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Programming of Life 2 Earth DVD Review by Laurie Gauger

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So, allow me to get right to the point. Are you a young Earther, or an old Earther? Now there is a question that is guaranteed to get people out of their seats, and on their feet in a matter of minutes, possibly seconds. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned folks can come across in such a harsh, often angry manner, that conversation is shut down as people become set on having their opinions heard. When the review of this DVD,  Programming of Life 2 Earth, became available, I assumed that it would be a general documentary about the way that this planet holds together and functions. I didn’t realize that it would focus as much as it does on the question of evolution. Regardless, I was determined to watch with an open mind.

Alright, I will be honest and say that when the word evolution came up, and I heard, “Billions of years ago...”, or something to that effect, I wanted to roll my eyes. My faith is very important to me, and without a doubt, I believe in the Great Designer. I am glad that I did not tune out at that point however, because as I continued to listen, it became apparent that this was not a one-sided film. This DVD presents some of the more popular theories regarding the origins of planet Earth, with the intention of encouraging people to think and discuss, rather than blindly follow this theory or that theory. One of the best quotes that one of the scientists featured in this DVD said something to the effect of, “A person isn’t free to employ critical thinking until they are allowed to hear different perspectives on an issue.” Interestingly enough, that was the very quote that stuck with my twelve-year-old daughter, as she recounted it to my husband after watching.

This DVD arrived in a cardboard sleeve, and is about thirty-five minutes long. There are nine video “chapters” in this film. Subjects that are covered are:

- Chemicals of Life
- Natural Laws
- Models of Origin
- Probability of Life
- Evolution vs. Fragmentation
- Junk DNA
- The Fossil Record

Have you ever stopped to consider the complex systems that allow Earth to flourish? To borrow a phrase from this film, we stand on a “razor’s edge” regarding the delicate balance that keeps life sustainable on our planet. Look at the proportions of elements that remain right at the levels required to allow us to breathe. Or consider the distance that the Earth maintains from the Sun, to keep us from freezing, or burning up. These, and so many other subjects are presented and sometimes disproved, as we attempt to wrap our minds around the origins of Earth.

This DVD does a pretty effective job at staying neutral. It does not portray itself as coming from a specific train of thought. Rather, while it does reveal evidence that disproves certain theories, Darwin’s theory of evolution, and Junk DNA for example, the main purpose seems to be to spark discussion. Again and again, the theme of critical thinking comes up, and the necessity of that aspect.

I watched this film with my twelve and fourteen-year-old daughters. At approximately thirty-five minutes long, this was the perfect length to keep them engaged without becoming restless. It was refreshing to find a science resource that stayed neutral, presented different theories, and encouraged viewers to decide for themselves what they believe. There was no forcing of an opinion, condescension or other negative attitudes toward a particular audience. As I have previously said, this offers a neutral perspective, and so is a good choice to view with those who have opposing viewpoints. Programming of Life 2 Earth has the potential to open up a good dialogue for folks. I recommend this DVD.

-Product review by Laurie Gauger, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018