ID News:

25th March 2007

Albert Einstein wrote in "The World As I See It" ...  "The scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work."

 A course in ID

By Dr Tim Hawkes, Headmaster, Kings School, Sydney, Australia.

Following an invitation to review the DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Life I am pleased to submit the following thoughts.


The DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Life (UTMOL) details a case put forward by a number of scientists for the “Intelligent Design” of our world. Quite why these scientists where chosen and who chose them is not clear in the documentary, but they were united in their view that the case for there being an “intelligent designer” of our universe should now be back on the table.

It is suggested that with the publication by Charles Darwin in 1859 of “The Origin of Species” the world began to accept the idea of natural selection and of undirected natural forces controlling creation. However, the scientists featured in UTMOL challenge the ability of Darwinism to explain creation taking place through a large number of small evolutionary steps.

Using two main examples, the first being that of the flagella which is a marvel of miniaturised machinery found within the molecular structure of the body, and the second being the extraordinary complexity in the make-up of proteins, it is suggested that evolution by small steps cannot account for either. How is it possible that all the
various components of the flagella could have been made at the same time and been encouraged to semble in such a way as to make a near perfect model of an outboard motor? Such a creation would not seem to be possible through natural selection, neither would it be possible through co-option, i.e. through nature’s ability to borrow bits and assemble them, for not only would the right components need to be available, they would need to be assembled in the right sequence. Rather than the small evolutions necessary to support Darwin’s theory of natural evolution, all the various structural parts of the flagella would have to have been made during an overlapping time period which would suggest not a small evolutionary stage, but rather a huge orogeny of simultaneous creation.

UTMOL claims that there are signs within the body that there is an irreducible complexity to it. A protein must have its amino acids arranged in exactly the right sequence in order to exist. It is suggested that proteins could not engage in self assembly without there being intelligent design. The sheer improbability of it happening by chance and the existence of a recognised pattern in construction supports the idea that some supreme intelligence must have been involved with creation.


UTMOL is best suited to upper secondary school students. The language within it is, at times, necessarily adult and advanced, and the concepts presented are quite complex. This combines with graphics which, whilst being quite spectacular at times, are not necessarily compelling for the contemporary “millennial”.
I would suggest that UTMOL would be particularly suited to higher ability groups and for students undertaking such courses as the Theory Of Knowledge (TOK) which forms part of the International Baccalaureate course. Within this course, students are required to reflect upon matters such as truth and are encouraged to challenge theories and suppositions.

The length of UTMOL is about 65 minutes which makes it awkward unless used in a double period. I would have preferred a shortened version which ran for closer to 40 minutes.

UTMOL is very professionally produced, but its content may be seen by some average-ability students as being rather “high brow”. Many students might need to be guided in order to understand something of the huge implication of there being an “intelligent designer” of the universe.

In schools, it would be a shame if UTMOL was forever shackled within the religious educational faculty. UTMOL deserves to be used within the science faculty and in other faculties that are interested in exploring theory and scientific assumptions.


I believe Australian schools would be enriched by having a copy of UTMOL, but how it is used within the school must be the exclusive preserve of the principal and teachers within that school.

Given that schools exist to teach students, educators should not fear to use UTMOL, for it has a legitimate case to put to students and, indeed, to humankind. There are undeniable weaknesses within Darwin’s “Theory Of Evolution”, and these must be acknowledged honestly. Failure to do so would mean an abrogation of our responsibility as educators.

UTMOL does not present as a proselytising documentary, but rather as a documentary which raises intriguing questions. For UTMOL to have real credibility however, there needs to be a totally transparent revelation as to who the major agencies were behind the making of UTMOL. If these should be Christian, then I do not believe there should be any attempt to disguise this fact.

Building upon the previous point, a number of other matters might need to be considered such as explaining exactly who selected the scientists in the documentary and why these particular scientists were chosen.

If the distribution of UTMOL was to be undertaken by Christian organisations, I think this might compromise its acceptance, for it could be interpreted as proselytising. It would be good to have UTMOL endorsed by a secular organisation such as the Federation of Teachers, MCEETYA, or the Association of Independent Schools (AIS). If they were to endorse it and facilitate its distribution, it would greatly enhance its credibility and acceptance within Australian schools.


Finally, I was delighted to review “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” and believe that the DVD does have a proper place in Australian schools. Having noted the above, I would encourage Illustra Media to consider making a slightly shorter version and one which was a little simpler and less complex for students in the middle school years. It should also have less “talking heads” and more gee-whiz shots of nature. I also felt that rather more could be done to tease out the incredible implication of there being an intelligent designer of the world. Without necessarily pushing any particular religion or denomination, I believe that it is quite legitimate to challenge students to think through the implications of there being a “Grand Architect” of the
Dr Tim Hawkes
The King’s School,
Sydney, NSW.
September 2005

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10 Questions

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A Review of UTMOL by an Adelaide Pastor & ex-scientist

Molecular Evolution "Intelligent Design or Evolution" by Stuart Pullen - Chapter 1