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
Lucid & Intelligent Analysis of the Loonies Who Believe in Intelligent Design
"Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus" is a film which debunks the claims and myths promoted by those who are proponents of the Intelligent Design movement- a movement that is essentially revealed to be a modern "re-packaging" and politicization of the Creationism movement that is central for the religious right. This time being brought to the forefront by marketing the evolution vs intelligent design "controversy" (and I use this term lightly) as a theoretical debate- one half based on science and understanding nature...the other based on well...nothing, except some extremely flawed (laughable even) logic. It's an all around intelligent, humorous and entertaining film that has been made in vain of the ever growing do-it-yourself documentary regime.
It was made by Kansas-born evolutionary biologist turned filmmaker Ralph Olson , whom I personally like a lot- looking forward to seeing more from him. He is extremely intelligent, witty, and always succinct in a way even the layman can understand. He's also confrontational with a bit of charm, making him more palatable to the less tolerant, when compared to someone like Michael Moore. And most of all....he knows what he is talking about.
Being born and raised in Kansas, he's familiar with the culture which is acting as the home front for both the Creationist and Intelligent Design movements' attack on Evolution. Graduating from Harvard with a concentration in cellular biology, has also put him in a privileged position to analyze and criticize such a subject.
The concept of the film is to root out who the "Flock of Dodo's" really are- those using the US Constitution to politicize and force upon the masses the teaching of Intelligent Design alongside Evolution as a possible alternative to the theory or the counter-revolutionary Evolutionists attempting to quell them? Olson goes through the history of the Creationist/Intelligent Design movement from it's birth, showing how the anti-darwinist, anti-scientific, anti-intellectual ideas of a man named Thomas Henry Huxley have grown into something societally destructive. The film reveals how "God" has been relegated to the ever-narrowing gaps that modern science has yet to explain.
Some of the commenters on IMDb were making this film out to be a "fair and balanced" look at the Evolution-Intelligent Desgin debate.....but it's not...the film is clearly pro-evolution, as it should be. What it is, is a subjective look at the debate- one man's memories weaved cinematically into a film that enlightens and entertains those who are lucky enough to view it.
Olson narrates the film himself and is often on camera (as you may have picked up)- both alone and when questioning others. He even uses his mother, not only for opinion, but as a source to some of the top people in the Intelligent Design movement (as the one man was now her neighbor). He interviews numerous professors from top universities versed in the theoretical and practical study of Evolution, some of the major people forcing elements of Intelligent Design through the political process (not Bush, though he is discussed- but mostly the major players in the highly publicized Kansas controversy where the schoolboard tried to force teachers into teaching Intelligent Design), the lawyers fighting these battles in the courts, and some high-profile scientists and authors from both sides of the argument. Olson thus does, though, while always remaining pro-evolution, provide detailed information concerning the arguments and criticisms made by both parties. So I suppose it is fair in that sense.
Worth a watch. 6 out of 10
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