Latest Sci-Fi 'Arrival' Proves Science Doesn't Have All The Answers: An Academic Debate [VIDEO]By Michael Lagura, UniversityHerald Reporter
The latest blockbuster science-fiction hit directed by Denis Villeneuve, "Arrival" proved that science doesn't have all the answers. Despite its direct allusion to science, the film hints most inconvenient truth- humanities, language and the arts are the cornerstone of civilization, not science.
The film eventually challenged everything that academics have built upon in the society's belief systems. Without losing scientific morality, the film explores possibilities unimaginable to stoic and bookish societies.
The story accordingly unfolds when several extraterrestrial vessels landed on separate parts of the world. Immediately, physicists and linguists were invited in to answer the two most important questions with respect to the vessels' comeuppance- "Where are they from?" and "What do they really want", the Guardian reported.
This scenario alone can thicken up the plot to a thrill. As natural to us humans, the "unknown" has always been and will always be our greatest fear.
Now, when linguist, Prof. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) indicated that the methods of science proved most elementary at par with the aliens' communication technology, all ears turned to her. It will be up to her now on how to find the key to making a connection with the aliens and on how to devise a surprisingly basic, intuitive linguistic method for contact- the humanities.
Instantly, Villenueve and Eric Heisserer's (screenwriter) artistic marriage gave birth to both friends and enemies in the academic platform. Perhaps a most interesting debate that surfaced from the million-dollar earning hit concerns the possible reawakening of humanities and the arts, a subject set aside for industrial and scientific needs, as the main cornerstone of civilization and not science anymore, the Verge reported.
As much as the knowledge in science helped give birth to civilizations in the earliest times, so does the acknowledgement of culture, humanities and the arts. Appreciating the works of Shakespeare is no less than embracing the Law of Thermodynamics.
Separation between the two is utterly impossible, as it would break [our] society's human core. Without such core, civilizations would not thrive. This is the substance in CP Snow's controversial and much debated essay "The Two Cultures", NewStatesman reported.
Perhaps the film "Arrival" speaks to us of a bigger issue- an issue that encompasses the tiresome strains of endless debates and discourse. Or maybe, the film only serves to its own purpose, an artistic and honest evaluation on where we [humans] have positioned ourselves over millennia of industrial and technological evolution. Who knows- the answer can be more far-fetched than we expected.