Monday, February 12, 2007
I swear on the bones of Charles Darwin....
One evolutionist actually does say that in Flock of Dodos. In his defense, a) he is drunk, and b) he is very very angry.
Directed by Randy Olson, evolutionary biologist and two-time TA for Stephen Jay Gould, Flock of Dodos tries to understand why, what should have been game-set-match for the evolutionists, is running into tie-breaker after tie-breaker.
Olson thinks it is because most scientists are ugly, don't suffer fools, don't look good on TV, and couldn't speak in 'talking points' to save their lives.
Intelligent Design proponents, on the other hand, seem to speak only in talking points. Every ID fan Olson talks to raises the same arguments, such as, how just as anyone can tell that Mount Rushmore has to be intelligently designed, it is obvious that life too is, then some platitudes about irreducible complexity, and claims that biologists intentionally lie and mislead (picked from Wells' Icons of Evolution). On the other hand, they are always nice, never condescend, some even carry around helpful little photographs of Mt. Rushmore with them to make their point. The ones you get to meet are bearded old gentlemen or loving grandmas (all the bible thumpers having been pushed to the back pews).
Olson makes this point wonderfully when he asks a scientist (I forget who), "Their catchphrase is teach the controversy. What is your catchphrase?" The scientist is stumped, "Catchphrase?" Ultimately he comes up with 'Teach the Science', which is not so bad, if only someone used it.
The best part about Flock of Dodos is that it is constantly funny, never takes itself seriously, and remembers its own lesson and never condescends.
And yes, Happy Darwin Day.
If people remember your 198th birthday, that is a very special achievement.