Flock of Dodos

 Reviews of and Responses to Randy Olson's Pseudo-Documentary

documentary:  Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film. A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration. 

propaganda:  The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause.

(Courtesy of The Free Dictionary)

Reflections by Sigemund

Three-Pronged Message -- Who are the dodos?

  • IDers, who are dumb but friendly and good at public relations. They are either naive or evil.
  • Darwinists and neo-Darwinists, who are the only true scientists, but are often plagued by a dearth of communication skills in their search for the truth.
  • American population, who are dumb and can only be communicated to by appealing to emotion or using mass media techniques.

False Information

Misleading Arguments 

Subtle Propaganda Techniques

We've listed a few of the propaganda techniques we were able to find in Flock of Dodos. Can you find any more?

Association (Transfer), Cardstacking, Stereotyping & Labeling

More information on propaganda techniques:

Propaganda List

Propaganda Techniques

Propaganda Techniques (Sourcewatch)

Common Questions

If a connection or statement Olson or Flock of Dodos makes is true, how can it be propaganda?

We've tried to point out in these information sheets that much of what Olson includes in his documentary is either an outright lie (such as in the case of Haeckel's embryo) or misleading (such as the argument from sub-optimal design). Nevertheless, it's important to remember that something can be true and still propaganda. According to the article on propaganda in  Wikipedia:

"The method of propaganda is essential to the word's meaning as well. A message does not have to be untrue to qualify as propaganda. In fact, the message in modern propaganda is often not blatantly untrue. But even if the message conveys only "true" information, it will generally contain partisan bias and fail to present a complete and balanced consideration of the issue."

Will you be adding to this site?

Yes, we will be adding more information sheets and relevent articles. We also plan to add a synopsis of the film.

Can I help? 

You sure can. Please let us know if you find a helpful review of Flock of Dodos. Also, Flock of Dodos will be screening at more places the next couple months, so if you've watched Flock of Dodos and notice a propaganda technique or an error we missed, please let us know. Email us at designparadigm@gmail.com with your tips.

Why did you make this fact sheet? Do you hate Randy Olson?

No, we don't hate Randy Olson, and some of us actually think he's quite a cool guy. However, we do find some of the truth twisting, falshoods and unsubstantiated stereotypes in his documentary a little troublesome. This is our little part in trying to add critical thinking to the dialogue concerning the film.