If you make movies that have anything to do with science, please note: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, pays attention.
Tyson pays so much attention, in fact, that he got James Cameron to fix the stars in the sky in Titanic for the recent 3-D rerelease. On Friday’s Morning Edition, he talks to David Greene about this summer’s big movies and how they stack up, science-wise. You should note that there is some talk in this conversation about what goes on in Prometheus, Men In Black 3 and The Avengers, so if you’re desperately hoping to be surprised, you might tread cautiously.
Prometheus is as good a place to start as any, both because it spends most of its time in the far reaches of space, and because Tyson says he saw it “at 12:01 the morning it premiered.” He notes that the early scene in which the origins of human life are explored is unrealistic in one regard: “The unrealistic part of it is that it’s a humanoid alien planting DNA seeds to seed all of life on Earth. And most life on Earth is not humanoid. In fact, most life on earth is plant and bacterial. So if they were to represent that accurately, it would be some kind of bacterium dropping its DNA into the oceans of Earth.”