Blu-Ray players, atomic power plants and atomic clocks.”
“What I love about this play is that it’s written in such a way that a lay person can easily understand the complexity of the science,” says director Gary Lee Reed. “It’s an intelligently written, inspiring and uplifting play of ideas.”
Performances of Disinherit the Wind take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., March 3 through April 9.There will be one preview performance, on Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for students. The Complex is located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038. To purchase tickets, call (323) 960-4420 or go to www.plays411.com/disinherit.
Presenter / Producer: The Complex
Theater > Drama
Event Phone: 323-960-4420
6476 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood CA 90038
LA - Hollywood / Westside
Performance Dates: 3/3/2017 - 4/9/2017
Fri., Sat. at 8:00 pm Sun. 3:00 pm
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