LEWISTON – Both sides of the evolution debate will be addressed in a free showing of “Flock of Dodos: The Evolution – Intelligent Design Circus” Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Lewiston Public Library.

The provocative, award-winning film will be shown at 7 p.m. in Callahan Hall.

“Flock of Dodos” is the first feature-length documentary (84 minutes) to present both sides of the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution clash featured on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines in 2005.

The movie was written and directed by Randy Olson, an evolutionary ecologist with a Harvard Ph.D. who gave up a tenured professorship at the University of New Hampshire in 1994 to attend film school at the University of Southern California.

In “Flock of Dodos,” Olson visits his home state of Kansas, a hotbed of controversy on the topic. As the film unfolds, it seems that the problem lies with intelligent design – a movement labeled recently as “breathtaking insanity” by a federal judge – but when a group of evolutionists convene for a night of poker and discussion, they end up sounding like, as the film’s title alludes, a “flock of dodos.”

The film attempts to determine who the real “dodos” are in a constantly evolving world: the scientists who are failing to promote evolution as a scientifically accepted fact, the determinedly vociferous intelligent-design advocates; or the American public who get fooled by the “salesmanship” of evolution critics.

While Olson ultimately sides with the scientists who accept evolution, he gives equal air time to the opposition, including intelligent-design proponent Michael Behe and several of his colleagues.

This local showing of the documentary, funded by the Maine Humanities Council, is part of the yearlong “Darwin at 200” program, a collaboration between Bates College and the library commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of famed naturalist Charles Darwin, who set forth the theory of evolution.

“Flock of Dodos is a very unique film in that it has proponents from both sides of this debate fully laying out their viewpoints and doing so in an entertaining fashion, which ultimately allows the viewer to think through his or her own position on the subject,” said LPL Director Rick Speer.

The LPL is at 200 Lisbon St. For more information, call 513-3050.

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