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Added by Joreth on 23 Oct 2010 01:45
2929 Views 7 Comments

Pro-Skeptical & Pro-Science Movies

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Documentaries about science & skepticism

These are all movies that celebrate science, skepticism, and rationality. In some, the heroes save the day using science or rational inquiry. In some, the bad guys use mysticism, woo, pseudoscience, or religion for their own, evil or misguided, ends. Some are non-fiction that use the medium of entertainment to teach or encourage critical thinking, rational inquiry or science. Some movies may use a "magical" component as a story-telling device, but in a universe that is internally consistent with that magical element, the features still include using rational thought & critical thinking as a positive force in the plot. Some just poke fun at irrational or illogical ideas.

What this list does NOT include are movies that show science out of control, or mad scientists "playing god" and ending the world (i.e. Jurassic Park), or movies in which the science is so bad, that it ruins the enjoyment of the movie by those who have even a mild understanding of how the universe works (and that might be a subjective judgement).

These are all movies I have personally watched and verified for the required criteria. Others may exist that I have not seen. If you know of a movie or show that you think should be on this list, you can ask me to review it. Making a suggestion here in the comments makes that movie title visible to anyone who visits this list, even if I haven't watched it yet and haven't added it to this list, so making suggestions here only makes this list more comprehensive & more valuable for the skeptic community looking for movies to watch. So please, recommend away!

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Posted: 7 years, 7 months ago at Oct 23 2:32

1) I'd suggest Dracula 1931 (Dr. Van Helsing is the doctor who makes sense of all of Dracula's behaviors).

2) If the skepticism can be to negative ends, might I suggest Frankenstein 1931 (because of Dr. Frankenstein - who else?)?

3) Rupert Grint's character in Thunderpants uses scientific means to turn his friend's flatulence into an energy source. You heard me.

4) In Gojira 1954, the scientist Serizawa invents an "Oxygen Destroyer" that is used against the titular monster (Godzilla is what he's known by to Westerners). There are also a host of other scientists in the rest of Godzilla's film history, but I suppose it'd do to just include the original. If you want to know the others, leave a comment on my profile!

5) Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's insta-grow pills save the day in The Muppet Movie.

6) Tony Stark invents a new element in Iron Man 2.

7) In Avatar, Dr. Grace Augustine is an expert on the Na'vi and the voice of scientific reason.

8) Dr. Charles Decker from Konga is a pretty bonkers scientist.

TV Shows

1) In Ultraman, the protagonist group is called "The Science Patrol".

2) Any skeptical list needs Spock from Star Trek! =)

Hope that helps you!
Posted: 7 years, 7 months ago at Oct 25 7:32
I agree with Pumpkinate & add to your potential list Jimmy Neutron (both the movie & the TV show) since he uses science to both cause and solve problems.

Cool list!
Posted: 7 years, 7 months ago at Oct 26 4:23
Thanks for the suggestions, when I get a chance to watch them, I'll add them to the list!
Posted: 7 years, 7 months ago at Oct 26 4:46
Also, I'm glad to see that the suggestions can be viewed by others, as opposed to private email suggestions. That way, even if it takes me a while to get around to watching it, everyone else can still see that a particular movie is thought of as skeptical/science-based, so they can look it up too!
Posted: 7 years, 7 months ago at Oct 26 4:53
Another great documentary is NOVA: Intelligent Design On Trial (www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html) that I can't list because it's not on IMDB but you can watch streaming at the website.

"NOVA presents the arguments by lawyers and expert witnesses in riveting detail and provides an eye-opening crash course on questions such as "What is evolution?" and "Is intelligent design a scientifically valid alternative?" Kitzmiller v. Dover was the first legal test of intelligent design as a scientific theory, with the plaintiffs arguing that it is a thinly veiled form of creationism, the view that a literal interpretation of the Bible accounts for all observed facts about nature."
Posted: 3 years, 4 months ago at Jan 9 18:44
I don't know if it counts, but The Prestige? There's nothing really about supernatural-vs-critical thinking, but it DOES promote critical and lateral thinking, in perhaps an incredibly powerful way. It does have a sci-fi type element in it, but I don't think this gets in the way of the pro-skepticism aspect.
Posted: 3 years, 4 months ago at Jan 9 18:53
TV Shows:

Sherlock - the entire show is about pro-critical thinking, but specifically the Season 2 episode based on Hound of the Baskervilles, that is an outright anti-supernatural-belief, pro-skeptical sentiment in that.

Jonathan Creek - Similar to the above. Every episode revolves around a crime committed in seemingly impossible circumstances, often with a supernatural explanation offered by many of the other characters, and the protagonist Johnathan Creek, a designer of Magicians' tricks, attempting to solve how the crime was ACTUALLY committed. It's basically a detective show that focuses on HOW a crime a was done, rather than WHO did it.

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