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Artistic License - Biology launched as You Fail Biology Forever Discussion: From YKTTW

Working Title: Artistic License - Biology: From YKTTW

Pro-Mole: I feel the need of pointing that this page needs some major clean-up. Many of the examples are not meant to be taken seriously... for instance, I don't think Super Drowning Skills can count as biologic FAIL...
Discussing the Ben&Jerry's anticlone webpage: While a clone itself is indeed an identical twin of the template, the process of cloning itself is notoriously unsafe and prone to generate mutations. Which might be the reason why a lot of people are reluctant to buy products from cloned animals. So saying clones are a-okay actually just shows how you fail biology yourself. Also, if you're already cloning, you might as well add some genetic engineering into the mix, which is really not a safe idea, considering the need for viral vectors.
Questions: Why do the entries pointing out the biology-related flaws creationism keep on disappearing? Are there exemptions for entries involving religion here? Or is this a case of angry creationist censorship?

Ninjacrat: See the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement. Also see the 'reason' note above each edit.
Pteryx: Would Gender Equals Breed fit here?

German Troper: When Mr Seahorse is envoked in fanfiction, it usually belongs here.

Editing this rain of capslock:


puritybrown: Shouldn't the Tezuka quote be attributed to "Shaenon Garrity", not "Overlooked Manga Festival"? She is the one who came up with it, after all...

Norman: I think the Star Trek clone-memories thing is not the best example, as that was the one time that the charactors (and thus the writers) acknowledged that that wasn't supposed to happen that, and a major portion of the episode was spent comtemplating that it didn't make since
Krine say: Took this whole mess out from under Metal Gear Solid:
  • Though it should be noted that the author himself Fails Biology Forever by not realising that in this context, recessive actually does mean flawed.
  • No it doesn't. Big Boss could easily, as part of his "superior" genome, have at least one pair of recessive genes alleles. In fact, he probably does.
  • The game is quite clear on this. All of the 'soldier genes' are heterozygous dominant-recessive, otherwise the double-dominant clone would end up missing a gene entirely. Therefore, the double-dominant clone is, as far as the project is concerned, superior, and the double-recessive one flawed. Otherwise, Big Boss would not express his own soldier genes.

Last Guy, I... THINK I see what you're saying, but if the genes are supposed to be heterozygous heterozygous, then BOTH homozygous sets of genes would be considered flawed. There is, in fact, a such thing as phenotypical expression that is exclusive to heterozygous genotypes. If Boss's genes were such like that, then making them homozygous either way wouldn't work out as well.

And if what you're saying is that genotypes need to be heterozygous for reproduction to take place, ever, in any circumstance, well, that's not something I've ever heard of. I won't say I know everything though. I'm not that guy.

In general, this just goes to show the spectacular breakdown of what is ACTUALLY meant by dominant and recessive, and what it SOUNDS like it means. Also, it's horrible, horrible natter.

Evil_Tim: The way it seems to work is that Liquid and Solid are exact clones of Big Boss, save the specific 'soldier genes.' For those, Liquid got all of Big Boss' dominant alleles [and thus his phenotype, that of the 'greatest living soldier'] and Snake got whatever he wasn't expressing, which would presumably make him an inferior soldier in genetic terms. I beleive the explaination is they swapped the alleles in question between the two clones, hence Liquid's statement that the recessive clone got 'garbage'; as far as the Les Enfants Terribles project was concerned, that statement is literally true. As noted, though, this is completely pointless because as a perfect clone Liquid would still be the same way, so it seems to only have been done to make an inferior clone, tell the superior clone he was the inferior clone, and give him something to obsess over. The argument that recessive doesn't mean bad is irrelevant: recessive means not what the project was looking for.

It could only really be talking about the 'soldier genes' since changing all the genes would be pointless and if all the genes were changed the recessive clone wouldn't reflect Big Boss' phenotype at all, when he's said to be the spitting image of both him and Liquid. So, the 'Soldier Genes,' all of which must have been dominant / recessive pairings, were the only ones altered. Then a bunch of other junk was thrown in [Naomi, MGS 4] like terminator genes to prevent them reproducing or being cloned, Liquid was injected with concentrated ham to give him overacting capabilities and given a silly English accent, and they called it a day.
Danel: Removed this, since I can't see what the hell it has to do with anything:

  • Apparently, "lungs" as a euphemism for breasts is popular in certain literary circles. Evidently the Most Common Super Power just involves characters holding their breath.

furbearingbrick: Yes, it was I who added the Chick Tract image. Seriously, you couldn't find a more obvious case of Artistic License - Biology if you tried.

Dude, that's just asking for trouble.

The truth hurts, pal. Also, cropped the image to get the money quote because the badly-resized version was giving me a headache.

Kilyle: I'm a staunch Christian, and I find that "dinosaurs can't breathe" thing hilarious. I don't think it's asking for trouble and I don't think it needs to be removed. (Although I wouldn't mind understanding a little more about the context of why it's hilarious... I haven't put much study into dinosaurs, but the little info my brain dredges up has to do with a planetwide catastrophe that just wiped them out, as opposed to any gradual "they're no longer able to survive" thing....)

Pro-Mole: As far as I understand, the fail is that it doesn't matter how big a creature is, the oxygen concetration in the air is the same everywhere(in the same altitude, that is). In fact, a bigger creature would inhale more oxygen than a smaller one. If plants stopped producing oxygen, everything would die, including plants.

Oh, and it's a known fact that 90% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is actually produced by algae and bacteria. Plants breathe almost as much oxygen as they produce.

Piearty: Hey, that dinosaur picture is really great. I saw the actual comic on the Jack Chick trope. But there are some very amusing biology fails in this Chick comic too. Particuarly the fish with legs and the frog with hair. Maybe we could use one of them as the page picture? You don't have to think hard at all to see how much fail is in those pictures. Plus, they're funny. I wasn't sure where to put this suggestion. Feel free to move it somewhere else.
TTD: I... dunno. As this trope's mommy, I wonder if it'd be happier as just an index. The examples could go into their respective specific tropes and we'd lose a lot of natter and failures at Cautious Editing Judgement (not only the Creationist thing but we've got people complaining about the biology in Superman here).

(Months pass...)

TTD: So... can I turn it into an index page? Would anyone object? Anyone? Bueller?

Pro-Mole: I don't think so. Most examples are more general Biological Failures that don't fall as a trope.

Twin Bird: Um...does Godzilla actually eat meat?
  • This troper feels that the film [[Eight Legged Freaks]] deserves a mention here. As a fan of spiders and their habits, this troper is aware, that if you were to put TWO HUNDRED spiders in an enclosed area, ESPECIALLY with tarantula's and similar species, nearly all of them would be dead by the end of the second day, due to them all attacking each other.
    • Not to mention the characters simply ripping spider threads off of the victims, which, might I add is TEN TIMES STRONGER THAN STEEL. And they're ripping threads with their bare hands. It seems that supermen and women are everywhere, no?

For the first problem, does the movie take place over more than a day? For the second, this guy says that it's the editor here who fails biology, but neither cites a source, so I'm not cutting it yet. —Document N
  • Um...Intuitor doesn't need to cite a source because Intuitor is a source.

Nornagest: Cut —

This is Science Marches On. Remember that Godzilla is from 1954, well before paleontology was very mature as a science.

*** A quarter? It's a chapter, dumbass.

And we don't need or want this.

As to spider silk (in the comment above mine), it actually is that strong — not because it has to support spiders, but because it has to deal with wind loads which are vastly greater than a spider's weight. The scaling-up fallacy is a fallacy, but, while relevant to Spider-Man, it's completely irrelevant to this.
Loyal: I removed this little bit under the Goblins part of Web Comics:
  • Given his art "style", this is most likely an excuse for his inability to draw organs.

It has nothing to do with failing biology as much as failing art, and even then it's just needlessly provocative.
arromdee: Cut this:

  • Dr. Klamp's Character Filibuster scene in Parasite Eve outlines his plot to reverse-engineer the mitochondria out of a sperm sample intended to impregnate the titular Eve and fertilize the Ultimate Being. To illustrate this, a great deal of time is spent on back story involving a previous and analogous incident in Japan where a super-baby wreaked havoc, but died because the mitochondria from its mother and father weren't of the same ilk. The kicker is twofold. 1: Mitochondria are passed maternally. The mitochondria of sperm are meant as a one-shot energy source for fertilizing the egg, and only get passed along in rare occasions as the result of disorders. 2: Given that it was his own sperm he sought to so alter, this means Doctor Klamp spent all his time, effort and grant money... on pr0n.

I believe that was the point. Mitochondria normally come from the mother, but a couple from the father can mess things up. He wanted to avoid that. (By the way, this sequence is actually a reference to the Parasite Eve novel.) Given the whole Mitochondrial Eve thing, I think the writers were aware that mitochondria come from the mother.
Pro-Mole: I sense there's something wrong on the Trojan ad example. It's more "irony" than actual biological fail that "evolve" is being used on a figurative sense, and the actual meaning of the word is completely contrary to the principle of a condom(that is to prevent reproduction). Does it actually fall here?
kl: Should the fanfiction examples here be moved/copied to You Fail Sex Ed Forever? They seem to relate to that trope.
Antwan: Removed this because the reasons below were valid:

  • I don't know if this was a straight example or an example of a character Failing Biology Forever, but the 2008 remake of Survivors had a journalist in the first episode asking if the government had developed a vaccine to the pandemic virus. If they had, it wouldn't have done much good; a vaccine stops you getting a disease, it doesn't cure it. Later in the episode, they referred to a "global pandemic." That'd be different to the type of pandemic that isn't in the whole world, then?
    • This doesn't deserve to be here, 1) there were people who didn't have the virus at that point so a vaccine would have helped the half of the population that were not yet ill 2) Pandemic is an epidemic over a large area, e.g. a continent, not just the whole world.
      • Besides, vaccines can work during the interval between infection and symptoms appearing. For example, rabies.

Pro-Mole: On the topic of Bee Movie...

  • However, would the movie have been as endearing if it HADN'T failed biology forever? Would you REALLY want to watch a movie about bees vomiting in each other's stomachs? I didn't think so.

Well, it could be more endearing if not making me cringe every five minutes, damn it! It didn't need all that fantastic make-up on the honey-making process, or those jarring amounts of interspecies romance, or... Really, they should have worked the plot better before making it into a movie.

Removing this, because, well it's more You Fail Sex Ed Forever and dear god someone hand me the Brain Bleach ...

  • A sample of a Neopets Jhudora/Illusen fanfic in which Jhudora was a hermaphrodite for some unclear reason: "she slowly pulled her prostate out of Illusen's sore tunnel and thrusted it right back in". A member of Livejournal's FanFicRants community said "I'm not sure what annoys me more; the female prostate, the mixup of the prostate and the penis, the notion that sex is supposed to hurt, or the word 'thrusted'."

Filby: Where was this printed?

  • Dungeons And Dragons at least justifies its moments of failing biology forever (admittedly, usually A Wizard Did It). For example, all human/tiefling descendants are tieflings. Forever. Nobody ever finds a tiefling hiding unknown in their family tree; oh no, if your great-grandfather is a tiefling so is everyone descended from him. Apparently when devils are involved, Mendel's laws are more like suggestions.

I'm pretty sure there are cases of fiend-descended individuals who are normal mortals (in Ravenloft if not in any other setting). I mean, just the fact that half-fiend/human offspring are tieflings suggests that fiendish genetics are like any other.

Dark Angel Cryo: Removed:

This is just natter, has nothing to do with the trope in question and seems to be more a take that at the author of the work.
Mike Rosoft: Removed non-example (the subsequesnt natter explains well enough why it's a non-example):
  • Also in The Matrix, made by a character rather than explicitly by the creators: Agent Smith goes on about how humans aren't actually mammals, but a type of virus. Taxonomical classification is by definition a question of who's descended from whom, and even when it wasn't conceived that way, the physical structure of the organisms in question was always what counted. He should have just framed it as a metaphor instead of trying to get all sciencey. Also, it is not true that every species of mammal instinctually develops an equilibrium with its surrounding ecosystem. Evolution happens by natural selection, not even instinctual design - if there are any instincts of a species that help maintain the equilibrium, they are the result of development, not the other way around - and this incidentally applies to viruses in the same way as to mammals. And of course to humans. And if it were really true that humans multiply until they have consumed every natural resource and then move onto another area, Earth would be barren by now and we'd have ran out of new areas long ago.
    • It was pretty clear that he was being metaphorical.
      • Well he was basically giving a Hannibal Lecture.
      • Especially given that he doesn't actually assert, at any point, human beings to be a virus, he merely compares us to them. He also refers to humanity as a "disease, a cancer on this planet", clearly contradictory if take to be intended literally, making it farely clear that he's simply looking for pejoratives to explain a point, rather than proposing taxonomical redefinition.
      • If it were literal, someone would have pointed out that a virus and a cancer are two very different things.
      • Considering what Smith is, it's possible he was mentally comparing humans to a computer virus, and then clumsily translating this into terms that a flesh-and-blood creature like Neo can relate to. There's no good reason why a sentient program would find a biological virus so viscerally offensive, after all.
      • Uh, context, anyone? The whole point of that scene was that Agent Elrond was psychologically torturing Morpheus. This troper seriously doubts that Smith cared the slightest little bit whether what he was saying was scientifically accurate. From an in-character POV, the point, the ENTIRE point, of him saying those words, in that sequence, was that it was the speech he felt most likely to have the most demoralizing effect on Morpheus, in the least time. Real-world torturers have been known to claim that the sky is neon orange for similar reasons. They don't actually believe that the sky is neon orange, but they do believe that forcing their victims to admit to such will somehow benefit their interrogation.

momotaro: Does this include Ecology?
Just removed this:
  • "** Minor Star Trek example; Trip Tucker said that he had some survival training in Alice Springs, Australia. He also said that there were a hell of allot of flies , "the kind that bight you". While flies are indeed attracted to human sweat, and you would sweat allot in Alice Springs, and flies are indeed annoying, there is no specie of fly in Australia that actually bights or attacks humans. Perhaps he was talking about Mozzies. If so, that's even worse. If you don't know the difference between mosquitoes and flies, you REALLY fail biology forever."
It's a pretty good example of a biology fail itself, considering that mosquitoes are flies.