We were fortunate enough to watch the new creation documentary Dismantled over its free weekend last week. As such, we thought it was appropriate to review the film here. It has its good and bad points, but overall, its is a solid addition to any creationist’s library.
Dismantled is put out by Logos Research Associates, specifically Chris Rupe. Rupe appears in the film as well as helped make it, on a very small budget. Given the budget constraints Rupe and his team were under, Dismantled looks like a masterpiece. The documentary is largely narrated, with appearances from the experts periodically when relevant. The narrator feels vaguely like a David Attenborough knock off, but his voice is not annoying which, given how much he talks, is very important. The film is hosted by Rebekah Tadros, who I presume works for Logos as well as Rupe, but she adds little to the film and frankly, could have been dispensed with and no one would have noticed. She does so little, I almost wonder if she was added simply to provide balance, as Dr. Georgia Purdom is the only other woman in the film.
However, while the narration is a bit of a knock off and Tadros is wasted, the visuals are amazing. Rupe and his team have put together an excellent mix of videos and visual effects. You could just listen to the film and get most of it, but the visuals make the film so much better.
The film opens by explaining the difference between historical and observational science, as well as explaining how presuppositions influence our interpretations of evidence. The expert they cite is Dr. Jason Lisle, an excellent choice. Lisle clearly explains the difference between historical and observational science, as well as the importance of viewing the world through the lens of two different histories. Creationists and evolutionists have two different views of history, and thus come to different conclusions about evidence affecting the past. It is a slightly different twist on the worldview argument we make here at In His Image and one that is well presented and argued.
From history, the film migrates into biology, and challenges the evolutionists on the origin of life. Specifically, because many of the experts and drivers on the film are geneticists, they focus strongly on how difficult it would be for evolution to create DNA. This difficulty rules out any evolutionary scenario from a single celled ancestor.
From the origin of life, the film migrates into kinds. Thankfully, they avoid statistical baraminology. Instead, they bring in Dr. Georgia Purdom and discuss the changes in genetic information in the genome. As the film points out, it is impossible to get new genetic information in the sense of the information to produce a novel structure. This enables them to shuffle directly into beneficial mutations and one of the brightest minds in creation science: Dr. John Sanford. Sanford discusses supposed beneficial mutations and clearly demonstrates that beneficial mutations cannot produce upward evolutionary change. This section is one of the best in the film, even with the narrator talking more than Sanford.
This section also introduces Sanford’s brilliant concept of Genetic Entropy. Sanford points out that we are rapidly devolving ourselves into extinction. Selection simply cannot remove deleterious mutations fast enough to counteract the incoming mutations. Selection gets rid of the worst mutations and nothing more. The film makes Genetic Entropy clear and simple to understand, even for the layman.
The film then switches gears and goes into paleoanthropology. This is the weakest area of the film. The film raises the possibility that the Australopithecines might be a wastebin taxa, alongside Homo habilis. What this means, is that Australopithecines might never have existed at all. Instead, they might be made of multiple different taxa. Rupe speaks regularly in this section of the film. He is articulate, and well spoken, and raises some very interesting points from the evolutionary literature. There is no agreement within the literature about the Australopithecines. Some evolutionists think the taxonomic group is a multi-species jumble of bones, while others think it is valid grouping. They also introduce Dr. Rob Carter and he discusses the humanity of Neanderthals.
There is then a brief migration into the problems with radiometric dating. This section largely relies on Dr. Andrew Snelling. Snelling specifically discusses testable, repeatable, failures of the radiometric dating. It cannot be trusted to accurately date the age of the earth.
The last section of the film looks at genetic similarities between apes and humans. Here both Sanford and Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson take over, taking apart the evolutionary story of genetic evolution of man. As Jeanson points out, there are over 300 million DNA nucleotide differences between humans and chimpanzees. This gulf could not be overcome by evolution. It is simply too much change in not enough time.
The documentary then pivots back to Carter and discusses the possibility of a genetic Adam and Eve a few thousand years ago. Carter explains succinctly and clearly how Adam (really Noah) and Eve have been discovered by the evolutionists, and been co-opted to fit their out of Africa model. Carter, near the end of the film, points out something quite remarkable. The evolutionists are being forced by new discoveries to change their model. But the changes, are making the model more and more similar to the Bible, if you ignore the timescale they impose on the data. That alone should give creationists confidence that our model is strong, and evolution is in the process of being Dismantled by its own scientists.
Dismantled is a solid film. It conveys information clearly and largely accurately. Some of the information discussed is either new (at least to me) or uncommon in mainstream creation talks. For that reason,(plus the extensive reference section on their website), along with its excellent delivery, Dismantled is worth your time. The DVD is 19.95 on their website. If you have spare cash in this COVID economy and you want to learn, Dismantled is a good choice.
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