Evil Scientists in the Media
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25-04-2011, 03:36 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
Oh wow, there are a lot more "good" scientists than I thought there were. Though I haven't heard of half of them Tongue

I know that Star Trek has a lot of scientists, but I don't really see that series as being mainstream media. Most people don't tend to seek out sci-fi media unless they're already positively predisposed towards science-y stuff Wink

Oh, and observer, I completely forgot about Back to the Future! Probably 'cause I was just an infant when the movies came out...

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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25-04-2011, 04:02 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
Star Trek is actually fairly popular. You don't find many full-on Trekkies out there (slang for the people who are totally obsessed with it), but most people watch it at least occasionally.

There's also the casts of shows like NCIS, Bones, and CSI, as well as their various spin-offs.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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25-04-2011, 04:03 PM
 
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
I understand your point, but you might be reading too much into it. I'm not sure if you're trying to say that society has a prejudice of scientists and such. I think it's more that with a mad scientist in a plot, you can do a lot. A mad scientist allows you to do superhuman things, but have an otherwise average joe do them. That's something that audiences love. Get a harmless guy, slap some crazy inventions on him, and BOOM, you have a BAMF. Then it's also great how easily the scientist can be taken down later by the protagonist once getting past their crazy inventions.

Just saying, I don't see any mal-intent behind it.
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25-04-2011, 11:19 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
There was a show recently on a kid's channel where they investigated stuff like UFOs, crop circles etc. This show was excellent in that it treated each myth based on the real data and scientific investigation. One of the three main characters was a scientist called Doubting Dave who looked at everything skeptically. He demonstrated how someone could make fake: UFO videos, photos of sea monsters etc. He also demonstrated how natural or man made phenomenon could fool one's senses and give some an impression that they encountered something that never happened. He was a bit of a goofy character, but he was entertaining and that was the best childrens show that I ever saw. It was on for at least two years.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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26-04-2011, 07:14 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
I think most of the "mad scientist" archtypes are actually fading. IMO. It seems to be a hold over from the dawn of the nuclear age.

Liberty loving, gun owning Atheist. Don't worry it confuses the right as well.
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27-04-2011, 09:58 AM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
Hmm, I must not be caught up on recent media then. This is uplifting, though ^.^ I'm glad that the trend is changing Big Grin

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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27-04-2011, 10:28 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
(26-04-2011 07:14 PM)aesirus Wrote:  I think most of the "mad scientist" archtypes are actually fading. IMO. It seems to be a hold over from the dawn of the nuclear age.

I think the mad scientist goes back at least as far as Shelley's novel, Frankenstein. It seems that that is around the time when vampires appeared in print. As we all know vampires can be defeated with a cross. I am wondering if these writers were trying to subtly promote their religious ideas or just appeal to a christian audience.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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28-04-2011, 07:21 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
(27-04-2011 10:28 PM)No J. Wrote:  
(26-04-2011 07:14 PM)aesirus Wrote:  I think most of the "mad scientist" archtypes are actually fading. IMO. It seems to be a hold over from the dawn of the nuclear age.

I think the mad scientist goes back at least as far as Shelley's novel, Frankenstein. It seems that that is around the time when vampires appeared in print. As we all know vampires can be defeated with a cross. I am wondering if these writers were trying to subtly promote their religious ideas or just appeal to a christian audience.

I'll admit I never did read the novel - I know , mistake on my part - but are there any religious undertones to it ?

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

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29-04-2011, 03:24 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
(28-04-2011 07:21 PM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  
(27-04-2011 10:28 PM)No J. Wrote:  
(26-04-2011 07:14 PM)aesirus Wrote:  I think most of the "mad scientist" archtypes are actually fading. IMO. It seems to be a hold over from the dawn of the nuclear age.

I think the mad scientist goes back at least as far as Shelley's novel, Frankenstein. It seems that that is around the time when vampires appeared in print. As we all know vampires can be defeated with a cross. I am wondering if these writers were trying to subtly promote their religious ideas or just appeal to a christian audience.

I'll admit I never did read the novel - I know , mistake on my part - but are there any religious undertones to it ?

I've read it, and I don't remember any religious undertones in Shelley's novel. In fact, her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote a treatise called The Necessity of Atheism, but I'm not sure if Mary Shelley herself was an atheist or not. I don't think there's enough information about her religious beliefs for us to determine what she actually believed. There are fragments in her handwriting that suggest that if they are her thoughts (i.e. not influenced by her husband, not translations of other texts, or not something she wrote as someone else dictated), then she at the very least disbelieved in the Judeo-Christian religion. However, these fragments don't say whether or not she was an atheist, agnostic, deist, pantheist, etc.

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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05-05-2011, 08:45 PM
RE: Evil Scientists in the Media
Yes, SecularStudent raises a good point, though I would also include anti-science or anti-technology sentiments in this analogy.

For example that religious apocalypse film Will Smith starred in - I Am Legend
With some vaccine wiped out the population.

Terminator, etc. Some of it is about the action and entertainment. And some of it fuels the unscientific mass hysteria we see in the general population.

On the flip side there are films like Angels and Demons. I guess it goes a little in both directions.
An educated public that understood the science before putting up roadblocks on things like stem cell research would help allot!
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