FREE VIDEO: Buddy Davis Amazing Adventures: I DIG DINOSAURS!

Family / KidsBuddy Davis
26 min. / 2011
RATING 7/10

Buddy Davis is a musician, dinosaur sculptor, and children’s entertainer. In this children’s video Buddy invites along to go on a dinosaur bone dig to see how paleontologists find them and take them out of the ground, and then put them on display.

Davis really knows his stuff. Dinosaurs have long been promotional tools for evolutionists, but Davis will have none of that. He approaches the topic of dinosaur and their fossils from a thoroughly Christian, creationists perspective. In a number of instances he contrasts the biblical position with the evolutionary one. So, for example, he explains that fossilization doesn’t need to take millions of years – as he explains, they’ve even found fossilized teddy bears! And kids are also told about how elastic blood vessels have recently been found in dinosaur bones that shows they couldn’t possibly be millions of years old. These animals aren’t as old as they have been made out to be!

Our host is enthusiastic and energetic and keeps things hopping without it getting frantic. While I enjoyed this, I’d recommend it more as a kid’s video than family viewing. I mean, parents won’t be bored, but they likely won’t want to watch this as many times as their children!

I Dig Dinosaurs! is the first of four in the Buddy Davis Amazing Adventures series (so far) and it can be watched for free online here: www.answersingenesis.org/media/video/science/i-dig-dinosaurs/.

The others three episodes aren’t online, but you can buy them at www.answersingenesis.org/store/ (just search for “buddy davis amazing”).

This review was originally published on www.ReelConservative.com.

DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: Mount St. Helens: Modern Day Evidence for the World Wide Flood

Documentarydvd1
2012 / 36 minutes
Rating: 7/10

Thirty-four years ago Washington State’s Mount St. Helens blew its top. The eruption on the morning of May 18, 1980, knocked 1,300 feet off the top of the mountain, sending a massive landslide down its slope, clearing out a forest of trees, and washing out the lake at its base. For nine straight hours it put out the energy equivalent of about one Hiroshima-type atomic bomb every second.

The sheer power of this eruption makes it interesting, but this event is of particular interest to creation scientists like Dr. Steve Austin. The eruption scoured the area clean, but also lay down layers and layers of rock strata from the volcanic ash. The eruption also caused the creation of deep, new, instantaneous canyons, that – if we didn’t know better – looked to be many thousands of years old.

In other words, the Mount St. Helens eruptions showed that catastrophic events can rapidly create huge geological features. Dr. Austin shows how this has implications for the Flood, showing how it too could have rapidly laid down many layers of rock strata, and carved out even huge features, like the Grand Canyon. Just because its massive does not mean it took long to form!

I gave this a 7/10 rating, because it is well done, but I do want to note that if you aren’t already interested in this subject matter, this isn’t the sort of documentary that will just grab you. There is clearly a professional behind the camera, but overall the visuals are pretty tame (no computer graphics and no visualization of the actual eruption). So this is one you get for the fascinating information.

The DVD can be ordered at AnswersInGenesis.org and Creation.com or at FloodGeologySeries.com.

This post was originally published on www.ReelConservative.com.

Documentary review: LIVING WATERS

Documentary
69 minutes / 2015
Rating 8/10

This is one part nature documentary and one part evolutionary takedown. Illustra Media understand that a great way to expose evolution is to take a close in-depth look at some of the creatures that God has made. In Darwin’s day scientists didn’t have the ability to look inside the cell, and only had a glimmering of how incredibly complex even the simplest living creatures are. Now we know so much more – it turns out that even the simplest cell in our body has astonishingly complex and coordinated inner workings. Some have compared the complexity of a cell to the complexity of an entire city! In other words, the more we know, the more apparent it is that evolution can’t be so.

In previous films Illustra Media took a close look at butterflies (Metamorphosis) and birds (Flight). This time they have turned their attention to four maritime creatures: dolphins, sea turtles, pacific salmon, and humpback whales.

Time doesn’t allow a full detailing of just how awe-inspiring this investigation is. But I’ll give you a small sampling of what the documentary shares about the complexity of dolphins. These creatures can distinguish between a ping pong ball and a golf ball via echo-location. This is a form of sonar, and better than anything man has ever constructed. The dolphin’s sonar system can spot fish up to six inches under the sand and can find a BB at the bottom of a swimming pool.

Dolphins also have a complex air return system which allows them to make the high frequency sounds they need for echo location by blowing air past two sets of “phonic lips” and then recoup that air and redirect it back to its lungs. This air return system allows it re-use this air and to echo locate for more than ten minutes without needing to surface for air.

This is only scratching the surface of the dolphin’s complexity but this is already enough to expose the impossibility of evolution. The dolphin is able to:

  • make the sonic sound
  • focus and direct it
  • receive it
  • and, finally, have the ability to interpret and understand the signal they are getting back

All four of these elements are needed or else the system won’t work at all. So how could evolution – random mutation and natural selection – be responsible? The idea that all four elements evolved to be at the very same time is beyond fantastic. So too is the idea that they would evolve one after another and be selected for, despite having no function (despite having no evolutionary advantage) until all four are finally developed and the whole system is up and running. Evolution simply can’t account for systems such as this, which are so obviously and clearly designed.

Living waters is a remarkable documentary with wonderful visuals of all the creatures discussed. My pre-school children weren’t able to follow the discussion, but the close-up videos and computer animations kept their attention. Meanwhile their mom and I were stunned by the sheer brilliance and creativity of God!

I should add that while mention is made of an Intelligent Designer, He is never specifically named as the God of the Bible. That is disappointing, but every Christian watching this will most certainly give God glory. I can’t recommend it enough – this is a amazing look at some seemingly simple but incredibly complex creatures.

This review was originally published on www.reelconservative.com.

DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: “Flight” is a film that will have you praising God’s artistry

Flight: the Genius of BirdsFlight
Documentary
63 minutes, 2013
Rating: 9/10

I watched this with my three-year-old daughter and we had the exact same reaction: “Wow!” Flight takes a look at the design of birds and focuses particularly on hummingbirds, starlings and arctic terns, all of which have their “wow!” moments:

  • the starlings with how thousands of them can come together in giant, flexing, living clouds – we watched this section repeatedly, rewinding and then rewinding again!
  • the arctic terns in how they can migrate from one end of the planet to the other every year over vast tracts of featureless ocean.
  • the hummingbird with how its tongue works – it folds out! (See the video clip below).

While the hour-long film did tax the interest of my daughter – half way through she returned to her Lego – the next day she was asking to see the rest of it. The impressive computer graphics, and the continuous close-up, slow-motion, and wide-angle shots make this a visual feast. It is intended for adults, but suitable for, and enthralling for, children too – unlike some nature documentaries, this has no violence (no predator and prey shots) so it really is child-friendly. So whether three or one hundred and three, I really can’t imagine anyone not loving this. It would make a great video for any school, church library, or nature-loving kid’s (or dad’s) Christmas stocking.

I will note one caution of sorts: the thesis of Flight is that the intricacies involved in birds’ ability to fly gives evidence of a Designer. But the producers don’t specifically name the Designer; they don’t specifically give God the credit He is due. However what the producers don’t do, viewers are sure to – you can’t watch this without praising God!

This review was first posted to www.reelconservative.com where you can find more like it.

Free online video: Why a Young Earth is Not the Issue

The Six Days of Creation
Powerpoint LectureSix Days
50 minutes/ 2002

The debate over whether God really created in just six days might seem to about the age of the earth: is it thousands or millions and even billions of years old? But, as presenter Ken Ham shows, the real issue is one of biblical authority.

“You don’t get millions of years out of the Bible do you?” Ham asks. “I go to churches and sometimes they say: ‘We believe in the local flood.’ ‘We believe in theistic evolution.’ ‘We believe the day age theory.’ ‘We’re progressive creationists…who believe God created over millions of years and the Big Bang and so on.’ ‘We believe the gap theory.’ And then they say, ‘What do you believe?’ And I say, ‘What the Bible says.’ Because not one of those positions comes from the Bible. They are all imposed upon the Bible. And by the way, when you impose man’s ideas on the Bible, you know what you are teaching to generations in our culture? That you don’t have to take God’s Word as written; you can believe man’s word is infallible and reinterpret the Word of God. You are undermining biblical authority.”

That’s the real issue underlying the battle over Genesis. Later Ham notes he doesn’t even like to be called a “young earth creationist” because that makes it seems as if the earth’s age is the key issue instead. But the reason we need to have a proper understanding of the age of the Earth is only so that we can have the proper respect for biblical authority – if the Bible doesn’t mean what it says in the first chapter, then how can we trust it anywhere else?

Some of the points Ham addresses include:

  • what the word “day” means in Genesis 1 and the rest of the Bible
  • why so many Christians believe in an old earth
  • and the danger in believing an old earth

This is a very good lecture, as lectures go, so if you are interested in the material you’ll enjoy the presentation – it is a very good and thorough introduction to the topic. This has been circulating among several friends, and we’ve all appreciated it. However this is not something that will grab attention – it is simply a man at a podium with some powerpoint slides. So, a good one for adults who want to know more, but not really something for kids, or those only marginally interested.

You can buy it on DVD at  Answers in Genesis or you can watch it for free online, in 4 parts at: https://answersingenesis.org/media/video/age-of-the-earth/six-days-of-creation-a-young-earth-not-the-issue/

This review was first published on www.reelconservative.com.

DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: Spectacular introduction to evolution’s fatal flaws

Evolution’s Achille’s Heels
Documentary
2014 / 96 minutesAchilles
Rating: 10/10

I’ve watched this at least 5 times now, and many sections many more times than that. This is the best, most succinct, most content-dense, anti-evolution presentation I’ve ever seen!

That said, my first go-through didn’t leave me all that impressed. I was watching it while doing some paperwork, not giving it my full attention, and what I saw just seemed to be a bunch of interviews, lots of talking heads. It didn’t seem all that interesting.

But when I gave it another go and actually paid attention…. Whoah!

What the folks at Creation Ministries International have done here is, in one hour and a half presentation, boiled down all their very best arguments into the shortest possible form. That’s why I’ve watched it so many times already – I had to keep stopping, rewinding, and then listening to sections again, because so much of what these interviewees say in just a sentence or two is something that others have written articles and even whole books on.

For example, here’s a line from Dr. Donald Batten: “The survival of the fittest does not explain the arrival of the fittest.”

At first listen, this struck me as a great turn of a phrase, and it certainly is. But let’s hit the pause button and just think about all that’s being said here in just this one line. Survival of the fittest (AKA natural selection) is supposed to explain how species adapt and change: those with advantageous mutations will prosper, while those without will eventually die off. But survival of the fittest is a selective process – it picks the best out of the group. How then, does it work before there is a group to pick the best and brightest from? Natural selection is a key mechanism for evolution, but it doesn’t offer any explanation for how animals come to be in the first place! This one, short, ever so quotable line, points out a gigantic problem with evolutionary theory.

In addition to Dr. Batten, the documentary features 14 other PhD scientists, and together they highlight, as the title puts it, Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels. They cover a wide range of problems, grouped under categories that include:

  • the Fossil Record,
  • Genetics,
  • Natural Selection,
  • Cosmology
  • Radiometric Dating
  • the Origin of life
  • the Geologic Column
  • Ethics

I really can’t say enough nice things about it: from beginning to end this is brilliant, and as good an introduction to the problems with Evolutionary theory as you will ever find. The Dove foundation said, “If we could award Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels more than five Doves, our best rating, we would!” and I echo the sentiment.

You can rent it for online viewing at just $5 by clicking here or buy it on DVD or Blu-ray at Creation.com. There is also a book, of the same title, that would be of interest to anyone who wants to dig further into this material – you can find that at Creation.com too.

Movie Review: A courtroom drama, a romance, and a battle over creation vs. evolution

ALLEGEDAlleged
Drama / Romance
93 minutes; 2011
Rating: 8 / 10

Dayton, Tennessee is a small town in 1925, and too small for local reporter Charles Anderson who wants to make a big name for himself by going to the big city and working for legendary Baltimore Sun editor H.L. Mencken. His fiancee and coworker Rose is rooting for him, and when a legal battle in the town’s courtroom garners attention from the national media, it looks like Charlie may have just the news story he needs to grab Mencken’s attention.

Only, things don’t go quite how he was expecting. He does get Mencken’s attention, who is even willing to teach Charlie how to craft a news story. But this close-up tutelage lets Charlie see that his mentor won’t let a little something like the truth get in the way of a good story. Mencken is more than willing to make up a story if it will sell papers. Is Charlie willing to go that far to land the job he’s been dreaming of?

Setting

Though Charlie Anderson is fictional, the story’s setting is true. In 1925 an anti-evolution law that forbade the teaching of evolution in public schools was challenged in a Dayton, Tennessee courtroom. John Scopes, a high school teacher, was charged with violating the law by teaching his students about Charles Darwin’s theory.

The “Scopes Monkey Trial” pitted creationists vs. evolutionists and enlisted big name “stars”: the Scripture-quoting, Bible-believing, 3-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution; and for the defense, Clarence Darrow, infamous for his defense of two indefensible child-killing clients. These big names got the attention of one other: Baltimore Sun editor H. L. Mencken. His columns largely influenced how the trial was perceived by the public – while the creationists won the court case, Mencken made sure that the evolutionists won the publicity battle.

Cautions

The film is excellent, with only a few cautions to consider.

First, Charlie is drunk as a skunk in one scene, though his fiancee’s disappointment and disapproval makes this an object lesson in the idiocy of drinking to excess, so there’s not too much to object to on that point.

Also one character shouts “Hallelujah!” insincerely in a church service.

I should add, because the film teaches about the implication of Darwinian thought, there is a subplot that deals with eugenics. This is a topic that our older children need to learn about, but is also too much information for a younger audience that doesn’t yet need to know how horrible the world can be.

Conclusion

This isn’t the first film to depict the Scopes Monkey Trial. Three decades later the events of the trial were again fictionalized as a play (1955) which was then adapted to film as Inherit the Wind (1960). Both the play and the film presented creationists as ignorant, foolish, bigoted and even bloodthirsty (Inherit the Wind has the townspeople threatening to burn John Scopes!) and because the film was shown to generations of American public school children it has had a lasting impact on the way the creation/evolution debate is conducted. It can be given much of the credit for why creationist arguments are assumed to be ignorant and more often mocked than answered.

Alleged is an enjoyable counter to Inherit the Wind, presenting a much more accurate account of the trial. It could be enjoyed as an above average Christian romance, but the setting makes this more than a fun little film. The historical importance of this event means this is a film for just about anyone. It is educational and informative, yes, but also fun, romantic, generally light, and quite well acted. Highly recommend for older teens and adults it is available at Amazon.ca. This review was first published on www.ReelConservative.com.