Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Flock of Dodos The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus|
Actor: Flock of Dodos
Director: Dr. Randy Olson
In a light-hearted take on the culture wars, FLOCK OF DODOS tweaks egos and pokes fun at both sides in the evolution vs. intelligent design debate. Evolutionary biologist and filmmaker Dr. Randy Olson rides along with jarg... more »
Irreverent Provocative Fun
Jedidiah Palosaari | Fes, Morocco | 05/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very insightful condemnation of Intelligent Design and the approach of evolutionists, with minimal humor, but a lot of fun. Olson takes a relaxed approach to this huge controversy, and teaches us a great deal in the process.
He tells the story with some of the style of Michael Moore, using dry wit, multiple interviews, and an overt agenda. He was an evolutionary marine biologist, a student of the great Stephen Jay Gould, who decided to go into film, and here looks at all angles of the intelligent design controversy and how it tries to attack evolution. The movie is short on content and long on entertainment, and that's for a purpose. The goal of the movie is to show how behind biologists are in public relations, and how much more they need to do.
The movie did this admirably. The evolutionists come across as either Ivory Tower scientists who can't relate to the public, or real prigs who you wouldn't want to drink with. The Intelligent Design folks are all pretty likable, but simultaneously really off when it comes to science, for the most part not knowing anything behind what they are saying. Olson wishes to point out this huge gulf between the facts and likability, and call scientists to a place where they can start to actually reach out to the public on a level that doesn't require four years of grad school to understand. The scientists are therefore the dodos in the film.
This movie's raised a lot of controversy because the Discovery Institute, based in Seattle and the leader of the ID movement, complained that they weren't consulted and that the movie is very biased against them, for instance making it look like their budget is 5 million instead of 4 million. Likewise the scientific community complained that the movie makes them look bad and that Olson is calling for them to dumb down their material. Yet Olson tried to use material indicative of the personalities, even excluding the comment that Behe made that he didn't care what was taught in public schools because his children don't attend them. This comment wasn't reflective of all of the rest of Behe's interview, and so therefore was excluded from the film. (It can be viewed, however, as an extra on this DVD.)
There are moments to smile at here, rather than laugh out loud. Some of the focus on the director's mom, Moose, was perhaps a bit irrelevant. But the film overall is a brilliant work, simultaneously condemning both sides, and calling for radical change in the way that science is presented- but in a light-hearted manner that few can effectively achieve on film."
Educational and interesting...
LARRY | Capitol Heights, MD | 06/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wow! I liked *Flock of Dodos*. You have to have an open mind to view this documentary on evolution and intelligent design. It is both educational and interesting. This film touches aspects of the debate that you may not have seen in the media.
What is the difference between evolution and intelligent design? What is the difference between intelligent design and creationism? If you don't know or not sure, then this is the one you need to watch.
It's interesting to see how much and how long these people have been fighting for what is to be taught in the schools, especially the Kansas Board of Education. It is amazing to see what people believe about the origin of life.
One camp believes in "teaching the science". The other camp believes in "teaching the controversy". So, one believes that presenting natural evidences (fossils, etc.) is the way to go in schools. The other believes that one should lay out pros and cons of each theories/approaches. The bigger question that this film presents is what exactly is intelligent design? And how is this really different from evolution or even from creationism?
This film touches on the state boards of education in a few cities, the Discovery Institute, scientists/evolutionists and their views, Christians, and other whatnots. For a film that is 1 and a half hour long, it is packed with information. You just have to watch it.
Now, Olson did a good job on the subject of intelligent design. There's just some parts of it that could have been edited out. I think that Olson tries to be like Michael Moore. The difference is that Moore has more balls to confront people. Olson tries to confront people but he ends up liking his interviewees even if he disagrees with him. Nothing wrong with that."
A Quality Film on a Difficult Subject
Guy Owen | Hyattsville, MD USA | 08/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I do not think that Mr. Olson comes down firmly on one side or the other in this film, even though he identifies himself as an Evolutionist. This is not the point of this film. He most definitely is not bashing anyone. Instead, it shows the difficulty that comes about when two sides have such a hard time even discussing such a topic. If anything, he takes the Pro-Evolutionists to task for not being able to clearly articulate their points of view to common folk.
I'm sure many of us have had good or bad experiences in discussing certain topics with family and friends. If we have a wide-enough group of contacts there must inevitably be the individual or group that you simply cannot continue the discussion with because you cannot understand how they could possibly think the way they do. This film shows why it is so difficult for Evolutionists to engage in a debate when they mostly feel there is no reason for a debate. And it is told with a great deal of sensitivity, respect and humor toward both sides -- especially endearing when he presents his own mother's points of view (the last scene of which left me chuckling for hours).
I am sorry, but I cannot compare Randy Olson to Michael Moore because I do not see where Mr. Moore shows any respect toward anyone who disagrees with him. Where Mr. Olson presents an engaging experience, Mr. Moore simply comes across as a smartass.
Upon watching this film, you may be surprised at how serious the divide on Intelligent Design and Evolutionism really is. Other than sound bites on TV, you may not even be aware that there is a group with $5 Million in funding geared toward promoting their point of view. Truly a fine bit of film-making!"
A Must See!
Carl | Springfield, Missouri | 10/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't usually feel the need to leave feedback, but Dr. Olson's poignant and clever documentary Flock of Dodos really got me thinking about things differently. Times when my perspective changes, or even shifts a little, are worth noting.
I am a high school biology teacher in a rather conservative town. I consider myself a Christian, but also believe that evolution and religion aren't at odds. As an educator, I am often frustrated that others in the field turn so many good, and yes, intelligent, people away from science because they refuse to acknowledge that much of the country and world do not hold the same set of beliefs that they do. Many of my students arrive in biology class opposed to hearing about Darwin because they have been raised to believe all scientists are atheists liberals. I have learned it takes patience, understanding, and tolerance to be effective and so many in science treat this sensitive topic without regard to other perspectives and values. Attacking someone's core set of beliefs is a losing strategy.
Dr. Olson's film is a masterpiece because he gets this problem across in an engaging way that resonates with me. Yes, many scientists are dodos when it comes to debate and exchanging ideas. You cannot hope to provide a convincing argument when you begin by being close-minded and argumentative. Flock of Dodos is fun, funny, and makes a statement about where we are as a nation. If we have any hope of evolving and moving forward by incorporating the best science into the average American experience, this film should serve as a wake up call.
I am online purchasing Flock of Dodos to show to my 9th grade students. They will laugh and my hope is that they will also think about things differently and even be more open to new ideas."