Bad news: science fiction makes you retarded

First off, let me say this: I love Doctor Who. Absolutely adore it. You’re talking to the guy with two separate Tardis’s, a Dalek, and a sonic screwdriver (Tenth, natch) on his desk. Hell, I’m listening to the first/second series’ score as I write this.

Unfortunately, some people in the UK love the seminal TV show a little too much. So much, in fact, they think time travel actually exists (no word on blue boxes that are bigger on the inside).

“Okay, sure,” you say, “but it’s probably just a few nutjobs here and there. Right?” Sorry to disappoint, but no. Of the 3,000 people polled, 30% (!) thought it was actually possible to go back in time and cockblock their parents while pretending to be Calvin Klein. Sarah Connor is not amused.

More stupid-stics:

  • 44% think you can erase someone’s memory a la Men in Black
  • 24% want Scotty to beam them up with teleporters they are convinced are real
  • 22% aren’t very strong in the Force and think lightsabers exist
  • 18% think you can see gravity

The problem, researchers say, is that sci-fi blurs the line between reality and it’s easy to get confused with things that are actually happening.

Because wait a second! Turns out this thing works both ways too. You know invisibility cloaks, right? Surely those aren’t real, you say. And 78% of people in the study would agree with you. Well, now you’re both wrong. Prof Shuang Zhang at the Univeristy of Birmingham is doing just that. Granted, I’m assuming the other 22% didn’t know that either so I’m not giving them any points for accidentally being right.

70% have never heard of NueroSky, a company that’s pretty much created telekinesis and come up with a headset to control stuff with your brain. 89% thought it was impossible to grow a new set of eyes, but scientists at the University of Warwick have done it in frogs and believe they’ll be able to do human eyes in the future (100% still think that’s fucking gross).

Of course, science fiction is often the catalyst for future innovation. We invent things because they looked so badass in movies and we want that to be real. Look at the iPad, it’s practically straight out of Star Trek. The kids watching sci-fi today are the engineers of tomorrow, so who knows what kind of crazy shit they’ll cook up; we could very well see lightsabers or hoverboards some day. Never say never, when it comes to tech. It always comes around to surprise you.

But you still can’t see gravity. That’s just stupid.

Sources: Daily Mail, Birmingham Science City

1 thought on “Bad news: science fiction makes you retarded”

  1. One problem. You (and them) committed a classic fallacy. Science fiction makes you retarded? How about science fiction has fans in it who are retarded. Slightly different. Would you be surprised to check romance fans, action fans, horror fans, and find that the statistics are identical or maybe even worse? When it comes to science and math, subjects that are difficult because they are usually counter-intuitive, the world is full of morons.

    These researches need their funding revoked if they could make such a freshman mistake. What they’ve in effect said is, watching Lord of The Rings makes you believe in fairies. No, there are probably a bunch of superstitious morons who believe fairies exist, that love things like Lord of The Rings.

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