[FoRK] A comment on Avatar

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Mon Dec 21 07:36:39 PST 2009


On Dec 21, 2009, at 11:05 PM, Russell Turpin wrote:

> To anyone familiar with biology, the world in Avatar is unnatural, not
> in the sense of being alien, but in the sense of violating how life
> works. There is no evolutionary path for the kind of coordination it
> depicts between species.

Unless they aren't different species in quite the way we would assume by analogy. 

What if the organism boundaries we assume from the phenotype aren't reflected in the genotype. i.e. what we see as distinct creatures in the movie actually share a genome.

(aside: has that concept been explored in any science fiction work?)

> It draws a biological order that, quite
> unlike our own, would need a god or designer. Perhaps that works as
> fantasy. It fails as science fiction, providing not even a hint of
> explanation for it.

By that criterion, I would think most "science fiction" fails (which put me off most science fiction as a science-crazed kid)

> Putting on my hat as gray-beard science educator,
> I worry how many young people today won't even sense the weirdness.
> Fun to watch in 3d. The kids will love it.
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