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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Bad "science" lines. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Bad "science" lines.  (Read 4089 times)
Mofo Rising
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« on: April 05, 2005, 02:48:50 AM »

So I was watching THE CURSE, yes that Wil Wheaton film, the other day.  Sure it's a p**s poor adaption of an H.P. Lovecraft story (and aren't they all?), but it's not too terrible.

But it had a line somewhat late in the movie that made me laugh.  See, an asteroid has crash landed on a farm and a not too responsible doctor has sent the by-products to a lab to be tested.  So the scientist test the stuff and relate the results to the guy with this immortal line of dialogue (papaphrased because I'm not going to put the film in again just to quote it):

"We don't know what it is.  It's literally changing the molecular structure of the water!"

Good God!  Changing the molecular structure of the water?  Why, the only thing that can do that is almost everything!  Well, not really, if you really want to get into it (things are just "added in").  But it's pretty bad and it made me laugh.

Also, the guy from BATS yelling "I'm a scientist!  That's what we do!  We make things better!" is also pretty funny.

I don't know, any other examples of bad science speak?
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Menard
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2005, 02:56:25 AM »

From the movie SLITHIS (1978): the origin of the creature (something like that) is 'organic mud'.

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Ed
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2005, 12:16:20 PM »

From "Mimic"... "Of course its the same species, I did a pH test."
-Ed
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Wence
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2005, 12:33:26 PM »

Wasn´t there some discussion about "Jurassic Park"?
I remember it was about why they took the genetic material from a frog and not from a lizard.
They seemed to have forgotten (in a big - very big! - budget movie) that Dinosaurs were Lizards, not amphibians...
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ScottH
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2005, 01:07:56 PM »

I believe we could reference every single episode of every season of Star Trek for having unfounded scientific "techno babble." Talk about the dilithium power rods, flux capacitators, warp drives.... you know where I'm coming from. It's silly to think about factually, but from a fictional standpoint it's quite amazing that Rodenberry orignally came up with all of this stuff. And now there are books out on the market that are aiming at proving that this stuff not only is possible, but we're doing it right now.

I refer to you The Physics of Star Trek. It talks about the possiblities of teleportation, warp drive (the bending of space), phasers, etc..... Fun book to read. Enjoy the geekiness.

Scott H.
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odinn7
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2005, 01:42:21 PM »

Almost everything in 'The Core'. I can't narrow it down to anything specific as I won't put myself through the hell of watching that again.

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Cheecky-Monkey
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2005, 01:44:37 PM »

Reptile once were amphibians, when life first made the huge jump from sea to land they lost they're gills grew legs, etc. they eventually evolved into reptiles, making amphibians a predecessor to the dinosaurs.
I think.
Can someone fill me in here?
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AndyC
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2005, 02:00:19 PM »

Not sure if modern amphibians didn't evolve separately from a common ancestor. Also can't remember if Crichton gave a reason for using frog DNA in the book. Might just be so that the dinosaurs can unexpectedly change gender. In any case, it was ever stated that they used frog DNA because it was the closest thing available, and I doubt they would have made the mistake.

Besides, the view supported in Jurassic Park is that dinosaurs are most closely related to birds.

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AndyC
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2005, 02:05:15 PM »

When I think of goofy science lines, I always think of Jon Pertwee's favourite recurring line from Doctor Who: "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow." Doing that could accomplish pretty much whatever the situation required. When you think about it, the Doctor was doing the stock TNG solution years before TNG.



Post Edited (04-05-05 15:04)
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2005, 02:59:07 PM »

How about the ENTIRE movie "The Day After Tomorrow."  Sorry, I ain't gonna quote the whole script.

True science geek grad school story: at a wedding, a WEDDING, a whole table full of us geeks got into a serious discussion on whether that episode of TNG when they hit the 'quantum filament' properly depicted if a human could survive a decompression to space ambient conditions (the vacuum part, not the temperature part).  The really funny thing was, one participant in this discussion is a HIGHLY respected chemical physicist who might just be on the track to a Nobel.

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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2005, 03:09:51 PM »

In the book Crichton explained it as that they didn't have the complete dinosaur DNA, so they used DNA from another creature to fill in.  I forget what the creature was, could have been a frog.  Really bad science, if you don't know whats missing, how can you fill in for it.
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Menard
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2005, 03:30:52 PM »

Somebody is trying to get a place on Buffy's list. (:

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ulthar
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2005, 05:49:37 PM »

The idea was that the frog DNA was "close enough" to the dinosaur DNA.  For example, we have large segments (most of it, actually) of our DNA that is common with chimpanzees, our closest relative.

I suppose the thinking might be that if the frog DNA was NOT close enough, it just would not sustain life; that is, if something that was missing was truly unique to the dinosaurs, the whole enchilada would not work.

Another thing to keep in mind: DNA is not a simple one-to-one mapping of information.  There are 'modular units' (I sure don't know the technical terms) that might mean one thing with 'coupled' with fragment A and something a little different when coupled with fragment B.  In other words, the information density is MUCH higher than a simple linear mapping would suggest.

I'm not sure if Crichton knew or surmised this when formulating the frog substitution, or if he just conjurred something that sounded cool and fit the plot design.

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Brother Ragnarok
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2005, 06:31:34 PM »

"Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!"
*he said, having been too lazy to read the other posts and hoping no one has already covered it*

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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2005, 07:35:02 PM »

Does neutron flow even have a polarity?
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