Friday, March 16, 2007

A Flock of Dodos hits US theaters

Transcript of today's show:

Are scientists losing the battle for evolution? Randy Olson’s biting documentary, ‘Flock of Dodos,’ leads the audience to believe they are. Although he’s an evolutionary biologist, Olsen’s film portrays those in the Intelligent Design movement as organized, appealing and interesting. The scientists in the film, despite their expertise and evidence, communicate their information with a dull, dry and academic flavor. Even though US courts have upheld the teaching of evolution, ‘A Flock of Dodos’ predicts that this war of ideas has just begun. [source: Flock of]

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
I saw a private viewing of this documentary in Kansas last year. A gritty, honest film that chronicles Randy's open-minded investigation of the rise of intelligent design as a contending theory to Darwinian evolution. He focuses on the activities of intelligent design advocates, particularly in the realm of school board debates and policy-making, where they want to slip in to the science curriculum. Many of my scientific colleagues (who take themselves far too seriously), will not be amused to witness the abysmal social and communication skills of the scientists who are featured in the film. I hope for their sake, they take a good, long look at how the scientists come off relative to the smooth, sound-bite delivery of the intelligent designers and creationists. Olson's film has piqued my growing concern that the intelligent design folks will slip through the average board member's B.S. detector because of their polished eloquence and apparent coherence.

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
I must confess: with great satisfaction, I giggled and howled at the buffonery of the scientists in this film. I pitied them too. They have far too long been unfairly glorified as ivory tower demi-gods who can do no wrong. These are not gentlemen. What effect might that have on the science they produce -- the facts they interpret -- and are so willing publish as truth?