Creation 37(1):18–20, January 2014
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Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels
A unique new book and DVD expose evolution’s fatal flaws
Lita Sanders chats with producers Dr Robert Carter and Gary Bates
As part of a ground-breaking new project, in July 2014, CMI released a book called Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels (EAH). A 96-minute documentary of the same name subsequently premiered on 17 October. Using real science, the project aimed to highlight fatal flaws in what are the perceived ‘pillars’ of evolutionary theory.
From the beginning, co-producer Dr Robert Carter envisioned this project making a unique contribution to CMI’s range of resources. He says, “We are often responding to evolutionary claims and having to defend attacks on biblical creation. But I thought, ‘Why not move the ball into their court and challenge evolution’s most basic tenets?’ What we show is that the alleged strengths of evolution utterly fail at a foundational level.”
CEO and fellow co-producer Gary Bates explains, “Most people blindly accept these assumptions as being true because it is all they are ever taught. It’s very easy to convince someone of something when you only give them one side of the story. EAH is about correcting these half-truths.”
A groundbreaking book
CMI has more Ph.D. scientists than any other Christian ministry we know of. So Robert and Dr Carl Wieland selected seven subject areas that underpin evolutionism (Natural Selection, Genetics, the Origin of Life, the Fossil Record, the Geologic Record, Radiometric Dating, Cosmology), and added an eighth, the area of Ethics. They then chose Ph.D. scientists in the ministry who were well-qualified to submit chapters for the book. This high-quality paperback is printed in full colour with beautiful photographs and diagrams. It received an unprecedented reaction from creationists worldwide before it was even printed, with close to 2,000 pre-orders. Only days after it was released, positive feedback started pouring in. H.D. from Australia wrote:
“I just finished reading Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels and wish to congratulate the writers of this outstanding book. It is a comprehensive strike against the evolutionary paradigm, yet in a precise and concisely written manner.”
A massive collaboration
The EAH documentary was a challenge on a larger scale than any in-house project CMI has undertaken to date. Producers Gary Bates and Robert Carter flew a team to Australia to interview CMI scientists. They also brought in specialists from outside the ministry, as well as using previously-unseen footage from CMI’s last major documentary The Voyage That Shook the World. In total, 15 Ph.D. scientists from 7 countries appear in EAH.
Aside from presenting powerful arguments, they demonstrate that scientists can be Bible-believing Christians, who can do real science while rejecting evolution. For example, John Sanford, a retired professor from Cornell University, invented the biolistic gene gun that has been used in creating many genetically modified crops.1
Physicist and cosmologist John Hartnett designed the world’s most super-precise atomic clocks for use in satellites.2 And Horace Skipper developed several products for a major agriculture company and was head of faculty at an American university.3
Gary explains, “The average person tends to be intimidated by the evolutionary arguments of Ph.D. scientists, because who are we to judge the experts? This is why it is so effective to have creationist Ph.D. scientists exposing evolution’s fatal flaws. And these are people with doctorates from secular universities, just like their evolutionary colleagues. It also demonstrates that believing in evolution is not about the scientific evidence, because we’ve shown that science does not support it.”
For example, evolutionists must believe that simple chemicals somehow spontaneously formed themselves into complex molecules and eventually the first cell from which all life on earth evolved. But EAH uses stunning animations to show that everything we do know about science shows this to be impossible.
EAH also takes on cosmological evolution—the untenable idea that the universe came out of nothing. The scientists interviewed show that the big bang is fatally flawed and invokes concepts that are actually unscientific. For example, the ‘inflationary period’ has to begin for no reason, stop for no reason, and the inflation itself violates the known laws of physics. And to try to make today’s big bang model work, scientists have to say that 96% of the universe is composed of mysterious ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’—entities which have never been observed.
Our hope is that this book and documentary will find their way into the hands of college students and other scientifically-minded young people. As Gary says, “By the time a teenager goes to college, they will have been exposed to hundreds of hours of evolutionary propaganda in school and via the media. It is vital that they hear the whole story, including the weaknesses of evolution and the creationist alternative.”
Because EAH covers many complex concepts, good illustrations are important to make the concepts understandable. In addition to the unused Voyage nature shots mentioned above, and purchasing stock footage, we engaged a professional 3D animator to create 25 brand-new animations of things such as DNA breakage and the nuclear decay that occurs within zircon crystals (if you don’t know why this is significant, read the book or watch the movie!).
A 45-minute science documentary can easily cost around $1.5 million. We strove for the quality of such a ‘big-budget’ production, but produced EAH for a fraction of that cost. One cost-saving measure was to do most of the work in-house, including the filming, recording, and editing of the documentary.
When the pre-release trailer appeared on YouTube, it attracted thousands of ‘dislikes’ after being mentioned on Richard Dawkins’s website. The producers saw this as a good thing: “It shows that people are paying attention to it. Hopefully, if their curiosity is piqued enough to watch it, they will be challenged when they hear real scientists blowing holes in their cherished belief system.”
One atheist blogger offered to pay for his readers to go to the world premiere in Atlanta, in return for providing a review of EAH for his website. That premiere was sold out, including some tables sponsored by donors for pastors to come and view the documentary. Attendees enjoyed a banquet dinner and heard from the producers about the project. EAH also had premieres in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The attendees were overwhelmingly positive about the documentary, and the film’s powerful closing Gospel presentation actually moved some to tears.
The documentary also received the Dove Foundation’s ‘Faith Friendly’ seal and highest ranking; the reviewer noted, “If we could award Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels more than five Doves, our best rating, we would! This is an intelligent and remarkable look at the holes in the theory of evolution”.
A humbling experience
Gary and Rob both stressed the vital importance of those who supported the EAH project at all stages of production. Gary said:
“It’s often very difficult to convey to our brothers and sisters in Christ just how much we need their support for projects like EAH. For example, the brilliant animations used in the film to convey some of the more difficult concepts would reasonably have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, a very talented Christian animator worked sacrificially with us because he believed in the aims of the project. It still cost many thousands of dollars, but due to donor support we were able to look for such outstanding, professional outside help. Quite simply, without their generous support, EAH would never have seen the light of day.”
Other important contributors to the project were of course the scientists who wrote chapters for the book and appeared in the documentary. Robert said:
“Without the cooperation of my colleagues at CMI and the other scientists who gave their time to collaborate with us, this idea would never have become reality. I am amazed at the talent and dedication that so many put into producing Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels. Their participation helped make it a resource that I believe will have a huge impact in removing the evolutionary barriers to the Gospel for many.”
In short, we hope that this becomes a widely used tool for the advancement of the Gospel; that by showing the scientific and moral bankruptcy of evolution, it will make people more willing to listen to the real explanation of the universe—the Creator’s account in Genesis. Gary concluded, “It’s been a huge emotional investment for all of us. But finishing the project is actually just the beginning. Because we’ve taken the game to a new level, now watch the sparks fly!”
References and notes
- See creation.com/sanford. Return to text
- He is also a research professor at Adelaide University in South Australia; see creation.com/hartnett. Return to text
- Clemson University in South Carolina; see creation.com/skipper. Return to text
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