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Reality Check: Oklahoma Darwinists’ “Gotcha” Moment at Cambrian Explosion Film Falls Flat

John G. West

According to a live-blogger at the Southwestern premiere of “Darwin’s Dilemma” earlier tonight, a Darwinist during Q and A challenged Stephen Meyer and Jonathan Wells by charging that the interviews in the film of noted paleontologists Simon Conway Morris and James Valentine (both evolutionists) were done a decade ago. “Are you aware that the interviews of Morris and Valentine were done 9 and 10 years ago?” the questioner asked. Apparently the implication was that the interviews were so old they no longer accurately reflected the views of Morris and Valentine. Except that the questioner was flat wrong. According to Illustra Media, with whom I checked tonight, the interviews were done specifically for this project in October and November of 2006—less than three years ago, not ten. And contrary to some other smears floating around on the internet, the interviews were open and above board. Both Morris and Valentine knew they were doing interviews for Illustra Media (previous producers of the pro-intelligent design films “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” and “The Privileged Planet”). Both men also knew that the interviews were for a film on the Cambrian Explosion. Both signed releases with Illustra allowing their interviews to be used. And both accepted payment for the interviews.

Question: Are Darwinists really so afraid of the evidence that this is the best they can muster?

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

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