The Perfect Organism: The Intruder of the Alien films as a Bio-fictional Construct

Publikation: Forskning - peer reviewBidrag til bog/antologi

Abstrakt

This chapter explores the relationship between scientific discussions in evolutionary biology and the (re-)construction of fictional settings based upon evolutionary knowledge claims that are surrounded with controversy. Exploring Jean-Jacques Annaud’s problems with evolutionary reconstruction in his film Quest for Fire (1981), as well as the fictional biology of the intruder in Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) and some of its sequels, it introduces the notion of bio-fictional constructs as a term used to denote fictive and quasi-fictive organisms whose life cycle is either fully or partially constructed or reconstructed. It also argues that any novelist or director who attempts to base a fictional narrative on factual research is faced with numerous difficulties that are rooted in the state of evolutionary biology because this is an academic area that is driven by major theoretical controversies as well as the fluctuating nature of evolutionary knowledge claims. Any narrative that includes bio-fictional constructs needs to take this into account, if it seeks to base itself on some kind of biological credibility. This makes the validity of the classical distinction between hard science fiction (stories founded upon credible scientific facts) and soft science fiction (stories that take a more liberal approach to such matters) questionable.
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Detaljer

This chapter explores the relationship between scientific discussions in evolutionary biology and the (re-)construction of fictional settings based upon evolutionary knowledge claims that are surrounded with controversy. Exploring Jean-Jacques Annaud’s problems with evolutionary reconstruction in his film Quest for Fire (1981), as well as the fictional biology of the intruder in Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) and some of its sequels, it introduces the notion of bio-fictional constructs as a term used to denote fictive and quasi-fictive organisms whose life cycle is either fully or partially constructed or reconstructed. It also argues that any novelist or director who attempts to base a fictional narrative on factual research is faced with numerous difficulties that are rooted in the state of evolutionary biology because this is an academic area that is driven by major theoretical controversies as well as the fluctuating nature of evolutionary knowledge claims. Any narrative that includes bio-fictional constructs needs to take this into account, if it seeks to base itself on some kind of biological credibility. This makes the validity of the classical distinction between hard science fiction (stories founded upon credible scientific facts) and soft science fiction (stories that take a more liberal approach to such matters) questionable.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelScience Fiction, Ethics and the Human Condition
RedaktørerChristian Baron, Peter Nicolai Halvorsen, Christine Cornea
Antal sider11
UdgiverSpringer International Publishing
Publikationsdato14 jul. 2017
Sider9-20
Kapitel2
RekvirentJohn Templeton Foundatio
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 14 jul. 2017

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ID: 208129023