Morgan Freeman, atheist

I’m intrigued by the search engine phrases that lead people to this blog. My most-viewed post, on librarian stereotypes, is still steadily getting hits — apparently not just from people interested in the topic, but from people searching for information about the deaths of abalone divers. (Who says search engines have eliminated serendipity?)

And now my post about scale-of-the-universe videos, with a passing mention of Morgan Freeman, is showing up in search results for “morgan freeman atheist.” So I Googled that phrase myself, and lo and behold:

This morning on CNN’s American Morning, Morgan Freeman was interviewed about a new show in which he is the executive producer and host of, “Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman”.

One of the CNN hosts, Kiran Chetry, began the interview stating, “You are a man of God”, with Freeman snickering while replying, “And when did I ever say that?” Chetry corrected herself and said, “you are a man of faith.” Again, Freeman came back with “If faith is what you believe, then yes,” then alluding to a belief in science.

Update (6/3): Here’s video (thanks to Anonymous in the comments). I have reservations about how he tries to explain “faith” in scientific principles; a scientist would have made a stronger distinction between religious belief and the process by which scientific theories become accepted as “facts.”

Not quite an explicit admission of atheism, but pretty darn close, I think. How ironic that Freeman, whose voice is often likened to the voice of God, and who has in fact played God himself on film, is actually a nonbeliever; then again, perhaps it should come as no surprise that actors don’t really believe their characters are real.

The show itself sounds fascinating:

This new series, produced by Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment, seeks the answers to the big questions: Are we alone? Where did we come from? Is there life on other planets? From the latest work at NASA and private enterprise facilities to the latest theories from academics and researchers, this series looks at black holes, colonizing the planets, string theory and more. Science Channel invites viewers on the journey as Morgan Freeman picks up where Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” left off and explores the new frontiers of what is beyond Earth.

And here’s the video promo:

Interesting that “Is there a creator?” is one of the questions the video poses. Will the show be brave enough to declare what scientists really think about that?

And: picking up where Cosmos left off? Ambitious, and a very worthy goal; if it comes anywhere near to being as informative and compelling as Sagan’s series, I’d consider it a triumph. I look forward to seeing the show — and, eventually, to seeing it get Symphony of Science‘s autotune treatment:

I have to say, though, that there must be better titles out there than “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.” In a certain frame of mind, that just sounds… wrong.

(Image via Almost Famous Cats)

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Morgan Freeman, atheist

  1. Revyloution

    I know it’s not logical our sound reasoning to seek popular people who agree with your philosophy. So I don’t consider this as validation of my lack of belief, but it does feel good to know someone as awesome as Freeman doesn’t believe in nonsense.

  2. Widgetas

    Having seen the increasingly rapid descent of British television into a more in-your-face, loud, fancy graphics, big questions, substance lacking, little said but oft repeated and, dare I say it, Americanised format… I have to ask: are the majority of US viewers as lacking in attention span and as sound bite happy as your producers would have us (and you) believe?
    That trailer sums up a hell of a lot of what I mean above.
    Give me mid-90’s Equinox and a decent Attenborough documentary any day.
    /end rant.
    ps – I don’t think all Americans are ‘the same’, for the record 😉

    • Good question, Widgetas. I don’t think I can speak for all Americans, but I like good, substance-packed science documentaries that are more than flashy effects and sound bites.

      I guess we’ll have to see if “Through the Wormhole” is any good. Keep in mind that the folks who make the trailers for TV shows and movies aren’t the same as the ones who make the shows themselves. As my wife can attest from her experiences at work, the content providers and the marketing department don’t always see eye to eye.

    • Stephanie

      You’re right, we are not all the same and that’s why I finally kicked tv to the curb in favor of the puter..I can pretty much watch most everything I am interested in on my puter though not always without commercials.. for example on Hulu I can watch several of my fav comedy sitcoms , set it to auto-play and I’m good to go,but there aren’t a lot of choices unless I pay a fee and I’m not about to do that after getting rid of my monthly cable bill.. So yes, give me a good Attenborough doc or a British comedy like Men Behaving Badly and I’m a happy camper :^)

  3. I came here looking for the half baked ideas section of the Phantom Tollbooth, thank you for that, it saved my typing fingers from having to type it out from the book! And have stopped to read some of your posts. Just in case you were wondering what I was doing here. Best wishes, Joanna

  4. jean

    he has to be a atheist,or he wouldn’t be hosting that show. i am sorry he has been mislesd.

  5. i feel sorry for all atheist.they are missing out.and they will surely miss out in the end.

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