In 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. In it, he argued that all of life on earth was the product of undirected natural processes: Time, chance, and natural selection. Since Darwin, biologists have relied on such processes to account for the origin of living things. Yet today, this approach is being challenged as never before.

Unlocking the Mystery of Life tells the story of contemporary scientists who are advancing a powerful but controversial idea—the theory of intelligent design.

Unlocking is the product of more than three years of research, photography, and post production. Based upon the scholarly work of Stephen C. Meyer, Michael Behe, William Dembski and others, this documentary presents the scientific case for intelligent design based upon recent discoveries in biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology.

The film was photographed throughout the United States in 2001 and 2002. Location photography also took place in the Galapagos Islands at the site of Charles Darwin’s seminal 1835 expedition.

Unlocking is highlighted by computer animation that depicts the inner-workings of the living cell. Animator Tim Doherty created sequences illustrating the structure and operations of the cell nucleus, the DNA molecule, protein molecules, and the bacterial flagellar motor.

After its release is September 2003, Unlocking the Mystery of Life aired on PBS. The show was broadcast on more than 40 affiliates throughout the United States. The cancellation of a scheduled broadcast on station KNME in Albequerque, New Mexico triggered national news coverage and a debate over PBS programming decisions.

Unlocking the Mystery of Life has been translated into more than 25 languages including Russian, Mandarin, and Spanish. It is distributed throughout Asia, Europe, South America, Australia, Canada, and the United States. North American distribution is supervised by Randolf Productions International.

In addition to the 67-minute feature documentary, the English DVD version includes almost an hour of bonus features.

Production Credits

Executive Producer
James W. Adams

Producer/ Director
Lad Allen

Written by
W. Peter Allen
Stephen C. Meyer

Edited by
Jerry Harned
Timothy Eaton

Photography by
Timothy Eaton
Matthew Valentine
Jerry Harned
Dennis Burkhart

Original Music by
Mark Edward Lewis

Computer Animation
Tim Doherty
Jerry Harned

Narrated by
Ed Ragozzino