We all love Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's the world's coolest astrophysicist. Unfortunately, he's also kind of a buzzkill. If you've ever seen him on Twitter you know that he has a tendency to tear apart the depictions of science used in movies. Now, the scientist takes a few minutes to ruin all your favorite movies in rapid fire succession.
It doesn't start out all bad. When discussing Ex Machina with The Wrap, Neil Degrasse Tyson seems to feel that artificial intelligence rising up and killing us all is somewhat unlikely, although, that's mostly because the way that we have actually been working toward AI doesn't really match what we see in the movies.
The way we've been creating AI has been in pieces, alright? We're not creating one AI thing that is an exact replica of us... As long as we don't put it all into one machine...
If we did create a fully autonomous intelligence, it would probably murder us all. From there, it all goes down hill however, as your dream that you might actually be an X-Man who hasn't discovered their power yet has now been dashed. According to the Cosmos star, gaining even low-level X-Men like powers through human mutation is impossible. Although, Tyson doesn't really explain why this is the case. Maybe he's hiding something.
The highlight of the video, however, is the exchange regarding The Martian. First, it's excellent to see Neil Degrasse Tyson give his interviewer a hard time for having not seen the movie. Seriously, if you haven't seen The Martian yet then there is something seriously wrong with you and you need to go fix this error immediately. The more interesting thing is that Tyson seems to give the movie a pass even though he admits they got Martian gravity wrong. When asked about the gravity being inconsistent, Tyson says:
That's true, but not accidentally inconsistently. When Mark Whatney, who's the lead character, was in his spacesuit the gravity on Mars would be portrayed at 40% that of Earth. It's 38% to be exact....But when he was not in his spacesuit, they restored regular Earth gravity because they did some experiments and it just looked really surreal.
This seems like exactly the sort of thing that we'd expect Neil Degrasse Tyson to go off on Twitter about, but he's apparently cool about it. It is an interesting footnote for the film. Apparently, when we see Matt Damon in his spacesuit we all understand that he's on Mars, but when he's dressed normally we forget that he's on another planet and as an audience we just expect the gravity to be normal.
Finally, if we ever figure out how to bring dinosaurs back from extinction, Neil deGrasse Tyson seems confident that they will absolutely cross breed into super dinosaurs like they did in Jurassic World and kill us all. That's just what life does, animals breeding and creating stronger forms of life that are better able to reproduce is just the way it works.
What are your "favorite" moments when Hollywood took liberties with science? Let us know in the comments.