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Tord M's Avatar Comment 1 by Tord M

I'm sure you might be correct. But do you have any examples to point to, so that we'll know what we're talking about (I'm sure you're not thinking of those old Bela Lugosi "mad scientist" movies)?

I'm trying to remember when I last saw a movie with scientists in them. The first thing that pops into my mind is the Jurassic Park movies (which are now quite old). And it's true that the villains were scientists, but on the other hand the heroes were also scientists. It was sort of a battle between good and bad scientist, and the good ones won. And even though those movies were scientifically not entirely accurate, I think they did a lot to raise peoples interest in science.

Maybe the problem is not that scientists/science are badly portrayed in movies. Maybe the problem is that they're rarely portrayed in movies at all?

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 21:05:27 UTC | #919357

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 2 by Neodarwinian

" Is this just giving the audience what it wants? Are the writers and producers simply under the same impression of science? "

Considering the actual educational accomplishment of Hollywood writers, on average, the above is possible.

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 21:42:58 UTC | #919377

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 3 by Red Dog

Comment 1 by Tord M :

I'm sure you might be correct. But do you have any examples to point to, so that we'll know what we're talking about (I'm sure you're not thinking of those old Bela Lugosi "mad scientist" movies)?

A classic bad example is the X Files. The people who argue for a rational explanation are almost always portrayed as close minded, unimaginative, and wrong.

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 22:14:54 UTC | #919388

Wiwaxia's Avatar Comment 4 by Wiwaxia

Scientists are often just not shown in movies, the 'science' is there, but you don't see who is doing it. The only things I can think of immediately are 'Independence day' (yes, very old), but Jeff Goldblum is hardly charismatic as the geeky technologist who guesses what the aliens are up to. Then Dr Okun, played by Brent Spiner, is the stereotypical view of a scientist - little better than the sort of thing served up in the 1950s science/horror flicks (I'm not complaining about the acting, but the writing).

You don't get to know who the scientists are in 'District 9', but they are immoral/amoral in their treatment of Wikus, once he becomes 'infected'.

Moon - immoral behaviour again on the part of the scientists, or at least, the company who controls the moon base.

It's a bit of an easy target isn't it? But the average person has such a poor understanding of science that it makes little difference.

I have to admit to feeling cheated when the 'scientist' makes some completely unfounded leap of understanding which is the key to the whole film - perhaps a speciality of Jeff Goldblum? The whole thing is often portrayed as a 'faith', which ends up being right in the end. I wonder if this is significant?

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 22:20:14 UTC | #919390

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 5 by Alan4discussion

Most of these actors and film producers are arty types, full of posing and emotional expression!

If you look at many Hollywood films, they are anti-authority. Hero gangsters, robbers, gun toting cowboys, maverick cops etc. with the rebel hero against the establishment or the government.

For smart-arse anti-authority rebels, the authority of expertise is just one authority to denigrate to make the dummies in the audience feel clever!

It is a fantasy world for the amusement of fools.

I cannot recall any James Bond film where Bond treats equipment with respect, or actually listens to the instructions from "Q" on how to use it. Amazingly, it works fantastically well for him, despite this. (Don't try this at home - read the instructions - it is fantasy!)

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 23:38:47 UTC | #919418

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 6 by Cook@Tahiti

Contagion has epidemiologists as heroes

But that's the exception. Movies are about men of action, not contemplation and deliberation and contingent answers that need further investigation.

Science takes time. Look at the LHC - after 15 years, they still haven't absolutely, unequivocally found something.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 00:53:36 UTC | #919440

ShinobiYaka's Avatar Comment 7 by ShinobiYaka

Cinema is “entertainment” it has no other function, at least in the developed western countries, it is not a public service, lighten up people, so scientists are “misrepresented” so what?

Cinema tends to reflect the zeitgeist of the times, the original “the day the earth stood still” presented science in a different light to “Soylent Green” but really, neither was a true representation they were … entertainment.

If you are going to take issue with the representation of science then it should be directed at the genre of science documentary, and the dumbing down of science programming like “Horizon” or the absence of programs like “Equinox” (UK independent channel 4).

Best sci-fi films… “Day the Earth Stood still”, “forbidden planet”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Alien” and of course “Blade Runner”.

The one book to rule them all… “Dune”.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 02:00:22 UTC | #919451

Xuin39's Avatar Comment 8 by Xuin39

I don't feel that is entirely true. While I will admit the first thing I thought of was Dr. Strangelove in his wheelchair, there are movies out there that hold scientists in a positive light. Contact would probably be the most obvious. The simple truth of the matter is that people may not fully understand scientists, and as a result, that unknown becomes something dark and sinister. You can see how creating anti-matter in the lab can, to the uneducated individual, be seen as dangerous.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 02:07:05 UTC | #919454

ollipehkonen's Avatar Comment 9 by ollipehkonen

"A beautiful mind" I think is the name of the John Nash story from a few years ago. Though Nash was a social scientist (economist), I think it still counts. The movie is very positive in spirit and I think the biggest science related hit in recent years. Then there is another one also by Russell Crowe where he plays a researcher in a tobacco company and tries to expose that he has found tobacco to be dangerous. It's also a big production where a scientist is a hero.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 03:07:50 UTC | #919464

AgriculturalAtheist's Avatar Comment 10 by AgriculturalAtheist

Most films are dramas and so require people acting, changing, and being a vital force. Therefore a satisfying resolution would require the protagonist to do something rather decisive and sometimes against the odds, rather than having the laws of physics resolve the plot. Which I guess would be a physiks ex machina rather than an deus ex machina?

But wait - don't many plot dangers usually resolve around someone NOT heeding the warning of a scientist (or in horror films, a mysterious stranger) who knows better (like Cassandra), resulting in the ensuing chaos which must eventually be dealt with more heroically rather than having been more sensible at the start. I believe such films are called "idiot plots" by some, which means that the film would not progress if it weren't for the actions of characters behaving with less intelligence than the audience. Ex: "don't go up those stairs!"

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 04:07:56 UTC | #919470

Sample's Avatar Comment 11 by Sample

I think you're right. What we need is a professional film critic's input. Roger Ebert is a humanist, come out come out.

For what it's worth, all the Star Trek episodes/movies are keen on science. Contact and of course, Avatar were huge box office smashes that were science supportive. I liked Contact better than Avatar.

But, getting back to the assertion, I wouldn't doubt that for every Mr. Spock in cinema, there were three Dr. Evils.

My faves: Gattaca, The Andromeda Strain

Here's a short YouTube I found, called 10 best movies to teach science clases. Some good ones but they only preview 6, not 10!

Mike

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 04:15:04 UTC | #919472

CyrusSpitama's Avatar Comment 12 by CyrusSpitama

House is an asshole. He's a science-type-guy. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory is also portrayed as a jerk. But every kind of authority figure gets their negative portrayal in cinema - and that includes clergymen as well (the Dan Brown movies). I think most humans are ambivalent towards (perceived) authority. Although, there's probably more films showing religious fellows in a positive light then scientists.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 05:01:14 UTC | #919479

dilated_in_disbelief's Avatar Comment 13 by dilated_in_disbelief

I'm really glad this subject was brought up because this is something I have thought about a lot. Of course, there are plenty of films where scientists are depicted as good guys, but I think it depends on the subject matter or the kind of story (someone mentioned "idiot plots" above). The mad-scientist or arrogant and ambitious scientist have been characters in the cautionary tales of sci-fi and horror films. This was depicted most recently in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which dealt with human nature, biology, and experimentation of sentient beings like apes. Fears about the future or misuse of technology and science are completely understandable to me, as long as the issue is framed towards promoting helpful and ethical science and not anti-science (that is bias on my part). When it comes to science fiction literature, the majority of sci-fi (or SF) writers seem to love science. Michael Crichton was an obvious supporter of science and his stories were about "WHEN SCIENCE GOES WRONG." Every book about cyberspace that William Gibson wrote reveled in the possibilities of "the Net," maybe even the negative ones. As J.G. Ballard wrote about the fusion of humanity and the automobile in his novel Crash, he seemed to be perversely supportive of it, but much of his later work comes off as slightly postmodern and treats industrialization and materialism (or consumerism) as a dehumanizing process, which is an idea that philosophers like John Gray are very supportive of (and myself, to an extent).

I think a lot of negative attitudes towards science in cinema may have roots in Existentialism and run-of-the-mill spirituality that responded to industrialization, capitalism, and the diminishing importance of religion in culture during the twentieth century. Art and literature also reflected this.

The first example of cinema that pops into my head is the French film Eyes Without A Face (1960). It is about a doctor who kidnaps young women for the purpose of transplanting their face to his daughter's face, which was disfigured in an accident. He is a very ruthless, calculating, and cold individual (but not so cold as to not be driven insane by his emotional response to what happened to his daughter) and makes statements like "I like order," which is obviously meant to be a bad thing in the film.

Another example is Kafka, which is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Jeremy Irons as the title character. In the third act (spoiler) Kafka enters the elusive castle and meets doctors who are experimenting in the social engineering of the most efficient individual. To me, this is trademark existentialism and reflects the fears of a changing world that could lead to alienation and an absence of spiritual support in an industrialized, "ordered" society. It seemed to support a view of science as a force to strip the individual of their "soul." After watching the film, I felt as if this view of the world is rather dated. The world has changed since then. There are major economic problems facing the world today, but there have been many positive economic and technological changes that have occurred since Kafka's novels were published. As someone mentioned earlier, Soderbergh recently directed the film Contagion, which depicted a global epidemic in a very rational, logical, fair, and hopeful way. It even made conspiracy theorists look bad! That made me very happy.

Antichrist, directed by Lars Von Trier, has Willem Dafoe as a psychologist attempting to help his wife deal with the trauma of losing their son, but inevitably his desire for a rational explanation leads him into "hell."

My favorite films that deal with science and technology are usually somewhat surrealistic and hallucinatory. I nearly worshipped the cinema of David Cronenberg and identified with the characters in his films, especially Max Renn in Videodrome (I'm not exactly a voyeur, but I've been a "viewer" of dark art and entertainment my entire life). Cronenberg is a bit ambiguous and even ambivalent about whether or not he supports the science in his films. He actually reminds of J.G. Ballard, which is no surprise, considering that he adapted the novel Crash into a feature-length film (one of my favorites). He studied as a biochemist, then switched to literature as his major. He is from Toronto and describes himself as an atheist and existentialist. This might be unfortunate for some people that visit this site, but he also describes himself as a wishy-washy liberal who reads post-structuralist theory. He recently directed A Dangerous Method, a historical drama about Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. I don't think the film takes a position on which psychoanalyst had the more accurate view, but it's based on the "historical" record, and Jung appears to be a bit of a hypocrite and intellectually compromised by his spiritual beliefs. I guess all of this is meant to be an example of an existentialist view via cinema that is neither positive or negative. Cronenberg lets the viewer decide what is good or bad.

I hope this offers something to the conversation. I just realized I might be rambling, but I will say something else. The most common description of science that I've encountered from people who don't totally respect it, whether it is in film, art, or in regular conversations, is that it is "cold and sterile." Many of these people are also far leftists. Not liberals, but lefties. I think some of the refuse of the leftist intellectual tradition that developed during the mid-twentieth century and on, some of it inspired by Existentialism, has been discussed many times on this site and currently in books by authors like Sam Harris. To some of these leftists, science is just a destructive tool of capitalism. Has anyone ever read the work of anarcho-primitivist literature, like Derrick Jensen? This man is positively against science and has some of the nastiest, slanderous, and most incurious statements that one could possibly make about scientists. Anyway, there may be left-leaning filmmakers that are inspired by "intellectuals" of this kind.

I think the best statement made in this thread is that cinema is usually anti-authoritarian. Science may be the one form of authority we should trust, but that doesn't matter to people who are obsessed with making "think for yourself" look like the thoughtless defiance of teenagers. Someone else said that people who don't know that much about science will still write about it in films. Clearly, a lack of understanding doesn't always get in the way of a confidence.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 05:02:56 UTC | #919480

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 14 by Starcrash

Yes, scientists are almost always given a bum rap, as are atheists. I guess it's built on the principle of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" (which is why movie tropes of every kind persist).

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 06:46:19 UTC | #919494

paulmarkj's Avatar Comment 15 by paulmarkj

Let's break this down:

Stories are about things that 'go wrong' or in a more formal scheme of the 8 point story arc: trigger, quest, surprise critical choice.

The technology or science is the thing that goes wrong that needs to be addressed, and the scientist is either a minor character helping with the plot or a major character, where they are normally present more fully and more rounded.

When they are minor character, they act as a device rather than a true character. They are often there to provide the main character with technology or explain the technology. As such they are stock characters, a device used as far back as Shakespeare. Films and plays cannot develop and expand on all characters, so sometimes they use stock characters as a shorthand. In this way scientists can be bumbling or evil or forgetful or harmless or nerdy.

Fully formed characters are not alway presented as evil: when I googled and gt the top ten mad scientists it listed Dr. Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll, Andre Delambre (from The Fly), Dr. Moreau, Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Frank N. Furter, ‘Doc’ Emmett Brown, Dr. Evil.

All these characters play a part and are often battling their own science (the thing that goes wrong). It is no different to any other film where people play a part. How often is a catholic priest portrayed as a paedophile or womaniser? Young black people = hoodies = criminal and so on.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 11:00:12 UTC | #919544

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 16 by Schrodinger's Cat

If you think film portrays science badly, you should try PC games.

Virtually every first person shooter I have is, somewhere along the line, based on the theme of 'science gone bad'. The original Half Life, with it's forboding secret science base, is a classic in that respect. Doom 3 carries the same theme to Mars, with a mad scientist unlocking a gateway to Hell. Or there's Far Cry, with yet another mad scientist engineering a race of super-mutants. The list of such games is long......Bioshock, Fear, Stalker ( based around the Chernobyl incident ) to name but a few more.

Great fun to play as an adult.......a nice bit of escapism. But one cannot help but wonder what sort of introduction to science this is for the many youngsters who play......and they do despite many of these games being 18+ certificate.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 11:15:23 UTC | #919549

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 17 by Cook@Tahiti

Sunshine has a sympathetic physicist played by Cillian Murphy that isn't mad, doesn't turn evil nor is he autistic or single-mindedly obsessed (Ahab style) with some project.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 11:55:51 UTC | #919566

mmurray's Avatar Comment 18 by mmurray

Comment 9 by ollipehkonen :

"A beautiful mind" I think is the name of the John Nash story from a few years ago. Though Nash was a social scientist (economist), I think it still counts. The movie is very positive in spirit and I think the biggest science related hit in recent years.

Nash wasn't a social scientist. He was a mathematician who got a Nobel Prize in economics for work in game theory. (You can't get a Nobel Prize in mathematics.)

John Forbes Nash, Jr. (born June 13, 1928) is an American mathematician whose works in game theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations have provided insight into the forces that govern chance and events inside complex systems in daily life. His theories are used in market economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military theory. Serving as a Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University during the latter part of his life, he shared the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with game theorists Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi.

Nash is the subject of the Hollywood movie A Beautiful Mind. The film, loosely based on the biography of the same name, focuses on Nash's mathematical genius and apparent struggle with paranoid schizophrenia.[1][2]

Michael

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 12:22:17 UTC | #919576

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 19 by Cook@Tahiti

Look at what they did to poor Charles Darwin in Creation... 'I see dead people'

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 12:27:26 UTC | #919578

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 20 by Cook@Tahiti

Master & Commander - Paul Bettany's character as the ship's naturalist/doctor and friend to the captain was most sympathetic, without being autistic, obsessive, etc. The sequence leading to the second Galapagos visit was brilliant cinema.

Paul Bettany did a better 'Darwin' in Master & Commander than he did in Creation.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 12:44:05 UTC | #919585

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 21 by Alan4discussion

If you look at space or air-force pictures (Star Wars, Apollo 13, Pearl harbour, motor-racing), it is usually the capsule/cockpit jockeys who are portrayed as the expert/heroes The people who designed, built and maintained the equipment, usually have minor roles if any!

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 12:45:59 UTC | #919586

cynicaloptimistrealist's Avatar Comment 22 by cynicaloptimistrealist

What's driving the dismal view of scientists and science?

I am pro science, but I worry about who is bankrolling research and more importantly how that affects the outcomes and the uses those outcomes are put to. I think there are good scientists and bad scientists out there just as there are competent and incompetent people in every profession. So while I agree that Hollywood has given science a bad rap, I also think there are plenty of examples from the last century of scientists who through ideological belief, employment obligations or pure incompetence did terrible things. I will try to give some short examples.

At the end of the 19th century the Current Wars resulted in Edison and his engineers developing the electric chair in order to demonstrate the dangers of alternating current. There are also various news reels of Edison electrocuting various animals in the name of science. This was driven by financial pressure.

Who can forget Thomas Midgley who probably did more damage to the planet by applying his mind to 2 problems, stalling cars and exploding fridges. Mr. Midgley developed leaded petrol and CFCs.

Through the 1910s, 20s and 30s there are many news reels of animals undergoing various cruel experiments involving chemicals and gases. Then during the Japanese occupation of China in the 1930s Japanese Unit 731 led by Dr. Shiro Ishii conducted various human experiments involving everything from biological warfare to hypothermia to vivisection and forced abortions on live and un-anaesthetised human subjects who were referred to as "logs" by him and his team. The greatest shock in the cases of Ishii and all 731 members is that after WW2 they were escaped prosecution in exchange for full disclosure of their results to their American counterparts.

We also have British Army tests of mustard gas on British Indian soldiers during WW2 to see what happened to those of "darker" skin when exposed. At the same time you had the less controversial "Operation Whitecoat" conducted on human volunteers in the US to determine the results of various vaccines.

One could argue that Hiroshima and Nagasaki subsequently became laboratories for testing the after effects of nuclear explosions. In the late 1930s there was also the "Monster Study" which was a psychological experiment on orphans to determine the causes of stammering. In the 1950s there was Sweedish testing of the effects of large doses of sugar on mentally disabled patients. Then in later years all of the super powers were involved in human experimentation (often without the subjects knowledge or consent) testing everything from STDs to radiation exposure, the most famous of those was MKULTRA.

There are also great scientific blunders such as Thalidomide which was only withdrawn from sale after protracted public campaigns opposed by the companies who produced the drug. My final example is the strain of bee known as the "Killer Bee" which was a hybrid created to produce more honey with disasterous results.

As humans we are always more prone to remembering the things that went disasterously wrong. The dissociation shown in some of the above examples has also encouraged this Hollywood stereotype. Science has achieved great things, but individual scientists, companies and governments have commited great atrocities and amazing blunders in the name of science. Our blind acceptance is also a problem, particularly in fields we know little about.

As for the accents, this is probably due to a combination of factors - Hollywood loves British villans, the most famous scientist ever was Albert Einstein who had a rather stereotypical German accent and the fact that what remains in the collective psyche are the dispassionate dissociative answers given by Nazi doctors during their trials after WW2.

Science has given us nearly everything we rely on today, but it is our responsibility to question everything including the world view of the scientist, who is funding the research and the rigor of testing.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 13:21:10 UTC | #919601

Ygern's Avatar Comment 23 by Ygern

I don't think it's true of all films or all video games for that matter. Certainly the bad or misguided scientist is a Hollywood trope since the WW2 era, but a lot of the time I think its just down to truly dire script writing rather than an agenda.

For example, Star Trek Voyager (ostensibly a pro-science series) produced some horribly anti-science episodes, almost certainly because the script writer (and possibly director) was scientifically illiterate.

But there are exceptions: I thought that the scientists in Cameron's otherwise cringe-worthy Avatar were sympathetically depicted. In Fallout 3 (videogame) there are good scientists such as the "Dad" character as well as scientists who have ended up on the wrong side.

On the other hand, religious characters (priests etc) are frequently depicted as bad, evil, insane or manipulative as well.

I think that lazy writers like to use stereotypes that they reckon the audience won't have any trouble understanding. It's not so much an agenda as sheer creative laziness.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 14:04:56 UTC | #919614

I'm_not's Avatar Comment 24 by I'm_not

Not film but TV

Tim Minchin on Scooby Doo.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 14:14:35 UTC | #919616

I'm_not's Avatar Comment 25 by I'm_not

Comment 23 by Ygern :

I don't think it's true of all films or all video games for that matter. Certainly the bad or misguided scientist is a Hollywood trope since the WW2 era, but a lot of the time I think its just down to truly dire script writing rather than an agenda.

For example, Star Trek Voyager (ostensibly a pro-science series) produced some horribly anti-science episodes, almost certainly because the script writer (and possibly director) was scientifically illiterate.

But there are exceptions: I thought that the scientists in Cameron's otherwise cringe-worthy Avatar were sympathetically depicted. In Fallout 3 (videogame) there are good scientists such as the "Dad" character as well as scientists who have ended up on the wrong side.

On the other hand, religious characters (priests etc) are frequently depicted as bad, evil, insane or manipulative as well.

I think that lazy writers like to use stereotypes that they reckon the audience won't have any trouble understanding. It's not so much an agenda as sheer creative laziness.

Start Trek jumped the shark with the woefully woo-filled Deep Space 9.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 14:17:23 UTC | #919618

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 26 by Cook@Tahiti

It's also 'Two Cultures' problem - as the writers tend to be arts graduates, usually with an English degree. There's a distrust of scientists as they get blamed for Hiroshima, Auschwitz, DDT, etc. There's a fundamental incongruency between the one objective true answer in science and the pluralism (all viewpoints/interpretations are equally valid) underlying the arts.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 14:46:45 UTC | #919626

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 27 by AtheistEgbert

American popular culture is based on romantic myths, and these myths are so powerful and strong, that they actually define what it is to be American. Without them, America would lose its sense of magic and dominance in the world. That is why you won't see much deviation from these myths, because movie producers want to make lots of money, and movies that challenge these myths would be cursed and won't make a profit.

The number one myth is the patriarchal action hero and father figure. I've lost count of the number of movies and TV shows where the father-son relationship is explored to death. This is why America is so conservative, why it prefers action and themes of justice or revenge. Women are defined by men as beautiful romantic mother figures, or strong women with male characteristics, and rarely get to define themselves outside of the influence of this male mythology.

The consequence of the patriarchal hero is that society is separated into the ideal sexually potent male or Jock, and the impotent sidekick geek whose only function is to provide information so that the Jock can act. Geeks are defined in relation to the action hero, and they only ever achieve success when throwing off their geekiness and developing into the action hero archetype.

Of course, this is popular culture and about entertainment. People relax and allow their subconscious to be programmed to look up to the action hero as their model in life. It's their mental food, their spiritual comfort food, to escape the harsh modern world.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 15:41:16 UTC | #919646

canadian_right's Avatar Comment 28 by canadian_right

Real scientists would not make for very good drama.

I'm more concerned about the very bad science in most movies. Science fiction movies are often the worse for bad science.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 16:34:58 UTC | #919662

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 29 by Alan4discussion

Comment 28 by canadian_right

I'm more concerned about the very bad science in most movies. Science fiction movies are often the worse for bad science.

I see the UK "Film4" channel ran another repeat of "Journey to the center of the Earth (2008) again today!

This sort of recklessly speculative fantasy really does date quickly, even when it has been thought through in the first place - which this wasn't!

It's a bit like a god-of-gaps argument, where the gaps are only in the knowledge of the author, but are well known to present-day science!

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 18:49:48 UTC | #919709

Mignostic's Avatar Comment 30 by Mignostic

Comment 11 by Sample :

For what it's worth, all the Star Trek episodes/movies are keen on science. Contact and of course, Avatar were huge box office smashes that were science supportive. I liked Contact better than Avatar.

Interestingly, I found Contact (the movie) quite disappointing exactly because of the religious guy being depicted as the more generous, more human, and wiser character who eventually teaches the scientist a lesson in accepting "all the truths we don't know" (or something along these lines).

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 22:06:52 UTC | #919788