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Unlocking the Mystery of Life Review by Dawn Huffmaster

Illustra Media
Randolf Productions, Inc.
18005 Sky Park Circle, Suite #K
Irvine, CA 92614

Unlocking the Mystery of Life is a 65-minute documentary DVD on the topic of natural selection and intelligent design. It attempts to answer the age-old question of "How did we get here?" with concrete scientific evidence and information from top scientists in the field of biology. This DVD also includes 45 minutes of bonus features, such as frequently asked questions about Darwinism and intelligent design, a list of recommended resources for further study, and a video featuring wildlife on the Galapagos Islands. The documentary is recommended for public school, private school, and homeschool use with a viewing audience of age 10 to adult.

The theory of natural selection, introduced in print by Charles Darwin in 1859, makes the claim that living organisms and the changes in them happened over time and exist purely by chance. The theory of intelligent design claims that those organisms did not happen by chance but by a directed, purposeful order. The scientists in the documentary agree that Darwin had a good basis to explain small variations in various species, but they also agree that he failed to explain how the species originally came to be. They conclude that a study of the intricacies of cells, which are the smallest units of life, reveals that living organisms do not occur by happenstance. The documentary shows these intricacies with very detailed computer animations created from actual microscopic slides.

I enjoyed Unlocking the Mystery of Life very much, and I did not know much about the actual basis for the theory of natural selection or intelligent design before watching the DVD. It went above and beyond just explaining the theories and dug deep into why natural selection cannot be the "end all" in the explanation of biology, why intelligent design must exist, and that there is a creator to make it possible. As a Christian, I believe this by faith, but now I can back up my belief with scientific evidence and facts in a non-religious way to the secular community. The documentary is a bit slow and drawn-out in its presentation, so I agree with the recommended viewing age unless a child is very scientifically minded. The video is also very captivating with its beautiful backgrounds of wildlife, wonderful narration, and interesting information. The cost of $19.95 for a product that contains such extensive information about this topic is quite reasonable, and I give this product a hearty recommendation.

Product review by Dawn Huffmaster, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2010