“No Dinosaurs in Heaven” mini-review


Check out who taught my Evolutionary Studies class today! Eugenie Scott, of the National Center for Science Education. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her speak at both the Texas Freethought Convention and the CSIcon in the last few months, and today she happened to be coming through Tuscaloosa as part of the University’s ALLELE lecture series.

I appreciate what Scott and the NCSE do immensely, and have found her perspectives quite interesting in the past. She was here screening a movie (“No Dinosaurs in Heaven”) with director Greta Schiller. As much as it was interesting in subject matter, it set my inner cinema snob a-tingling.

A-tingling

A-tingling

I just…didn’t really like it. The information was good, sure. It just didn’t feel terribly interesting. I think it may have suffered from being overly specific for a movie covering such a broad topic. It focused almost exclusively on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon sponsored by the NCSE and a spattering of interviews centered around a biology professor who omitted teaching evolution. The clips from Answers in Genesis were well integrated and plenty hilarious for sure, but it just didn’t quite hit me overall. I might just be a bit clouded from seeing so many really awesome freethought documentaries on this subject, however. If you were to ask me, I would recommend quite a few to catch before this one. Including most notably these two:

Go watch them. I’ll wait.

Now, the biggest problem with “No Dinosaurs” in my opinion is highlighted in “Dodos”: it doesn’t feel like it communicates well. If you aren’t already on the evolution bus, “Dinosaurs” isn’t going to change your mind by any means. It is directly catered to its audience, and has little value outside of it. For what it is, I like it. But I guess I just take issue with what it isn’t, which admittedly isn’t really fair.

I would still recommend the watch, for what it is worth. There are a few lines in it that I thought were just golden for sure. But DEFINITELY watch “Dodos” and “Judgment Day”. You won’t regret either of them.

I’ll be back in the next few days with a new “King Heathen’s Table” and my long-awaited thoughts on the new image of the Secular Student Alliance. I promise I’ll actually get to it this time. Maybe.

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About Gordon Maples

Writer of the Misan[trope]y Movie Blog and the (Plot)opsy Podcast. A bad movie expert, if there ever was such a thing. Movie nerd, professional organizer, and political progressive.
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One Response to “No Dinosaurs in Heaven” mini-review

  1. Thanks for your comments- I wish you had also raised them in the post screening discussion. I love it when folks criticize style, etc so we can begin to discuss media literacy as well as science literacy. The movie is not designed to change the minds of creationists! It is primarily meant to highlight the problems that occur when a creationist teaches science. Namely that evolution is simply is not taught, or not taught well. BTW- you have an awesome program at UA. Roll Tide.

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