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The Link (2009)

The Link (2009)

Broken Chains

I’ve been working on the link between cinema and science recently. Yup, it is more interesting than you think. But in the process, I stumbled onto this.

You know the story about the reporter who set buildings on fire so that he could be the first to report it? We have something like that here, except in the case of the fires, at least they were genuine fires.

Here is the story. A self-promoting scientist comes across a very nice important fossil on the grey market. The seller wants an outrageous price, which the scientist cannot afford. No matter. Based on photographs, he believes it to be an example of the early evolutionary line of man. So he goes to a media company and basically makes a deal to give them exclusive rights to break the story of the scientific discovery. The problem is that no scientists had yet examined the specimen.

But since a story about a revolutionary ‘missing link‘ had been sold, then that is what must be discovered.

As with most modern documentaries on science, what we see is a reconstruction of ‘the discovery,‘ breathlessly narrated by David Attenborough, with our scientists pretending to scratch their heads and then glow when something occurs to them. This is a despicable development in both journalism and science by itself. But when the truth, the actual scientific truth, of the thing is bent because it fits the story better, then we may as well walk away from TeeVee altogether.

But then, we have a whole successful network based on this idea.

Stay away. The specimen is important, but do your own research, using trusted sources.

Posted in 2011

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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