Flock of Dodos

Carl Zimmer in his excellent blog, The Loom:

Authorwebphoto2Last night I drove into New Haven, Connecticut, to catch an advanced screening of Flock of Dodos, a movie about evolution and intelligent design. Afterwards I took part in a panel discussion. It was an interesting evening, not only because the movie was quite good, but because it provoked a noisy discussion.

I don’t want to give away too much of Flock of Dodos, because I would prefer that a lot of people get a chance to see it for themselves. Randy Olson, the creator of the film, spoke after the film and explained that the version we saw was still a bit rough around the edges, and he’s getting ready to enter it into various film festivals and hopes to get distribution after that. I wish him well.

To be brief, then, Olson is a biologist-turned-filmmaker who got a bit baffled by the rise of intelligent design and decided to investigate, heading back to his native state of Kansas. He talked to school board members, intelligent design advocates, and evolutionary biologists. Olson’s a friendly, open guy who can share a beer with a creationist without getting it splashed in his face. But in all the laid-back conversation, he offers some pretty penetrating observations of the intelligent design movement. A creationist board of education member winks and smiles with a mix of flirtation and cynicism. An intelligent design advocate declares that all biology textbooks promote the lies of Haeckel about embryos and evolution, only to start paging through the textbooks in his office in a futile search to find any mention of Haeckel. A cardiologist who is one of the leading champions of intelligent design in Kansas doesn’t even know which scientific meetings he would go to present his research, if he had any research to present.

More here.