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Science and misconception



> Movies like JP are bridges between science and the public.  Instead of
> critizising the bridge, perhaps we should cross it.

     Crossing that bridge is a great idea; but the dramatic exaggeration
we are talking about doesn't create a bridge between science and the
public; it creates a bridge between misconception (pop culture myths) and the 
public. If the public realizes they have crossed an entirely different
bridge and decide to cross over to science, thats great, but often they
DON'T recognize that they have crossed over to fantasyland, not science.
Why SHOULD they realize this?  They don't know enough about the subject
matter to be able to distinguish between the two. By and large, I would argue
that it generally doesn't occur to the public to question what they
"learn".  Honestly, is your average museum-goer there to scrutenize the
placards and learn a lot, or do they just look at the pretty skeletons
and leave?  
     Aren't there enough pop cultural science myths (for example, we only
use 8% of our brain, T.rex's vision was based on movement) out there
without adding to the list?  Don't tell me that wouldn't be exiting
enough; seeing a life-size T.rex or Brachiosaurus would be plenty exiting,
even if the former didn't shake the ground when it walked, and the latter
didn't rear up and make a lot of noise.  
      I loved Jurassic Park and I fully appreciate Spielberg's deliberate
effort to portray animals instead of monsters.  I'm just saying that there
is always room for improvement, and that factual depiction does not
neccessarily equate with a bored public.

LN Jeff
O-