NASA's silly sci-fi film list -- 2012 the most flawed (w/ Video)

Jan 07, 2011 by Lin Edwards report

(PhysOrg.com) -- At a conference held at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, NASA experts have voted 2012 the most scientifically flawed and absurd science fiction film ever made.

The 2009 disaster film named 2012 was directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich and Harald Kloser and grossed almost $800 million. The story is set on the date the Mayan calendar supposedly ends (21 December 2012), which is believed by some to be the day the world will end. The story revolves around a marital reconciliation, which takes place as the world begins to collapse as strange neutrino particles cause global devastation.

NASA’s Donald Yeomans, who headed the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission, called the film an "exceptional and extraordinary" example of bad science in Hollywood movies. He pointed out that neutrino particles cannot interact with physical substances, and there is no possible way neutrinos carried to Earth by solar flares as depicted could cook the planet’s core and cause hurricanes or earthquakes or produce tsunamis big enough to overwhelm Mount Everest as shown in the film.

NASA has received a massive amount of mail as a result of people’s concerns about the world ending in 2012, and has set up a website to debunk the myths, which is something they have never needed to do with previous disaster films. This is a major reason for their list of bad science films — because they do worry many people.

Other films on NASA’s silly list include The Day After Tomorrow, about accelerated global warming, Volcano, in which a volcano appears in Los Angeles, the supposed documentary What the Bleep Do We Know, The Sixth Day, Chain Reaction, and The Core. Another film on the hit list is Armageddon, a film about a massive asteroid being blown up by a nuclear bomb to save the Earth. The film was originally supported by NASA.

The scientists also voted on scientifically accurate sci-fi and this list included Gattaca, Metropolis, Jurassic Park, Contact, and Blade Runner.

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2012 trailer


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User comments : 44

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wileruilaer
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
When it comes to scientifically inaccurate movie physics, I find intuitor (search it) to be enlightening and entertaining. I'm glad NASA didn't forget about The Core, the no.1 on their list.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
Hee hee.

I wonder what New Agers will believe in when their precious Mayan Calendar fails, along with the majority of the crap they've been spewing most of my life?
CreepyD
5 / 5 (2) Jan 07, 2011
I love my science, and ofcourse movies such as The Core and Armageddon are scientifically rediculous.
However that didn't stop me enjoying them immensly.
They are just fun movies.
FerretPD
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
Shame on you, PhysOrg...NASA has made no such "Silly movie" list...Can't post the link, but Search for "David Kellam", "NASA", "Bad science movies" to find the article on eightface.
Ramael
4 / 5 (8) Jan 07, 2011
Hee hee.

I wonder what New Agers will believe in when their precious Mayan Calendar fails, along with the majority of the crap they've been spewing most of my life?


You never know. The bible has fail Christians time and time again and their still kicking. Then again, the new agers don't have a greedy corporation called the church running the scene.
AdamCC
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 07, 2011
I love my science, and ofcourse movies such as The Core and Armageddon are scientifically rediculous.
However that didn't stop me enjoying them immensly.
They are just fun movies.


Ugh ... Armageddon was fun (yes, despite its ridiculousness) ... The Core though? The science was SO bad that it was just impossible to suspend disbelief, and the acting wasn't even good ...
Donutz
5 / 5 (4) Jan 07, 2011
ridiculousness) ... The Core though? The science was SO bad that it was just impossible to suspend disbelief, and the acting wasn't even good ...


"About 30 billion dollars."

"Will you take a cheque?"

"Why don't you use a credit card. You'll get air miles."

LOL!
apex01
5 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2011
I thought Babylon 5 was closest to reality as its creators could make it.
panorama
5 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2011
The 2009 movie "Moon" starring Sam Rockwell was, in my opinion, one of the best science fictions movies in quite a few years.

barakn
1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2011
The 2009 movie "Moon" starring Sam Rockwell was, in my opinion, one of the best science fictions movies in quite a few years.


Yes, but even that flubbed a few bits of science. For example, wrinkled space suits that don't substantially change shape once the character has gone from a pressurized environment to the vacuum of the moon's surface.
Donutz
5 / 5 (2) Jan 07, 2011
I always loved the really bad series' like Space 1999 where everything in a vacuum happened in slow motion, like they were underwater or something. As CreepyD implies, great schlock is entertaining, regarless!
evilmancometh
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
i believe in the true mayan calender, now the calender didn't claim an end of the world now i know certain loonies out there have professed thats what it is meant, but the christians who settled in the south america's bringing thier religious idiotolgy interptated it as such. now u have these "new agers" which make these horshit claims. the end of the long count was supposed to be a time of change

I wonder what New Agers will believe in when their precious Mayan Calendar fails, along with the majority of the crap they've been spewing most of my life?
panorama
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
I always loved the really bad series' like Space 1999 where everything in a vacuum happened in slow motion, like they were underwater or something. As CreepyD implies, great schlock is entertaining, regarless!

Or how about "Outland" from 1981? You go out in to a vacuum...you explode!!!

A little credit to "Event Horizon" for trying to get the vacuum exposure accurate.
evilmancometh
1 / 5 (8) Jan 07, 2011
now as far as NASA's silly list. NASA SHUT UP IT CALLED FICTION FOR A REASON. HELL WITH AMOUNT MONEY UR GIVEN THIS IS BEST U COULD COME UP IS HIRE SOME SHMUCKS TO HAVE A POW-WOW TO DETERMINE THE SILLYNESS OF CERTAIN MOVIES,
Truthforall
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 07, 2011
"An Inconvenient Truth" pops into mind.
The lead actor even got a Nobel Price.
panorama
5 / 5 (3) Jan 07, 2011
Ugh ... Armageddon was fun (yes, despite its ridiculousness)

Completely off the sci-fi aspect of things. Liv Tyler having a "romantic" scene while an Aerosmith song was playing was very disturbing to me.
geokstr
1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2011
Liv Tyler having a "romantic" scene while an Aerosmith song was playing was very disturbing to me.

Yes, Liv Tyler can be quite...well, I'm not sure "disturbing" is the word I would use.

:-)

Most of you are probably not old enough to remember "Killer Tomatoes Eat France" (4th in a franchise beginning with "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes") and "Plan 69 from Outer Space". These were both not only simply awful science fiction movies, but both were high on the list of Worst Movies of All Time, regardless of genre.
fixer
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
"Contact" scientifically accurate?
The only movie plot I have ever seen that could have been determined on the contents of a nappy!
There is a world of difference between microseconds and 18 hours...
Ulg
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
When it comes to scientifically inaccurate movie physics, I find intuitor (search it) to be enlightening and entertaining. I'm glad NASA didn't forget about The Core, the no.1 on their list.


I cannot believe I am going to say this... But why is The Core #1?

Mind you I am not saying creating a material/alloy that almost perfectly converts heat into electricity and is dense enough scrape through the earth is easy to make, but beyond the realm of science fiction?

The sad truth is we all know in our hearts- the stay puft marsh-mellow man will never step on a church in nyc
fixer
not rated yet Jan 08, 2011
Beats me, "The Core" is a remake of "Descent".
I am surprised "X Men" wasn't up there!
blazingspark
5 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2011
It's scary times when scientists have to go out of their way to squash stupid conspiracy theories. There are so many people that seemingly cling to the first absurd thing they hear.

It's so sad.. T.T
Nartoon
5 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2011
What do they expect, Nobel prize winning documentaries?
Who cares -- it's not real, they're not trying to educate us, they just throw in some technical gibberish to make it sound authentic.
Barrett
not rated yet Jan 08, 2011
War of the Worlds wasn't real, and look at the impact that the radio show had on people of the time tuning in. I'd like to think after so long people have changed to be less naive, but in reality, most haven't. They don't expect prize winning documentaries, they did this to cut back the need to respond constantly to the public.
Mesafina
not rated yet Jan 08, 2011
Fixer, do you even understand the plot of Contact?
ealex
not rated yet Jan 08, 2011
I'm pretty sure he didn't.
2012 is just making money off a lot of silly people with silly beliefs.
Then again religions have been doing that for centuries so no real news there. har.

Nothing wrong with watching 2012 or similar movies as entertainment as long as you know that it's bullshit when the lights come on.
Tesla444
not rated yet Jan 08, 2011
The only people who try to turn Science FICTION into Science are scientists. Knock it off and enjoy the movie. I think some of you are confusing conspiracy nuts & survivalists with New Ager's. I admit that some of their New Age ideas are strange but most of them are not in the conspiracy/survivalist category. Survivalists are generally rightwing nutballs who think we are heading for some disaster or if none are available that their own Gov't is trying to kill them -- hence the conspiracy part. New Agers are like the flower people from the sixties, you won't find many of them living in bunkers waiting for the end of the world (ie. they would be the group on the top of the building in Independence Day greeting the alien ship). Just sit back and enjoy the movies.....
Quantum_Conundrum
4.8 / 5 (4) Jan 08, 2011
...they would be the group on the top of the building in Independence Day greeting the alien ship). Just sit back and enjoy the movies.....


"God I hope they bring back Elvis..."

Next scene:
"...aaaaaaaargh..."(big fireball consumes city.)
lauriebowen47
1 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2011
Zecharia Sitchin wrote the book called the twelfth planet . . . taken from ancient texts . . . Actually, I think that the ancients were talking about Pluto (which has a very long & odd orbit) . . . and the ancients, as I understand it, considered the moon in their sky.

They were interesting books. . .
R_R
1 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2011
NEWSFLASH - if anyone's lying its Nasa and Science. The real 2012 happened in 10500 BC. Heres one example of how they do it, science knows the north american continent has been rising since the end of the ice age, so they tell us the weight of ice depressed the continent and now that the ice is gone its rebounding. That is at best a guess, they have not a shred of evidence.

Never is it mentioned that a 500 km wide crater formation is smack in the center of this rebound at lower right Hudson Bay.
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2011
R_R:

He's not saying catastrophism doesn't exist, or hasn't happened, or won't happen again.

He's just saying they don't have any evidence whatsoever that any such event is going to happen on or about this specific date in 2012, based on present knowledge.

Could there be a rogue planet ejected from another star system on a colision course with earth which hasn't been detected yet? Sure. The odds are incredibly low, however. And as he says, if there was a significantly massive body in our solar system in any sort of orbit we know of, it would have been detected due to gravitational perturbations of known objects.

So again, he's not saying disasters of this scale cannot happen. He's just saying there is no evidence of anything eminent, and certainly not in 2012.

We know disasters fo this scale can and do still happen in the solar system, because the Tunguska airburst event and the recent shoemaker-levy comet and other recent Jupiter impacts.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Jan 08, 2011
Ironically, much of this 2012 nonsense has been propagated by the SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY through National Geographic Channel, History Channel, and Discovery channel, which are all constantly doing "documentaries" on this subject.

As for the movie, tidal waves large enough to overwhelm Everest could only happen in 3 circumstances:

1) Total Catastrophic Volcanic Landslide.

Like, if the entire big island of Hawaii faulted and fell into the ocean as fast as physically possible.

2) Meteor Impact

Has happened several times, including in Chesapeake bay...

3) Magnitude 10.8 Megathrust Earthquake*

The Required earthquake is about 32 times greater than the current record, and probably exceeds the limit of what is actually physically possible for the Earth itself to generate in modern times.
Chef
5 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2011

Most of you are probably not old enough to remember "Killer Tomatoes Eat France" (4th in a franchise beginning with "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes") and "Plan 69 from Outer Space".

Those were great cheesy sci-fi movies. I believe the Toxic Avenger was around then too.

Sci-fi movies are just that, fiction, it uses just enough "Reality" to help tell its story. If sci-fi movies were accurate, they would be very boring. The astronauts in Armageddon would take several days to get to the Russian space station, nor would they suffer from the multi-g trip around the moon among other things. There is no sound in space, so explosions would be boring as well, plus they wouldn't all look the same as they would be based on the chemical makeup.
Anywhoo, once 2012 passes, I believe the next "world ending date" is supposed to be in 2026, so I guess the religous groups will have a couple more decades of despair to look forward too.
Simonsez
5 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2011
@ Quantum Conundrum
Hee hee.

I wonder what New Agers will believe in when their precious Mayan Calendar fails, along with the majority of the crap they've been spewing most of my life?

The Mayan Calendar isn't going to "fail". Supposing that expert historians on the subject matter are correct in their alignment of Gregorian and Mayan calendars, the 21st Dec 2012 date is similar to 1st Jan 2000 to the Gregorian calendar. That is, the only significance is that we are alive to see the numbers on the calendar line up, nothing fancy is going to happen although it certainly is occasion to throw a big party as you would for any New Year's Eve celebration, if you have any cultural ties to the Maya.

One interesting thing to note is that the last time they had an alignment/new epoch on the Long Count calendar, the Mayans were actually a flourishing civilization, so this would be the first one to pass without them.
R_R
1 / 5 (6) Jan 08, 2011
Quantum, its not what nasa is saying, its what they don't say. The 2012 movie is not far off what happened 10500 BC but nasa tries to leave the impression nothing in our recent past like this has occurred by insinuating this senario is rediculus.

The Mayan, Egyptians and other ancient cultures were well aware Pole Shift took place 10500 BC and they recorded it in many ways. This info must have been past down for millenia. The core evidence found today also backs this up and I showed you one example in my last post. This is what is at the core of all the hysteria and conspiracy of 2012, not that it might happen but that it has happened and nasa (etc) say nothing.
fixer
not rated yet Jan 09, 2011
@Mesafina - certainly I do, but we are not discussing plots.
the subject is technical accuracy.
Ronan
4.8 / 5 (4) Jan 09, 2011
R R: If you're referring to Manicouagan, that's far older than 10,500 years.

...If you're referring, on the other hand, to the arc present in the shoreline of Hudson Bay itself...Yeah. Anything capable of leaving an impact crater that large would have easily wiped out all multicellular life on Earth, and would have also have punched through the crust. There would be multiple ring structures surrounding such a chasm, a similar structure on the opposite side of the Earth from the converging pressure waves following the impact, etc. Needless to say, if it were an impact crater, the impact definitely wouldn't have happened in the last 10,500 years, because...well, we're here.
R_R
1 / 5 (6) Jan 09, 2011
Ronan, yes I am referring to the giant arc and this is another prime example of what I'm trying to get at. Science wants us to believe that if this formation is an impact crater, then its millions of years old. They state this as if its fact, but they have zero evidence to back this up, zilch, its just an assumption.

For many reasons this crater is just 12500 years old and some of us obviously did survive. Heres one reason, mile thick ice covered this area going back at least a million years, if this formation was present throughout this period, it would not be in such pristine condition with a perfectly circular and undesturbed riased rim fully around it and no evidence of ice scarring on its perfect representation of a crater central uplift (Beltcher Islands). Isostatic rebound is actually impact rebound.
beelize54
1 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2011
The movie doesn't say nothing about Nibiru, but it says, neutrinos "gone wild" and they heated the interior of Earth. Both these things can be true: solar system is about entering the large cloud of interstellar gas (which can contain many neutrinos) and neutrinos are suspect to accelerate decay of radioactive elements, which are heating Earth mantle. We even know, these particles can be released by the core of Milky Way, we observed them as a pair of giant bubbles recently.
MorituriMax
not rated yet Jan 09, 2011
I love my science, and ofcourse movies such as The Core and Armageddon are scientifically rediculous.
However that didn't stop me enjoying them immensly.
They are just fun movies.


Ugh ... Armageddon was fun (yes, despite its ridiculousness) ... The Core though? The science was SO bad that it was just impossible to suspend disbelief, and the acting wasn't even good ...


Wasn't the core the movie where they had that laser made from unbelievium or something?
MorituriMax
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 09, 2011
If the Mayans were so smart that they had a calendar that predicted the end of the world thousands of years LATER, why weren't they smart enough to predict the end of their own civilization back THEN?
Decimatus
2.5 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2011
Contact is on thier list of accurate movies? I assume they only watched the first 30-45 minutes?

The great thing about 21012 is that it was completely serious in it's attempt to make fun of the absolute worst case scenarios. No crap neutrino's don't interact with normal matter. That is why the scientists in the movie are surprised when suddenly that changes.

Did these Nasa guys even watch the movie? If they did, they were probably too busy critiquing to catch obvious plot points and otherwise enjoy the movie.

Though really, I don't think that is the case. As he mentioned, too many idiots are wasting NASA time with letters about end of the world fears surrounding 2012.

all in all, why is NASA wasting money on this? Don't they have rockets to fund?
geokstr
1.4 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2011
all in all, why is NASA wasting money on this? Don't they have rockets to fund?

As a matter of fact, no. The new head of NASA has stated publicly that Obama told him directly in no uncertain terms that his first priority is outreach to Muslims, in order to bolster their self-esteem. Indeed, Bolden "...has named a MUSLIM, Waleed Abdalati, to serve as the principal adviser to the NASA administrator on agency science programs, strategic planning and the evaluation of related investments."

Now, I'm sure that Abdalati is a fine scientist, but is there any reason to believe he is anywhere near the best choice? He is a proponent of "Global-whatever-they-are-calling-it-this-week", so that makes him a two-fer for the Obama agenda.
COCO
5 / 5 (1) Jan 10, 2011
I am wating for the movie version of the 911 Commission report - where NIST creates new laws of physics and shows the power of politics at the nth degree.
Terrible_Bohr
5 / 5 (2) Jan 10, 2011
Is everyone forgetting the govenor of California's bulging eyes as he gasps for breath on the Maritan surface in Total Recall? Now that's good cinema!