July 29, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

History Channel Airs Evolve

A new 13-part series on the History Channel, called Evolve, begins with an episode on the evolution of the eye.  To sell the story, the blurb needed to cast Evolution as an inventor:

They are one of evolution’s most useful and prevalent inventions.  Ninety five percent of living species are equipped with eyes and they exist in many different forms.  Learn how the ancestors of jellyfish may have been the first to evolve light-sensitive cells.  Discover how dinosaur’s evolved eyes that helped them become successful hunters.  Finally, learn how primates evolved unique adaptations to their eyes that allowed them to better exploit their new habitat, and how the ability to see colors helped them find food.

Evolve seems to be used as a verb here.  If dinosaurs evolved eyes, and primates evolved color vision, were they doing it with purposeful intent?  Did they know how to commandeer the mutations necessary to give natural selection the raw materials on which to tinker, in order that the required function for survival would emerge?  This would certainly not represent the new-Darwinian view.  The terminology seems misleading.
    The series relies heavily on CGI animations.  These, however, depend on the imaginations of current-day people – not historical records.  History used to be defined in terms of written records.  Since this subject matter lacks written records, maybe the channel should be renamed the Prehistory Channel.  The hour before also contains an animated episode set in prehistory from the series Jurassic Fight Club about a supposed cannibal dinosaur.  Perhaps as a bow to those who respect written records, though, is the episode following Evolve.  It is entitled “Noah’s Great Flood” from the series Mega Disasters.  The film treats the Biblical story as myth, however.  It popularizes the theory of Ryan and Pitman that the Noah legend grew up out of a theorized historical megaflood restricted to the Black Sea region (see 04/06/2002).
    Illustra Media has been a leader in exploring the origin of life and complex organs from the alternative intelligent design perspective.  Readers familiar with Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet may not be aware that they have also produced films about history for which there are written records: about Jesus Christ and the Exodus.  Their titles have just been gathered into one website at ApologeticsDVDs.com.
    Speaking of history on an unrelated topic, space program buffs will get a thrill out of finding “the most comprehensive compilation ever of NASA’s vast collection of photographs, historic film and video” at NASAimages.org.  The collaborative website between Internet Archive and NASA was launched July 24.

Evolution thrives on visual propaganda and the power of suggestion.  Animation fills in the holes in their story.  Don’t be fooled.  Carl Sagan weaved animation tricks decades ago in the Cosmos TV series.  In one of the most egregious cases of visual propaganda for evolution ever shown, his animators depicted a single cell morphing into one animal after the other, till the final output was upright-walking man.  The number of conceptual, evidential and philosophical obstacles he leaped over in a single bound makes Evel Knievel look like a pogo-stick rider.  OK, Carl, if you want to play the Imagination game, even Homer Simpson can do a better job evolving than that.  And Guinness Beer at least got the direction of evolution right.

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Categories: Intelligent Design, Media

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