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You Know You're Doing Something Right When...

The trailer does not immediately fill me with confidence that director Mike Cahill's I Origins will be a huge hit. In fact, it received mixed write-ups after it premiered with other independent films at the Sundance Film Festival in January. It's supposed to be released on July 18 by Fox Searchlight. We'll look forward to it, good or bad, because the movie's themes daringly incorporate intelligent design, irreducible complexity, and the evolution of the eye.

That's right. Wired summarizes:

The words "molecular biology thriller" don’t come up a lot when describing movies, but director Mike Cahill’s I Origins aims to be different. The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this week, revolves around around the concept of "irreducible complexity," the argument put forth by proponents of intelligent design who believe some biological systems are too intricate to have evolved naturally. It’s not an easy concept to cram into a suspense thriller, but Cahill had a guiding principle: Make a movie compelling enough that even an evolutionary biologist or staunch atheist might stop and ponder.

In the film, a young molecular biology Ph.D. student named Ian Gray (Michael Pitt) is researching the development of the eyes -- organs often cited by intelligent design proponents as examples of "irreducible complexity" -- in an attempt to put the argument to rest forever. In the process, he discovers that eyes may not be the unique fingerprints we think they are, and may even have deeper and more ethereal purposes. The story is told from the perspective of Ian, a scientist and skeptic who was partly inspired by one of the most noted evolutionary biologists and staunch atheists in popular culture, The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins.

Again, who knows if this is going to be any good? All I can say is that when your scientific idea turns up in pop culture vehicles as various as Cosmos (where it's a target) and I Origins (where it sounds like ID may receive sympathetic treatment) -- interestingly, each from a different division of Fox Entertainment -- well, you're doing something right.

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