Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / The Turing Test

Go To

  • The mechanism of the extremophile's DNA repair bugs me. ISA and TOM insist on quarantining the scientists citing unstoppable cancer cells and viruses that would be created if the extremophile were to be brought to Earth. This is, of course, a hyperbolic metaphor on the dangers of invasive species, but ignoring the authorial voice for a bit, how exactly is that supposed to work? Assume the extremophile enters symbiosis with a cancer patient, and starts repairing any DNA it finds, both cancerous and healthy. One effect is that it would prevent cancer cells from mutating further, perhaps allowing future medicine to targetedly destroy them faster—thus curing the patient, since their healthy cells will persist. Of course, if the medicine isn't fast enough, the immortal cancer cells will eventually kill the patient, but, as cynical as it sounds, it is safe to assume that most people in the future will not have cancers this bad, and they will be unaffected. Now viruses. Whether the extremophile will be able to do anything for them is up in the air, because they are not even living beings, and depending on how it goes about its symbiosis, it may not even register them as DNA carriers. It may very well, in fact, render actual living beings immune to some viruses by protecting their own cellular DNA from being modified by virus' RNA strands. With all said and done, the biggest effect the introduction of the extremophile would have is, most likely, the complete freeze of Earth's genetic pool. By constantly repairing DNA of everything, it would preclude any form of genetic mutation and thus, any form of biological evolution that does not rely on sexual reproduction. And even the latter may be rendered impossible if the extremophile sees gene recombination as something to be "repaired" (which may have been the cause of the death of Sarah's baby, I'm not sure).
    • That's part of the point. A germ (since it's a symbiotic mix of a virus of something else) that just goes about repairing DNA is so extremely alien to everything we know about cellular biology that the long-term repercussions of infecting an entire biosphere with it can't possibly be predicted with any certainty, and after a bit of thought none of the universal biological immortality futures seem very good. Sexual reproduction is dead and evolution is over, so the only possible reproduction is by cloning or parthenogenesis. Social evolution is going to stop dead in its tracks because new ideas generally only overcome old ones when the people holding outdated ideas are demographically pushed out of power or just straight up die. The germ doesn't really cure death, it only cures aging, rendering everything biologically immortal, so there will still be attrition due to accidents, foul play, and people bored with life plugging themselves (and this is the best case scenario, assuming that the germ doesn't cure cancer). While the Take A Third Option Future may not be as bad as the TOM or the ISA think, it's still going to fundamentally change human civilization and quite probably doom it to a slow stagnation. Exposing the entire planet to it willy-nilly is really the height of recklessness. (For full disclosure, in my playthrough Sarah and Ava opened the door, but they never made it through it.)
  • So, if TOM is controlling Ava the whole time, then is he lying about how he doesn't have creativity, like putting the box through the window? If that was TOM's doing? ... Although, he could just be nudging Ava and watching her, instead of full control, for those initial parts?
    • It seems to be more nudging and heavily influencing. If he could control her completely, he would have been able to stop her from stepping into the Faraday cage.
      • If he could control her completely; at that point in the game, it's heavily implied that the ground crew were either blocking or overriding TOM's signal in the leadup to that room. As you get closer, your (and so TOM's) control goes from full complicance, to Ava drifting away in certain directions, looking towards screens by herself and refusing to go in certain doorways, to completely out of your control, all of which happens before going into the cage. So it's entirely consistent to suggest that TOM may have fully controlled Ava during puzzle one, but still have been unable to prevent her going into the cage.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: