Icons of Evolution
ColdWater Media
$24.95 (DVD), $19.95 (VHS)
50 minutes

Unlocking the Mystery of Life
Illustra Media
$24.98 (DVD), $19.98 (VHS)
65 minutes

Since its official launch in November 1996, the Intelligent Design movement has matured rapidly, like a teenager who outgrows his clothes every three months. As one who has followed the origins debate for nearly 20 years, I am convinced that a large part of the "persuasion" of Intelligent Design emerges not just from the specific arguments and evidences that it presents, but more in the narrative of the movement's history. Scientific facts are one thing; stories of converted Darwinists and persecuted id thinkers are another.

When I set out to write my Ph.D. dissertation on the "rhetorical history" of Intelligent Design (that is, how id proponents have argued their case over the years), I was struck by the magnetism of the stories that cluster around key leaders like Michael Behe of Lehigh University and Phillip Johnson of UC-Berkeley. My committee of professors at the University of South Florida (including two self-described agnostics) said that they too found these characters captivating.

Two high-tech video documentaries have now created, in effect, a sophisticated genre of "Design-telling." These two documentaries paint this story on a video canvas with a new degree of polish and intelligence.

The two videos complement each other well. Unlocking the Mystery of Life (www.illustramedia.com) develops all of Intelligent Design's major molecular-based arguments for an "intelligent cause" of life's complexity, and thus presents the positive case. Icons of Evolution (www.coldwatermedia.com), on the other hand, spotlights the problems of Darwinism: its censorship of key scientific ...

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