Wizard World Chicago: The Science of Jurassic Park

There is reality in every bit of fantasy.  Even if it is only an essence.

 

Finding science, though, is a greater struggle.  The nature of Sci-Fi is the suspense of disbelief.  But those of us whom enjoy the release of turning our minds off and sitting down to enjoy a couple hours of entertainment do ask that the “science” remain consistent throughout which is often not the case.

 

This panel, hosted by two Paleontologists, was an enlightening look into the fact that how the general public viewed dinosaurs had remained pretty much unchanged since the mid 19th century; this idea that dinosaurs were giant lizards, riddled with lethargy and hardly able to muster the strength to move around.  Jurassic Park showed dinosaurs in a whole new light; though not in all entirely realistic ways.

 

Scott Williams, who hosted the panel, explained how Jurassic Park helped foster an uprising not only in the public’s understanding of dinosaurs but helped push the science.  The movie grew the interest in continuing to grow our understanding and interest brings money.  The work necessary to uncover dinosaurs – as displayed in short detail in the original film – is arduous and costly.

 

Though the movie did great things for our understanding and interest in dinosaurs it did have some fundamental flaws.  For example: the Velociraptor is displayed much larger than the actual discovered species (which is roughly the size of a dog) and Dilophosaurus is a hyper-exaggerated creature – in reality the flaps of skin used as a display of aggression did not exist and there is no evidence to support that the creature spat venom of any kind.

 

Jurassic World had significantly more “errors” from a scientific perspective, but they left the door open for such issues by indicating that a lot of genetic modification had occurred throughout the creation process.

 

Continual scientific discovery has hit near record rates – throughout 2015 a new species has been discovered roughly every week.

 

The most frightening piece of information that came from the panel was that a discovery in China of a feather-winged Velociraptor species that had flight capabilities…can you imagine a flock of Velociraptors swooping down at you?  Yeah…no thanks.

 

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