The highly anticipated, comic and controversial feature documentary, "Flock of Dodos: the evolution-intelligent design circus," is the first feature film to take an even-handed look at the intelligent design vs. evolution clash that appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek in 2005. Filmmaker, scientist, surfer and evolutionary biologist Dr. Randy Olson explores the controversy over the teaching of evolution and the recently developed alternative, intelligent design. Olson, a native of Kansas, visits his home state and the community of Dover, Pennsylvania, which attempted to introduce intelligent design in science classes. Olson draws on basic aspects of evolution as metaphors, including the extinct dodo, which he suggests symbolizes what happens to those unable to change with their environment. Featured are seven top advocates for intelligent design, including Dr. Michael Behe, author of "Darwin's Black Box," fourteen evolution Ph.D.'s, a poker game among eight evolutionists, a ... Written by
I was lucky enough to go to a small screening of FOD at my college. Randy Olson was present at the end to discuss opinions and answer questions.
What struck me about this movie was how unashamedly it looks at pretension and ego in the scientific community today. Though ostensibly about the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design debate, this movie delves quite deeply into the levels of effective communication between scientist and layman. Anyone out there who's ever studied under a particularly brilliant professor will know exactly what I mean- they usually have quite earth-shatteringly amazing ideas and thoughts that they are woefully unequipped to communicate to the rest of us mortals.
The movie covers the Evolution/ID debate (and its theological implications) from a variety of perspectives, ranging from Conservative right-wingers to Athiest Liberals. To be entirely honest, I went in to see this movie with a preexisting bias- I am a student of Evolution and an Athiest. However, what I like about this movie is that it does not hide or suppress the opinions of either side, but lets them be heard. While my opinion on Evolution remains unchanged, this movie did uproot some prejudices in my mind relating to certain very common social stereotypes. Fundamentalist Christians are not necessarily scary bible-spouting messengers of doom, nor are scientists with an arsenal of PhDs necessarily the calm voice of reason.
Ultimately, Flock of Dodos is precise, to the point, and in a way- manages to do exactly what it asks the scientific community to do. It communicates a complex idea to the everyman without resorting to falsification or 'dumbing-down.' (9*/10*)
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