My Thoughts On Scientific Accuracy In Media12 RepliesAdd A Reply
(Note: this topic was partially made as a response to a recent topic made by SarcasticGoji, as well as being a way to vent some of my frustrations with the paleontological community)
“A long, long time ago the Earth was ruled by dinosaurs. They were big, so not a lot of people went around hassling them…”
Being some of the most impressive animals to ever live on this planet, dinosaurs have become engraved in our modern mythology, constantly being featured in movies, books, TV shows, and video games. However due to the limited (and sometimes controversial) information we have on these creatures, they are often portrayed inaccurately in the media, much to the annoyance of the paleontological community. With many in the community showing intense hatred towards these products, and angrily trying to boycott them.
Honestly, as a life-long dinosaur fanatic, I've never been that concerned with scientific accuracy in media. Ever since Jurassic World was released, I've seen people in the paleo community ranting and throwing juvenile tantrums over the slightest inaccuracy and I find it kind of pathetic. If a movie or other piece of media portrays prehistoric life accurately, that's awesome, if not oh well...
I'm fine with some inaccuracies, especially if there's a reason for it. The Jurassic Park series was never about scientific accuracy, going all the way back to the original novel. The story was meant to be about the dangers of genetic engineering, it just happened to use dinosaurs to tell its story. In the novel they flat out say that the dinosaurs aren’t 100% accurate and that they are genetic mutations, with the character of Dr. Henry Wu stating that “they can't fully recreate the past, they can only reconstruct a version of it” (which could be said about paleontology as a whole). I find it sad that people are constantly whining about Jurassic World's inaccuracies, despite the fact that the movie acknowledges them by stating:
"Nothing in Jurassic World is natural, we have always filled gaps in the genome with the DNA of other animals. And if the genetic code was pure, many of them would look quite different. But you didn't ask for reality, you asked for more teeth."
Every time the paleo community complains about the series it’s always the same tedious complaints:
“Velociraptors were smaller and feathered”,
“Dilophosaurus wasn’t venomous and didn’t have a frill!”,
“Some of the other dinosaurs should be feathered!”,
“T. rex’s vision wasn’t based on movement!”,
“The theropods' wrists are positioned wrong!”,
“The Baryonyx design is ugly!” …
They never bring anything else to the discussion other than these complaints, and after years of repeating them over and over again it’s become extremely annoying (they’re pretty much beating a long extinct horse at this point). And considering that Jurassic World: Dominion is set to have “more accurate” creatures (such as the proto-mammal, lystrosaurus, and feathered pyroraptors), repeating the same tired complaints seems pointless. At this point these complaints are just there to promote clickbait articles like, ”Jurassic Park Got This Dinosaur Wrong” and “Jurassic Park Lied To You”. Honestly I’m kind of getting sick of it.
If a movie is made in the past it should be forgiven for any inaccuracies it may have (I've seen people complain that the 1925 Lost World isn't "up to date with modern science", despite it being made nearly 100 years ago). The fact is, that paleontology is constantly changing, the things we view as accurate now may not be accurate later (just look at the ever changing design of Spinosaurus). During the production of Jurassic World it was thought that Tyrannosaurus had some coating of feathers on it, however in 2017 (during the production of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), it was revealed that fossilized skin impressions of tyrannosaurs were found indicating that T. rex and some of its close relatives were mostly, if not completely, scaly. So imagine if Jurassic World introduced a fully feathered rex only for it to be outdated by the time the sequel was released. Hell, paleontologists can’t even agree on what’s accurate any more (for the past couple of years there’s been a heated debate on whether certain dinosaurs had lips or not).
I find it ironic that we are this obsessed with trying to portray extinct animals (ones that we’ve never fully seen) perfectly, yet we constantly portray modern animals inaccurately (Bulls hating the color red, turtles being able to leave their shells) and no one has a problem with it. SpongeBob SquarePants is one of my favorite cartoons/TV shows of all time (if the memes I put in a lot of my comments didn’t give that away), yet nothing in that show is accurate to marine life, the only times they actually brought this up was in the season 10 episode “Feral Friends” and in occasional throw away jokes. Yet when was the last time you saw marine biologists boycotting the show for not being realistic (even when they do complain, it’s usually as a joke and shouldn’t be taken seriously). The Looney Tunes characters aren’t anatomically correct so why aren’t we complaining about them? Anthropomorphic cartoon animals aren’t accurate to modern zoology at all. So why do they get a pass?
My point is that dinosaur media doesn’t have to be 100% accurate to be considered good, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal is extremely inaccurate, yet that show is an absolute masterpiece (If you haven’t seen it, WATCH IT!!! I highly recommend it.)
With so much crazy crap happening in the world, I find it ridiculous that people are getting this upset by something so trivial. I’m sorry, but if an inaccurate portrayal of a long dead reptile is enough to throw you into a blind rage, that’s kind of pathetic. Life is too short to be constantly angry at something like this. Overall, the paleo community should just relax and not be so uptight, because this constant complaining is one of the main things I’ve grown to hate about this community. So let’s just calm down and enjoy this media for what it is, inaccuracies and all...
Besides, we all know what TRUE dinosaurs look like...
fair game, Dash. fair game.
Yeah, I don’t blame you. The way I became interested by reading scientific articles on them. So when I bought books about dinosaurs I would critique them on accuracy as well.
As for my Topic, my point wasn’t that hollywood isn’t accurate, it just seems to me, that they label things they call accuracy are not added for accuracy as I said, it’s something they use as a tool to shock people and draw more attention.
I just used Jurassic Park as an example because it had innacurracies, but I still really like the films.
This topic was only partially based on your topic (it wasn't meant to be a full response). It was mainly me venting the frustration towards the paleo community that I've had for the past 7 years. The topic of scientific accuracy in film has been a huge debate since 2014, and it's something that unfortunately has become way too heated. I've been obsessed with prehistoric life since I was very young, and it makes me upset to see the community surrounding this subject acting this hostile towards everything. As much as I love accurate dinosaurs, it's annoying to see these "paleo elitists" constantly whining over inaccuracies. My main point of this topic was that people get way too angry and dramatic over this subject and need to calm down. I mainly used the Jurassic series as an example because it's the one that gets targeted the most by the paleo community. I love Jurassic Park and I mostly like Jurassic World (Fallen Kingdom was kind of ehh in my opinion) so it makes me sad to see these movies become a punching bag for the paleo community.
Well, people can be people
Also, I'm wondering if anyone's going to know what that first quote I used is from...
over my head
The first quote is from the opening to 1993 live action Super Mario Bros. movie.
Here's a screenshot from it:
The paleontology community is fine for me.
Like in the past of my activity,i disagreed a lot with LazyFish.Not much after that but i ended up being really hated for calling out someone in the Dino Forums.
So you became hated in the community for disagreeing with someone and calling them out on their actions? That really doesn't sell the idea of the community being "fine". If anything it just shows how toxic and awful it has become...
People got mad and considered it a Hate comment on the person and Lazyfish said "You know on scified we do not call people out".
I got banned cause of calling out someone.
yeah, and lazy was my friend sooo...
im just gonna say that because i dont particularly enjoy drama
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