Arts, Culture & Media

A film of intelligent design & evolution

 The man who made the documentary film "Flock of Dodos," Randy Olson, has a few thoughts on why evolutionary thinking has run into  resistance.  He says it is because of the arrogance of scientists.  Olson himself is a scientist; a Harvard-trained evolutionary biologist firmly in the camp of evolutionary theory.  But, his film ridicules the attitude of scientists.  It also attacks the intelligent design movement, which Olson says is riddled with contradictions.

Player utilities

Listen to the Story.

The root of the scientists' problem, according to Olson, is their method of approaching those that oppose their views, as he learned in acting class.

"I used to be a scientist.  I got tenure at the University of New Hampshire.  I used to be an academic.  I used to walk around looking at people saying, 'you're all stupid.'  And I know what that perspective is like as an academic.

"Then, I changed my life; I moved to Hollywood and I ended up in a two-year acting program, and one of the things, the fundamental rules we learned in that acting program was 'never rise above.'  Whenever you rise above, in any given scene, the audience will always sympathize with the person being risen above."

In making the film, Olson discovered three voices in this debate:  the voice of the evolutionist, the creationists, and those that are still searching for an answer.  His mother was in the film, and falls into the latter category.

"The evolutionists feel that they have got it all figured out, the intelligent designers feel that they have got it all figured out, and all my mother keeps saying through the movie is, 'I have no idea what's going on, I am still searching.'"

Support PRI when you purchase the DVD "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus"

"To the Best of Our Knowledge" is an audio magazine of ideas - two hours of smart, entertaining radio for people with curious minds. More "To the Best of Our Knowledge"