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Icons of Evolution DVD Review by Heather Jackowitz

ColdWater Media, Inc.
PO Box 470
300 General Palmer Dr.
Palmer Lake, CO 80133

Icons of Evolution from ColdWater Media explores the fiery controversy over whether public school students should learn about the scientific debate concerning Darwin's theory of evolution. The video follows the story of a public high school science teacher who ignites a firestorm when he tries to show his students that there are scientists who disagree with Darwinism.

This 51-minute DVD explores common misunderstandings regarding the most famous "icons of evolution" which are included in most school textbooks, including Haeckel's embryos, Darwin's finches, homology in vertebrate structures, four-winged fruit flies, Darwin's "Tree of Life," antibiotic resistance, and the Cambrian explosion. In addition, a helpful explanation of the difference between microevolution and macroevolution will clear up these commonly misunderstood words.

Interviews with experts on both sides of the controversy are included throughout the video, and those who have seen the film Expelled will recognize a few faces. On one side of the controversy are dedicated Darwinists who worry that teaching students about the debate will confuse them and cast doubt on a theory that is accepted as fact by most scientists. On the other side are scientists who believe that there are weaknesses in the theory and that allowing students to learn about the scientific debate exemplifies the true essence of science. Those who would censor the debate claim that any doubt regarding the theory of evolution is based on religion, while those on the other side maintain that the debate is based on science. Many of these scientists have signed "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism," which simply states, "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

The DVD is easy to navigate and includes chapter selection. Two additional features are a list of ten questions to ask your biology teacher (assuming he or she is a committed Darwinist) and some answers to the most frequently asked questions about evolution.

My daughter did a research paper on this topic, and she and I waded through a lot of difficult books and periodicals to gather information. A good friend, who is one of the signers of "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism," recommended using mainstream academic science journals to document the debate. We were surprised to find a lot of disagreement among the so-called "scientific consensus" regarding many aspects of evolutionary theory. This video is an excellent introduction to the subject.

My only caveat about Icons of Evolution is that the conflicting statements from opposing sides were a little confusing to my younger children. I needed to pause often to explain who was who and to tell them "which side" they were on. However, my high schoolers had no problem keeping track of everyone.

Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial, says this about Icons of Evolution: "True science and freedom of thought are inseparable, but as this video shows, some scientists prefer power to truth."

Product review by Heather Jackowitz, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2009