This is the second time this year that the Schoolhouse Review Crew has allowed us to review a DVD from FishFlix.com. Previously, we reviewed Exploring Ephesus from FishFlix.com. This time we were sent the documentary movie, Living Waters: Intelligent Design in the Oceans of the Earth. Our family always enjoys learning about the wonder of God's Creation, but most documentaries do not have that Intelligent Design focus. Living Waters does.
First, I just have to say that Living Waters is beautifully filmed. The footage of the dolphins, sea turtles, Pacific salmon, and humpback whales are breathtaking. Actually, even the opening sequence of slow-motion water caught the attention of my 11 year old son from the moment it started. The animals caught the attention of both my 5 year old and my 16 year old daughters. My 5 year old wanted to watch the sea turtles over and over. My husband was as enthralled as she was, and very pleased with the entire documentary.
The movie begins by explaining the two different views of how life came to be. The Darwinian theory of natural selection and evolution is compared to the evidence of Intelligent Design throughout the movie. The documentary beautifully illustrates the way each sea animal is specifically designed for its aquatic life.
In the first section of Living Waters, we learn about the intricate nature of the dolphin's echo-location radar. The second section teaches viewers about sea turtles and the amazing internal compass and magnetic navigation system that helps them find their way from their nest to the feeding grounds and then back to the breeding ground years later. The third section discusses the Pacific salmon and their complex sense of smell, combined with magnetic navigation, that develops an internal map to lead them from the ocean, upriver, to the same spot they were born. Finally, the humpback whales and their beautiful song is discussed. Specifically, the debate over the origin of the humpback whale and the complexity of the male reproductive system.
Throughout the documentary, the amazingly complex nature of these systems is explained in detail. The fact that so many people believe these all happened through accidental mutations in just the right order to ensure the survival of these species is hard to fathom. Yet, that is what many scientists do believe and what is being taught in school. Living Waters makes the argument exceedingly well that these are all planned by Intelligent Design, a Creator who used the same navigational systems in many different animals (including the monarch butterfly, the red deer, geese, foxes, wildebeest, and hummingbirds).
Living Waters is incredibly well-made. The majority of the 68 minute movie is focused on the incredible nature of the four animals being discussed. The film footage of these beautiful animals in their natural habitats are wonderfully engaging. The computer animation footage used to show the complex nature of their bodies, their sense of smell, and their internal navigation systems are very clear and helpful. These factors all help the documentary to be enjoyable to the whole family.
The filmmakers let the animals' complex natures speak for themselves. The portion of the documentary that argue for Intelligent Design and against Darwinian evolution are brief. They manage to avoid being boring and to also keep their dignity by not falling into mudslinging tactics. Statistics, research, logic, and facts are used to show the improbability that these systems developed through accidental genetic mutation rather than by design.
Living Waters falls short of ever saying "God created the world and these animals". It uses the phrase Intelligent Design throughout the movie, to maintain its scientific focus rather than fall into a religious documentary. Intelligent Design is the name of the scientific theory that God created the world. Some of the scientists do refer to "an intelligent designer" ... and they weren't talking about ancient aliens.
This is the third film in Illustra Media's series of documentaries called The Design of Life. I would love to see the rest of the series. Living Waters is beautiful and lays out the argument for Intelligent Design with great care and respect. Its integrity and avoidance of using Scripture as evidence will help broaden its audience and its reception by skeptics.
If you have family members who are struggling to understand how Creation fits in with science, I highly recommend Living Waters and The Design of Life series. Living Waters is available from FishFlix.com for $13.99. You can also purchase the first two movies in the Design of Life series (Flight and Metamorphosis) in a combo-pack for $16.78.
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