I sometimes feel like I’m nitpicking with some of the science comments I make about shows, but this is probably a good way to point out the problems with perceptions about science. So, onward.
Once Upon a Time has been fantastic this season, by the way. In one episode, “The Evil Queen”, it did briefly misuse the word science. The Queen gets a magic nullifying bracelet put on her by an enemy. The enemy, in response to her calling it magic: “It’s not magic. It’s science.”
Oh, Once Upon a Time. No, it’s probably not science. Or are you trying to tell me that the magic that the Queen uses has known mechanisms/properties, such that someone could even come up with an idea about how to go about nullifying it? Because if so, then hey, her magic is kind of science too. Science countering magic in a story would make more sense if science was countering known effects of magic, rather than trying to block it from happening. The entire point of magic is that we don’t know how it works. (Magic could also be defined as something that exists in fantasy fiction but not real life, but you can’t apply a meta definition like that in-story without doing crazy stuff to the Fourth Wall).
Amazingly enough, I’ve come across a magic/science reference that I actually liked before, from the ever amazing Girl Genius. The webcomic did a side alternate world pseudo-Cinderella story. Agatha, the protagonist, fixes her fairy godmother’s broken wand, and the fairy godmother doesn’t understand. Agatha responds, “Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.” Much better.
In fact, I’ve heard scientists refer to processes we don’t yet understand as magic. So this statement fits in much better with what I know and what I’ve heard.
Anyone come across any other such references to science in media lately? Or any references you have any questions about?