FF: This evening(thursday) I’ll be participating in a panel discussion at Villanova University. The topic is Randy Olson’s film “A Flock of Dodos”, which explores the roots of the intelligent design movement.
Higgs and I watched it together the other night and both gave it high marks for journalistic integrity. But Higgs had one quibble with the film. He felt it perpetuated a prejudice against dodo birds.
Higgs: I enjoyed the film “A Flock of Dodos” very much. The filmmaker did an excellent job of taking ID proponents to task for repeating false information. But I didn’t think the film did enough to dispel one of the most common misconceptions about evolution. Many people wrongly assume that animals go extinct because they are incapable of evolving, or they’re primitive, obsolete or stupid. This is not the case at all: Most of the organisms thriving on the planet don’t even have brains.
Dodos have become synonymous with these unfortunate stereotypes. But the truth is they didn’t die out because they were dumb or incapable of adaptation. They were, like many wild animals, not compatible with humans and domestic animals.