I finally watched the movie, Flock of Dodos. I thought it was actually quite good and filmmaker Randy Olson did a nice job of putting a human face on the sociological aspects of this whole debate. Olson, like all filmmakers, provides his own angle to the story, but it is clear to me that he makes a sincere effort to understand what is driving the cultural debate and wants to share this with his viewers.
So what is the main message that comes out of this film?
Olson acknowledges the value of intuition, yet argues that ID is largely stuck at the intuition stage. And I think there is a good deal of substance to this point. Olson also zeroes in on one aspect of the cultural aspect of the debate that has been neglected by others. After showing plenty of tape from scientists who are critical of ID and ID people, he drives home his basic message by asking, "Who would you want to play poker with?" The answer is obvious.
Overall, I think Olson over-estimates the PR savvy of the ID movement and slightly misses the target with the ID critics. Currently, many critics are wrestling with their "communication problem." Is it that scientists are too smart to effectively communicate or are people too dumb to follow along? Is the solution to come up with better ways to "frame" the issue or simply better education? Yet, IMO, the core problem stems from the manner in which the community of ID critics come across more often than naught as angry, uptight, mean-spirited, and arrogant people. Those attributes help only when you are trying to communicate with others who are angry, uptight, mean-spirited, and arrogant, helping to facilitate tribalism. But when it comes to the average person who does not share these emotions about this topic, those attributes are barriers to communication.
And in the end, I'm not sure that can be changed. Since most critics perceive all ID proponents as either being dishonest, stupid, or deluded, there is no mystery why the critics come across as being angry, uptight, mean-spirited, and arrogant. Such emotions are front-loaded by these stereotypes, as evidenced by the simple fact that these attitudes persist, and have even seemed to intensify, in the post-wedge world.