When it comes to choosing sides in the creation-evolution debate, there’s very little “natural selection” allowed.

Judging by recent depictions in the establishment media, you’re either in the “evolved” camp of younger people embracing Darwin’s theory or part of the stubborn holdouts Newsweek refers to as “America the Ignorant.”

Now “Evolution: The Grand Experiment: The Quest for an Answer (Episode 1)” is providing the missing link in this galvanized debate. The award-winning book and video series presents thoughtful, analytical examinations of evidence for and against evolution and lets individuals decide if it’s fit enough to survive as an explanation for the origin of life.

“It’s revealing how often evolution’s adherents so readily seek to shut down any questioning of it,” said Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WorldNetDaily.com. “This rigid stance makes a mockery of the human inclination toward curiosity and also the process of inquiry that’s necessary for any sound scientific formulation.

“In his globetrotting quest for answers and his evenhanded portrayal of his findings, Dr. [Carl] Werner gives a respect for the intelligence of his readers and viewers that’s sadly absent from most of today’s classrooms,” Farah added.

As the first in a planned series, “Evolution: The Grand Experiment” originated from the personal ambitions of Werner.

When the St. Louis emergency-room doctor was a biology major in college, a fellow classmate embedded a thorn in his mind by challenging him to prove evolution. Werner spent more than 30 years researching and investigating evolution. Traveling across three continents, he visited countless archeological dig sites, photographed thousands of fossils and interviewed scores of scientists.

The resulting video – with its intimate footage of nature, a stirring score and scholarly narration that recalls a PBS special – commanded 12 years of production, including shoots in seven countries throughout three continents.

Lauded by Apologetics Group as the “best documentary on the creation/evolution debate ever done,” “The Grand Experiment” captured several top 2010 honors at the International Christian Visual Media Catalyst Conference, earning Crown Awards for “Best Youth Film,” “Best Curriculum” and “Best Documentary over $50,000.”

The book and video – already shown in more than 70 countries – also offer a package complete with teacher’s manual for detailed instructional sessions. Aimed at grades sixth through 12th, it’s earned high marks from homeschooling families.

“It will not only catch the eye and interest of your youngest children but it will challenge your older children to ask tough questions and demand the truth,” writes Lynda Ackert, a columnist in the Littleton Homeschooling Examiner. “This science text will undoubtedly lead to many discussions within your entire family and inspire your children to think scientifically about evolution.”

Homeschool blogger Wayne S. Walker cited the book’s intensive review process.

“Dr. Werner discusses from a scientific standpoint such subjects as spontaneous generation, acquired characteristics, natural selection and chance mutations, similarities, the fossil record (including invertebrates, fish, bats, pinnipeds, flying reptiles, dinosaurs, whales, birds, and flowering plants), and the formation of DNA, proteins, and amino acids, showing how each has been used to ‘prove’ evolution and how each can be explained from a creationist view,” Walker writes.

Still, Werner’s work is not without its critics. In separate commentaries devoted to each chapter of “The Grand Experiment,” blogger Jeremy Witteveen calls it “a coloring book for Christian parents to impose on their children to keep them ignorant and far from successful academic pursuits.”

Witteveen also writes that his “personal goal is to help American Christians finally accept evolution as fact.”


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