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Apr 21st 2015 at 8:16:47 AM •••

Where would "Artistic License - Plants" go? For example, Linkara reviewed Batman: Shadow of The Bat #57, and Poison Ivy had marijuana vines. I'm pretty sure that's not how that works.

Edited by GovernorExplosion Hide/Show Replies
Apr 21st 2015 at 9:22:35 AM •••

Artistic License Biology I think. I can't speak of the accuracy of that concept though.

Aug 7th 2012 at 4:15:59 AM •••

I thought this part of the book was evidence that some of them were slowly going insane, rather than attempting accuracy:

  • Michael Crichton's novel Sphere has quite a few. The squid might get a pass for being an alien manifestation, although the biologist should know better than to believe that a normal squid could tear a metal structure to pieces. More flagrantly and not given a pass by the Rule of Cool, same biologist sees a seasnake and finds it perfectly normal to see one 1,000 ft down in near total darkness, AND makes a completely ludicrous evolutionary argument that marine organisms have more potent venoms because it's had longer to evolve (implying that land life arose separately rather than as an extension of marine life?). The whole discussion can be eliminated from the book with no negative impact yet it stands as a short Author Tract.

Mar 24th 2012 at 3:40:13 PM •••

I deleted this due to both tropers Failing Biology Forever (the Black Death was bubonic plague, and is treated with antibiotics and not "acne medicine"):

  • An episode of Spooks/MI5 features a terrifyingly potent virus which is a recreation of the Black Death! Which would indeed be horrifying... apart from the fact that the bubonic plague can be treated by as little as acne medicine!
    • The above is not quite true. Most historians and scientists agree that the Black Death was not bubonic plague. The error stems from a general misconception that bacteria do not evolve, when in fact they evolve far more rapidly than most other forms of life. Bubonic plague is a modern disease, which did not exist in the Middle Ages, and is itself caused not by a virus, but by a species of bacteria.

I haven't seen the episode though, so I can't say if the show actually refers to the Black Death as a virus...

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Oct 13th 2019 at 8:23:37 PM •••

That\'s also Conversation In The Main Page and a single secondary bullet, both of which were cause to remove or alter the example even if the facts given were correct. Good call on removing it.

Edited by birdsinthewindow
Mar 20th 2012 at 8:14:34 PM •••

Cut from the 40K section:

  • How about the simple fact that they have DNA? That's a Wall Banger in and of itself. They should have a different molecule for storing their genome; if they had the same molecule, it would suggest they evolved on earth and we had common ancestors.

It's canonical that many worlds in the 40K universe were seeded by the Old Ones. Thus, the existence of aliens that use the same genome-storage system as humans is justified. Not putting it in the article because that's Thread Mode.

Dec 31st 2011 at 5:01:20 PM •••

I think we should add a section dedicated to nonfiction/documentary shows.

Dec 4th 2011 at 7:10:26 PM •••

The picture from the Chick Tracts cites big animals suffocating from a lower concentration of oxygen, which posting it on this page says that's a failure at biology. But this "fail" principle of "higher oxygen = dinosaurs live" actually appears on several pages in this wiki, such as on Square-Cube Law or Jurassic Park. So what does that mean? Are those examples wrong, or is the picture actually correct?

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Jan 8th 2012 at 3:57:09 AM •••

That's not what the picture claims. It says the dinosaurs merely get slower. That's not how acclimitization works. Well, we don't know how it worked for Stegosaurus exactly (correction appreciated!), but humans simply learn to breathe faster—unless there's genuinely not enough oxygen to sustain human life, in which case we more or less keel over dead.

Jack Chick seems to have confused low-oxygen acclimitization with anaerobic respiration, which is less efficient than the aerobic kind that uses oxygen. You switch to anaerobic respiration when you're out of breath, or when there's some part of your body that's getting bad circulation for whatever reason. Not when you're hyperventilating low-oxygen air.

Mar 9th 2012 at 11:08:19 PM •••

Well, in the specific case of Jurassic Park, Malcolm is wrong because the Stegosaur wasn't sick from the lack of air, it was sick from the poison berries it had been accidentally swallowing. None of the other dinosaurs show any problems with breathing, so in the story it doesn't appear to be a concern. But thanks for the explanation, the picture didn't make it clear that it was talking about getting slower versus hyperventilating.

Nov 17th 2011 at 5:18:00 AM •••

Why aren't we allowed to put this in as a trope? Many articles I've seen already violated this rule, and I don't see any reason it shouldn't be considered a trope. Maybe it should go to the Trivia section?

EDIT: This is a problem with the others as well. Somebody please fix this!

Edited by SamMax
Apr 6th 2011 at 12:36:13 PM •••

I think a few things in Soul Eater deserve special mention - namely a few of the details involved with Chrona's Black Blood. He (or she) was once pierced through by Death Sythe, but thanks to the black blood the wound hardened and didn't kill him/her. The only issue with this is the fact that Chrona would still have vital organs in the place where he/she was stabbed. There's also the incident before that when Maka says that Chrona's blood had completely stopped when she hit hir blood vessels; one wonders how a person's circulatory system can work like that. Granted, the way the show runs in general tends to make it fall victim to this, but I'm just saying...

Plus, there's any instance of Ragnarok switching to weapon form. Technically, this means that whenever he turns into a sword, Chrona is missing a portion of hir blood. Yet somehow (s)he doesn't seem to have any side effects from lack of oxygen or blood loss.

Edited by FreeRadical
Mar 20th 2011 at 2:15:06 PM •••

From the Breaking Dawn section.

  • The spectrum of visible light has seven colors. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue/cyan, indigo, and violet. When Bella is turned into a vampire, she sees eight colors, two which she never knew could have existed. One cannot tell if she was color blind before or just oblivious to color in general.

This attracted a bit of confusing natter. Does it fit or not?

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Mar 25th 2011 at 12:51:53 AM •••

As it's both incorrect (she could well have been referring to colours in the ultraviolet spectrum or something) and confusing, I'd say blam it.

Apr 6th 2011 at 12:30:39 PM •••

Well, the human eye can only see a small portion of the visible light spectrum, so whatever she was seeing was either in infrared or ultraviolet, but I'd say it still counts if it wasn't elaborated as to just what this color was like.

Madrugada MOD
Apr 18th 2011 at 3:24:58 PM •••

The division of the visible light spectrum into seven colors is a completely arbitrary division; there's no clear difference between blue and indigo. Newton wanted to have seven colors because seven is a "mystic number". There's no obvious error here unless Bella had at sometime earlier said something about seeing the seven colors of the spectrum — and even then it's a math error, not a biology one.

Mar 6th 2011 at 9:10:49 AM •••

There is a mention in a Battlestar Galactica article about the wrong interpretation of Mitochondrial Eve conception. Somebody can describe in detail where the authors have made a mistake?

Dec 21st 2010 at 5:51:46 AM •••

Under Live Action TV, the page mentions Life After People as an offender, but makes a biological blunder itself. (Ironic, isn't it?) Nostoc is not a protist ("protist" is a wastebasket taxon anyway), it's a cyanobacterium. Yes, an actual bacterium, despite being called an "alga" for most of the history of modern biology.

Aug 8th 2010 at 5:33:08 PM •••

Questionable life-Jim-but-not-as-we-know-it example:

  • The Digimon fanfic Red Digivice Diaries fails in two ways. First is, when Digimon have sex, the male grows a penis. Seriously, WTF? Second example is that Digimon don't give live birth. Instead, they have digitams devolp and give birth to that.
Can anyone familiar with Digimon biology tell me why that's any more wrong than what they do in canon?

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Madrugada MOD
Apr 18th 2011 at 3:21:05 PM •••

Seems to me that since Digimon are completely fictional and the whole reproduction thing with them is utterly bizarre anyway, having them do something that isn't realistic to actual earth biology isn't really a problem. I'd say cut it, it's like complaining that Vulcans can die from unrelieved Pon Farr.

Aug 1st 2010 at 4:02:26 AM •••

Removed a little natter about the Hardy-Weinberg principle, regarding the possible extinction of blonds and redheads. The person was asking why it mattered if equilibrium was nearly impossible. I'll just put it simply: even if the equilibrium is nearly impossible, the principle still stands.

As for blonds and redheads, it is true that (if we assume one gene and complete dominance of dark hair; human hair color is more complicated than that) a blond(e) or redhead mating with a homozygous brunet(te) will always produce dark-haired children, but it's not like those lighter-haired genes disappear into the aether. A recessive gene is one that simply isn't expressed unless you have two, and you inherit one from each parent. A dark-haired person could easily be carrying blond/redhead genes, just without expressing them. And if they pass those genes to their children, it's very possible that their children could wind up with those lighter hair colors. Actually, it's harder to permanently stamp out recessive traits than dominant traits, since it's impossible to know who has the recessive genes but isn't expressing them except by looking at their relatives (this is why most widespread inherited genetic disorders, especially ones that are fatal in the host's early life, are recessive.) And with no significant pressure against blond or red hair, it's not likely to disappear in the foreseeable future.

Edited by HeroicJay
Jul 8th 2010 at 2:51:06 AM •••

I (Mr Initial Man) heard of a fertile male mule from my father. Emphasis on "a". So it might have been a freak of nature, but at least one fertile male mule did exist. Still not enough to support a population of mules, though.

Edited by MrInitialMan
Jul 6th 2010 at 2:28:34 PM •••

Do we list media that revolves around exposing this trope?

  • A medical doctor maintains the blog Polite Dissent. Subtitled "Comics, Medicine, Television & Fun," it takes a critical look at medicine as portrayed in comic books and television.

  • A good three-quarters of Michael Crichton's novel Next is critical of the media for reporting on new biology finds and theories, especially those having to do with genetics, as news without fully understanding the science behind them. Or whether they've been proven true yet. No, for the last time, blonds are not going extinct. (The book is more fun to read if you just imagine Crichton screaming "GENES DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!!!" over and over.)
    • Unfortunately, Mr. Chrichton himself is guilty of promulgating utterly unrealistic effects of genetic manipulation, including a "maturity gene" that makes people get off drugs and act their age (before dying of premature senescence).
    • Considering that his previous book was State of Fear in which he failed climate science forever, he wasn't one to talk. Even worst when he added an appendix to explain his inaccurate views as fact.

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Madrugada MOD
Apr 18th 2011 at 3:15:49 PM •••

Both first-level points are legitimate. The subpoints on the Michael Crichton entry are Natter and Bitching. The Polite Dissent entry should be in "Web Original", the Michael Crichton entry in "Literature"

Apr 26th 2010 at 6:28:15 PM •••

Because the implication is that inhaling and holding one's breath "increatheth the thithe of one'th breathtth", err, increases the size of one's breasts.

In response to the archives:

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.

Apr 15th 2010 at 7:34:20 PM •••

I thought the Kryptonite was only the radioactive stuff that cancelled powers after Krypton exploded. Anyone more familiar with Superman care to explain?

Mar 7th 2010 at 11:49:04 AM •••

Took this debated example out:

  • In Kill Bill, Pt. 2, one of the villains releases a sackful of black mambas inside a trailer, after which she and the heroine have an epic sword battle while the snakes keep out of the way. Any herpetologist can tell you that black mambas are freaking psychotic, hyperaggressive serpents that would have attacked both women on sight, especially after having been hauled around in a sack long enough to really piss them off.
    • Wrong. On so many levels. For one thing, the villain only released one black mamba, and there is only one black mamba in the entire scene. And two, black mambas are not hyperaggressive or "freaking psychotic". It takes a lot of energy, particularly for an ectothermic animal, to generate venom, and no snake is stupid enough to waste large amounts of it on victims that are too large for the animal to eat. The mamba was pissed off when the briefcase (not sack) was opened, which is why it attacked Budd. But then it immediately slithered away to a hiding place, just as a wild snake would do.

Haven't seen the film, so I can't comment. But either it's a legitimate example and doesn't need corrections, or it isn't and shouldn't be in the article.


Also took out this example:

  • Any superstitious idiot who presumes that rhino horn would make a potent aphrodesiac doesn't know jack squat about rhinos. We're talking maybe once in three or four years, tops, because that's how long it takes a female to birth and raise a baby before she's ready to mate again.
    • You Fail Culture Forever. They don't take rhino horn because they think rhinos have sex all the time: they know that's not the case. They take it because they're desperate and scared they'll be impotent forever, and they'll try anything. (The shape of the horn is another reason.) Fear is a great motivator.
    • Rhino horns weren't ever believed to be an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine. They were/are instead used for reducing fevers and convulsions.

Edited by TriggerLoaded
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