Scarlett Johansson's New Movie Is Based on One of the Biggest Scientific Myths of All Time
The reviews aren't yet in for Scarlett Johansson's new movie Lucy, but a single viewing of the trailer is enough to give the film a resounding "two thumbs down" on science.
Here's the synopsis:
In a near future where corruption reigns, the Taiwanese mob forces a young woman named Lucy to work as a drug runner. They implant a mysterious compound into her body for her to transport. But when its container ruptures, Lucy begins to experience radical changes. The chemical contained within boosts her brain capacity far beyond the normal 10% that humans utilize. She gains superhuman strength, dexterity, and accuracy, absorbs knowledge almost instantaneously, and develops telepathic abilities. Commence kickassery.
Have you spotted the problem?
The idea that humans only use 10% of their brains is a complete, utter, and total myth. Lucy is entirely premised on neuroscientific BS.
Now, as an ardent cinephile (I've often wondered how much better a science writer I'd be if my memory were packed with chemistry and physics facts instead of useless movie trivia), I'm not usually one to be overly pedantic when it comes to science and cinema. I remain in awe of Gravity, despite its scientific shortcomings. I'm willing to suspend belief in physics to allow the existence of a 700-foot wall of ice in Westeros. Heck, I even enjoyed Prometheus, even though the "scientists" in the film acted with complete and total disregard for, well, science.
Oh, and I'm almost certainly going to see Lucy.
But I refuse to pretend that the "10% Myth" is anywhere close to grounded in reality, even though 65% of the public believes it! Thanks to modern brain scanners, scientists have shown that virtually every part of the brain is in use at all times, even when we're sleeping! Moreover, it makes no logical sense that humans would evolve such large brains if we didn't use them.
It's easy to see why the myth has perpetuated for so long: It's an enticing fallacy! There might be psychic powers and super intelligence locked away within our minds. All that's needed is a key!
Or illicit drugs, apparently.
*Because Lucy is totally premised on a notion that's been thoroughly disproven, yet strives to maintain a semblance of realism, I think it enters contention for the most unscientific movie of all time. If you can think of any other nominees, share them in the comments below!