Home Sci-FiSci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
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The Enhanced Brain Powers in “Lucy”

Have you ever heard the idea that we don’t use most of our brains? You will sometimes hear people say they’ve heard that we would be at some new stage of humanity’s evolution if we could use our whole brain. “Lucy” is one sci-fi movie that explores this concept, but how scientific is it? In “Lucy,” Scarlett Johansson plays a woman who is unsuspectingly exposed to a powerful new drug, unlocks her whole brain, and becomes a superhuman warrior with special powers. This idea is fascinating in the way it crosses neuroscience with our fantasies of psychic abilities. Unfortunately, this whole idea is false.

One neuroscientist, Barry Gordon, took the time to debunk this myth as fake science in an interview with Scientific American. Gordon says, “It turns out though, that we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time.” It turns out that we use the whole brain for pretty mundane stuff like breathing and knowing where we are. The scientific reality is quite the opposite of the science fiction idea in “Lucy.” Instead of representing higher consciousness, the whole brain is involved in an unconscious activity like regulating your heartbeat. It is one ridiculous sci-fi concept.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
Climate change is undeniable, but maybe not in the way these movies portray it. Amazon.

Climate Change Is a Real Terror, But Not Like “The Day After Tomorrow”

“The Day After Tomorrow” is iconic as a science fiction movie, both as a movie that championed a necessary social cause and a film with some ridiculous exaggerations of science. This movie showed audiences a world set in the present, but with a new ice age overtaking the world. “The Day After Tomorrow” took some serious liberties with fundamental physics. For one example, in “The Day After Tomorrow” the Gulf Stream stops entirely, and this is supposed to explain how the rest of the events happen so fast. Climate scientists thought it could weaken, but this movie blows it way out of proportion.

Sir David King was the UK’s chief scientific adviser when “The Day After Tomorrow” came out. He summed it up neatly when he said, “The film brings events together into a highly unlikely or even impossible scenario.” Other than some events being impossible, he also criticized the timeline of “The Day After Tomorrow,” saying that this sci-fi movie presents events unfolding within a few weeks that “…would take decades or a century”. Scientists didn’t only have negative things to say when this movie came out. They also hoped Americans would see the film and heed its warnings about the genuine catastrophes that climate change will bring.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
Most sci-fi movies are about the concept rather than the real-life accuracy of the science. Amazon.

“Gravity” Doesn’t Really Get How Gravity Works

Science fiction movies can stun us with their spectacular visual effects in a way that immerses us in new worlds. When any movie is good enough, you start to feel like you are there until it ends, and you have to take a minute to remember where you are. Science fiction can better achieve this result than almost any genre with its fascinating concepts and amazing special effects. When you’re watching a sci-fi movie, the science will start to feel incredibly real. Just because it feels real doesn’t make it real, and many great movies only make sense on the screen.

One movie that gripped science fiction fans with what felt a realistic depiction of space was the 2013 film “Gravity.” This movie focused on space exploration as it is now instead of bringing in futuristic ideas. That makes it feel real, but according to a technology writer for Slate, they aren’t realistic at all about gravity. An astronaut tries to pull another one to safety in one iconic scene but can’t pull him in. Slate says, “Literally, an ounce of force applied for a few seconds would’ve been enough.” Shouldn’t they both be pretty much weightless? How could he be too heavy without weight?

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
This film is way out there in terms of accurate science, but right on point regarding fiction. Slash Film.

Jeff Goldblum Couldn’t Have Done This in “Independence Day”

Science fiction fans of all varieties love the genre for its incredible range of subjects, moods, and styles. Some regular staples that science fiction fans expect to be part of the genre and aliens might take the number one spot in this list. Aliens appeal to science fiction fans because they are a real scientific possibility and so foreign to our knowledge that they could be anything at all. Science fiction movies can use aliens to introduce advanced science concepts to the audience, but many films just use alien technology to cover up plot holes.

“Independence Day” is a science fiction movie that nearly everyone has seen, but it does not seem like very much research on scientific concepts went into it. Alien technology is subject about which we can only theorize and imagine, but still, this movie asks us to believe too much. “Independence Day” goes too far when Jeff Goldblum can shut down alien computer systems with a virus he made on a Mac from the ’90s. The movie says it works because the aliens’ computers also use binary, but if they have the same kind of computer systems we do, then why can’t they stop a simple computer virus?

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
Have you ever watched this sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise? Plugged In.

Was “Minority Report” Accurate or Not?

Science fiction movies are best when they predict future technologies and make us see our society’s course. Some science fiction movies get very dystopian and hopeless, but not just to be cynical. These films invite us to ask deep questions about what technology should be used for. “Minority Report” is one dystopian science fiction movie that remains relevant today because it shows unchecked surveillance problems. This film also came up with some pretty interesting technologies for the screen. Some of them seem like they could be realistic, but others not so much.

The most unrealistic part of this movie was probably the cyborg-type psychics that predicted and gave sentences as if they were judges. In reality, surveillance algorithms only need to analyze data or answer a question based on some data. The idea of cyborgs or robots giving judgments and sentences seems unnecessary when you could have judges and investigators use the data to make judgments as they usually would. In fact, this is already pretty much happening, proving that you do not need to make the kind of cyborg person that sci-fi movies love to show in order to use technology for surveillance.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
There are some things that sci-fi films get right, but it is very rare. Amazon.

“Minority Report” Got Some Tech Right

We just explained what does not seem all that scientific about the science fiction technology in the well-known sci-fi thriller “Minority Report.” If anybody out there hasn’t seen it yet, don’t get the wrong impression. “Minority Report” exaggerated parts of the technology to achieve a dramatic effect. The psychics gave a scarier, more futuristic look than a regular judge with a data analyst by their side. This film also got a lot of stuff right, and the realistic parts might surprise you. “Minority Report” put some serious thought into the smaller details of its imagined future tech.

One piece of technology that “Minority Report” seems to have predicted accuracy is gesture-controlled interfaces for computers. Touch screens and voice recognition are the things right now, as smartphones have become the computers that many of us use the most often, if not for work. As touch screens have made it possible to imagine a world without fully physical keyboards, it seems logical that the next step will involve ditching buttons entirely. The gesture-controlled tech imagined in “Minority Report” also reminds us of the ways that some virtual reality and augmented reality devices already run.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
This dinosaur flick is full of science inconsistencies. Mosquito Research and Management.

Dino DNA in “Jurassic Park” Impossible

“Jurassic Park” is an iconic sci-fi movie that can rival most films in how well it’s been known, loved, and remembered since it was released. It remains a classic because it has something for everyone, with an interesting genetic theory for the science fiction fans that want to get deep in science. The basic idea of “Jurassic Park” is that if we could find dinosaur DNA, we could figure out cloning technology to bring dinosaurs back to life and see them ourselves. This idea is both fascinating and a little terrifying. It turns out that science says it is impossible.

Nobody expected to see dinosaur parks open up after this movie, but it still left viewers of all ages fascinated by the possibilities of genetic science and archaeology. The flaws, however, start very early in this film’s story. That dinosaur blood they find preserved in a fossilized bug? They couldn’t have seen it in the first place. Researches have since measured how long DNA can last, and even under ideal conditions, any viable dinosaur DNA broke down long before humans were even around. If you want to know just how far off they were, the last non-avian dinosaur DNA expired 59 million years ago.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
Another thing this Hollywood film got wrong was the cloning process. Medium.

“Jurassic Park” Didn’t Get Cloning Right

We’ve already debunked one big piece of the story behind “Jurassic Park” but the science exaggerations go beyond the one detail of the miraculous dinosaur DNA that couldn’t be there. “Jurassic Park” also shows some events that don’t match up with real genetic science. Science writer Brian Switek says that there is no way we could figure out dinosaur genomes because you need a living animal as a kind of reference to tell you how the DNA should be ordered. In “Jurassic Park” they get around this by mixing in frog DNA. That is ridiculous since they already knew then that birds are closer to dinosaurs.

In “Jurassic Park” after they’ve mixed dinosaur DNA with frogs, they can grow these cloned dinosaurs in bird eggs. The dinosaurs’ actual cloning in this movie makes even less scientific sense than the ways they treated the DNA, making the dinosaur clones. Switek says that a cloned embryo requires interaction with a mothers’ body to grow; you can’t just put it in an egg. Hopefully, fans of the iconic “Jurassic Park” will not be too disappointed to learn that this science doesn’t check out. After all, it didn’t go very well for them in the movie.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
Although you wish this was real, it is definitely nothing but sci-fi, with an emphasis on the ‘fi’ part. StarWars.com.

“Star Wars” Lightsaber Is Impossible

Science fiction has been a top genre in popularity and shapes peoples’ ideas since it first showed up. Of all the many science fiction movies to have captured our imaginations, one title stands out as the biggest and most well known in this genre. That is “Star Wars” of course, and you might have already started wondering why this article hadn’t mentioned it yet. You don’t have to be any kind of veteran science fiction fan to know about “Star Wars,” it seems like you couldn’t avoid hearing about it if you wanted to. As groundbreaking as this movie was, some of the most classic parts are not backed by real science.

Of all the spectacular visual effects and technologies shown in “Star Wars” the lightsaber is everyone’s favorite. This iconic laser sword is the biggest thing that makes this series’ style. Some fascinating theories are always going around about how we could build something like this. It definitely couldn’t be done the way most of us think of the lightsaber as a kind of controlled laser. There is no way to stop a beam of concentrated light at a certain length. If you’ve ever used a simple laser pointer, you can tell that lasers couldn’t make a colorful blade like that.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
A lot of these films are truly larger than life in that they would never play out in real time, thanks to science. Amazon.

That One Indiana Jones Scene

The “Indiana Jones” series as a whole can be a little difficult to classify by genre. However, the final one dipped into sci-fi with a plot building up to alien discoveries, despite how these movies usually deal more with the ancient. Regardless of whether you can genuinely call it sci-fi, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” gets at least an honorable mention, and the alien stuff isn’t even the reason. Whether or not “Indiana Jones” is a true science fiction story, this movie has a science error so obvious and funny that it inspired a phrase: “nuking the fridge.”

Science fiction fans love to roast this wildly inaccurate scene from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” However, for anyone who missed it, Indy stumbles onto a blast site for a nuclear bomb, and he comes with the “genius” solution of hiding in a nearby fridge. That’s right, a fridge. The logic of the movie says it was lead-lined and that shielded him from radiation. That is kind of clever, but it seems apparent that he and the fridge would be destroyed. Come on! This series is widely loved, but it also gave us one of the worst movie science mistakes.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
It might serve as good entertainment, but this movie has terrible science. Wallha.

“The Core” Has Too Much Ridiculous Science to Keep Track

People often don’t care about things that aren’t right in front of them, even if they are hugely important. Science fiction movies are the best at helping people imagine how today’s world will change. That explains why in the 2000s, there were many science fiction films about humanity coming together to save the Earth from ecological disaster. These natural disaster-based sci-fi movies are essential for teaching people about the importance of the environment. However, some of these movies stretched the science ridiculously far to make the events dramatic. One of these films that did not age the best, for this reason, was “The Core.”

“The Core” definitely had a good message about the world working together to solve big problems, but the issues with its science start at the beginning of its premise. In this stopping the apocalypse type movie, the Earth’s core stops rotating for some reason. If an international team of scientists can’t start it up again by setting off bombs in the core (you heard me right), the Earth’s magnetic field will disappear, and the sun’s radiation will fry us like ants under a magnifying glass. It’s inspirational when they save the day, but it makes no sense. The whole atmosphere protects us from solar radiation, so this wouldn’t happen.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
Did you wish you could time travel after watching these movies? Amazon.

Theoretically, Time Travel Is Possible

Researchers believe time travel is possible, theoretically. It is one of the major themes that shows up over and over in science fiction. In fact, it is highly likely that if you put on a sci-fi movie, there will be time travel in it. Many of the sci-fi movies that involve time travel imagine a timeline that goes backward and forwards and grapple with the paradox that emerges from that assumption. The paradox is that we will alter the timeline if we change something in the past, and it is called the grandfather paradox. One of the most well-known examples of this paradox is from Back to the Future.

When Marty McFly travels back in time, he puts his future existence at risk by accidentally preventing his parents from meeting each other. It looks like, if time travel were possible, Marty would have been fine. According to researchers at the University of Queensland, if you could change the past, the timeline would “self-correct” and make sure whatever happened to make you want to go back in time would still happen somehow. But that’s only IF it is possible. Time travel may be theoretically possible, but our concept of physics would have to be altered fundamentally for it to be so, and that is unlikely.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
The popular flick Back to the Future came out in 1985. Time.

You Probably Can’t Move Faster Than the Speed of Light 

According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, objects with mass cannot move faster than the speed of light. To do so would break our entire concept of physics. However, what if there were some loophole to get around this? Trying to manipulate our mass would probably be deadly. Nevertheless, what if I told you there are multiple theories in existence that speculate ways in which we could control the space around a spaceship in order to travel at light speed. Two methods are theorized that may use space, wormholes, and warp drives.

There are some potential problems with this theory, in any case. You are still moving at average speeds; imagine how old you would get before you came out the other side. Moreover, there is also the issue of the other side. We don’t know where it would be or how to get to it. In a wormhole, there would not be stars for navigation. Researchers think highly sophisticated computers could calculate this location information and direct you to the right place. There is still the pesky problem of time, though. For that reason, this theory always seems unrealistic.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
This type of science is hard to understand, and films don’t try to explain it accurately. Shutterstock.

There Are Multiple Speed of Light Loopholes

In addition to wormholes, there is another theoretical loophole to achieve travel at the speed of light – warp drives. You will notice this loophole in many sci-fi movies. Warp drives manipulate space by contracting it in front of the spaceship and then expanding its reach. That would theoretically create a wave, which would lead to the ship’s destination. So, take that, physics! Widely popular sci-fi shows like Futurama and Star Trek play with the concept of warp drives, so most people are probably familiar with the thought of them. It is exciting that there’s some actual science behind the idea.

Apparently, there is something called “negative energy” which could make traveling faster than the speed of light. There have even been studies that produced negative energy in a lab through something called the Casimir effect. The concept relies on the idea that a vacuum is not empty but full of electromagnetic fluctuations. Causing a disturbance to those fluctuations creates negative energy, which would theoretically cause a wormhole to appear. Furthermore, if all that sounds a little too confusing, we can indulge in some sci-fi — enjoy it for the entertainment purposes only.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
Are you a fan of Star Wars or Star Trek — or both? The latter has better technology. Esquire.

Star Trek Tech Is Surprisingly Accurate

Even though much of the technology in Star Trek is futuristic and fictional, a lot of it is plausible. At least, this is true given what we know now. Most people are familiar with the science fiction ideas seen in Star Trek. It is a household name at this point. So it is cool that a broad audience is being exposed to real science. Moreover, while the writers do not get everything right regarding technology and science, it’s based more on science than most science fiction. Even though it is mostly accurate, not all of the technology is based on science.

Given the technology we have now, many of the sci-fi concepts found in Star Trek aren’t totally unreasonable to imagine. For the most part, scientists agree that there could be more carbon-based life-forms (like us) in the universe. It’s plausible there could be alien life, given the abundance of carbon in the universe. We could create artificial gravity as we see in Star Trek, probably. However, scientists aren’t sure exactly how we would go about it. Even something as farfetched as the cloaking devices used in Star Trek has been developed for real, albeit on a tiny, utterly unrealistic level. However realistic, I wouldn’t expect any of this technology to manifest any time soon.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
The genre has a strong fan base. Shutterstock.

Sci-Fi Is the Favorite Genre of All Time — Minus The Senseless Technology

There is no doubt in asserting that sci-fi movies are by far one of the best movies that are made. People of all ages are equally gaga over the concept of science fiction. Whether it is the intriguing concept or the innovative technology used in it, science fiction never fails to entertain and kindle the audience’s curiosity. Even the experts think sci-fi is the most critical genre, according to an article from Wired magazine. The genre helps shape public understanding of technology before it happens, giving society some time to reflect on whether it’s a good, bad, or just plain idiotic idea.

Science fiction movies touch on some real science concepts by adding a tinge of drama to entertainment. Nevertheless, some films make the scientific theory seem dumb. Though we tend to believe in them as they have a lifelike feel, some thoughts are stupid. It is not shaming the sci-fi movies to introduce these concepts, but it is necessary to put light into them to note such impossible ideas that are hard to believe. Sorry, but we are probably not ever going to travel through space at light-speed or travel through time. According to the laws of physics, as we know them, it’s just impossible.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
It explores the ideas of humanity. Shutterstock.

Sci-Fi Is Here to Stay

The above mentioned were a few science technologies used in sci-fi that make no sense of it. There is no doubt that they provide one of a kind viewing experience, and we do not question the technology when we watch as we are so amazed by the rich visual experience. We often don’t even notice unrealistic technology, even for the future. That is, if you are not paying enough attention because the movie concept is excellent. A phone implanted into your hand? Sure, neat; that seems reasonable until you think about it a little bit more.

After the movie, we come to think of it as the dumbest thing to have watched. Some of those science concepts were busted above. The reasons provided are so evident that it can question the movie makers for providing such stupid information to the audience. However, as it is said, “science fiction,” we cannot believe everything we see on the screen. Even though we know that some of the things we see in sci-fi aren’t real or are even silly, it’s safe to say the genre is widely beloved. Sci-fi isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Sci-Fi Movies are Great, But These Films Used the Worst Technology
Sometimes, it helps not to take it all too seriously. Shutterstock.

Don’t Take the Technology Too Seriously

Science fiction is not meant for you to dig in deep and find meaning behind every concept it introduces. These movies are meant for sheer entertainment that is quite different from other movie genres. The only difference between sci-fi and other movie genres is simply the out of the box concepts it brings in. While it is true that sci-fi has predicted many of the technologies we use today, like cell phones, self-driving cars, and video chatting, it’s probably a good thing that a lot of the wild technology we see in sci-fi does not exist in the real world.

These movies’ stories and ideas are beyond our imagination, and that’s the major takeaways of these movies. Enjoy the sci-fi flick for unwavering entertainment rather than digging deep into its concept and finding it dumb at the end. It would be so heartbreaking to understand that the sci-fi movie that you enjoyed after a long time was utterly senseless. Some of the technologies we see in sci-fi movies would be downright bad ideas. Seriously, flying cars? The risk alone would be enough to skyrocket everyone’s insurance premiums. No thanks. It is one technology that will probably stay a fantasy.