Monday, March 06, 2006
"Dodo birds are famous for two things: being dumb and being dead. So when Randy Olson calls fellow biologists 'dodos' in his new documentary 'Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus,' it's not meant as a compliment.
Dodos were flightless, odd-looking birds discovered by Portuguese sailors in the early 1500s on a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, just east of Madagascar. The birds were named after the Portuguese word for 'fool' because they were fearless of humans and would walk up to hungry hunters who simply clubbed them to death and ate them. The birds were extinct by the 17th century, less than 200 years after their discovery.
Olson, a Harvard-trained biologists-turned-filmmaker, thinks the dodo's fate is a good metaphor for biologists in today's changing media environment."