Thursday, September 21, 2006


Flock to the Kansas International Film Festival

Dodos, rabbit poop, Mt. Rushmore, and poker, what more could you ask for to make sense of the controversy over the teaching of intelligent design versus evolution. In the words of one Kansas School Board member, "It's really quite boring, isn't it?" Filmmaker and evolutionary ecologist Dr. Randy Olson tries to figure out exactly who is the flock of dodos.

The Kansas International Film Festival will screen "Dodos" tonight at 7:15 pm at the Glenwood Arts located on the east side of the Metcalf South Shopping Center at 95th and Metcalf (913-642-4404

Ticket information can be found here.

One of the interesting things about Olson's film is that each of the screenings have been followed by a panel discussion featuring both proponents and opponents of intelligent design, and a question and answer session with the audience.

Tonight, the panel will feature high school students who have reviewed the film:

Ben Tannenwald, a student at Blue Valley North High School, says, “'Flock of Dodos' is genuinely surprising. Nearly everything you see, hear, or read about the evolution vs. ID debate is so heavily polarized and biased that you become disgusted after the first few minutes. Not only does “Flock of Dodos” present both sides, it doesn’t vilify either side, and the narrator keeps an open mindset and treats his guests and subject matter with admirable candor. For such a controversial issue, this was no doubt a major challenge."

Alexandra Espinosa, also at Blue Valley North High School, writes that “'Flock Of Dodos' is unlike any documentary you will ever see. In this comedic documentary, Randy Olson explains the controversy of whether to teach Evolution or Intelligent Design in public schools. Intelligent Design is the belief that an intelligent designer created the Earth and all of the organisms living in it because of their complexity. The Film takes what is usually a serious and confusing topic and makes it easily understood and extremely interesting. There is no need for viewers to be familiar with the concept of Intelligent Design or have a science degree to enjoy this amusing film."

Patrick Kelly, a student at Blue Valley Northwest High School, adds, “'Flock of Dodos' is a captivating satirical piece that puts the Kansas evolution controversy under the microscope. Though currently limited mostly to Kansas, the issue is highly relevant to the rest of the country, as it draws a distinction between science and religion, and stresses the concept of “separation of church and state”. Though of a fundamentally scientific nature, this film is able to hold the interest of even individuals who are indifferent to the epic moral battle, and is able to well inform those unaware of the issue. On top of this, the interest in the movie is amplified by the inclusion of cartoons."

Why not see the film and listen to what these kids have to say during the panel discussion afterwards?


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