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Unlocking the Mystery of Life

4.5 out of 5 stars 204 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1859, Charles Darwin published, On the Origin of Species . In it, he argued that all of life on earth was the product of undirected natural processes. Time, chance, and natural selection.

Since Darwin, biologists have relied on such processes to account for the origin of living things. Yet today, this approach is being challenged as never before.


"Unlocking the Mystery of Life" is the story of top-notch, contemporary scientists who are advancing a powerful idea -- "the theory of intelligent design."

Using state-of-the-art computer animation, "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" transports you into the interior of the living cell to explore systems and machines that bear the unmistakable hallmarks of design. Discover the intricacy of a microscopic bacterial rotary motor, which spins at 100,000 rpm.

Within the nucleus explore the wonder of DNA, a thread-like molecule that stores instructions to build the essential components of every living organism. It is part of a biological information processing system more complex and more powerful than any computer network.

This compelling documentary examines an idea with the power to revolutionize our understanding of life... and to unlock the mystery of its origin.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Review

The science is solid and the computer animations are superb. Unlocking is a great film. --Philip S. Skell, Ph.D., Member, National Academy of Sciences, Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University

Outstanding computer animations. Some of the best Ive ever seen. I am a cell biologist and I want to congratulate you. --Marvin J. Fritzler, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Calgary

This video does an excellent job of presenting some of the hot issues in modern biophysics. In recent years we have begun to really understand how the machinery of the cell works and no physicist who has studied this field can avoid a sense of amazement at the delicately balanced designs. --David Snoke, Ph.D., Co-Director Nanotechnology Center, University of Pittsburg

Outstanding computer animations. Some of the best Ive ever seen. I am a cell biologist and I want to congratulate you. --Marvin J. Fritzler, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Calgary

This video does an excellent job of presenting some of the hot issues in modern biophysics. In recent years we have begun to really understand how the machinery of the cell works and no physicist who has studied this field can avoid a sense of amazement at the delicately balanced designs. --David Snoke, Ph.D., Co-Director Nanotechnology Center, University of Pittsburg

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Behe
  • Directors: Lad Allen
  • Writers: Lad Allen
  • Producers: Lad Allen
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Illustra Media
  • DVD Release Date: August 4, 2010
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KLDW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,373 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having followed the intelligent design movement since its inception, most of the material in this video was not new to me. However, the depictions are apt and really awe-inspiring--especially those in the last one third of the video. When you see a computer simulation of specified complexity at the molecular level, it sticks in your consciousness. Sheer dumb luck could not have done this.
I have seen this presentation three times. Each time I am impressed with the comments of the experts and the care in which the challenging material is presented. The subject is approached in a calm and scientific manner. The audio clips are long enough to explain tough concepts. Especially telling is the interview with Dr. Dean Kenyon, a pretigious scientist and author who eventually gave up on chance and necessity as the parents of human life--and this after defending it in a well-received volume called "Biochemical Predestination." He marvels at the nature of life and argues that a mindless universe could not have generated it.
In an age awash with stupid, pointless, and sensational vidiocy, this video presentation stands out as a unique and important achievement for the young intelligent design movement. One can learn much from it about some things that truly matter.
When I showed "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" to my class at Denver Seminary, the students spontaneously applauded at the end. Just to add an emotive comment, it gives me goosebumps.
But please don't just view this, read about the intelligent design movement: Phillip Johnson, "Darwin on Trial," William Dembski, "Intelligent Design," Thomas Woodward, "Doubts About Darwin," and many others.
Douglas Groothuis
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is great in every way:

1. It makes a compelling case for intelligent design. The "outboard motor" design in the bacterial cell itself makes the point; the DNA replication is absolutely awe-inspiring. The argument of recognizable patterns (with low probability of such patterns occurring by chance) is simple but forceful and consistent with human logic.

2. The production and computer animation are top-notch.

3. It is understandable to the average person, yet challenging to the intellectual.

This DVD has many potential uses:

-provoking the natural evolutionist to consider other options

-opening minds that are stuck in 1970's thinking

-as an apologetic to friends considering the existence of an Intelligent Designer

-as an educational tool to discover the wonders of DNA and even simple life

The DVD lasts about 65 minutes and can easily be divided into shorter segments to view it as a serial. Some extra features at the end highlight the wonder of some creatures found on the Galapagos and interviews with several "intelligent design" scientists.

Of course nothing will move someone who is entrenched and determined not to budge; but to the open minded, this DVD is thought provoking.
8 Comments 90 of 111 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Although more people would by the VHS Video version, click on the Amazon DVD version for additional reviews.
Unlocking The Mystery Of Life refers back to Darwin's writings of one hundred fifty years ago and leads us through recent discoveries of the complexity of cell functions and components. Along the way we have Dr. Dean Kenyon who in the 1960's had written the definitive work on the chemical version of evolution, that has been widely used in colleges and graduate schools. Kenyon's textbook was "Biochemical Predestination". Given the scientific discoveries in molecular biology and genetics of the last twenty years, Dr. Dean Kenyon and other scientists in this video (Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Scott Minnich, Paul Nelson, and William Dembski) have completely discarded Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
Two examples of Darwin Theory's failure given in the video are the thousands of different complex molecular machines that interrelate in the cell's manufacturing processes as well as the detailed programming instructions for those machines.
The video uses computer-generated animation showing the building of these machines from amino acids into proteins, and finally the particular machine structure and function itself. The machine example in the video is a relatively simple one: the bacteria flagellum - specifically, the "outboard motor" assembly that runs the 100 thousand RPM tail of the bacteria.
The "modern" Darwin scientist counter argument of "co-option" is also addressed. These different machines could not have been built slowly over time as Darwin's Theory of "functional advantage" requires a complete and immediate working component.
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12 Comments 38 of 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
* Presentation:

The video looks very much like most other PBS-type programs. It is more informative than entertaining (in contrast to some of the work found on Discovery or the History Channel.)

* Content:

Unless you've been hiding in the wilderness for the last decade, you will have heard of "Intelligent Design" theory. ID, summed up very simply, is a science-based explanation for the origins of life which stands somewhere between Darwinian Evolution and Biblical Creationism. ID recognizes that natural selection is a valid process that plays an important role in the development and/or continued existence of living organisms, but that it cannot explain the origins of life on Earth. ID further argues that life could only have originated by purposeful design or intention of some "intelligent" being, thing or process. It does not, as some of its critics say, suggest that anything like the Christian God must have been the creator of life on Earth (though, admittedly, some ID scientists believe in God.) God is never once mentioned in this video.

This production is short so you only see the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. But the general principles behind ID are explained in a way in which most people could understand them. In that way, it is a brilliant introduction to the theory.

* Bias or agenda:

Critics of this video -- and critics generally of the ID school of thought -- will say this video is biased. You know that when critics cry about something being biased or having an agenda, that those same critics are promoting (or at least concerned about the well-being of) their own agenda.
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