Edward Willett

The Biology of B-Movie Monsters

I can’t believe I hadn’t come across this until now (but then, the World Wide Web is a rather large place [if it’s a place at all (and how many paranthetical [like this] statements can one put in a single sentence, anyway?)]): Michael C. LaBarbera, a University of Chicago biologist, has taken a scientific look at The Biology of B-Movie Monsters. (Via MedGadget.)

Now, not too long ago I talked about the silliness of using science to disprove the existence of vampires and ghosts. So why do I like this one? Because vampires and ghosts are supernatural–that is, they are conceived to exist outside of nature and therefore are not subject to nature’s laws, but rather to a different set of laws that hold sway in their supernatural realm. But in the movies rather thouroughly dissected by LaBarbera, we are given a scientific explanation. This puts us in the realm of science fiction, where, as I’ve written before, we are at liberty to bend the laws of physics, but we have to at least make a nod in their general direction. In these movies, that nod is missing, and therefore ridiculing them is fair game.

Besides, it’s fun.

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