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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN JURASSIC PARK (1993)

SCIENCEAND TECHNOLOGY IN JURASSIC PARK (1993)

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Scienceand Technology in Jurassic Park (1993)

Differentgenres of movies have different ways in which they present theirideas. From the plot of a film, one can easily tell what genre it is,by the way, the characters act, the setting, and the themes presentedin the whole plot. In JurassicPark (1993), theuse of science and technology can be noted in the entire movie. Themovie is based on science fiction and fantasy that revolves aroundthe existence of dinosaurs in an island theme park. The fantasy inthe film is however not pure as there is a presentation of a possibleworld with real people and real activities as presented in thecurrent world. From the film whose story was written by MichaelCrichton and directed by Steven Spielberg, the dinosaurs are said tohave been generated from ancient DNA (Archibald, 2014). The moviedisplays great knowledge in biological sciences and the science ofnature. The central human characters in the movie are scientists whoclone dinosaurs to create a wildlife park located in the fictionalIsla Nublar, owned by a billionaire philanthropist. Science andtechnology fuse in the movie where significant aspects ofbioengineering are featured to create a perfect science fiction.

TheScience in Jurassic Park

The1993 film is terrific especially in the sense that science has beenincorporated to bring out what is heard in stories of the ancientworld. The creation of dinosaurs in the film brings out what wasknown to be of the ancient world and incorporates the same into thecurrent world, which is filled with buildings and very advancedtechnology. The use of science in the film has helped in recreatinghistory. In the current world, dinosaurs only exist as fossils inmuseums and some scientific laboratories. The scientists in themovie, however, managed to recreate the dinosaurs and offer what ismore than just fossils (Archibald, 2014). They unveiled the realdinosaurs according to what science puts them and make the readerrelate the actual animal, including its stature, power, size andappearance of the current world.

Themovie depicts genetic engineering in its highest form. From the film,the scientists use great machines to cut and paste genes in DNA fromtwo different organisms using special scientific knowledge andincorporating some enzymes. The whole process leads to the creationof an entirely different organism with the different geneticmaterial. The owner of the park sponsored multiple dinosaurexcavation operations with the aim of finding an ancient mosquitothat could harbour some components of a dinosaur’s blood. Themosquito was found in a preserved state in amber. The bloodcomponents were then used to generate the dinosaur’s DNAcomponents, which were fused with the DNA of a frog to recreate thedinosaurs. Such a process brings out the sciences of excavation andmolecular genetics.

Theuse of genetic sciences goes beyond the recreation of the dinosaursin the adventurous movie. The whole theme park is a recreation of theancient life of both plants and animals, therefore, creating a senseof medieval history in a portion of the current world (Archibald,2014). Hammond, who also owns the island, sponsored the wholeproject. He believes that genetics can indeed bring extinct creaturesback to life. He is the character in the movie that creates the wholeaspect and theme of science and technology through the projects thathe sponsors. Ancient plants are also available in the park, and theycontribute to creating an entire ecosystem of ancient environmentalscience. From a different view, however, the park’s owner uses thescience of genetics and the financial power that he has abusively ashe recreates creatures that were scientifically known to be dangerousand prehistoric plants that were known to possess harmful components.The projects that he conducts are hazardous to the world and thehuman species. This is evident when the creatures become aggressiveand break out of the cages to start their destructive mission.

Thetechnology displayed in JurassicPark(1993)wastransitional. Since its original release in 1993, the authenticityand aesthetics of the movie have led to its re-release over the yearswith modifications that were set to make the film morerepresentational of the current times. The movie presents greattechnology in both what it displays and the processes used in thecreation of the character, settings and the whole plot. The filmutilises the CGI technology (Computer-Generated Images) to indicatethe significant changes that are set to revolutionise the filmindustry (Huls, 2013). Jurassic Park was the first movie in thenineties to integrate such technology whose success was doubted(Huls, 2013). The technology led to the creation of life-likedinosaurs whose appearance and general characteristics depict what isrepresented in scientific texts. The movie was first of its kind touse the CGI technology, and the application of the same in the movieis still regarded as a great marvel and an achievement like no other.This type of technology was used in the creation of breathingcreatures whose actions were well represented to create a life-likeeffect. One can easily tell of the director’s excellence by notingthe heavy breaths produced by the creatures and the thudding soundproduced by the animals as they step on the earth’s floor. Thecharacter, including sounds and actions of the Jurassic dinosaur,bring out the marvel caused by the use of CGI technology.

Inany form of science fiction movie, the forms of science that areassimilated in them do not have to be a hundred percent accurate. Themost important thing in such films is the creation of some work thatwould be plausible and be of logic within the period and world inwhich it is built. With such an understanding, it is evident that thecreators of the movie did a rather good job in the development ofwhat was known as a scientific myth. The science of JurassicParkcreated great anxiety in the scientific world with most scientistsasking themselves whether dinosaurs could really be cloned. The movieopened the eyes of many genetic engineers and biological scientistsfrom around the world by revealing the possibility that dinosaurs canbe cloned by using genetic material from fossils.

Themovie creates a merge between fictional science and real science. Thedinosaurs and plants created at the laboratory on the island do notexist in the actual world. The invasion of streets and towns bydinosaurs has also never happened in the real world. It would also beimpossible to locate a tiny insect such as a mosquito with bloodduring an excavation process after millions of years. These conceptshave however been incorporated into the movie in a more realistic andmodern nature by the intelligent use of computer graphics and othertechnological advancements in the film industry. The fictional partsof the film, however, reveal to the audience the processes andconcepts of genetic engineering and molecular biotechnology whereintelligent minds gang up to explore what was never thought of –cloning of dinosaurs. The concepts also reveal to the audience themightiness of science and how simple molecules such as DNA can beused to create an enormous animal that only existed in theories,speculations, and stories. The scientists in the movie use theirimmense knowledge in biotechnology, bioengineering, and fossilscience to recreate a form of life that existed millions of yearsago.

Thefilm also displays how science can be destructive. Hammond createdthe park and sponsored the laboratory work that led to the recreationof the dinosaurs in what he seemed to view as fun. He loved and wasproud of what he owned and the new creations in his park. However,Hammond failed to consider the dangers that would be generated byhaving such creatures in the present time. Upon maturity, thecreatures’ aggressiveness grows beyond control making them escapethe cages where they were restricted. A very painful situation isseen when the fatal Tyrannosaurus Rex escaped his cage and startedattacking children, leading to the death of Gennaro and injury ofmany others. The free Velociraptors also pose a great danger to thepeople in the park, especially the visitors who are targeted by thecreatures. To make the situation worse, the ancient creatures move tothe streets. What was previously a game of playing with the molecularstructure of dinosaur DNA turned into gigantic creatures seeking forfreedom (Schulman, 2013). The ancient beings take to the streets andcause varied reactions among the people, with a greater populationdisplaying intense fear. The dinosaurs also cause some destructionsas they move about the streets and during their escape from the zoo.They create fear and anxiety among the people. Biological technologyand science have therefore been combined into the film to createfear, havoc, and display how playing with science without having aproper research and analysis of the outcome can be destructive(Schulman, 2013). The scientific reason for the recreation of thedinosaurs was however not aimed at causing any destructions but togive life to what was previously considered as a fantasy and animagination whose only proof relied on the fossils located in variousmuseums around the world.

Themovie also portrays how a technological mishap can cause real troublein the world or a group of people. The park was highly reliant onelectricity. The effectiveness of the scientific, technologicalmethods used in restraining the creatures also depended onelectricity. Dennis Nedry realised this and used it as a way ofattempting to steal some dinosaur eggs from the park with the aim ofselling them at a significant amount of money. The whole facility,despite its technological advancement, lacked a power backup plan andthe situation leads to the escape of dinosaurs from where they werepaddocked. The whole event resulted in chaos and disaster as some ofthe most dangerous creatures were on the loose. The film, therefore,shows how the failure of a technological system may lead to greatdisaster.

Comparisonof the Genetic Science in the Film and that of the Present World

Thescientific concepts on dinosaur cloning presented in the movie arequite impossible in the current world. Although the movie isconsidered as a science fiction by genre, some of the concepts andprocesses carried out in it are happening in the actual world. Thereis intense knowledge on genetic engineering being discovered to date.Various scientists have tried playing around with genetics and moreespecially the structure of DNA to create new structures that havebeen of help in the fields of medicine, bioengineering, andagriculture. However, the concept of cloning the dinosaur DNA hasbeen proven to be quite a challenge as opposed to what the film’sscientific ideas portray.

First,the DNA of a dinosaur is hard to find. The process of locatingdinosaur DNA has been characterised as being easy in the movie. Thefossil referred to as Velociraptor in the movie (which in actualsense is Deinonychus) is shown to be buried under the unrealisticallythinnest layer of sand. Realistically speaking, such is impossibleespecially for organisms that are believed to have existed not adecade ago, but millions of years characterised by continuous changesin the structure of the Earth. Some Dinosaur DNA has indeed beenfound in the present times but after great difficulty. The DNA isbroken and hard to sequence as oppose to how the scientists in themovie portray. Currently, the correct sequence of the nucleotidebases of dinosaur DNA and the genetic map of the same is unknownthus, making the process of cloning dinosaur’s DNA impossible inthe current world compared to how the same is shown in the movie.

Theprocess of splicing dinosaur DNA has been exaggerated in the film.The dinosaur DNA can only be spliced with another DNA from the sameorganism to create an entire species. From what is presented in themovie, the result of the process where a frog’s DNA was used in thesplicing process would have been a mutant or a cross breed between afrog and a dinosaur but not a pure dinosaur as presented in the film.Such processes have been impossible to date where scientists arecraving to regenerate some of the extinct animals and otherorganisms. If the process was as simple as it is depicted in JurassicPark (1993),the intensive knowledge held by the scientists and the top-notchtechnology in the current era could have succeeded in developingdinosaurs as they are portrayed in books and scientific stories aboutthe ancient world.

Thegenetics of the dinosaurs would only allow them to live in theprehistoric period as opposed to what the film tries to create. Theecosystem set up in the film would not support the existence of thecreature, and the result would only be chaos. Scientific knowledge ofecology could have been considered in the film. The same applies tothe current world where the ecosystems of different places of theworld have undergone significant transformation and cannot sustainthe existence of ancient creatures. Such is also evident in the filmas the Brachiosaurs, Velociraptors, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex,and the Gallimimus could not withstand the conditions of the paddockswhere they were kept and opted for freedom, leading to chaoticscenes.

Conclusion

JurassicPark is an epic movie that revolves around the reconstruction ofdinosaurs and the aftermath of the whole processes. Dinosaurs areknown to be extinct creatures that existed millions of years ago. Thefilm significantly depicts the themes of science and technology inbroader forms. The scientific and technological methods are used inthe recreation of the extinct creatures in a laboratory situated onan island owned by the rich philanthropic biotechnologist calledHammond. Fossil science is simplified in the movie and leads to thediscovery of dinosaur DNA from an ancient mosquito that was preservedin amber. The science of genetics was then applied in an efficientmanner to recreate dinosaurs. It is clear that the film exists due toscience which gives it life and content. It is also the whole conceptof science that would draw one into watching or liking the movie.Despite the constructive nature of science, the film also indicatesits destructive nature as presented by the chaos caused after theaggressive Brachiosaurs, Velociraptors, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurusrex, and Gallimimus’ escape from their paddocks to seek forfreedom. The exit leads to disaster as several visitors were injuredand the hostile Velociraptor killed a young boy in the park. Computergraphic imaging technology was also successfully used in the film forthe first time in history leading to the fusion of a fantasy worldand the characteristics of the real world in one creative piece.

References

Archibald,J. D. (2014). What the dinosaur record says about extinctionscenarios. GeologicalSociety of America Special Papers,213-224. doi:10.1130/2014.2505(10)

Huls,A. (2013). The Jurassic Park Period: How CGI Dinosaurs TransformedFilm Forever. Retrieved November 22, 2016, fromhttp://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/04/the-i-jurassic-park-i-period-how-cgi-dinosaurs-transformed-film-forever/274669/

Schulman,A. N. (2013). Jurassic Generation. Retrieved November 23, 2016, fromhttp://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/jurassic-generation