Library Journal Reviews June 2003

Icons of Evolution; Unlocking the Mystery of Life; The Scientific Case for Intelligent Design


by Gary D. Barber

Icons of Evolution argues that standard textbook examples supporting Darwin's theories are taught uncritically in public schools, even though a growing number of respected scientists are beginning to question his tenets. The film focuses on a recent public school controversy in Burlington, WA. Roger DeHart, a high school biology teacher, taught evolution but included extracurricular readings from scientific journals that were critical of Darwin. After a parental complaint, DeHart was denied permission to continue this practice, was reassigned to other duties, and eventually went to a different school district. The film examines the major hypotheses ("icons") of evolutionary theory and provides scientific arguments that question their validity. Most of the scientists interviewed are critical of Darwin, while only a few argue for the widely held evolutionary viewpoint. The film concludes that scientists need to be open to new evidence that brings evolutionary theory into question and that high school students need to be aware of the current scientific controversy concerning evolution.

Unlocking the Mystery of Life is a visually stunning presentation of the incredible complexity of the human cell and its building blocks. Computer graphics illustrate cell mechanisms and how the mechanism will not work if any one component is missing. A group of scientists recently gathered to discuss intelligent design, an alternative to Darwin's theory. Among them was biochemist Dean Kenyon, who now questions his earlier theory on the chance arrangement of proteins. If chance is not involved, he asks, from where do the genetic assembly instructions come? Bonus features on the DVD include wildlife of the Galapagos, a Q&A by scientists on Darwin and design, a reference library, profiles of scientists and scholars, and Internet resources. While both titles can be useful in academic and large public libraries, Unlocking the Mystery of Life is broader in scope and highly recommended. - Gary D. Barber, formerly with SUNY at Fredonia Lib.

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information US

LOAD-DATE: May 29, 2003

LENGTH: 401 words

color. 51 min. ColdWater Media, LLC, 300 General Palmer Dr., PO Box 400, Palmer Lake, CO 80133; 800-889-8670; www.coldwatermedia.com. 2002. ISBN 0-9720433-0-6. $19.95; DVD $24.95 + $3.95 s/h. color. 65 min. Illustra Media, PO Box 2711, La Habra, CA 90632-2711; 888-897-6026; www.illustramedia.com. 2002. $19.98; DVD $24.98.BIOLOGY

File Date: 06.02.03