Why ‘Prometheus’ gets it all wrong, and why it matters

There were a lot of things wrong with Prometheus (daft dialogue, ridiculous character behaviour, odd-pacing, odd-editing and incongruous music), but I’m only going to focus on the greatest error the film made: its ridiculous distain for scientific fact. I’m going to explain just how badly the writers got it wrong and why it matters. I almost laughed before I realised how tragic the tale is.

If you’re telling a fantasy story you can pretty much get away with anything. With science fiction, depending on how “hard” or “soft” you want it: you can get away with a lot less or a bit less respectively. Prometheus fails as science fiction because there is nothing more scientific about its premise than the Never Ending Story’s. But even if you want to say that Prometheus is a bit of fantasy fun set in space, it still fails because it contradicts some of the most important and established knowledge we have, just as any fantasy story that depicted the earth as being the fourth planet from the sun would instantly lose all credibility and connection with the audience. Similarly, even a fantasy about humans must depict them as creatures with two arms, two legs, and not, for example, 100 tentacles.  We know that the earth is not the fourth planet from the sun, so whatever planet “earth” we are told is the fourth from its sun, it’s not ours, and it’s not our earth, and it’s not us, just like we might connect with a 100-limbed fantasy species and even empathise with them, but if you call them “human” you’re just being silly. But imagine that a large politically-powerful group of people had a vested interest in perpetuating a myth that our earth is in fact the fourth planet from the sun. All the evidence notwithstanding, Mars is the third planet and Earth is the fourth. What seems like a scientific faux pas and bit of fantasy fun takes on a darker and worrying shade. Well that is the problem with Prometheus.

The basic plot of Prometheus is: an alien race dropped their DNA in the oceans of earth long ago and so created humans. This is about as scientific as saying that you can take a drop of blood from a dog, inject it into a giraffe, and expect the giraffe to give birth to dogs or giraffe-dog hybrids. The very definition of “species” in fact is a community that can only breed successfully with itself.

During the film, it’s discovered that these aliens called “Engineers” have a 100% DNA match with humans. This is either rubbish or meaningless, take your pick. If the writers were trying to say that the Engineers are genetically similar to humans, the match is trivial: every living thing that lives or has ever lived on this planet shares the same DNA. A lot of DNA is arguably junk anyway, but “there is more than 95% to 98% similarity between related genes in humans and apes in general. (Just as in the mouse, quite a few genes probably are not common to humans and apes, and these may influence uniquely human or ape traits.) Similarities between mouse and human genes range from about 70% to 90%, with an average of 85% similarity but a lot of variation from gene to gene…” [source] So if they have the same DNA code as us, so what? That only proves that they evolved on earth. But if the insinuation is that they are a 100% DNA match with humans, despite being aliens, that is nonsense because…they aren’t human! That would be like a forensic detective placing you at a murder scene 5000 miles away and 5000 years in the past, because your DNA was a 100% match to a criminal in the past, which is impossible, or matching you because you both happen to be human beings…

But, even if aliens could drop something in earth’s primordial oceans that could somehow mingle with DNA…even that doesn’t make sense because evolution simply doesn’t work that way. A few Star Trek episodes tried to do something similar with evolution and failed for the same reasons. In those stories, the premise was that evolution could be sped up and the results observed in hours or days instead of millions of years. This is such a spectacular misunderstanding of evolution that it makes me depressed just thinking about it. But before I explain that, let’s start at the beginning:

All living things on this planet are the product of common descent. We all share the same DNA and metabolise energy in the same way because those fundamental parts of life happened once, billions of years ago, and not again. All life is descended from very simple self-replicating molecules. On this planet, DNA eventually got this job and the code used is the same today as it was 3 billion years ago. (If life exists on another planet, it too almost certainly started with very simple self-replicating molecules, but it’s overwhelmingly improbable that it would evolve the same DNA code as Earth’s, if it even used DNA at all.) Today, there are thousands of computer programming languages because each was designed by a human computer programmer for a specific need. But in nature, there is only one programming language and it had to be modified and utilised only by trial-by-fire selection in the wild over a very long time. (Incidentally, the ubiquity of this one (and only one) natural language is another argument against intelligent design.)

The “Engineers” could not have any DNA similarity with us unless they came from earth, which they clearly did not do. But we didn’t see the Engineers dropping DNA into the earth 3.5 billion years ago (unless the opening scene of the film was supposed to be earth at that time…in which case I suggest History of the Earth 101 for the writers to give them an idea of what this planet was like so early in its life. Let’s just say Hell would’ve been more hospitable.)  But suppose the engineers got DNA started in the first place (which isn’t implied in the film) all those aeons ago. Is that any better? Nope. Which brings us to:

Humans look the way we do because on this planet we are a member of the primate family. We share a common ancestor with all apes alive today, and our nearest relatives are chimpanzees. The modern human being as we know it today is only about 150,000 years old. But, we didn’t have to evolve this way. On earth, countless unpurposed events directed life in different directions. To name just two: the great oxygen catastrophe and the Cretaceous–Paleogene event (which wiped out the dinosaurs) – two events which forever shifted the course of evolution on Earth, and which were unplanned and devastating in their own right. The oxygen catastrophe didn’t have to happen, but it did. A meteor didn’t have to hit the earth and wipe out the dinosaurs, but it did. On this planet in the past, creatures that we would call primates today found it advantageous to walk upright thus freeing their hands for manipulating the world. On this world, that gave them an advantage over their competitors in the wild. Those creatures which would become us developed higher intelligence as tool-using thinkers. But as Chuck from sfdesbris.com says: “it’s not enough to be smarter, smarter has to give you a distinct advantage.” It’s not a foregone conclusion that evolution will lead to intelligent life, although given time and the right conditions one might expect it to. One might also expect that intelligent life on other worlds would be analogous to humans as tool-using thinkers, using their appendages to manipulate the world and freeing up their bodies to evolve larger brains. But that is not to say at all that such life would also evolve from creatures that would look anything like primates – they could just as easily look like walking octopuses. Again, on earth – we look the way we do, not because some alien dropped some DNA in a pool 3 billion years ago (and most certainly no sooner), but because we evolved from similar looking creatures who evolved from similar looking creatures, all of whom can call themselves descendants of apes, who in turn can call themselves descendants of whatever small mammals remained (or evolved) after the mass destruction of the dinosaurs left niches in nature for new creatures to fill.

To say that aliens created humans is absolutely stupid because we already know how life developed on this planet and everything we know and have ever learned in biology, genetics and geology confirms it – just like we know the Earth is the third planet from the sun. And this makes the entire premise of the film pointless, (much like the Answers in Genesis website). It’s like a great mystery novel akin to the space equivalent of Angels and Demons, but the final startling revelation being: the earth is flat and the sun orbits it.

No matter how wild your story premise is, there must be a part of the audience that thinks “this could happen, this is how things might’ve have been, even if they weren’t.” For example, imagine a story where aliens brainwash Hitler to invade Poland. Silly, yes, but at least it can’t be disproved. (Of course, something isn’t proven true just because it can’t be disproved.) But with Prometheus, it simply can’t be true, because we didn’t pop into existence with unique DNA 150,000 years ago – we evolved from other species very slowly and share our DNA with all other life on earth. The story is not reflective or metaphorical, it’s dumb.

The only way to have Prometheus’s story make any sense as regards its DNA claim is to say that aliens created DNA itself and put it on earth 3 billion years ago, but even that doesn’t explain why the aliens are almost identical to humans: you cannot predict which path evolution will take because evolution, by very definition, is simply the change of gene frequencies in generations responding to the pressure of natural selection. Natural selection can be caused by sexuality and/or environment, but it’s location specific. The millions of varieties of life you see on earth today are only possible because it takes evolution that long to produce any noticeable change at all, especially speciation (although evolution on every meaningful level is an observed documented fact.) To illustrate this by contrast: if a species were already perfectly suited to its environment and its surroundings never changed, that species would never change (and evolve), not in ten million years.

But why does it matter? It matters because Prometheus is a major international release that completely abuses a wondrous field of science. It’s rubbish at best and slander at worst. It matters because there are people in positions of power who deny evolution because it contradicts their ignorant beliefs about the universe, and they want to push those beliefs on you and your children, by law, in the classroom. It matters because evolution is as established and beautiful a scientific fact as anything the human race has ever discovered, and it’s a travesty that it’s so badly misunderstood in the 21st century, so much so that most people who see Prometheus won’t even notice anything wrong with its “science”.

And the moral of Prometheus the film? Our protagonist Elizabeth Shaw regains her faith in god (of course, the personal choice of god of the writer, which is the Christian version). At one point she is teased about her faith with the claim “I guess creating life is easy…anyone can do it…you just need some DNA.” But that’s the kind of nonsense strawman of evolution that no evolutionist ever claimed! Life didn’t happen on earth because of some DNA in an ocean…DNA is only a coding language. It is genes that allow characteristics to pass from generation to generation, and NATURAL (or sexual) SELECTION is the only method by why nature can pass on some genes and withhold others. So no, you need more than just a bit of DNA…and that fact is totally ignored (deliberately?) by the writer(s) of Prometheus. Is there any other scientific field that could be so grossly disfigured and butchered by a film writer in this day and age and still get approved? I don’t think so. What do you think?

The irony here is sadly amusing: if the moral of the story was to have the protagonist reclaim her faith in god and challenge the notion that life on earth evolved naturally…it speaks volumes that such a notion was only possible in a fantasy land where the real world can be ignored and the movie script can make the impossible possible, just like the bible has the sun stand still in the sky. Most people don’t take those stories seriously, with good reason. But some do unfortunately, and they even try to re-write scientific fact to suit their beliefs. Some even use their big chance writing a Hollywood screenplay to push their creationist agenda on a worldwide audience. The sad thing? Many people don’t know any better.

***

Further reading:

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins. Not arguments, no debate. Read this if you doubt the facts.

Evolution at Wikipedia (if I were ever to endorse compulsory education this would be the second thing on my list.)

Other good critical reviews:

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/ridley-scotts-prometheus-anti-science/

67 Responses to “Why ‘Prometheus’ gets it all wrong, and why it matters”

  1. Stefan Says:

    While it might be the most significant misrepresentation of science, your topic is not the only one. How is the atmosphere so toxic with its 2% CO2 levels that it will kill the crew within two minutes? If anything, the change in pressure is much more dangerous. What kind of preservation is there that will allow for a 2,000 year old severed head to begin moving at a jolt of electricity? How do the aliens/xenomorphs grow and develop with no food source (most obviously the one that Shaw removed from her uterus)? How do we travel 35 light years in two years by 2090 something? Wouldn’t the priority of the scientists be to send the probes first to map and examine the area, then have David translate the writings, then examine tissue samples from the dead bodies, and then maybe touch and manipulate whatever they find? I understand curiosity, but no one acted like a scientist. Why would an extremely advanced race of aliens use such overly complicated and inefficient methods of destruction, such as the xenomorphs, instead of nuking the earth? They’re obviously trying to kill all life on it, so they might as well. I’m sure there are lots more, but I’m done with this disappointment.

  2. Michael Says:

    I was annoying everyone around me writing down errors as quickly as I could on my iPhone. It got out of hand. I missed the CO2 comment (probably while furiously writing), but that needs to be thrown into the lists. I’m probably more upset by the science because I really couldn’t wait for this movie to come out. It’s disappointing to say the least.

  3. Lucas Says:

    It’s a movie. Did you get upset because John Carter didn’t portray mars as an inhospitable cold desert?

  4. PROMETHEUS: DECONSTRUCTED – The BAD HAVEN Take Down (SPOILERS) | BAD HAVEN | News & Reviews of Comics, Movies, Games and Books Says:

    [...] And for the scientific argument behind why Prometheus is complete jet trash from the point of view that it completely undermines and bypasses evolution, check out this fantasti…http://angel14.com/ here [...]

  5. Stefan Says:

    Prometheus was marketed as an intelligent and thought provoking sci-fi masterpiece. The only thought it provoked in me was WTF where they thinking? John Carter was marketed as a silly action fantasy flick based on a series of books that is literally a century old, so expectations were not very high. “It’s a movie” is not an excuse for lazy script writing.

  6. Charles McCue Says:

    I’m a fan of Ridley Scott, and particularly of “Alien.” I was excited by his return to the franchise. (Thinking somehow that he would show these “Johnny Come Latelies,” like Jean-Pierre Jeunet, how it’s done). But I started getting a bad feeling about “Prometheus” early on with the introduction of the crew. Vickers, Fifield, Millburn, and even Janek are flat, hackneyed, stereotypes. “I’m only here for the money.” “They were right.” “You wanted them to be wrong?” After spending a Trillion dollars to get there??

    I’ve seen more developed characters in 80’s T&A flicks than this “masterpiece.” Who takes off their oxygen masks on a foreign planet?
    Who goes up to pet an alien cobra?
    Who goes back to the same place that aliens killed a bunch of your crewmates?
    Who undergoes a self-cesarian and then doesn’t make extra-sure that the alien baby isn’t really, REALLY dead? OR tell anybody about said alien baby.

    Mostly I was put off by David’s motivation. I loved Michael Fassbender’s acting. He played an excellent android. But David seemed to have fore-knowledge and motivation for his actions that weren’t at all explained. Or maybe I missed something.

  7. Michael Simpson Says:

    Charles, good follow up review. Some of it was quite predictable, except when the Engineer/Space jockey (I’m trying to understand if there’s a relationship between the Engineers and the fossilized space jockey in Alien) went all insane towards everyone. I guess I could have read the reviews and knew it was coming.

    I went to see the movie again, and another issue popped up. If you recall early in the movie when they were in a cave on the Isle of Skye, stating that it was 35,000 years ago. Well, the British isles (including the Isle of Skye) was under few thousand meters of ice much of the time. Southern England, which was ice free for some parts of the glacial periods, was first inhabited around 25,000 years ago.

    This isn’t secret science hidden in some book somewhere. This is easily discovered by anyone with a more than passing interest in British prehistory and geological ice ages. I’m sure even Wikipedia would be useful.

    As for that surgery machine…I thought it was cool. Except, it seemed to use 1970’s era technology for suturing. And the stupid surgery machine forgot to suture the abdominal wall prior to suturing (with staples…just not buying it) the skin. No, you don’t suture them together, you suture one then the other. Machine forgot to do that.

    And what is it with characters in SF movies who can’t make sure the alien is dead. Sheesh.

  8. Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and anti-science–an update Says:

    [...] Why ‘Prometheus’ gets it all wrong, and why it matters « e v a n e s c e n t. No matter how wild your story premise is, there must be a part of the audience that thinks “this could happen, this is how things might’ve have been, even if they weren’t.” For example, imagine a story where aliens brainwash Hitler to invade Poland. Silly, yes, but at least it can’t be disproved. (Of course, something isn’t proven true just because it can’t be disproved.) But with Prometheus, it simply can’t be true, because we didn’t pop into existence with unique DNA 150,000 years ago – we evolved from other species very slowly and share our DNA with all other life on earth. The story is not reflective or metaphorical, it’s dumb. [...]

  9. Xaffax Says:

    What a load off… anyway your totally missing the point. Probably too busy typing perceived mistakes. The exact way DNA works is irrelevant. Evolution is also irrelevant to the point the movie makes.
    The idea that life doesn’t stem from earth but that the building blocks arrived on asteroids or comets is widely accepted in the scientific world as a possibility. So life starting out on earth is by no means certain. In that sense anything bringing something more advanced than amino-acids to the planet as starting point for life evolving is not in contradiction of any science. It is however fiction.
    The main point the film is making is. “I guess creating life is easy…anyone can do it”. You don’t need to be a God to create live. A species with scientific ability pretty close to our own could theoretically start/create a new chain of life on a planet that’s suitable. It puts God (who most creationists love) completely out of the picture.
    That’s the radical point the movie makes. God is replaced by an alien about as ugly and primitive as us. Life on earth could be just the byproduct of some alien wankers cocking about.

  10. evanescent Says:

    Xaffax, it’s you who missed the point. For a start, “perceived mistakes”? Errr…which one of the many scientific errors I pointed out do you consider to be just my “perceptions”? Was it the disregard for the FACTS of common descent, shared DNA, the nested hierarchy of all life on earth, the age of the earth and of DNA and its first appearance?

    The fact that you can even say “evolution is irrelevant to the point the movie makes” is also ridiculous and shows that you missed the issues at hand. Evolution is most DEFINITELY relevant to the point of the movie, because the movie totally and proudly ignores important established science. It is bad writing at best and brazen distain for science at worst. In reality, it’s both.

    “The idea that life doesn’t stem from earth but that the building blocks arrived on asteroids or comets is widely accepted in the scientific world as a possibility.”

    Yes, it’s called panspermia, and it’s only a possibility but hardly anything more. It just removes the problem of how life itself gets started by removing the problem from earth and putting it on some other world that seeded the asteroid. In my opinion it’s an irrelevant theory. Besides, panspermia is irrelevant to this discussion and to the movie, because the scientific theory of panspermia still posits that IF DNA was introduced to earth, it was introduced 3.5 billion years ago, onto a world with no ozone layer, no oxygen, and bore more resemblance to some of our solar system counterparts than the earth we know today. It most certainly was not an earth with rivers and oceans and trees and grass (as shown in Prometheus) when some alien dropped DNA into a stream. You raising the theory of panspermia is irrelevant to this discussion and the film, so I can only assume you did it to be quite the contrarian instead of making a valid objection to anything I said. What I say in my article directly addresses the scientific issues of the film.

    “So life starting out on earth is by no means certain.”

    No…although it’s far more likely that it did than it didn’t. And besides, the film isn’t about whether life started on earth or not. It’s about DNA being given to humans a few thousand years ago by an alien, an idea which is not just stupid, it’s tragically incompetent writing and shows a profound lack of scientific knowledge.

    “In that sense anything bringing something more advanced than amino-acids to the planet as starting point for life evolving is not in contradiction of any science. It is however fiction.”

    You are right; that itself would not be a contradiction of science. But that isn’t what happens in the film, so what’s your point?

    “The main point the film is making is. “I guess creating life is easy…anyone can do it”. You don’t need to be a God to create live.”

    No, the point of the film is “god didn’t create humans and we didn’t evolve either – we were created by aliens. And who created aliens? Ooooh…let’s just nudge nudge wink wink and hope the audience thinks “well it might’ve been god since the protagonist is the worst scientist ever and is desperate to keep her faith”.” The film says “well, since we didn’t evolve, anything goes.” And that’s about as anti-science as you can get.

    Since the film openly rejects the fact of evolution, it panders to creationism. Humans COULD NOT have been created by aliens, not even in fiction, because we evolved from primates. You can say it’s fiction and it doesn’t matter, but if I were to write a story where the earth is flat that’d be my right, sure, but it’d get harder and harder to justify it as art to be taken seriously when I mentioned the moon in my story, seasons, day and night, the movement of the sun, not to mention gravity etc. Yeah I could do it, but it would be silly and pointless. What message could I possibly be trying to convey? Now, imagine that there was a very popular irrational notion that the earth was indeed flat and believers in the Flat Earth wanted to get this view pushed into the classroom at the expense of the spherical planet earth theory? Hmm, just a bit of harmless fun eh? (Funnily enough, there ARE some fundamentalist groups even today who believe in a flat earth…)

    “A species with scientific ability pretty close to our own could theoretically start/create a new chain of life on a planet that’s suitable.”

    Maybe, but that’s not what happened on THIS planet. On this planet, all life evolved from a common ancestor with the same DNA 3.5 billion years ago. You are welcome to pretend otherwise when writing fiction, for example religious fiction, but you are not artistically entitled to do so when *the entire premise of your film is to make a scientific statement about the origin of life on earth!*. You might just as well have humans breathing in space because, since it’s only fiction, it doesn’t matter if space is a vacuum or not. Would you approve of such a story?

    “That’s the radical point the movie makes.”

    It’s not radical, it’s stupid. Radical would be proposing that aliens seeded earth with DNA 3.5 billion years ago. Stupid is saying that human DNA is something unique and popped out of nowhere 150,000 years ago.

    “God is replaced by an alien about as ugly and primitive as us. Life on earth could be just the byproduct of some alien wankers cocking about.”
    Yes, but it wasn’t – and this is why it’s creationist propaganda masquerading as science. It’s just the First Cause argument in garb: it removes the problem of creation one step further. The creationists say: life couldn’t possible evolve, it had to be created, and that Creator is God. Who created god? Oh he doesn’t need one. Prometheus takes the “problem” of life and “solves” it by declaring that it was aliens who did it, and who created them? (Probably) God. And who created god? Oh he doesn’t need one. This is as blatant a Hollywood display of the First Cause argument I’ve seen.

    I don’t like to judge people’s characters after one post, but I think you’re one of those people who’d rather criticise other people for honesty criticising a work of art, than bothering to criticise the work of art! As if the art itself is untouchable and sacred, but criticism of it isn’t. You’d rather be argumentative for the sake of argument than argue over the actual values and merits of art itself. I see this opinion a lot and it’s a shame to be honest. The entire purpose of art lends itself to criticism. Art exists to be valued and appreciated, but for precisely that reason it can (and should) be criticised. The debate that surrounds art is one of the many great things about it. Just as good art should be praised, bad art should be disparaged.

  11. jphotonica Says:

    What about smoking in a spaceship? Either a NASA owned vessel or space craft that cost a private company a trillion dollars, would either really allow for smoking? Not to mentioned what that would do to their limited oxygen supply and filtering system. That’s pisses me off, just a blantant catering to the tobacco industry, it didn’t even have any artistic value maybe as in some 50’s black and white films when they can be somewhat foregiven for being ignorant of the harms of smoking.

  12. evanescent Says:

    I think it’s just assumed in sci-fi that air is recycled. Even on the space shuttle today oxygen is manufacturered from electrolysis. The reason so many characters smoked in the original films Alien and Aliens was to add realism: i.e. these are ordinary people who smoke; to add to the gritty and unhygienic atmosphere (i.e. so the ships/colony wouldn’t look nice and clean and sterile). Finally, people weren’t as anal about smoking in the 70s/early 80s as we are now.

    What is even more unbelievable is that a trillion dollar company sends scientists into space who think 37 light years is 500 million miles…

  13. Xavier Says:

    I’m not a scientist, but I understand that those people hired to be on that trillion dollar plus expedition where also not scientists. They were unprofessional to the detriment of their research and their lives, and nothing more ripped me from the movie than watching them scripted wrong. There is an intelligent way to right a series of events outside of character control in order to come to a desired conclusion, but I felt that the writers went with dumbing down every character to get from A to D. Along the way, they supposedly dumbed down science as well to convey themes for their premise, which would escape a lot of the audience. I also disliked (aftewards) being saying if you read Ridley’s interviews or fan blogs you’d understand the movie was spot on and not confusing and muddled, but I contend, you realistically as a director have only the span of the movie and the audience viewing it to present your work and successfully convey your ideas. Anything before or after is not a guaranteed, and if not a part of the defined experience, yet necessary, is a failing on movie making.

    I didn’t dislike the film, but I will always have problems with it. That I think about it alot does not make it great, it makes it frustrating because it could have been better with just a little more thought and research.

  14. Danymandias Says:

    Well, for me, the value of Prometheus (or any other sci-fi movie) is not in how much it is true, but in how much it gets to strike you as true for the couple of hours that it lasts. For me that’s the funny thing of movies, to ride a wave of pure straightforward bullshit that answers a preliminar question of “What if?”, even if the question has already been answered on the real world in ways people are sympathetic about. Because, ultimately, as you well explain how DNA is just a language, well, the whole science is also just a language to apprehend our world. As valid as magic or even faith.

    This film is more mythological that scientific, and as I see it, as mythology it isn’t trying to explain the origin of humans but to play with timeless metaphors (like the cosmic grandfather ripping his flesh to form life) that, of course, are not exclusive to judaism but to thousands of cultures, from nordic tribes to mayans. Metaphors those cultures used as we use our own today, to fuckin play.

    I don’t think there is, as you suggested, a creationist agenda in Prometheus. We don’t say any other sci-fi movie has a evolutionist agenda just because it’s hero is an atheist, or because it doesn’t attribute the origin of mankind to a human-shaped alien engineer. The thing is, i didn’t even find the fact that Shaw grasps to her dangling cross on her neck, a sympathy from the film toward christianity or faith. To me that plot felt like a lovecraftian element of the story, as in Lovecraft’s tales, in Prometheus what lays underneath structures of thinking like sience or faith is pure horror, chaos as best, and obscures purposes as worst.

    So, even when the terror surrounding her does it’s best to disprove every fuckin thing she likes to believe about the meaning of life, about God or mankind, she holds to it, not because it is true (because, no matter what you say, the movie doesn’t care to show any single proof that there is a good God watching us), but because it keeps her sane, for her it gives the world a pattern. The same way as for people of science, like you, it gives the world a recognizable pattern.

  15. evanescent Says:

    The difference is, I don’t accept science because it makes me feel good, but because it’s the only rational option. You’re welcome to say that reason doesn’t matter (though you’d be wrong, and the whole concepts of right and wrong, true and false, are *predicated* on reason to begin with, therefore being necessary in any discussion, even the attempt to deny it), but you can’t say that science and faith are equal tools of cognition. That’s being disingenious. Faith isn’t about seeing *this* world, but whatever world you’d like *except* this one. (The idea of needing faith to maintain sanity is not foreign to me, but it doesn’t make it valid: it is saying that to avoid going crazy one must believe the unbelievable. Isn’t that the definition of crazy to begin with?)

    I don’t agree with your reasons for valuing the film or its message, but I understand what you’re saying. The film had some rather obvious simplistic metaphors but on the whole I don’t think it was written well or intelligently enough to even claim to be metaphorical or allegorical. It was a dumb action flick and the only clear effort expended in its story went to to great lengths to insult science. I don’t think that’s accidental.

  16. danymandias Says:

    Well, I’m not gonna say reason doesn’t matter, of course it does, it does a lot. The thing is, we need the reason tool, the reason language as we need other tools and other languages. But I guess we’ll never be in the same tune on that because I’m a subjectivism and you have an randian Atlas as your avatar. That’s ok.

    Let me put it this way, while an non theist will search through reason an open path to understand the chaos (in Prometheus case our origin), a theist scientist (yes, it can be) like Shaw will attempt to find God. Of course, that biased course of investigation had, historically, led to pretty fucked up “facts”. But, just because someone is an atheist doesn’t mean he is objective, and none scientific trail is completely free from subjectivity as it is executed by humans.

    So, we all begin our searches for truth from a previously existing patterns in our minds, the best you can do is stretch those patterns to adapt them to the newly found reality. So what Shaw did was to let her mind patterns to be modified by a new reality, But as she is incapable to find an understable meaning to this new reality, she choses to keep a part of her mind patterns intact to make it bearable, to, in a naive way if you want, remain hopeful about her existance. She refuses to believe our creators are huge assholes, so she remains faithfull to a different reality.

    And as far as I believe, no single human has died deprived from his particular reality.

  17. evanescent Says:

    “But I guess we’ll never be in the same tune on that because I’m a subjectivism and you have an randian Atlas as your avatar. That’s ok.”

    Well I have no problem with people having a different opinion than me, I just have a problem if they think they must be right because all points of view are equally valid. Even subjectivism is a statement of objectivity – you obviously think that subjectivism is the *correct* point of view to hold, which presupposes a right and a wrong. Subjectivism is a self-refuting position whichever way one looks at it, whether one likes Ayn Rand or not. :)

    “But, just because someone is an atheist doesn’t mean he is objective, and none scientific trail is completely free from subjectivity as it is executed by humans.”

    When followed with pure integrity I think science is as close to objectivity as one can get when studying the world, but I agree that very rarely are scientists untainted by their own prejudices, unfortunately. And I agree that being an atheist says little about your objectivity or rationality for that matter.

    “So, we all begin our searches for truth from a previously existing patterns in our minds, the best you can do is stretch those patterns to adapt them to the newly found reality. So what Shaw did was to let her mind patterns to be modified by a new reality”

    Well, it’s not reality that changes, but one’s worldview. And of course one’s worldview colours how one interprets the world. It is very difficult to be objective in this regard, but not impossible.

    “She refuses to believe our creators are huge assholes, so she remains faithfull to a different reality.”

    Being faithful to something “unreal” is probably the only use faith has :) And on a side-note, if she doesn’t think *her* creator is an asshole, she should read the bible :)

    “And as far as I believe, no single human has died deprived from his particular reality.”

    Perhaps not, but many have died because of it.

  18. Grumpy Frenchman Says:

    Hang on, hang on… Regardless of how flawed the movie is in many ways, there’s one thing I don’t get in your analysis.

    Creationists aren’t creationists because they don’t want to believe in science and evolution. They’re creationists because they believe in God. A very specific God, and the very specific way HE created us.

    This movie depicts, broadly speaking, how we seem to have been created by big black humanoid aliens… That is just as much anathema to a creationist as notions of evolution and random combination of amino acids… God isn’t a big, black, humanoid alien.

    How, in that case, could this movie be accused of having a creationist agenda? Clumsy, incoherent, inaccurate, yes. But creationist, in the religious sense? That’s silly. The fundamentalist nutters who try to have school programs changed to incorporate the Bible would be just as insulted by this version as by Darwin’s.

    Actually, since I can’t sleep, might as well throw this in too:
    Again, I’ll state that, yes, the movie has many faults. If seen as number one in a trilogy, it helps that they might be explained/corrected (at least as far as the story is concerned.) As a standalone film, it’s deeply flawed. That said (and I only saw the movie once, so I may have gotten some things wrong):

    – the opening scene is not defined either geographically or temporally. It may have been Earth in the distant past, or it may have been some other planets 2 minutes before Shaw discovers the cave on the Isle of Skye. Meaning it’s quite possible what we see is the Engineers starting up life entirely on an as yet barren planet (playing the panspermia meteorite, in other word).

    – nowhere are we told, explicitly and without a doubt, that the Engineers created us. That’s what most of the characters seem to believe; however, they get a lot of things wrong, included that last Engineer’s reaction upon seeing them.
    Even if they DID ‘create’ us, it’s possible they did it in different ways than the ‘liquefy one of us and let DNA bloom’ school of genetic engineering. Maybe they visited Earth 150000 years ago, or 40000, abducted a few specimens, did some gene re-arranging to nudge our abilities towards the direction they wanted – after having determined we were the most promising subjects. Maybe they did it in a more esoteric way, by spreading some goo (probably differently colour-coded than the deadly black stuff in the ship) that did the trick. Heck, maybe they just put a black monolith and played some Strauss!
    It’s also entirely possible they did NOT, in fact, create us at all. Maybe they just observe.

    – One things that has your hackles raised – and understandably so – is the physical similarity between us and them. Let’s forget the technobabble of “100% DNA match”. THAT is lazy, poor writing. Behind it, though, is the fact that this similarity seems to indicate that they created us in their image. It’s certainly how the characters – and you for that matter – took it.
    Well, maybe; again, the movie leaves so many questions unanswered, it’s possible that’s what the writers had in mind. But here’s one possible option which could explain such similarities: the Engineers didn’t create us. SOMEONE ELSE created us, AND them. They reached the stars earlier than us, and judging by our own rate of social and technological evolution in the past 2000 years, a headstart of a couple of millenia could be enough for them to have moved on to seeding their own planets with melted engineer while we still try to get to Mars…

    – How did these original creators manage to get such similar results in two different places with different environments and circumstances (I DO understand how evolution works)? Well, they could have kept an eye on things and nudged both races every now and again to reach the result they judged optimal (maybe the cave paintings weren’t of the Engineers, after all). Or, maybe, all that DNA that seems to be junk and the function of which eludes and baffles us contains some sort of… meta code, one we haven’t been able to perceive, let alone decipher yet, and that does the evolutionary nudging from the inside, to push things towards the bipedal, anthropoid result…

    – Ridiculous? Completely wrong? Absolutely asinine?
    How would you know? We don’t KNOW what that DNA does. We think it does nothing at all, but we don’t know for sure.
    See, that’s what struck me the most in your article: You took the mistakes and misrepresentations of DNA and evolution so badly – almost personally – that you condemned them in lot, without really looking for alternate explanation, or possibilities.
    While, at the same time, accepting the idea of faster-than-light travel without batting an eyelash…
    As of the state of scientific knowledge right now, FTL travel is absolutely and unequivocally impossible. We can’t do it, and the very few vague possibilities we have only work on the quantum level. Yet, hyperspace and FTL speeds are an accepted more of sci-fi. We KNOW it’s impossible (right now) but we happily accept that it may be possible later, because we need it for the story.
    You have done exactly that, but refused to extend, in any way, the same ‘courtesy’ to genetic science. Your stance on DNA, what it can or cannot do, is bordering on dogmatic… You’ve been so busy latching on the mistakes, the clumsy dialogue or exposition, the lack of actual information (as opposed to characters’ hypotheses), that you closed your mind to other possibilities, like some I’ve cited above.

    Prometheus is a flawed movie. Again, as a first film in a trilogy, it should do fine as long as the sequels explain the current holes (and improve the dialogue, etc…). As a standalone, it falls flat.
    But one thing it does – or at least did for me – is get my mind fizzing, exploring avenues and possibilities; many of them aiming at explaining away the mistakes, holes, absent explanations, etc…

    In that respect, at least, Prometheus did what a good sci-fi movie should do: open your mind and get it buzzing. As such, I don’t consider it a failure at all.

    Anyway. My insomnia fueled two cents. I just realised the date on your post, too… Hmm.
    Guilty of a bit of comment-necromancy, I am…

  19. Dom Says:

    Evanescent, the Engineers did not “drop their DNA in the oceans of earth long ago and so created humans”. The single Engineer drank the black substance, which ripped not only his cells apart, but his DNA apart into its component pieces, rebuilding into a new DNA strand. If you look close, the pieces of the DNA strand are actually shown being covered and mutated by the black stuff, just before the scene transitions into the first cells dividing. The film makers clearly show it is the black goo that is the tool the Engineers used to create the building blocks of simple cellular life on early Earth, not the Engineers DNA. Since that is an overriding theme about the black substance throughout the film, right to the end of the film, it is clear no natural evolution of life is occurring. The black stuff is the “fire” Prometheus stole from god, referring to the films title, hence why the title appeared over the cells dividing. None of what you say above applies, because life did not evolve in the universe of the film, but was forcefully engineered. Even every aspect of what we think of as natural evolution of all species on Earth may have been forced by the Engineers programming of the black substance. Ridley chose to call them Engineers, Shaw states in the film that they ‘Engineered life’, and the they are shown doing exactly that in the film. It’s a rather simple sci-fi concept on the surface, but with much deeper meaning because it shows the Engineers, or whomever they stole the “fire” from, are so vastly advanced from the limited and simple human knowledge of DNA, that they are indeed almost godlike in their power of creation from a human perspective. If you don’t like the film, fine, but your reasoning contradicts what is made plain in the film.

  20. evanescent Says:

    Dom, unfortunately I think you also missed the flaws in the science. My reasoning doesn’t contradict anything, and although I welcome your opinion, you’re also wrong about the film. Whether the DNA comes from the engineers or from the black goo is IRRELEVANT. How does where it comes from in any way change any of my criticisms from a scientific point of view?

    You say “life did not evolve in the universe of the film, but was forcefully engineered”, but that’s why the film’s plot is absolutely rubbish. The writer didn’t even pick an unknown area of science and say “a-ha maybe God it!” – that would be lame, of course, but it happens all the time anyway. The point of my entire post is: human DNA is shown to be identical to “Engineer” DNA. For whatever reason, wherever it come from, by whatever means – this is just stupid. Human DNA is the result of natural evolution here on this planet. We know this, because the DNA code is the same for every single living thing on this planet that is and ever was. We know this, because all lifeforms living and dead have a single common ancestor and that is why our DNA code is the same. As I said in my post, the only way Prometheus’s story could work is if the Engineers or the black goo or whatever somehow created this self-replicating entity going 3.5 billion years ago – yet it is clear from the film that is not what’s happening. And even if they did *somehow* get human evolution started hence the similarities of DNA, that also misses the point. Like I said above: you cannot predict what path evolution will take. There is no DNA for “two arms two legs and a head”; only genes can produce those characteristics and genes are selected by environment, and guess what? The environment of this world has changed a lot in the last 4 billion years. The only way for Engineers to “engineer” humans would be for them to change the geography, climate and competition of every lifeform since the dinosaurs were killed (did the Engineers send a meteor to wipe them out?? Hey, maybe, they are “gods” after all…), from proto-mammal to primate to human, for 400 million years, until they got something that sort of resembled them in appearance… AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE?? 400 million years is a long time for a science project that, in the end, they were terribly passionate to exterminate all of a sudden. And why would we need such a ridiculous explanation anyway, when…..evolution by natural selection already explains how we got here! The film attempts to re-write scientific fact, just to say “aliens made us” ?? Is this story element really that important? Was the idea of them creating us REALLY that essential to the plot?

    The point is not how wonderful their technology is and how godlike they might appear, and the whole “Prometheus” title as a metaphor from our mythology is unoriginal, cheap and obvious. It’s about as subtle as a tank. That doesn’t have anything to do with the science by the way, that’s just my personal opinion on how the movie appeals to mass ignorance with pretty effects and dumb science – but fine, each to their own. The story was terrible anyway even without the scientific errors.

    I understand what you mean about the universe of the film being different, which is fine for a supernatural story – but not for sci-fi and even then there are rules. As I say (and I don’t see why I need to repeat it), you can have vampires and orcs on earth etc – fine. But if you’re going for supposedly a sci-fi story, you can’t, for no good reason and with no explanation, have the earth be the fourth planet from the sun. It makes no sense. Similarly, you can’t make an error in your script regarding the distance of a light-year which anyone with half a brain could’ve spotted if the script had been proof-read. Further, if you really really want to do a story about panspermia, at least construct it so it can’t be totally dismissed immediately; make it unfalsifiable at least. The writers were so obviously ignorant of evolution and even basic science, you cannot say “it’s a just a story set in an alternate universe”; no – this is either gross stupidity or a calculated attack on science. Given the overt religious pro-faith anti-reason message of the clueless “protagonist” it hardly seems a coincidence to me. The *only* reason this film can be considered a success is financially, and even then only because of its big name director and massive special effects budget, and the fact that 90% of movie-goers are just as ignorant of basic science as movie writers.

    The film was terrible yes, but even if it were the greatest spectacle of art I’d ever seen, I would still criticise it because the ignorance of science was despicable and promotion of faith is dangerous.

  21. evanescent Says:

    Grumpy Frenchman, you made some good points and I enjoyed your post although I didn’t agree with most of it. Let me pick up on one important point you made:

    “As of the state of scientific knowledge right now, FTL travel is absolutely and unequivocally impossible. We can’t do it, and the very few vague possibilities we have only work on the quantum level. Yet, hyperspace and FTL speeds are an accepted more of sci-fi. We KNOW it’s impossible (right now) but we happily accept that it may be possible later, because we need it for the story.”

    I can accept FTL because every sci-fi show that has ever employed it has, to its credit, *tacitly acknowledged* the fact that given our current model of the universe, light-speed and FTL is impossible, given the laws of physics. At least that is, it’s impossible to accelerate to light speed. In fact, this isn’t disregarding scientific fact – these TV shows are in fact *deferring* to it, because they invent supposedly scientific alternatives to overcome the problem: warp speed, wormholes, hyperspace, etc. (If a sci-fi show had a rocket with regular propulsion that just got faster and faster and reached light-speed, then I’d have a problem, sci fi or not!) And the re-imagined BSG doesn’t even attempt to explain it, it justs refers to the technology as FTL, yet we know it’s a mechanical device employing some scientific knowledge. And, most of the time, although being able to travel faster than light is necessary for the story, it is not THE STORY, and that’s the point. Star Trek is even more guilty of butchering evolution than Prometheus is, and for that those writers (Brennan, I’m looking at you) should be ashamed of themselves. If the Enterprise travels at Warp 9 it doesn’t matter. If it goes back 10,000 years and finds man and dinosaurs living together, it does. It is difference between saying “this is what could be” and “this is what was”. Sci-fi has to be speculative because it expands the mind and inspires us – and, given that we haven’t unified all four fundamental forces yet, who knows what the future holds for FTL. But that is simply not the same as pissing over what we already DO know, and least of all when done with the brazen ignorance of Prometheus.

    The entire PURPOSE of Prometheus, (and one I simply I can’t understand) is that the writer wanted aliens to have dropped DNA on earth and millions of years later, we are like them. That’s what he wanted. That’s the point of his story, that’s the essential plot. As you say, it’s lazy writing. And he went to such great contortions to make it happen, and for what?? What’s the pay-off? I knew what was going happen after the opening scene. The DNA “revelation” was telegraphed from the moment the alien stood on the banks of a river. It’s not even an original idea in sci-fi. Even Star Trek TNG did something similar (badly) in its seventh season – and that too failed for the same reason as this. Sometimes, just sometimes, stories CANNOT work and should be left to die in the writer’s paper basket.

    As for what you say about it not being creationist because it contradicts the Christian account of creation – you’re right in that sense, but it’s still creationist, because the message is: evolution didn’t happen, and even if God didn’t create US, he might’ve gotten life started at some point. Whether he created us, or he created them and they created us, the message is the same. The film is incredibly anti-science and anti-evolution, so that once it’s finished, it doesn’t matter which God it’s pushing; it’s pushing faith and spitting on science – and that’s pretty much the same thing.

  22. Grumpy Frenchman Says:

    I’m still having a hard time understanding how people can assign such a deliberate, anti-science message to a SCI-FI movie. Maybe this is a cultural thing (I’m not sure where you’re based; I’d say America, but I’m not certain) but seriously, who goes to a sci-fi movie expecting it to deliver truth about the origins of the universe?? You go watch a movie like that hoping it’ll open your mind to possibilities and avenues of reflexion. That it’ll show you something you’re unfamiliar with and make you go ‘huh…’ But NOT that it’s going to tell you: “This is the truth of how it happened.”

    It’s a story. It’s based on a semi-creationist idea, yes. It’s not gospel of any kind, and there are plenty of other sci-fi stories out there with ideas that are weird, crazy, provocative, or just plain daft – but the point isn’t the idea or the truth of it, it’s the exploration of the possibilities, the enjoyment of the process, and the mental exercise it gives us.
    So, I can understand that you may not have liked the movie; I can understand that you’re annoyed at the scientific innacuracy (so am I). But I’m having a hard time understanding why you seem to take the ‘message’ so much to heart. So far as I know, Prometheus isn’t going to be shown in school to replace biology…?

    Whatever the reason, it might explain why you see nefarious intent and an attack on our current knowledge of how DNA works (which, again, is far from complete), whereas I see lazy writing in expressing the film’s ideas. That ‘100% match’ for example. It makes me cringe because, yes, I know that evolution doesn’t work that way; that if you were to just dump identical DNA in two different environments, the end results millions of years later would be totally different. But I don’t cringe because I think it’s an assault on science and what we know of evolution. I cringe because it’s bad story-telling…

  23. sabretruthtiger Says:

    Your ‘argument ‘against intelligent design is nothing of the sort. Information cannot be created from high entropy random chaos unless it is designed that way. The ‘programming language’ you speak of are highly refined strong, electro-weak and gravitational forces along with a specific array of particles finely tuned by a spontaneous symmetry breaking that is unexplained.
    It’s like shaking a bag of lego, pulling out the unbound pieces, shaking it again and eventually you get an amazing shape that looks designed. Sure it was from random processes but the blocks were DESIGNED to fit together. Any variation in particle sizes, weights the relative forces and life couldn’t arise, just as a slight variation in the nodule to hole relative size would render shapes impossible.
    Sure there’s an infinite universe/dimension anthropic principle to explain the finely tuned nature of the forces but that is fanciful speculation and comes with it’s own can of worms.

    Given the finely tuned nature of forces in relation to the creation of life, it is logical to assume this would occur elsewhere given that the combination elements, aminos etc would occur and interact in roughly the same manner with obviously varying ratios depending on planet size etc. This would mean that DNA as we know it would have a high chance of being the building blocks of life elsewhere, certainly on planets of similar solar distance and composition. It is also natural to assume give the rise to prominence and technology of humans that the anthropoidal form is the most conducive and economic in relation to achieving civilisation and technological advancement. (2 counterbalancing locomotive limbs and two counterbalancing work performing limbs. This is not certain of course but there’s a good chance. The Oceanic Dolphin family are highly intelligent but lack the structure required to manipulate their environment and create technology.

    Also the alien DNA may be designed to react with the the most appropriate hominid Earth DNA and humans are the result of it’s combining with the DNA of ape men. Perhaps it was dormant in lifeforms until a certain combination of genes unlocked it and it evolved humans. Let’s not forget they have not found any valid intermediary fossils between humans and the ape hominids.

  24. evanescent Says:

    Sabre, despite your impressive array of words and phrases, I don’t think you know as much as evolution as you think you do. Now, I agree that given the incomprehensible size of the universe, it is a statistically certainty that there is at least one other planet out there that’s very similar to earth, but not because it *has* to be, but simply because given the odds it’s almost unavoidable.

    You’ll have to find me a quote from a respected evolutionary biologist to back up your claim that DNA “as we know it” would have a high chance of being involved in evolution on another planet. Apart from the fact it happened on earth, DNA, as we know it, coding the way it does – will almost certainly not happen on another planet. Maybe it will be something similar, but the code will not be the same. Consider that all life on this planet except some viruses use DNA – and the only reason the DNA language is the same in all past and present living things is because they have the same ancestor.

    I also agree that statistically it’s likely that on another planet there are/could be/could have been lifeforms with two arms and two legs – and I also agree that the bipedal locomotion freeing up arms to manipulate the world was a huge bonus for homo sapiens, on this planet. But to claim that just because evolution gave such a being a distinct advantage on this world and therefore it would be advantageous on other worlds is simply not true. That depends entirely on the planet, the environment, the competition, and a million other factors. It’s also somewhat conceited: there could be intelligent life on another planet with two legs and one arm – thinking itself the apex of biological evolution and thinking “this is the way to go!” – and we’d have a distinct advantage over them, on this world and probably theirs – but their evolutionary history might preclude symmetrical arms, just like elephants only have one trunk. Additionally, there is no reason at all to suppose that great intelligence couldn’t evolve in lifeforms with many tentacles. Even on this world there’s an argument for such an advantage. On their world, tentacles could set them apart from those miserable “primates” in the woods that are still walking around on two legs…

    And I’ll save the best until last; the kicker that are you indeed a creationist will no clue about evolution:

    “Also the alien DNA may be designed to react with the the most appropriate hominid Earth DNA and humans are the result of it’s combining with the DNA of ape men. Perhaps it was dormant in lifeforms until a certain combination of genes unlocked it and it evolved humans. Let’s not forget they have not found any valid intermediary fossils between humans and the ape hominids.”

    You cannot “design” DNA to “react” with appropriate DNA of a different coding language. DNA does not “react” with itself like two chemicals to form a new compound. In fact, the entire foundation of DNA being successful is its ability to communicate across species and not beyond. That is precisely why, despite what you probably believe, dogs can’t give birth to cats and fish don’t spawn humans – because that’s not how DNA works. And, “a certain combination of genes unlocked it” – genes don’t unlock DNA, DNA codes for proteins (the genetic code). And you obviously didn’t read my article or understand it, nor understand DNA: you cannot predict what genes will come out of the pool 3.5 billion years after start. That’s precisely the idiocy that Prometheus claims. Earth went through millions of unpredictable events in its history until the last 150,000 years, and every single gene went through TRILLIONS of slight modifications in its time to become whatever it was any particular moment in time. You’re suggesting that someone could “program” DNA to react with itself (!) given a particular combination of genes (!) predicted to arise in 3.5 billion years time?!

    And finally you claim there are no “valid” intermediary fossils between humans and apes… well, forgive my internet speak: L.O.L. Pick up a science book some time. I refuse to argue evolutionary fact any more than I refuse to argue for a spherical earth and heliocentric solar system.

    You’re a creationist who’s tried to use scientific parlance to appear more knowledgeable than you are. Especially telling was your attempt to sneak quantum mechanics into a discussion regarding DNA coding. Did you think I wouldn’t notice? You’ve been called out. Read Dawkins.

  25. thomas Says:

    what an absolute idiot. its a film, i wish i could stick things though the screen and touch him with them hmmmmmmmm. im gay

  26. evanescent Says:

    Don’t know why you chose my blog to out yourself, Thomas – but congrats all the same. I hope your family are understanding.

  27. Ed Farnsworth Says:

    Thanks, Evanescent. My own nephew is thirty years old, a Christian creationist, and loved this film. I tried to watch it myself, but walked out and demanded my money back. It made me very sad. It breaks my heart that someone I love and care about has fallen victim to this cult of stupidity. Unless we become serious about the restoring the scientific literacy of our populace, the children of America will be doomed to spend their lives as confused, superstitious adults.

  28. Santa Says:

    It’s not true that DNA is 100% match !!! Also, most of you probably didn’t spent one minute on fake website of the Peter W. company, despite the fact that fake website is part of the story and film. Most of the clues can be found there !

  29. Santa Says:

    @Ed Farnsworth – “My own nephew is thirty years old, a Christian creationist, and loved this film. I tried to watch it myself, but walked out and demanded my money back.”

    I am die-hard atheist myself and film doesn’t contradict with my convictions, it would be really odd even crazy to take a Sci-Fi story as a threat, or even less interesting, because my convictions as an atheist, being well read and educated person.

    By the way, after I read through all the comments made by blog owner, I can’t resist the feeling that only this factor (creationism as possible source for the idea) lead him/you to hate it in the first place !?

    It seems to me that “bad science” is just an excuse to attack this film, because it could be seen as a possible creationists propaganda — what film belongs to proper Sci-Fi, with (near) flawless science background, according to your logic and reasoning then ?!?
    Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Star Track, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, Alien, … is there any ?!?

    Cheers!

  30. Santa Says:

    I am sorry that I writing third post, but I must express my one and only complaint with this film – it’s not science, it’s a racism, and I do not mean racism often associated with David and how some film characters related to robot/android.
    I mean racism in context of the engineers, who look like Ku Klux Klan wet dream prototype white race übermensch !

  31. nick Says:

    I’m bewildered at your review. You seem to take the view that the movie is trying to justify belief in God. Wow. Most believers I know hated this film exactly because, I believe, it calls into question their beliefs. Having faith is important, but not necessarily in a God. That is perhaps both Shaw’s and David’s redeeming qualities. And one you seem not to have noticed. I’ve found Prometheus to be brilliantly and very cleverly conceived, almost every line of dialogue is symbolic. So is the film itself. Again, you seem to have been on the wrong wavelength.

  32. evanescent Says:

    Nick, I didn’t say the movie is trying to justify belief in God – although if I were a theist and didn’t have a clue about evolution and wanted to hang on to some hope that my god existed, this is probably how I’d go about writing it.

    If you’re right and most believers you know hate this film, then the hacks – sorry, writers behind it have accomplished the rare task of pissing off theists and atheists alike. And it’s interesting that it should take a badly written scientifically illiterate mess like this to make them question their beliefs. Doesn’t the REAL science of real life do that? Why would this film call into question their beliefs more than say, half an hour on Wikipedia reading about evolution?

    I don’t think having faith is important at all. Faith is the most loosely-defined mystical word of them all; it can mean whatever you want it to mean but it basically boils down to: belief without actual knowledge. The point is, if faith is important at all, then faith in what?? Gods, demons, devils, unicorns, Gandalf, the Easter Bunny, Allah, Vishnu, Captain Kirk? Anyway, faith is another discussion.

    If you think Prometheus is brilliant and clever, fine – that’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it – but I didn’t find that to be case. In my opinion it’s badly written, poorly paced and badly characterised; none of the characters make any sense and their stupidity and behaviour is staggering. The science is awful and ignorant, at best. The plot is thin and raises more questions than it answers – even within its own context. Mystery is fine, but leaving out important plot elements that help us understand the presentation is bad writing. The dialogue is cliched and hackneyed, wrapped up in pseudo-enigmatic prose to make it appear deeper and more meaningful than what it actually is.

    If you enjoyed the movie, great – I’m pleased for you – but that doesn’t make it a masterpiece of any kind. If it wasn’t the Director it was, on the budget it was, and if it wasn’t “exploiting” an already existing fantasy world which was done by true masterpieces decades ago (Alien is wonderful, Aliens is great, Predator is very good), I doubt anyone would have anything good to say about this film, and actually I find positive comments few and far between in my research. What I do read that appears to be praise for the film looks like apologetics, feigning some deeper understanding of the dialogue; some appreciation of the subtext that appears to have escaped the rest of us. I find it hard for anyone to justify this film on objective grounds (and by that I mean, even if I dislike something I can appreciate it as a work of art), because as science fiction, it fails. As a mystery it fails. As a fantasy, it fails because the story is so silly and the characters so stupid it’s hard to become attached to them or believe in it or them in any way. As an action movie it probably succeeds, if you like your action meaningless and devoid of emotion. Personally, I found the characters so imbecilic I almost laughed as they were picked off one by one. Compare that to Aliens…

    So, am I on a different wavelength? Sure. The “wrong” one? I don’t think so.

  33. evanescent Says:

    Santa, the bad science is most definitely not my only gripe with this film, but its mistreatment of evolution was the one I wanted to focus on, since this film has already attracted many critics who will point out the more classical problems with it: bad script, bad characters, plot errors, contradictions, lack of atmosphere etc. This review could’ve been twice as long if I went into those points.

    Personally, I am very pleased that my review has attracted these comments, especially the ones that disagree with me. For me, this is precisely what art is supposed to do. It can be good or bad art and produce those positive or negative emotions, but equally important is that art is necessarily open to praise and attack – a point that is sadly lost on many people. One of the great things associated with art is the discussion it generates. That’s why I despise comments like “it’s just a film!” No, it’s a work of art that someone created to present human values of existence to an audience, in exchange for appreciation and/or money. Art exists to be evaluated! A statue or painting, piece of music or film – are useless without an audience. Evaluation includes the possibility of criticism, and to withhold criticism from a work of art you’ve bothered to experience is just as bad as withholding praise from it.

    Prometheus is, in my opinion, a terrible film. I didn’t even like the score. The only redeeming feature that springs to mind is the visual effects, but in this day and age, on the budget concerned, what film DOESN’T have great effects? Even your average TV budget can produce visual effects that films and programs 15 years ago would envy (e.g. re-imaged Battlestar Galactica versus Babylon 5). Also, visual effects has become in many cases (Star Wars, Avatar et al) the oldest trick in the book: eye candy to cover a multitude of sins. Blow the audience away with fantastic visuals (and the same could be said of music), to hide the fact that your story is a mess. Visual effects seem to have become the sine qua non of fantasy films in Hollywood. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’d have thought the STORY should be the sine qua non of any, err, story. And all this is fine, I guess, if all you’re trying to do is make a pretty series of images for 3 hours to make a killing at the box office. Fine. But then don’t pretend that this is some crypto-masterpiece beyond the understanding of the average critic who obviously “missed the point”.

    So, no. I think this film is sad because it perpetuates myths of science and evolution (and actual scientists). In an age where mysticism is rife, I think this is very dangerous. If the film weren’t a film and say, a peer-reviewed scientific thesis, I would also attack it and no one would bat an eyelid. But, when it’s presented as a work of art to an audience of billions as “just a bit of fun”, some suggest this somehow disqualifies it from criticism?? Please…

  34. nickvdl Says:

    The reason i say having faith is important, is because it probably aids survival. I’m talking about some sort of affirming belief, which perhaps mitigates the fear and terror of death. Belief can to some extent quell anxiety. And David touches on this by being impressed by Shaw’s survival instincts. I think it is the only compliment he expresses to a human being in the the whole film.

  35. nickvdl Says:

    I left an earlier comment which seems to have disappeared. I basically wrote that the film as earned $400 million off a modest budget of about $120 million. This suggests that a lot of people did get the film. Also that the scripts were painstakingly assembled (both are published online). They were carefully considered, rewritten etc, that’s why it is wrong for you to assume they were badly written or ill-considered. I think it’s very dismissive – have you spent any time looking at what the writers themselves have said? The studio and Scott often countermanded ideas in the script, which made the story in the end a more difficult beast to put to paper. (For example the studio didn’t want another frnachise film). All the writing was very carefully considered, which is to me the beauty of the film. If you did not get it that doesn’t mean it was badly written, it means you didn’t get it. perhaps watch it again with an open mind?

    I also think the makers tried to hedge themselves a little in defense of the bad science. you see the one scientist smoking something in his ventilator, the other one has self esteem issues – clearly – and tells his buddy he is ‘ashamed’ to call him one of them. so the writers are aware of the bad decisions. Here’s something I wrote on the topic, though from a more particular angle:

    http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Prometheus-getting-practical-about-meeting-your-maker-20130101

    I don’t think it is about science as much as the human search – the symbolic-ness that is part of who we are – and the necessity to combine humanity with the robot coldness of logic in our search.

  36. James Says:

    Just had a read through some of the comments.. personally i think that some of you are taking this way too seriously! after all it is a movie?! and for the record i think we’re more likely to come from an alien race than we are from the “Invisible man in the sky”

    Just my opinion of course :)

  37. Stefan Alexander Says:

    Thank you for this great article, You summed up perfectly my main issues with this film. And I love your comment responses. It’s clear you know your stuff. I just find it terribly frustrating that people don’t seems to really grasp evolution and seem to have a bad understanding of the way science works in general that they fail to see that this isn’t just a little movie mistake, this is an outright attack, a ‘creationist trojan horse’ another reviewer rightfully called it. I particularly detest the postmodern attidue that permeates the film that we all have our own personal truths and that they matter. Utter bullshit!! Shaw’s statement “That is what i choose to believe” Is the most shocking thing a scientist has ever said on film. And don’t get me started on “300 years of darwinism” (that line alone sets off all the red flags.) Anyway, awful film, great article…Thanks!

  38. evanescent Says:

    Hi Stefan, thanks for the comment. You make some good points yourself. Everything about this film was an utter disappointment, and the “philosophy” to be found in it was terrible at best and wicked at worst.

  39. Nick van der Leek Says:

    I think you’ve gotten Prometheus all wrong, and I stand by my earlier comment that you’re on the wrong wavelength. The director wanted to pose some serious questions, in a serious way. Questions that are not necessarily scientific, but do lend themselves to science fiction: where did we come from? what happens when we die? Now if you’re on the alien and aliens wavelength the intentions of the director are going to be completely missed. You reference how you thought Alien and Aliens were masterpieces….so obviously you were expecting similar fare. Hence the wavelength problem. If you watch the bonus features, extras on the DVD you may get a sense of the very deep level of preparation that went into this film and even more so, the enormous amount of material that was left out. What I think you are completely missing is that Scott, the studio and the new writer (Lindehof) all felt that they wanted to make a film within the aliens universe, but not necessarily a franchise film. they wanted to take it in a new direction. I think you’ve missed it because you’re still stuck in that direction. also, if you watch the film again try to notice the context in which your stupid scientists make stupid decisions. one of them also says, “I’m ashamed to call you one of our own.” As a proponent of evolution you seem to show absolutely no interest in the evolution of the black goo, something that alone is cause for plenty of thinking experiments.
    I think the clues are right in front of you and you’re missing them all because they’re not punching you on the nose. (The director doesn’t like to do that, hence he erased scenes of the Engineers talking and also fighting with Shaw at the climax). The biggest clue of course is in the title, which – like all mythology – suggests, points to possibilities without necessarily providing every single detail to back up the basic idea. In my opinion you’ve failed to even see that. For a film trying to explore some of our internal dialogue, it does superbly well. Of course, if you never ask yourself these questions, or are dogmatic about the answers, you’ll hate them, the way theists hate each other for having beliefs that differ from their own. it ends up being a case that ‘my answers are better than yours’, but it should really be ablout being interested in the questions that are raised and the thought experiments that follow. you’ve completely missed these. that makes it an awful film for you, but not an awful film in its own right. It’s probably the most intelligent movie Hollywood has produced, since Inception.

  40. Nick van der Leek Says:

    So if they have the same DNA code as us, so what? >>>Again, you miss the point. Shaw says, “It’s everything, it’s us.” The point with the match is to be able to say, within the movie mythos, that these were our creators. The creator and the created form an important theme in the film (Humans and David, Shaw giving birth, the Engineer giving birth, Christmas etc). So the intention is to show that we were made by the Engineers and then they changed their minds. What did we do wrong? Your point about dna matching simple misses the symbolic import and the intentions of the story to resonate with our common human questioning. Not as scientists but as flesh and blood creatures imbued with consciousness.

  41. Nick van der Leek Says:

    All living things on this planet are the product of common descent…..

    The “Engineers” could not have any DNA similarity with us unless they came from earth, which they clearly did not do.>>>

    Again, you’re not following what the story is trying to suggest, which is what if life here, started somewhere else. that is how you begin to construct the possibility of a creator, or a gardener seeding life elsewhere in the universe. which is why they are called engineers. You seem also to be very committed to your own version of what you know. Studies of volcanic islands that have been obliterated show that life does not spontaneously re-seed on these islands, they have been sterilised. what happens is that nearby islands seed these islands with life, and they are transported there via the ocean currents (eg space in terms of planets.)

  42. Nick van der Leek Says:

    And the moral of Prometheus the film? Our protagonist Elizabeth Shaw regains her faith in god >>>that’s not the moral of the story. The moral is about the viability of our choices… ‘because choosing what we believe’ can lead to enormous mistakes and how these choices come with a cost. In Holloway’s case, his determination to sacrifice everything and anything proves to be too ambitious. certain forms of faith have value, for survival. but some commitments can get you into trouble (Fifields commitment to money and his lack of commitment to relationships)… in Shaw’s case, even beliefs that are not 100% accurate, may nevertheless serve us in some important way. They also serve David, but in other ways, and his lack of emotional intelligence/insight causes him to lose his head/or body.
    you should consider watching the film and listening to the ‘daft dialogue’ from the perspective that the director was 100% happy that it was perfect, and exactly what he wanted. then another picture may emerge from the one you have.

  43. evanescent Says:

    Hi Nick, thanks for the comments. Sorry it’s taken a while to get back to you.

    You can say we just have a difference of a opinion, the main gist of what you say is: I missed the point. Now, this maybe true. Maybe I just didn’t get it. Maybe Prometheus is a masterpiece of creative writing with so many clever subplots and themes it went totally over my head.

    Or, maybe the emperor has no clothes. I think the problem when you try too hard to look into a film, you see things that simply aren’t there. I see no such indications that Prometheus or the writer made a really clever subtle script. As just one example, mentioned above, when they get the simple fact of spatial distances wrong (300 million kilometres, really?), you really have to question everything else.

    I basically wrote that the film as earned $400 million off a modest budget of about $120 million. This suggests that a lot of people did get the film.

    How can you infer that people “got” the film from the fact they went to watch it? In those gate receipts will be my money, and I clearly didn’t “get” it. The amount of money a film makes has no necessary connection to its quality. How many terrible films have done brilliantly at the box office, only to be considered creative flops afterwards? And in any event, the popularity of a film says nothing about its quality; people like films for many reasons. How many Scary Movie and American Pie spinoffs have there been? Fast and the Furious? People like Hollywood tripe for a few reasons, but stunning writing isn’t often one of them.

    Also that the scripts were painstakingly assembled (both are published online).

    Even if this is true, what does the effort that went into the script prove about its quality? A 10-year-old could’ve spent five years on the script and what would that prove? They might’ve been painstakingly assembled…that doesn’t make them good.

    They were carefully considered, rewritten etc, that’s why it is wrong for you to assume they were badly written or ill-considered.

    I haven’t assumed anything. I watched the film and then judged the script. I thought it was terrible. I didn’t assume it was rubbish, I decided it was. Your film can’t be that carefully considered or written when most of what you say about science is complete junk (ten minutes on Wikipedia would’ve cleared this up), and your characters are pathetic. You can disagree with my opinion, fine. But you can’t say the writers really really worked hard and so I’m wrong. I’m sure they worked hard. What they produced still sucked. It sucked for all the reasons I mention above, and many others that other critics have cited. I only considered the film from a scientific point of view, I could’ve been a lot more critical if I went into detail of the plot-holes.

    All the writing was very carefully considered, which is to me the beauty of the film. If you did not get it that doesn’t mean it was badly written, it means you didn’t get it. perhaps watch it again with an open mind?

    Again, this suggests there is some wondrous hidden gem waiting to be found if I really look hard enough. I see no evidence for this. But even if there was, and I’m just thick – the movie has still missed the point, because it missed all the basic stuff (like making the characters and their decisions make sense, and the science at least half-credible), so that even someone as stupid as me wouldnt notice it, but hid its “beauty” so well that I couldn’t even see it….. which is also what we’d expect if the movie actually wasn’t that good and got a lot wrong, but some folk don’t like to admit it.

    Let’s face it: Hollywood special effects fests are generally not renowned for their clever and harmonious story-telling.

    It is far more likely that you’re projecting your own emotions and admiration of the film to create elements that simply don’t exist. You’re giving the film far more credit that it deserves.

    I don’t think it is about science as much as the human search – the symbolic-ness that is part of who we are – and the necessity to combine humanity with the robot coldness of logic in our search.

    That’s fine. If that’s what the writers intended, great. If you can see that intention in the film, great. But I don’t think it was realised or executed well. It’s no good having a beautiful vision if you cannot realise it properly; such is the whole purpose of art. I cannot splash paint mindlessly on a canvas and declare it’s the essential summation of life’s existential objectivity, and expect you to just get that. You might believe me… hey, you might even “see” what I was getting at in that mess. Or, maybe for all my good intentions I failed as an artist. Art is about communicating values. When you fail at the basics, what have you achieved?

    There are so many idiotic actions on the part of the characters, so many decisions that make no sense, so many basic scientific mistakes, so much disregard for common sense and storytelling integrity, that if the writers really wanted to communicate this deep metaphysical metaphor for the great human search, they spent far, far too much time on the blue sky thinking and failed at everything else. This is why the movie failed. Not because it didn’t have high aspirations; (it did), but because it failed to translate them into a coherent believable logical script. If you cannot do that, your story failed, regardless of how hard you tried.

    where did we come from? what happens when we die?

    If this was the intention of the film, it failed again. The film did not answer the first question, because the answer is necessarily wrong as I explained above. A film set in this universe must make sense for this universe. Of course, fantasy is fair game – because it’s consistent to its own rules. Prometheus might be consistent in some universe, but not THIS one, not THIS universe with humans and our evolution. Which makes the film irrelevant to us. It can’t be about our origins because our DNA was NOT planted from an alien race, and even if it were evolution can’t be predestined. And again this is why the writers failed: if they really wanted to write a story set in the “Aliens” universe to ask these difficult metaphysical questions, they did not have to do it the way they did.
    So why did they? (Hint: $$$) The challenge of being a writer is telling the story you want within the rules, even your own rules. They had an entire universe to play with and a million ways to tell such a story. Asking fundamental questions of humanity isn’t exactly a new idea in fiction. Most writers do it better than this…

    I have struggled with this myself on occasion writing fiction; sometimes the rules you want to play by preclude the story you want to tell. Do you ignore the rules or adapt the story?

    No, again: the emperor has no clothes. You’re giving the film a respect it doesn’t deserve: there is no such clever writing in Prometheus. It is a special effects fest milking previous great movies to sell a poorly executed concept. The writers and director can spout whatever Philosophy 101 stuff on the DVD special features; and you can buy it if you want. Maybe they are absolute geniuses and I missed the point. But when they don’t even know what a light-year or DNA is, I wouldn’t be too sure…

    What I think you are completely missing is that Scott, the studio and the new writer (Lindehof) all felt that they wanted to make a film within the aliens universe, but not necessarily a franchise film. they wanted to take it in a new direction. I think you’ve missed it because you’re still stuck in that direction.

    No, not at all. I had no strong feelings about what direction they went in or what they did with the universe. But I know I felt more about the characters in Alien and Aliens than any of the bumbling idiots in Prometheus…

    “Hey Captain, I know you don’t know anything that’s happened because no one has told you, and you have no reason to believe me, and what little backstory you have has shown you to be a bit of a selfish loner, but please give your life for me based on a 30 second speech during which I make sweeping claims about the aliens’ intentions that are a good guess at best. Oh the lives of your two crew mates too?”

    “Sure!”

    As a proponent of evolution you seem to show absolutely no interest in the evolution of the black goo, something that alone is cause for plenty of thinking experiments.

    On the evidence of the film, compared to the writer, I might as well be Richard Dawkins. With this in mind, I think it’s a bit rich to argue for the meaning of the plot elements and thought experiments.

    Do you want to know why the characters act so stupid in Prometheus? Because the plot calls for it. There is a basic outline of things that must happen in the film, so the characters go through the motions to get from scene to scene because that’s what the writer needs to happen, not because the story grows organically to a logical conclusion. As an example of how a film *should* be structured in this way, see ‘Aliens’.

    The biggest clue of course is in the title, which – like all mythology – suggests, points to possibilities without necessarily providing every single detail to back up the basic idea.

    On the contrary, the title of the film told me pretty much what it was about before it even started. Anyone who knows the myth of Prometheus would’ve cottoned onto that before they even watched it.

    For a film trying to explore some of our internal dialogue, it does superbly well.

    It’s a shame the *actual* dialogue in the movie was so bad.

    but it should really be ablout being interested in the questions that are raised and the thought experiments that follow. you’ve completely missed these. that makes it an awful film for you, but not an awful film in its own right

    Most of the questions the film raises it doesn’t answer! And the real questions I have are about the decisions of the characters, David in particular. Nothing he does makes any sense and it’s not understandable what particular goal he is working towards and why- and how any of his actions are harmonious with that goal. And given “his” total lack of humanity, why should be care anyway?

    If you cannot see this then I suspect you are oblivious to the problems this film really has and have provided the answers yourself instead of finding them in the film.

    It’s probably the most intelligent movie Hollywood has produced, since Inception.

    Oh please…. you’re kidding right? If you think Inception is intelligent then I really have question marks over your standard for intelligence, even for Hollywood. Are you *that* easily impressed?

    So if they have the same DNA code as us, so what? >>>Again, you miss the point. Shaw says, “It’s everything, it’s us.” The point with the match is to be able to say, within the movie mythos, that these were our creators.

    Except, they can’t be our creators in the way the story was told, because it makes no sense. So it should’ve been written in a way that made it possible, even within a fictional world, for them to be – or make the parenthood a more figurative one. Why the need to try and force this square peg into a round hole?

    The problem is that the evolution of species has been so well documented that unfortunately it’s a very hard fact of the world to reconfigure into a creation story. My personal opinion is that it shouldn’t be attempted unless you’re really clever and the story you’re trying to tell is so important that it can’t be told any other way – and you tell it in a way that plays on real life mysteries which genuinely make us come out of the cinema wondering… For example, the Great Leap Forward of 50,000 years ago is a topic of some scientific debate and there are unanswered and perhaps unanswerable questions about it. Perhaps the Engineers gave us technology or genetically engineered us back then in some slight way, which wouldn’t make them out literal parents, but maybe we could thank them for our existence in some way? Perhaps they pushed us toward language and agriculture? Perhaps there was a debate amongst The Engineers over whether they should have helped us or not? Perhaps it caused a civil war amongst them? Perhaps some Engineers want to help lesser races and some see us simply as vermin? Perhaps we could’ve learned about ourselves from the species that watched us and helped us behind the scenes for 50,000 years? The beauty of this approach is that it COULD have happened, plays on a real mystery, tells the same kind of story, and educates us a bit in the process with beautiful facts about our REAL history and science. But nah, that’s far too much research and far too much thinking for the average movie-goer to get. MOAR SPECIAL EFFECTZZ! Prometheus is pseudoscientific trash for the masses.

    So the intention is to show that we were made by the Engineers and then they changed their minds. What did we do wrong?

    I don’t know. It’s yet another thing the film didn’t bother to tell us. Unless you assume it will be explained in the sequel. You see, it’s the perfect apologetic: if the film doesn’t make sense it’s because “we” didn’t get it. If it made sense but didn’t answer the questions it raised, it’s because it’s a mystery and we’re supposed to think about it. If we have thought about it and it still didn’t make sense, just wait for the sequel…

    Your point about dna matching simple misses the symbolic import and the intentions of the story to resonate with our common human questioning.

    …Another thing I must have missed is how a tiny alien the size of my fist can deny all laws of the conservation of energy and mass and grow 500% in a few days without any food.

    That symbolism is something you might bring to the film from your own mind, based on a few behind-the-scenes comments, but I didn’t see the symbolic import you allude to. I could see an attempt at it, maybe, but by no means a good one, and not by any stretch of the imagination a masterful one. When people look back on the best 100 films of the last 50 years, Prometheus won’t even get a look in.

    Again, you’re not following what the story is trying to suggest, which is what if life here, started somewhere else. that is how you begin to construct the possibility of a creator, or a gardener seeding life elsewhere in the universe. which is why they are called engineers.

    Yes, life here could have started out there. But not by an alien race dropping some DNA-macguffin-goo into the ocean (water with trees nearby?) into earth long ago, and out pop humans 3.5 billion years later to have 100% DNA match (meaningless at best) with them. That is not science, it’s magic.
    And that’s the whole point! The problem is that the filmmakers were so desperate to push this particular tale of life-engineers that they ignored everything that didn’t fit into the telling, instead of constructing the story in a truly thoughtful way. You see, if it’s an attempt to raise the issue of panspermia then it’s dreadful. It would be like a medical drama giving serious consideration to psychic surgery.

    what happens is that nearby islands seed these islands with life, and they are transported there via the ocean currents (eg space in terms of planets.)

    What science has also shown is that all life on earth shares the same genetic code. The “100% DNA match!” flashing light on screen was the lamest attempt at generating a wow factor amongst ignorant scientifically-illiterate masses I’ve seen … I actually did a facepalm in the cinema at that scene. That’s the real hidden meaning of Prometheus: you were taken for a not-so-cheap ride by a director who wanted to milk previous greats and make more money off an established franchise, and a writer talking a lot of nonsense about symbolism to cover a sloppy plot.

    The moral is about the viability of our choices… ‘because choosing what we believe’ can lead to enormous mistakes and how these choices come with a cost

    How can you say that with a straight face, after watching a woman run around a ship no more than five minutes after having MAJOR SURGERY and her stomach held together with some staples??

    Hey, if you took that message away with you, then great – I’m pleased for you and I really mean that. But you could read those sort of psychology class self-motivational ideals into Kermit the Frog if you wanted to, if you looked hard enough. After all, isn’t Miss Piggy’s love for Kermit the perfect metaphor for overlooking all manner of differences and cultural misunderstandings? Despite everything that separates them, love conquers all, even the species gap.

    certain forms of faith have value, for survival.

    Only where the question of survival is an internal matter of belief for the individual. In absolutely no practical circumstances does faith confer any survival benefit, because it is by definition unrelated to the evidential world. Having faith might make you fight another day, if you lack the self-determination to choose to fight for your own right to life, but it will not stop a train running you over or cure cancer.

    in Shaw’s case, even beliefs that are not 100% accurate, may nevertheless serve us in some important way.

    Which is antithetical to the entire scientific method. If the characters in the film acted even 10% like real scientists, they would’ve all survived unharmed.

    you should consider watching the film and listening to the ‘daft dialogue’ from the perspective that the director was 100% happy that it was perfect, and exactly what he wanted.

    Well, I guess if the director feels 100% happy then there’s nothing I can say to that. Only he knows what he intended and whether he achieved it, and only he knows if he really means that. What is quite telling, if that even masterpieces that elicit mixed reactions are usually heralded for outstanding writing, or direction, or score, or editing, or pacing, or excitement. I’ve seen very few such accolades for Prometheus, and the general reaction I see from a more scientifically-educated audience is one of disappointed and amusement. Somewhat like Armageddon, a comedy sold serious, you could put a laughter track over the film and it wouldn’t be out of place in all the wrong places.

    If the creators really think this film is “perfect” then they are hopelessly out of touch with the feedback it’s generated by a great many people, and ignorant of the really massive scientific gaffes it makes, and the irrational and inexplicable dialogue and actions of its characters.

    What would I have done differently? See my Great Leap Forward take above.

    The irony of all this is that I didn’t think Prometheus was *that* bad. There are far, far worse films I could bitch about. It is by no means on my “worst of all time” list. It won’t be on anyone’s “best of all time” list either. Prometheus is, at best, mediocre, and that’s the real shame. Because given all the money behind it, the director, the hard work that went into the story, we got another dumb dumbed-down silly special effects show wrapped in quasi-symbolic rhetoric to make a killing at the box office, *targeted at* a scientifically-illiterate mystical audience.

    People who like a good story don’t like this movie. People who like good mysteries don’t like this movie. People who know anything about science don’t like this movie. What does that tell you?

    ps: plotholes – http://movieplotholes.com/prometheus.html

  44. Dude Says:

    Well, that’s just like, ehh your opinion man.

  45. Nick van der Leek Says:

    How can you infer that people “got” the film from the fact they went to watch it? >>>not sure if you know how society works. If they like something they tell someone else. Then based on that endorsement someone else goes to see it and the process repeats. Conversely, when you have a really bad movie such as…The Lone Ranger…someone watches it, hates it, someone else has the same experience and this puts off a lot of potential audience goers from watching something that might otherwise be a waste of time. Does that make sense or should I simplify it some more?

  46. Nick van der Leek Says:

    in Shaw’s case, even beliefs that are not 100% accurate, may nevertheless serve us in some important way.

    Which is antithetical to the entire scientific method. If the characters in the film acted even 10% like real scientists, they would’ve all survived unharmed.
    >>>>>>>>really? so when Einstein started pondering the possibility of riding on a beam of light according to you he should have quit before he started because the original belief (riding on a sunbeam) is patently fanciful.
    On your other point: If the characters in the film acted even 10% like real scientists, they would’ve all survived unharmed.>>>You mean like David survived?
    The movie goes to great pains to explain that the scientists were not doing great work. And we (ordinary people and society) get punished for mistakes such as these. That’s the POINT of the film.

  47. Nick van der Leek Says:

    es, life here could have started out there. But not by an alien race dropping some DNA-macguffin-goo into the ocean (water with trees nearby?) into earth long ago, and out pop humans 3.5 billion years later to have 100% DNA match (meaningless at best) with them. That is not science, it’s magic.>>>like i say, you don’t get it. You’re sitting with Einstein and he’s saying, what if you could travel on a lightbeam and you;re saying: “let me stop you right there, you can’t actually ride on a sunbeam dude…” actually dude, you don’t get the point. it’s a thought experiment which is supposed to lead you somewhere. you’re attacking the thought experiment. that’s dumb. and here’s why. i challenge you to come up with a compelling thought experiment of your own that leads anyone anywhere of significance. exactly, you can’t. not very imaginative are you.

  48. Nick van der Leek Says:

    People who like a good story don’t like this movie.>>>is that a statement of fact? I mean, are you speaking for me too?

  49. Nick van der Leek Says:

    How can you say that with a straight face, after watching a woman run around a ship no more than five minutes after having MAJOR SURGERY and her stomach held together with some staples?? >>>the story is set 200 years into the future. something tells me medicine has advanced a little bit. and imagine if someone has major surgery and pulls of those sort of stunts – wouldn’t that demonstrate extraordinary survival skills, ability to tolerate pain and personal stress. other thing is the original version of the story was written completely differently. that said – maybe it’s best not to watch movies at all if you’re so rooted to reality. ever watched a Batman film. do you go in saying: but no batman exists in history? then why are you going to watch a movie dude?

  50. Nick van der Leek Says:

    …Another thing I must have missed is how a tiny alien the size of my fist can deny all laws of the conservation of energy and mass and grow 500% in a few days without any food.>>>what about a dragon guarding a gold treasure under a mountain, or keeping the princess locked in her tower. why does a dragon care about gold or a woman? what is the scientific or evolutionary basis for this sort of behaviour in a reptile? that sort of thinking is going to get you nowhere, and is pretty pointless to begin with. if you;re thinking in this fashion you’ve lost touch with your own mythical sensibilities. the dragon represents some part of you that you need to master, whether it is anger, or fear or greed. in the movie the ‘alien’ represents a similar part of ourselves that will either destroy us or allow us to live if we can step up. but I guess you’re the wrong kind of person to discuss this with, because you’re an expert in science and the opposite of an expert when it comes to the human condition, and how we’re wired for it.

  51. evanescent Says:

    not sure if you know how society works. If they like something they tell someone else. Then based on that endorsement someone else goes to see it and the process repeats. Conversely, when you have a really bad movie such as…The Lone Ranger…someone watches it, hates it, someone else has the same experience and this puts off a lot of potential audience goers from watching something that might otherwise be a waste of time. Does that make sense or should I simplify it some more?

    Here’s another way that society works: a movie gets massive pre-launch praise and looks good from the trailers. A huge number of people go to watch it because of the hype, director and franchise name. (Ring any bells?) It gets massive box office receipts, then everyone realises it’s crap and the film gets panned by the critics.

    You can drop the passive-aggressive crap, too. You’re one of the rare few people I’ve ever engaged with who not only considers this film good, but some kind of masterpiece with hidden gems.

    really? so when Einstein started pondering the possibility of riding on a beam of light according to you he should have quit before he started because the original belief (riding on a sunbeam) is patently fanciful.

    Strawman. You are equating false beliefs and faith with a scientist asking hypothetical questions about the universe to try and lead to new understanding. This is disengenious.

    On your other point: If the characters in the film acted even 10% like real scientists, they would’ve all survived unharmed.>>>You mean like David survived?

    The only reason any character ended up the way they did in the film is because the script said so. I honestly think that if a wizard appeared from behind a rock and saved Elizabeth, you would still claim it had been foreshadowed the entire film and claimed that the writers intended it to speak of an unconscious desire to let the supernatural be our saviour.

    The movie goes to great pains to explain that the scientists were not doing great work. And we (ordinary people and society) get punished for mistakes such as these. That’s the POINT of the film.

    No, the reason the scientists did rubbish work is because the writers don’t know a thing about science. Or are you suggesting that the ridiculous faux pas regarding the distance travelled in kilometres/light-years was INTENTIONAL by the writers?!

    You can’t have it both ways: if the terrible scientific method by the scientists was intentional (!!), then all the more reason to get the science behind the film itself spot on. But when the characters are idiots, and the writers are idiots…

    That’s the POINT of the film.

    Oh, this is ANOTHER one of those hidden gems in the film? Wow. The writers must be geniuses, and you somehow are able to pick up all these easter eggs and not only notice and understand them all, but be able to explain on behalf of the creators?

    like i say, you don’t get it. You’re sitting with Einstein and he’s saying, what if you could travel on a lightbeam and you;re saying: “let me stop you right there, you can’t actually ride on a sunbeam dude…”

    Err…no. Just, no. A better analogy would be sitting with a stone age caveman and trying to convince him that the earth is round.

    actually dude, you don’t get the point. it’s a thought experiment which is supposed to lead you somewhere. you’re attacking the thought experiment. that’s dumb. and here’s why. i challenge you to come up with a compelling thought experiment of your own that leads anyone anywhere of significance. exactly, you can’t. not very imaginative are you.

    You know when it *isn’t* a good time to challenge someone to a response in real-time and then laugh triumphantly when they aren’t forthcoming? An internet forum debate…

    You know when it’s an even worse time to challenge? When they already met that challenge before you asked…; I already did provide alternative examples of what I would’ve done differently with the story in my previous reply, if you read it.

    You know when it’s an even worse worse time to challenge someone on their critique of a thought experiment? When they didn’t actually criticise a thought experiment. I criticised the pathetically bad writing and science in a drab and plotless movie. The entire premise of Prometheus is RETARDED, which anyone with a primary-school education in evolution could tell you. It is just as bad as the movie being set on a flat earth, in the 21st century, and the scientists in the story actually believing that the earth is flat! And then some contrarian like yourself comes along and pretends he can truly truly see the Emperor’s clothes.

    People who like a good story don’t like this movie.>>>is that a statement of fact? I mean, are you speaking for me too?

    Considering you thought Inception was one of the best films of recent times, I’d rather not comment any further on your tastes.

    How can you say that with a straight face, after watching a woman run around a ship no more than five minutes after having MAJOR SURGERY and her stomach held together with some staples?? >>>the story is set 200 years into the future. something tells me medicine has advanced a little bit. and imagine if someone has major surgery and pulls of those sort of stunts – wouldn’t that demonstrate extraordinary survival skills, ability to tolerate pain and personal stress.

    No, it demonstrates cartoon-style screeplays. She didn’t even have a blood transfusion… perhaps you’re not familiar with surgical procedures: when a human being has their abdomen sliced open, several inches of skin and muscle torn apart and then superficially stapled back together on the surface, it takes weeks and months for them to be up and about. And in the process, they tend to bleed….quite a bit. The scene is just ridiculous.

    other thing is the original version of the story was written completely differently. that said – maybe it’s best not to watch movies at all if you’re so rooted to reality. ever watched a Batman film. do you go in saying: but no batman exists in history? then why are you going to watch a movie dude?

    How I judge a film depends on what it’s claiming to be. Prometheus was slated as a science fiction action adventure mystery. But the science was terrible, the fiction was badly written, the action was dull and predictable, the adventure was silly because the only real drama arose through character stupidity, and the mystery wasn’t a mystery because the premise doesn’t make sense and critical issues of the story are unexplained. (And it wasn’t mysterious anyway since I called the ‘plot’ about 5 minutes into the film.)
    Therefore, in my opinion, Prometheus FAILS in every aspect.

    Batman however is a comic book adventure. It is not meant to be taken 100% seriously. Once you get past the idea of a man in a bat costume you can accept the film on its own merits. Prometheus can’t be accepted on any merits, because it doesn’t have any.

    …Another thing I must have missed is how a tiny alien the size of my fist can deny all laws of the conservation of energy and mass and grow 500% in a few days without any food.>>>what about a dragon guarding a gold treasure under a mountain, or keeping the princess locked in her tower. why does a dragon care about gold or a woman? what is the scientific or evolutionary basis for this sort of behaviour in a reptile? that sort of thinking is going to get you nowhere, and is pretty pointless to begin with

    And this is why you’re the one who’s missed the entire point. All those things can be summed up in one word: magic. When I see a film set in a magical universe, I can suspend my disbelief of established science in THIS world, because I know I’m watching an alternative reality. However, I will still judge such a film based on its internal consistency, characters, plot, pacing, storyline, acting etc.

    Prometheus is not, and never was, a fantasy story – and the universe it is set in has never been a fantasy one. Alien, Aliens, Predator – these are science fiction thrillers/adventure films. What Prometheus is, is a lazy film for a lazy audience. No wonder Hollywood is under no pressure to write good screenplays if people like you are the standard to please. (No offence.)

    The reason a full grown alien can grow out of nothing in a day is because the writers need to get from one scene to the next as quickly as possible. They can’t be bothered figuring out how to make it work and they are hoping the audience is too stupid to notice. Are they right??

    but I guess you’re the wrong kind of person to discuss this with, because you’re an expert in science and the opposite of an expert when it comes to the human condition, and how we’re wired for it.

    I didn’t claim to be an expert in science. That’s another point you’ve missed. I simply know basic evolution.
    And as for the rest of your sentence, well this is a good example of the approach behind your entire argument. I’ve held my tongue so far with all your comments despite this, but I think now is a good time to point this out. Of course, we’re just talking about a movie, nothing serious, so there’s no need to get personal, but this has been your MO during this discussion:

    >assume you have some special knowledge of the film
    >assume you have some special insight of the metaphors and intentions at play
    >assume, prima facie, that the movie is a masterpiece and then argue back from that conclusion
    >use passive aggressive condescending rhetoric questioning my ability to understand and implying that there is something wrong with me for not seeing what you claim to see
    >instead of arguing your case for the film on their own ground, with evidence or argument, just say “you don’t get it”
    >hope you don’t get called on your BS

    A good example of this is: “Does that make sense or should I simplify it some more?” This is a snidy little non-argument designed to intimidate the opposition into doubting themselves.

    Another example of this attempt at argument from intimidation is: “so when Einstein started pondering the possibility of riding on a beam of light according to you he should have quit before he started because the original belief (riding on a sunbeam) is patently fanciful.”

    The name-dropping of Einstein is designed to instantly give the illusion of scientific insight. Of course, the example used here isn’t related to the point at hand, it’s just a generic pseudo-skeptical retort, akin to saying ‘ah, but didn’t people once think the earth was flat!’, to which we’re supposed to say ‘oh, you’re right…knowledge is uncertain…anything goes I guess’.

    Also, it’s generally good form to respond to EVERY point the opposition raises and counter it, not cherry pick the parts you think you can give the best response to. For an example of how to do it right, see my responses :)

    Again, I don’t mean to attack you personally – but when your posts are littered with such transparent argumentative failings, I have no choice but to call you out on them.

    Anyway, I still appreciate the time you’ve taken to visit my blog and comment, even if it seems you didn’t do me the courtesy of reading my comments well enough.

  52. evanescent Says:

    And if we’re talking about how films can be interpreted then, Jesus Christ (no pun intended): http://www.badhaven.com/film/film-features/prometheus-deconstructed-the-bad-haven-take-down/3/#.UdSMSG30L4Y

  53. Nick van der Leek Says:

    I didn’t claim to be an expert in science.>>>oh I thought that was the basis of your argument. That if the characters in this movie playing scientists did 10% better or something, they would all have survived. This implies that you know better, even in someone elses imaginary world. How is that not claiming to be an expert in science?

  54. Nick van der Leek Says:

    You can drop the passive-aggressive crap, too. You’re one of the rare few people I’ve ever engaged with who not only considers this film good, but some kind of masterpiece with hidden gems.>>>I guess you don’t get out much then, or you surround yourself with sycophants.

  55. Nick van der Leek Says:

    If you can see that intention in the film, great. But I don’t think it was realised or executed well.>>>yeah but you’ve formed the opinion that’s it’s failure because you don’t get it. if someone else gets it, then the film is a partial success, stupid as they may be and smart as you may be. point is, just because it doesn’t make sense to you or is a big disappointment to you doesn’t make it a failure. what also makes little sense is the film made about $300 million proft, and you;re still calling it a failure. here’s my definition of a failure – a sequel is not made, a vast majority of critics and audience ignore the film and it fails financially. it’s flaws are so obvious they stink, and nobody really cares to defend them.. for a sequel to be made of prequel based on a sequel…well…easier said than done, but according to my information that’s in the works. doubt whether Scott would bother if he felt he’d let himself and everyone else down. have you responded anywhere to the premise of a thought experiment. And you say I cherry pick?

  56. Michael Giammarino Says:

    Shaw tested the Engineer’s DNA after it had been effected by the black goo and his head exploded. In the beginning of the film we see how the black goo deconstructed an Engineer’s DNA and creates an entirely new strand. It should be reasonable to assume that what Shaw tested was not the Engineer’s natural DNA, but what the black goo altered it into.

  57. evanescent Says:

    have you responded anywhere to the premise of a thought experiment.

    *Sigh*

    I assume you’re referring to this:

    actually dude, you don’t get the point. it’s a thought experiment which is supposed to lead you somewhere. you’re attacking the thought experiment. that’s dumb. and here’s why. i challenge you to come up with a compelling thought experiment of your own that leads anyone anywhere of significance. exactly, you can’t. not very imaginative are you.

    But, wait, I replied to that:

    You know when it *isn’t* a good time to challenge someone to a response in real-time and then laugh triumphantly when they aren’t forthcoming? An internet forum debate…

    You know when it’s an even worse time to challenge? When they already met that challenge before you asked…; I already did provide alternative examples of what I would’ve done differently with the story in my previous reply, if you read it.

    You know when it’s an even worse worse time to challenge someone on their critique of a thought experiment? When they didn’t actually criticise a thought experiment. I criticised the pathetically bad writing and science in a drab and plotless movie. The entire premise of Prometheus is RETARDED, which anyone with a primary-school education in evolution could tell you. It is just as bad as the movie being set on a flat earth, in the 21st century, and the scientists in the story actually believing that the earth is flat! And then some contrarian like yourself comes along and pretends he can truly truly see the Emperor’s clothes.

    Wow, how did you miss three whole paragraphs of rebuttal? Is this your first ever online debate?

    I said: “You can drop the passive-aggressive crap, too. You’re one of the rare few people I’ve ever engaged with who not only considers this film good, but some kind of masterpiece with hidden gems.”>>> I guess you don’t get out much then, or you surround yourself with sycophants.

    You see, that’s exactly the pathetic passive aggressive rhetoric I called you out on. Not only did you completely blank the fact that I called you on your BS, but you didn’t learn your lesson. Tut tut. This comment here is simply meaningless; in what way does the fact I haven’t encountered anyone who likes the film Prometheus mean I am surrounded by people who suck up to me? It makes no sense.

    what also makes little sense is the film made about $300 million proft, and you;re still calling it a failure.

    There is a difference between commercial success and critical success. This is another basic element of understanding movie-making. Most summer blockbusters make a lot of money, despite being crappy action bilge. Everyone knows they’re crappy action bilge but it’s mindless fun and it makes money. They are successful commercially, but they are not considered masterpieces. Prometheus might’ve turned a profit at the box office, but it was a critical failure, a fact that even you can hardly argue with. The opinion of the majority of critics is that the movie wasn’t very good. Some were more forgiving, but most (that I’ve read) were a lot more scathing. If you liked it, great – good for you. But there are people out there who even defend Howard the Duck.

    If your argument is “money=good movie”, I suggest you read up on logical fallacies.

    Prometheus was also mindless rubbish, which is fine. But it gets silly when people like you pretend that this is a paragon of story-telling and symbolism. It’s simply not. And it’s ok to like the film and still grasp that.

    “I didn’t claim to be an expert in science.”>>>oh I thought that was the basis of your argument. That if the characters in this movie playing scientists did 10% better or something, they would all have survived. This implies that you know better, even in someone elses imaginary world. How is that not claiming to be an expert in science?

    Are you kidding? Or are you just arguing for the sake of it? Hmm let’s think about this for moment: you think that simply knowing more than someone else on any subject makes you an expert in that subject? Really? So, by your thinking, if I know how to drive and a 4 year old doesn’t, I’m an expert in driving. Wow – let me phone Top Gear. And if I talked to a caveman and said that the earth orbits the soon, that would make me an expert in cosmology? Watch out, Hawking, here I come! And if you’ve never played football and I have, that automatically makes me world footballer of the year? Well, Lionel Messi better keep an eye out for me.

    Seriously, Nick, you’re just embarrassing yourself. And it didn’t have to be this way… I’ve even tried to be friendly. You could’ve just come here and rationally argued your case without trying to be a patronising know-it-all straight out of Media Studies 101, but you got called on all your bad arguments and your snidy comments and you’ve got nothing left. I’ve met your type in arguments many times over the years: you rely on verbal bullying and eye-rolling arguments from intimidation hoping to beat the other person into submission through fear of not seeing the Emperor’s clothes. I’m not saying your a bad person or attacking you personally, just suggesting that you need to think about how you go about debating with people.

  58. Nick van der Leek Says:

    There is a difference between commercial success and critical success. >>>Maybe you should become one of those movie critics no one agrees with then.

    Oh since you say you did respond to the ‘thought experiment’ question I now see that you wrote about three paragraphs that seemed to me to not respond to it at all. I’ll write a responce for you:
    “Yes, it is an interesting idea. Maybe it has some merit for some people.”
    There.

  59. Nick van der Leek Says:

    so you’re saying you can have a commercial and critical failure that’s a success? well, maybe that’s what I’m saying. That even though you hate this film,. just because I like it and get it, means it can’t be a failure.

  60. evanescent Says:

    Nick, have you considered writing up all your responses at once and the replying in one post, instead of using a separate post for every single point?

    “There is a difference between commercial success and critical success.” >>>Maybe you should become one of those movie critics no one agrees with then

    Again, notice how your snidy little retort has NOTHING to do with what I said?

    This is like shooting fish in a barrel.

    so you’re saying you can have a commercial and critical failure that’s a success?

    No. I said a film can be a commercial success and a critical failure. Use your mouse to scroll up and read what I said instead of asking me something I already answered.

    just because I like it and get it, means it can’t be a failure.

    Stunning logic. Totally unassailable. You liked it and “got” it, therefore the film was a critical success. Wow, why didn’t you just say so at the very start, we could’ve saved all this time?

    Here fishy fish fishy… bang!

  61. Nick van der Leek Says:

    no do you know what is stunning logic: How promethetheus got it all wrong and why it matters…because I said so.,.but wait, I’m no expert. Get over yourself. Next time write: Why I didn’t like a film and why I suffer from PMS

  62. Nick van der Leek Says:

    You liked it and “got” it, therefore the film was a critical success. >>>Well, like I said, it made $300 million. IMDB gives it 7/10. Some critics liked it, some didn’t. Who are you to say it was a failure? You can say, in my opinion it was a failure, but you’re actually making a more sweeping statement. You’re saying it’s a complete failure. Odd because I seemed to understand what the movie was doing. I guess that makes me odd and you normal though?

  63. evanescent Says:

    Well, like I said, it made $300 million.

    Well, like I’ve already pointed out several times: that proves nothing. Logical. Fallacy. Look it up.

    Who are you to say it was a failure?

    Someone capable of forming an original opinion based on an eye for good story-telling and good plots. Am I an expert? No. Do I have common sense and the ability to spot lazy bullshit when it’s in front of me? Most of the time.

    Next time write: Why I didn’t like a film and why I suffer from PMS

    LOLZOR!! ZOMFG DUUUDE!! Brilliant. I’m a big girl. Why didn’t you just call me a big dumb poo poo head and really stick the knife in? You know, you should go on BBC’s Question Time with this type of cutting verbal counter-riposte.

    Don’t think for a second I haven’t noticed that you haven’t replied to the bulk of my comment above. Again.

    You’re so transparent, Nick. You so desperately don’t want to just take your lesson and walk away, but you’re too lazy to stay and rationally argue for the points you’ve put forward on their own merits. This must be terribly frustrating for you. When you’re used to using passive aggressive pseudo-intellectual intimidation it must be annoying to argue with someone who doesn’t swallow your crap?

    Having said all that, I checked out your FB page and fair dos – some good photographs.

  64. Nick van der Leek Says:

    Am I am expert? No. Do I have common sense and the ability to spot lazy bullshit when it’s in front of me? Most of the time.>>>well I think that just about sums it up right? You’re not an expert and you;re not always right. I have said before that when you look at the bonus footage you realise how much behind the scenes work went into this film and the sheer volume that wasn’t even used. also, Scott built sets instead of using CGI, he also built an enormous stage, the set was using the biggest stage (oo7 I think) and then extended by a further third). He filmed scenes and developmed hosts of characters, including a whole bevy of Engineers, then cut them. That’s pretty far from my definition of lazy filmmaking. I think just the quality of the film…I mean visually…is at odds with that statement. Also…no I think watch the Bonus footage yourself, then let’s see what you say. If you say you;ve already seen it and still stick to your opinion well then I am amazed at how selectively you reason and your capacity to filter out what you don’t agree with. hence, to say “Prometheus gets it all wrong…” I guess you need to qualify that. Prometheus is crap – but I’m no expert. Maybe?

  65. Ed Farnsworth Says:

    SANTA writes: “I am die-hard atheist myself and film doesn’t contradict with my convictions, it would be really odd even crazy to take a Sci-Fi story as a threat, or even less interesting, because my convictions as an atheist, being well read and educated person.”

    You are not an atheist. You are a creationist masquerading as an atheist in hopes that it will lend legitimacy to your ill-thought post. On the internet, you’re a dime a dozen. Your overuse of the word, “convictions,” betrays you. Atheists do not need convictions, they value facts.

    He also states, “It seems to me that “bad science” is just an excuse to attack this film.” Creationism is not bad science, it’s a fascist movement that robs people of the ability to think clearly. It deprives children of potential and turns them into tedious, vapid adults who can’t tell a good film from a load of bollocks.

    Cheers.

  66. Miguel Says:

    Hello,

    in fact, (as the most accepted theory), DNA emerged long time after life appears, on earth. Even RNA is from an older time, and in our present time, there are living forms without DNA (viruses as an examples). So, maybe an injection of DNA could be a starter line for life, but unlikely the fact that, after of several millions year of evolution, it match with our present DNA.

    Regards

    P.S.
    Anyway, the film is good and entertaining.


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