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CAPS Meeting, Fri. Oct. 11, DVD: Flight - The Genius of Birds,

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  • John Johnson
    This Summer I went to the full-house premier screening at the Museum of Flight of this magnificent film on bird flight. We were blessed to have for the Q & A
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28 11:49 PM
      This Summer I went to the full-house premier screening at the Museum of Flight of this magnificent film on bird flight. We were blessed to have for the Q & A several of the fine scientists who appear in this documentary: Paul Nelson and Ann Gauger. The audience was mesmerized by the spectacular bird sequences, like the hummingbird. In the Q & A several facts were noted that didn't get included: about the unique avian one-way lung system and the fact that most birds gradually molt feathers in pairs from matching places on each wing. Although the film omits scripture for a secular audience, I still recommend it highly. Below I have added many links to articles and videos on birds, including three videos from this DVD. I will be out of town for the showing, but
      biologist Chris Ashcraft will do the Q & A discussions.
      -John Johnson
      The announcement below is posted on our web site link:
      CAPS Meeting
      Creation Assoc. of Puget Sound (CAPS)
      Fri. Oct. 11, 2013 at 7 pm
      Refreshments, book table, geology museum at 6:30
      At the Geology Learning Center in
      The Expedition Christian Church
      23601 52nd Ave. W, Mountlake Terrace
       Topic: DVD – Flight: the Genius of Birds (62 min.)
      Shown by permission of: Producer: Illustra Media (June 2013),
      See the trailer clip (2m 39s) at:
       Buy at our CAPS meetings or online at
      (Buying from this site supports the Seattle Creation Conference)

      Q & A discussion led by biologist Chris Ashcraft.
      For his bio and programs see:

      Scripture, Job 12:7-10
      “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
      And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
      Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
      And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
      Who among all these does not know
      That the hand of the Lord has done this,
      10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
      And the breath of all mankind?
      Flight:  The Genius of Birds
       marks the launch of Illustra Media’s new documentary series The Design of Life.  Each episode explores a different realm of the animal kingdom and the remarkable biological systems that make life on Earth possible.
      Filmed in North America,  England ,  Peru , Greenland, and  Antarctica , Flight probes the mysteries and mechanisms of a bird’s anatomy, instinct, and embryology to reveal stunning provisions essential for life in the skies.
      You’ll marvel at a hummingbird’s unique skeletal, muscular and metabolic systems—all vital to its spectacular aerial acrobatics…
      The endurance and navigational abilities of an Arctic tern as it travels from pole to pole during the longest migration on the planet…
      The instinctive strategies that enable a flock of 300,000 European starlings to evade predators at break-neck speeds…
      The elaborate network of a million component parts that make a feather an aerodynamic masterpiece.  And much more.
      The poet William Blake wrote that to see an eagle in the air is to observe  “a portion of genius.”   In Flight the ingenuity of a bird’s behavior and biology showcase unmistakable evidence for design, purpose, and plan.  They are displays of genius best explained by intelligence and mind.
       In January 2012, the Illustra Media production team first considered producing a documentary about the wonders of avian flight.   It didn’t take long to “green light” the project.
      The subject matter was attractive for several reasons.  First, birds are highly photogenic.  To see them in the air is breathtaking.  And with new high-speed video technology, dramatic slow motion footage (that would capture the power and grace of an eagle, or the frenetic energy of a hummingbird­­) was more accessible than ever before.
      Flying birds also hold universal appeal.  The fascination they evoke transcends age or nationality. At one time or another almost everyone has looked up at a gull or hawk on the wing and asked, “how”?
      And, there was another factor that inspired us to produce this film:  The biology and behaviors of flying birds offer some of the most compelling evidence for supernatural intelligence, design, and purpose to be found anywhere in nature.
      In order for a vulture to soar on a thermal updraft, or an Arctic tern to hover a few feet over the  Atlantic Ocean , hundreds of complex biological mechanisms and systems must work together in perfect orchestration.  A flying bird needs bones that are light weight, but strong and durable; feathers that create a waterproof, aerodynamic shape; an internal gyroscope that stabilizes its head and body in the air; the most efficient respiratory and digestive systems in the animal kingdom--and much more.
      Regardless of its species, every bird is the product of a cause that is able to visualize a distant functional endpoint and then bring together everything necessary to achieve that endpoint.  Uniquely, in our experience, only intelligence is capable of that kind of causal process.
      Birds are both engineering marvels and works of art.  We know where engineered objects come from.  We know where works of art come from.  Why would we attribute a bird to anything other than intelligence or mind?
      Flight:  The Genius of Birds took more than a year to produce.  Eleven cinematographers filmed on three continents to capture footage that offers glimpses of the spectacular beauty and design inherent in every one of the more than 9000 species of birds that inhabit the Earth.
      The film is highlighted by computer animation that reveals the remarkable inner workings of avian anatomy, and an original musical score.
      Job 39:26-29 (ESV)
      Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars
       and spreads his wings toward the south?
      Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
       and makes his nest on high?
      On the rock he dwells and makes his home,
       on the rocky crag and stronghold.
      From there he spies out the prey;
       his eyes behold it from far away.
      Ted Baehr’s Movieguide, Rating: Content +4 (highest), Quality 4 stars (Highest)
       Flight: The Genius of Birds - Official Trailer  (2:38)
      Flight: The Genius of Birds is the first episode in Illustra Media's new series:
      The Design of Life. This remarkable documentary explores the evidence for intelligent design as revealed through the biological systems and mechanisms that make avian flight possible. Photographed in North America, England , Peru , Greenland, and Antarctica , this Flight video celebrates birds and the miracle of life in the skies.
       Video clip from: Flight – The Genius of Birds - embryonic development (4m 10s)
      or directly at
      In this sequence from Illustra Media's newest documentary Flight: The Genius of Birds you will enter a fertilized egg to witness a bird's embryonic development. Spectacular animation and live action footage document the extraordinary 21-day process of organization and growth from a few cells into a chicken.
       Video clip from: Flight: The Genius of Birds
      Bird Skeletal system (1m 22s)
      A bird's entire skeletal system can account for less than 5% of its total body weight. Yet its bones are strong and flexible enough to withstand the constant stress of flapping, take-offs and landings. In this sequence from Flight: The Genius of Birds you'll observe the elaborate infrastructure of girders and struts that support the interior of the largest bones in a pelican's wings.
       Video clip from: Flight: The Genius of Birds
      Hummingbird tongue (3m 22s)
      In order to fuel its heart and wings that can flap up to 100 times-per-second, a hummingbird must eat several times an hour. This groundbreaking sequence from Flight: The Genius of Birds illustrates the system of mechanisms that enable a hummer to consume several times it body weight in nectar each day.
      Origins - Formed to Fly with Dr. David Menton
      (dinosaur - bird evolution refuted) (26m 32s)
      Lecture by David Menton Origins TV (2011)
      Evolutionists have long argued that birds evolved by chance from reptiles. However, in this lecture, you will see that no two classes of vertebrates differ more dramatically than do reptiles and birds. Unlike the dinosaurs, from which birds are said to have evolved, birds are truly "formed to fly." With the aid of a scanning electron microscope, Dr. Menton examines the feathers of birds and compares them to reptile scales. Contrary to the claims of evolutionists, feathers are profoundly different from scales in every respect. It is biological nonsense to claim that one evolved from the other by chance.
       Christian Research Institute (CRI)
      Interview with Paul Nelson about the film Flight (4m 27s)
      Hank Hanegraaff and Dr. Paul Nelson discuss how the ingenious design of birds poses insurmountable difficulties for Darwinian Evolution, as depicted in the film, Flight by Illustra Media.
       PBS Video
      Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air (53m 11s)
      WNET TV (2010)
      Introduction to hummingbird videos
      Full length video in HD (or lower quality) online
      Hummingbirds are the tiniest of birds, yet they are some of the toughest, most energetic creatures on the planet. Their unique flying abilities give them unmatched maneuverability, but at the cost of a supercharged metabolism that keeps them on the edge of survival. Hummingbirds spend most their lives in fast forward, but now high-speed video lets us enter their world
       Video Clip: Hovering Hummingbird (4m 15s)
      Biologist Doug Altshuler has turned his lab into a kind of hummingbird training center, where he can test the limits of their aerial agility. The key, he says, is hovering.
       Video clip: Hummingbird Babies (2m 51s)
      Hummingbird mothers build nests out of soft leaves, feathers, or lichens. They usually lay two tiny eggs, and the chickshatch in a couple of weeks.
       Video clip: Expert Hunters (3m 30s)
      Although hummingbirds are built to feed on nectar, they cannot live on nectar alone. Hummingbirds fill out their diet with protein by hunting insects. Check out this high-speed video footage of hummingbirds catching bugs.
       Creation Articles on Birds
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