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  • At the end, John Koestler gets religion, agreeing with his father the reverend that this is, indeed, not the end. But the apocalypse they've just seen is explicitly religious, and when the angel-boat sailed off into the sunset, they weren't on it! Either the aliens were angels, and Koestler is clinging to false hope, or they weren't angels, which makes one wonder why they bothered with the ridiculous symbolism. But the movie tries to have it both ways, and thus fails at both.
    • Is this a Just Bugs Me about the story or a criticism of the movie on a Just Bugs Me page? Anyway, assuming that these are angels we're talking about, that always leaves the possibility of a straight-up afterlife.
    • No such thing as an atheist in a foxhole. They were both angels, and aliens. The way I saw it John's last minute conversion was just a bit of commentary on the human condition. It's not unreasonable to believe Knowing's Holy Bible is actually a recounting of the last major "super flare." Fridge Brilliance?
    • It might have to do with whatever the alien/angel told him when they took the kids. Maybe he knows what happens after death and doesn't think it's so bad. That would also explain why he's okay with letting them take his son.
    • My (strictly secular) interpretation is that by "not the end" John is referring to the survival of humanity, or maybe the continuation of their family line. There doesn't have to be an afterlife, he simply comforted his son with the promise of "being together". He didn't "get religion", but realized how stupid it was to alienate his father because of a difference of opinion.
  • When Koestler brings evidence of the numbers' meaning to his colleague, the guy accepts that there's definitely something strange going on, and that, as a researcher, if he saw something inexplicable like that, he'd bury it somewhere and never look at it again. A bit of advice: If a scientist ever says anything like that to you, you punch them in the balls as hard as you can and run like hell. That is not a real scientist.
    • I... have to second this one.
      • But it is unfortunately true that many in the scientific community accept evidence only gradually and often grudgingly. General relativity and plate tectonics took a long time to become accepted, and only after the evidence for them became overwhelming. On the other hand, outright ignoring an "inexplicable" phenomenon like he suggests is a major ethical failure.
    • Even worse, the other guy keeps accusing Koestler of just making things up. If a scientist is handed absolute, incontrovertable proof that somebody predicted future events with perfect accuracy, wouldn't he double-check, triple-check and quadruple-check it before just saying, "No, that's impossible"?
  • What sort of idiot school passes out a bunch of drawings and notes directly from the time capsule to a mob of pushing and shoving eight-year-olds? The paper would be ripped to shreds! They should have at least opened the capsule up or looked at each drawing before handing them out...
    • On that note, why would they include a sheet of random numbers, when things were supposed to be drawings of the future?
      • They wanted to include what the kids did for the project. Maybe they didn't want to hurt the girl's feelings by throwing her numbers in the trash, so they included it with all the other correct drawings.
  • You're telling me that these aliens or angels (what have you) have the power to save a bunch of little kids who have "the power" yet they dont have the ability to you know save the entire planet from a solar flare?
    • More like won't. But hey, it's their spaceships. Humanity doesn't owe them anything. They could just as well have let humanity all die off without help. Let he who has the rescue means decide who gets saved with them.
    • Why does having the ability to travel between planets mean they have the power to stop solar flares? Hey, humanity has the power to fly between continents, how come we can't turn deserts into rainforests overnight, huh?
  • Rabbits, god-damn rabbits. Clearly the aliens-angels never heard of the concept of invasive species. If there ever was a species you would * not* want introduced into an alien eco-system, rabbits would make the top 5 easily. Unless the idea was they trasnplantess would have something to eat. However children tend to get all ikky below a certain age about actually, you know eating rabbits. And somewhat related to that, do the aliens not understand that human children do not typcially fare well when seperated from there parents?, much less go on to establish a viable civilization. Maybe the aliens should have rented Lord of the flies and watched that first before comeing up with their plan. Now it could be that aliens pumped them all full of dont worry be happy thoughts, along with knowledge about metallurgy, agriculture, medicine, literacy etc etc, but without all of the excess baggage and prejidices we cart around as adults, who can say?
    • Maybe they wanted a planet full of hippies.
    • I don't think the aliens intended to leave the kids alone to fend for themselves. They intended to stick around and raise them, but as you say, they didn't want the kids to be influenced by the emotional and prejudicial baggage that their parents would have inevitably brought along. Note that I'm not trying to claim the aliens weren't just a bit selfish, although even a quick gance at human history would give anyone pause, but it's at least comforting that the aliens seemed like kind beings (putting an arm around the boy's shoulder in a very maternal gesture, for instance). As for the rabbits, maybe the aliens had some way of limiting their reproduction, or there are only a few plants that the rabbits would have found palatable? After all, nothing limits a species like a food shortage.
    • I thought the rabbits were simply symbolic of fertility...
  • It's been a while since I saw the movie, so maybe I'm not remembering it right, but I seem to recall that the only kids we see on the alien planet at the very end are... two white kids. If indeed the intended aesop of the movie is that the aliens want to help humanity leave behind all its old prejudices, hence why they wouldn't bring along any adults, then doesn't the lack of any ethnicity other than white sort of undermine that message? Yeah, there are more arks arriving, but I'm talking about the audience's point of view, not the characters'.
    • the movie only showed us two children, but if i recall i could have sworn i saw more ships landing in other places on the planet, so it would be reasonable to say that the other ships had kids of other races, besides nobody mention the whole issue of inbreeding yet having to kids of the same race seems a moot point.
  • The choice of Caleb. The kid is half-deaf. You'd think the aliens would want better breeding stock, wouldn't you?
    • I don't think it was ever indicated that his deafness was the result of a genetic disorder or would be passed on to his offspring. I would think these all knowing aliens would pick good breeding material seeing as they have mastered interstellar flight, divination, and telepathy. But then again...
  • This has been bugging me since the trailer and the movie itself made it no better. If you listed the death totals of every major disaster in the past fifty years -- which, according to this movie, includes all car crashes, plane crashes, what have you -- you could fill dozens of notebooks. Yet the time capsule kid only filled both sides of a single page. What exactly is the criteria for making this list? And how would such a tiny sample be detectable as a pattern at all?
    • Major disasters that involve a large number of deaths, which in the film appear to total at least several hundred people each. And remember that alongside each death count included the date, time and exact location. Even a single prediction that precise would be enough to rule out random chance.
      • Just date, not time. And the list included events that caused casualties in just double digits: the plane crash killed 81, the hotel fire that killed John's late wife claimed about 40 lives, IIRC. Also, the list is said to include events anywhere on the planet. Lucinda's trailer wall had newspaper clippings about an accident in East Germany, and the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean turned up during John's internet searching. So any event on the list would take six digits for a date, let's say four digits for lattitude, four digits for longitude, and between two and six digits for number of casualties. A complete list would never have fitted on just a sheet of paper. And why were the second and third to last disasters located so conveniently close to the home of the protagonist?
    • The disasters were all supposed to be related, I think, to the same phenomenon - the solar flares - culminating in the Big One that destroys the Earth. Still, imagining geomagnetic disruptions causing things like subway crashes, hotel fires, and earthquakes takes some massive suspension of disbelief, and that's before Earth is char-broiled.
    • It didn't need to be comprehensive, it just needed to have enough of them to convince a reasonable person beyond the shadow of a doubt.
  • What was reason behind the list? It's like the aliens wanted to say: There are going to be some catastrophes on earth in the next fifty years, and then everybody will die. By the way, there's no way to change any of the things predicted, we just wanted you to know. Greetings, the aliens.
    • It was probably to try and get humanity to start paying attention to what was going on, and thereby discover the solar flare as they started looking around for an explanation. They might not have been able to save themselves completely, but more of them could have come to terms with it and died more at peace like John and his family did, instead of screaming and flailing in the streets like a lot of people did. Y'know, let more people be with their families and whatnot.
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