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Science and Fiction
The film Moon (2009) depicts the story of a man who is on a three-year mission on the moon mining helium-3 for people back on Earth. He is residing by himself and accompanied by a robot named GERTY. A couple of weeks before he gets to return to his family back on Earth, he starts to see things that are not there, including a teenage girl that he does not recognize. These visions cause him to crash his rover where he then loses consciousness and wakes up without remembering anything. Sam manages to escape and then finds a clone of himself. It is after this incident that he realizes that he too is a clone that he has been implanted with the memories of the original Sam, who has been back on Earth for about fifteen years. In the end, the older clone decides to stay on the moon, since the clones had been designed to deteriorate and he had already started to. The newer clone heads back to Earth to expose to the public what was occurring on the moon.
The entire film was a fictional portrayal of possible scientific events. Although the film seemed to be more for entertainment value than informational content, there is a sense that everything that occurred in the movie can actually occur in real life. Science is connected through the idea of cloning. Cloning is the next big step in making and continuing with medical breakthroughs. With the successful cloning of animals already possible and in full use, cloning humans would be the next big step. This movie makes individuals aware of all of the possibilities that lie with science. If this movie were to depict true events, it would be completely believable. Creating clones of humans would in fact create a bigger task force that can be used for many purposes. This film allows us to view one of the many possibilities that being able to clone humans would bring to Earth. However, ethical obligations have prevented mankind from taking this step. But the film makes its viewers believe that everything that it is depicting is in reality true.
Making this film a fictional account of a very real scientific topic allows for more individuals to become interested in the field. Individuals who view this movie go to see it because of the entertainment value that it holds. There is more interest in something that is advertised as being a mystery film or science fiction, than in a film that is solely based on facts and documentary-like qualities. It opens up the category to a much broader audience. Fiction entails there to be no truth in what is being presented, but in this case, although the acts that occur in the film are not real themselves, the idea behind everything could very likely spark the interest of a scientist that could make it happen.
The connection between fiction and science are quite obvious in the film Moon (2009). The idea that the science behind cloning and genetic remodeling, as well as memory implantation, can all possibly be probable and true one day is what sparks the interest of many of the viewers. Although fictional now, it can possibly represent a glimpse into the future. The ideas are evidently present; they just need to be implemented. The film brings this possibility to the light by portraying them in a way that will make individuals want to know more. The bridge between fiction and science exists in this film, and the possibilities of what this could represent are numerous. By being able to show visually the science that could one day lead people to in reality conquer the moon and use its resources for the Earth's benefit, allows people to be exposed to a much broader concept.
The book Oryx and Crake (2004) by Margaret Atwood essentially tells the fictional tale of how science that goes wrong can ultimately wipe out an entire human species. The main character, Jimmy, lives on a remote alien location that the readers find out to be a place where humans once lurked. Because of an experimental drug that was supposed to inhibit aging and eventually create immortal beings that went wrong, people started to get sick and turn into unsightly characters. Although Jimmy was originally in advertising for the company that developed the viral epidemic, his relationship with Oryx and Crake initiated his involvement. The pill that he was supposed to be advertising for though, was the root of the cause of the destruction of humans.
Through genetic splicing, the characters in the book were able to develop a pill that allowed for individuals to get rid of the traits that they did not like, and enhance the ones that they did. In this case, the scientists were looking for a cure to mortality. They thought that by eliminating aging, people would live fuller and more productive lives. The aging process was supposed to be a problem of the past, yet it created one of the biggest problems yet. It almost eliminated an entire species. Science is once again the main concern in this book. The field of genetics is used in this book in a way that makes the process described one that could very well be true if scientists did not have to go through a variety of ethical and moral standard overview before completing their experiments with science. It is this same concept that allows for this topic to be exposed.
Fictional portrayals of science are more acceptable because it gives people a glimpse into the possibilities that science holds if there were no such things as regulations and protocols. This book makes it acceptable to essentially enjoy the torturing of people for entertainment purposes. It also invokes thought into the concept of immortality. The only way immortality can be plausible to ordinary viewers is in the form of fiction. There is no other evidence that being able to live forever is actually true. Because of this, science and fiction are acceptable manners of representing the possible outcomes of using all the ideas that humans come up with. However, as the book demonstrates to its readers, this is not always going to be the case.
Fiction entitles representations of death, sickness, and viral plagues to be acceptable forms of people to die or transform into another species. But in reality, this depiction allows readers to view both sides of science: the one that provides humanity with great advancements and the one that causes death and destruction. The book gave us both perspectives. The genetics that the characters were once investigating had provided humans with great visions into the future possibilities. However, it was when their experiments went wrong that readers were made aware of the dangers that can be experienced if science were to get out of control. The book provides people the opportunity to see how great science can be if used for the right things and as the correct tools, but if science is misused, humanity can suffer dire consequences.
The section "Evolution, Creativity, and Future Life" by Jill Tarter and Will Wright in the book Science Is Culture (2010) describes an interesting portrayal of science and fiction. In the case of this article, it is the creation of a game based on possible scientific processes that allow for the connection to be established. Both Tarter, an astro-biologist, and Wright, a game creator, teamed up to come up with a scientific game that details every aspect of evolution. The games SimCity and Spore have allowed individuals to create their own fictional characters and lifestyles for those characters. Being able to emerge themselves in these games, gamers design life essentially. Based on biology and the idea of evolution, these fictitious portrayals of life are made possible.
When one thinks about fiction and science, computer games and/or console games rarely come to mind. However, despite the idea that games are solely that, games, science education can be implemented that will allow people to get more personal with the evolution of a species. In the case of the game Spore, science and fiction go hand in hand. The idea is to create a universe from scratch. That is, the player is entitled to choosing how their species will evolve. From the simple transformation of a cell into an organism, to eventually an army, and then an entire colony that is ready to expand, science is portrayed as something controllable, when in reality it is not. The fiction part of this game concept is that one has the power to choose which evolutionary process occurs and when it occurs. In real life, this is impossible. What is not impossible is the idea of creating life. Based heavily on evolution as being the story of creation, the game ties up many possibilities that include those of one species conquering the other as a means of survival. These are all processes guided by a species need…[continue]
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