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  • The main reason that science is always the bad guy is that most tv shows, books, games and...anything, are written by creative people, rather than scientific ones. I know that splitting the population in two is hardly fair, but most people do go one way or the other, and writers tend to be on the creative team. It's the right brain, left brain thing.
    • Not exactly. Most of the population doesn't use either side of their brains at all.
    • The left-brained person being more logical and analytical vs. the right-brained person being creative and artistic is total Hollywood Psychology, incidentally. Which side of your brain is larger depends mostly on whether you are right- or left-handed; righties are always left-brained (their right side of the brain is slightly larger) because the motor and sensory cortexes for the right side of your body are located on the left side of your brain. Lefties are about half right-brained and half left-brained, for reasons not fully understood. (For this reason they're normally excluded from neurological experimental groups.) In general, most structures in the brain are fairly symmetrical, which is good because there's a treatment for particularly bad epilepsy that involves having half of the brain removed and while there are some negative effects, mostly related to sensory and motor issues with the side of the body, personality changes are notably not one of them. There are some exceptions to this, notably involving language comprehension, but there are no known links between personality and hemisphere dominance.
      • The myth of a separate personality for each hemisphere of the brain comes primarily from early studies of split-brain patients (a patient who has had the corpus callosum severed, either surgically or accidentally), where the inability of the two hemispheres to communicate directly with each other can lead to some rather odd behaviour. For example: when a patient with their speech-centre located in the left hemisphere has their right field of vision blocked, they may become unable to identify objects that are shown to them, as only the right hemisphere can see the object in question. Asking (using a non-verbal communication method, such as written commands) their right-brain to perform a task - e.g. walking around the room - and then asking them why they did it also produces a strange effect: they will either be unable to explain their behaviour, or invent a fictional reason. Another possible effect is Alien Hand Syndrome.
    • It might be suggested that the split is not so much between creative vs. logical as it is between rebellion vs. conformity. Since the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, pretty much every attempt to reject, transcend or strike away from the "mainstream" has involved dealing with the mainstream's embrace of science, technology, and the associated mindsets (or the pop culture version of those mindsets, at any rate). It's unsurprising that the majority of artistic differentiation will take the form of critiquing the costs and losses brought by new sciences and technologies, and that some of the more extreme critiques will take a the-benefit-is-not-worth-the-cost stance.
    • I don't think it's a matter of creativity vs. logic or conformity vs. rebellion. It's simply the same principle that results in Pac-Man Fever, Totally Radical and the occasional Magical Computer. A large portion of the population does not understand science. Which is fine. Not everyone has to. But a large portion of that large portion is willfully blind to scientific principles for the same basic reason my grandmother refuses to learn to use any technology newer than a television remote or a microwave - what we don't understand is scary, and understanding something we didn't grow up with requires effort. Mind you, that doesn't excuse this trope - it's an incredibly lazy and narrow-minded point of view that essentially amounts to saying "Anything that was invented or discovered after the prime of my life - mine, specifically - is useless at best and evil at worst, and I want everyone to know that." How better to get the point across than to sensationalize and further demonize what we already don't understand?
  • We're forgetting that the only real Science Is Bad works are those that push the ideal of primitivism as one of the main themes, i.e. Fight Club (the book). In anything else, the theme is almost always Humans Are Bastards; the technology in question is only a vehicle for showing off that "hey, y'know us humans are pretty fucking stupid/ignorant/hateful/selfish/careless/insert negative trait of your choice", or even to reinforce another theme entirely. For example, in Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, a rather selfish/slightly nutty scientist invents a new form of ice that would end life on Earth in an instant if, say, dropped into the ocean. How does it end? You guessed it, a chance occurrence leads to someone dropping the fucker right into the Caribbean. The message here is that 1) humans are completely insane and utterly foolish, and 2) sometimes, terrible shit happens for no reason at all, purely by chance, so we might as well laugh about it, right? Nothing in there about the evils of technology. And that's how I see most "Science Is Bad" works.
    • Yeah, you're right. None of these examples are true scotsmen.
      • You do know that the No True Scotsmen fallacy don't apply to things that actually needed a specific trait for it to be considered something. In other words, things like Politics, Religion, etc. that required people to act and believe in a certain way means that this fallacy doesn't apply. Same thing for the troper two spaces above who made a good point. Science Is Bad, by definition, is when a work shows that well, Science is bad. If the work actually shows that Humans Are Bastards instead, than it doesn't qualify is Science Is Bad.
    • SCIENCE! shall one day cure humansarebastards anyways.
      • That's pretty easy, all you need is an icepick.
    • Science is just one way to set up a crisis or conflict, and whether a piece of work qualifies as "Science is Bad" depends on its tenor. Is the author pulling a Green Aesop? Is there a Filibuster of any kind? Is someone advancing a slippery-slope argument ("Now we have cloned a sheep, next we will clone an army of Hitlers")? Is there a sympathetic character who laments how technology has ruined the human race? Is there an unsympathetic scientist who says things like "I'm only interested in knowledge; how humanity will fare is not my concern"? If the answer to these are "no", then the work is probably not using this trope. It is also notable that very few Cyberpunk novels have made it to the list (the last time I checked, only Feed by M.T. Anderson), despite the setting being almost universally dystopian and dehumanizing.
  • So I was watching a show on the genetic engineering of plants, and there were these people who were against it, even against sending send plants and seeds of plants to starving people in African countries. Their reasoning was that the people could end up growing three eyes or some thing. First off, there are probably a lot of people out there who would rather grow an extra eye than starve to death. Second, where the hell are these people getting their information on genetic engineering? Did they read Marvel comic books and watch The Simpsons and take them seriously? If genetically engineered plants turned people into mutants, not only would we have a LOT of mutants walking around, but the FDA probably wouldn't permit these plants to be produced, let alone sold, to begin with!
    • People fear that which they don't know (as mentioned above), and that fear extends into looking further into it. If you think about it, if this is the primary reason for Science Is Bad, then it's a vicious cycle: They fear science because they think it's bad. But if they do research and read up on what they're going to criticize about, they may fear of becoming associated with the scientists they're criticizing because they're using similar argumentative techniques. Thus, they purposely Did Not Do the Research to distance themselves away from the scientists. Christian fundamentalists like Jack Chick function precisely that way; I would presume these guys in the documentary you saw function this way too.
  • Is it just me, or do some people not seem to get that it isn't science that's bad, it's how you use it. The same goes for the oft-misquoted "Money is the root of all evil". Now, money has certainly motivated many people to do bad things, and it has been used for evil since it was invented, but in reality, money isn't a bad thing. What about charities? Or money for a therapy/treatment to cure a horrible disease? That's why the real quote is "The love of money is the root of all evil." Okay, I'm not saying that if you like science, then it's evil. It's all in how you use it. What saddens me is how people can't make the connection.
    • Same poster, to add to the point: Why are so many people of the opinion that science is a bad thing? Why can't science be neutral, like water. You can hydrate yourself, or drown someone; you can engineer a bioweapon, or make a Cure for Cancer. Honest to God, why are people so dense?
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