Flock of Dodos’ False Assertions

Showtime Networks will air filmmaker Randy Olson’s fanciful evolution film Flock of Dodos this week, apparently not realizing that key parts of the film are so wildly inaccurate that they amount to a hoax. In response, Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman has sent a letter requesting air time to respond to the film’s various false claims.

Flock of Dodos makes a number of false assertions about scientists and institutions researching the theory of intelligent design, and has drawn fire from scientists and scholars for its misrepresentations and outright inventions. Discovery’s Center for Science & Culture (CSC) has launched a webpage,, detailing the false facts in the film.

Discovery Institute sent a letter last week to Showtime Networks Chairman and CEO Matthew C. Blank outlining just a few of the film’s numerous errors. Perhaps the most outlandish error is the claim that modern biology textbooks have not used illustrations derived from Ernst Haeckel’s fraudulent 19th century embryo drawings as evidence for evolution. Contrary to Olson’s film, these bogus drawings that misstate the evidence for evolution have been endlessly recycled in modern textbooks, a fact that even a noted evolutionist like the late Stephen Jay Gould admitted. Yet Olson tries to convince viewers that critics of Darwin’s theory have been lying when they claim these drawings are in textbooks. But it turns out that he’s the one telling fibs.

“Olson apparently didn’t look at many textbooks for himself, because these diagrams unquestionably have been used in modern textbooks, as we have documented extensively in textbook reports and online,” said attorney Casey Luskin, CSC’s program officer for public and legal affairs. “In fact, we even showed the textbooks to Olson, but he refused to correct his film, preferring to keep hoaxing his audiences. Now he’s trying to hoax Showtime’s viewers as well.”

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