Unlocking the Mystery of Life. 60 minutes. Focus on the Family, 2002.
Icons of Evolution. 60 minutes. Focus on the Family, 2002.
The evolving theory of evolution has never been without its critics. But there seems to have been a flood of critical assessments of Darwinism in the past two decades. Some of the most telling blows against Darwinism are coming from an exciting new intellectual movement known as Intelligent Design (ID).
Intelligent Design thinkers posit that there is just too much evidence of complexity, design and purpose in all of nature to be properly explained by traditional Darwinian theory. The idea that all the diverse complexity of life can be explained by natural selection, a single origin, and time plus chance, just does not seem as plausible any longer.
Thus a number of important thinkers, scientists and philosophers have been challenging many of the key tenets of Darwinism. These include Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, Paul Nelson and David Berlinski, a number of whom appear in these videos.
These two videos are a companion set, with much overlap in information and argumentation. Both look critically at the theory of evolution and both highlight the emerging rival to the neo-Darwinist framework, Intelligent Design.
The major themes of the ID movement are laid out in Unlocking the Mystery of Life, with some of the major weakness of neo-Darwinian thought exposed, and the compelling arguments for intelligent, purposeful design advanced.
The other video, Icons of Evolution, is largely based on Jonathan Wells’ 2000 book by that name. In it he looks at major textbook examples of Darwinism and finds them to be wanting. They are either exaggerated or misleading cases for evolution, and some are actual deceptions.
For example, science textbooks almost always offer as proof of Darwinian theory the “great Tree of Life” illustration. This picture of a many branched tree was meant to show how all organisms we find today descended from a single origin of life. A slow steady advance from the most simple of life forms to the highly complex and diverse scenario we see today is how Darwinism explains things. Yet the evidence just does not bear this out.
The so-called Cambrian explosion is a major blow to this idea of gradual evolution. It shows us that most major life forms appeared suddenly and in close chronological proximity. Most of today’s living organisms came from this period. And the fossil record of course continues to be elusive in terms of finding the necessary transitional forms which Darwin’s tree suggests.
Both videos examine only the scientific evidence. There is no biblical or theological argumentation whatsoever to be found here. Both simply look at the evidence and examine it on its own merits. And the conclusions push in the direction away from Darwinism, not to it.
Thus these videos are ideal for classroom use and in any secular forum. They do not make their case on any religious or philosophical presuppositions, but instead rely on the recent findings of science.
For those wishing to know more about the debates raging over Darwinism, these two videos are the perfect place to begin.