I liked the story but have to say it. As a molecular biologist, the bio error were cringe-worthy. Almost as bad a Tom Sizemore in Red Planet saying, “I’m a geneticist! I deal in code! A, G, T, P!” (It’s AGTC, not P, could give a grad student $100 to look over the script first?)
I wonder if:
Geologists have a problem with Eathcore.
Epidemiologists have a problem with Infection (errr, I mean Infested)
Football coaches have a problem with the Rookie. (Bet their sons are busy writing books to deal with their anger)
Mathematicians have a problem with Good Will Hunting (I actually watched it with a bunch of Math grad students at UCSD. Typical quote, “Those problems aren’t hard.”)
It’s called SCI-FI. Anyone wanna take a wild guess at what the FI parts means?
So shut up.
Were there specific errors in Ancestor that gave you fits? Perhaps the sequel could retcon those away if you give Scott some details….
The ways of the Lord are often dark but never pleasant.
I suppose any story “errors” or omissions/stretches are not so dissimilar to the effect the film industry has on adapting stories for the cinema. I’m sure Top Gun rubbed people familiar with military air combat and that Crichton’s bringing dinosaurs to life through genetic manipulation had a few assumptions that were less than plausible to the trained eye.
Seems a common practice to use the science to facilitate the story telling rather than to stay true to the details. It is Sci Fi afterall, a little creative leniency is to be expected.
Yeah, I think the more absurdly false the scientific information in movies/books/games is the more hilarious it is! Take the Toxic Avenger, did they have to explain why he got his super powers? No, he just got thrown into a vat of radioactive waste. Period. And those movies rock ass!!! Of course the random titties and violence are definitely key in making it work.
STICK THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT ROGUE!!!!!!!! With your burnt lips.
Bathing in radioactive waste doesn’t automatically confer superpowers? No wonder my doctor keeps calling them “side-effects.”
The ways of the Lord are often dark but never pleasant.
There’s a difference between getting what is current knowledge wrong (no I don’t remember specifically, I listened to it a over a year ago), like A, G, T, P, and making predictions of what future tech could be like. It’s like saying, “Because cows are member of the fish family, we can breed the ancestors in them.” The first part “cows are fish” is just factually wrong, the second, “breed ancestors” imagines future tech. Some factual errors are necessary, like time travel to the past, which according the the rules of physics, in all likelyhood can not occur. But the would ruin the premise of an entire genre. Some are just sloppy (again, AGTP).
I am also interested in hearing specific problems with Ancestor. I felt that the print version cleared up most of the issues. I am a Developmental Biologist by trade thus I am interested in seeing where we differ. Granted the “god” machine is pretty much impossible right now, but I felt Sigler did a great job of merging story and plausible science.
Now, Now play nice. I think it’s actually a great thing to have someone in the field related to his book on here talking about the fact over the fiction. But, you also have to realize that Scoot isn’t a Biologist, Geologist, or any other “gist” He’s an Author.
And He has taken honest input from people more associated with the field then himself ( updates in Earthcore and Ancestor show this). But I don’t think we should brow beat anyone with the whole “It’s Science fiction” technically it’s not, it was written as a Horror Novel…. hence the title of the page ” Bestselling Horror Novelist”
Actual honest input would be better though then the OP’s minor condescending attitude (meant in the most positive way).
“If it has ram. I can Crash it”
I work in Geology and work with people who have worked underground. In this context I was at times finding parts of Earthcore laugh able. They drilled that shaft way too quick, a hole 3miles deep of any diameter would take alot longer then a week and change like it did to drill in earthcore, at least it was into limestone, a nice and soft rock. Even with those hugly improbable events it did not irritate me. I have been reading Science fiction alot longer then I have been working and I know when to let the authors rules for the world over take my sence of how it should be and get on with enjoying the story.
I think that’s the key, really. I found everything in both EarthCore and Ancestor plausible enough as a complete layman to not worry about how accurate it was and just run with it in the interest of the story. However, I can understand the original poster’s frustration: I’ve read novels (and seen way too many movies) where they got ideas in my own areas of expertise totally dead wrong, and it ruined the experience for me.
I can’t speak for Scott (well I could, but I wouldn’t want to risk Chicken Scissors reprisal) but if it were me, I’d want to hear the specifics of the factual errors so I could correct them as far as possible. I dunno what kind of revisions, if any, might happen before Ancestor is re-released in 2009, but I’d think it’s still early enough to include corrections in Descendant.
The ways of the Lord are often dark but never pleasant.
There is a reason it is called fiction. It’s the authors world, and thus their rules. Just relax and enjoy the imagination it takes to put somthing together that kicks so much ass.
Get out! No WAY!
Next, you’re going to say there’s no Force that binds us or no such thing as warp drive or that the Swamp Thing isn’t scientifically factual!
If something in Earthcore, Infection, et al disagrees with science, then science is wrong.
Siggie definitely wants input to fix the basic work he’s doing. He seemed to appreciate the feedback that there are 5,280 feet in a mile, when it helped his character sound like he knew what he was talking about.
I don’t think he wants to try and make every aspect of his work read like a scientific manual, but he doesn’t want his character to make stupid mistakes…
I was just reading about all the nine errors in that piece of fiction called “An Inconvenient Truth”
Maybe Scott should win the Nobel Death Prize….
LOL! I’ll be more cautious in the future. Warning heeded…. I was kinda-sorta hoping that you’d MAKE me a fan (as promised)….
I think I remember a few mistakes in scientific terminology, but it was great to listen to a horror novel with a plausible scientific premise. I don’t think we have the technology to create organisms from DNA code, but like all good sci fi, it’s an extrapolation from the present. Nice job Sigler for not bringing in the supernatural.
People that are experts in some type of knowlege tend to pick out “problems” in fiction that use their knowlege base. I guess,its just human nature and thats usualy not a problem, untill they get all pissy and fucktardish about itAnonymous November 12, 2007 at 9:40 pm
Come on man, back it up – what are the specific errors? Are you
saying you can’t use one mammal to be the surrogate mother of another
mammal? Are you saying that my text said "AGTP," or are you somehoe
lumping me in with Red Planet? Give me the errors all you like, but
let’s hear some specifics if you’re going to call me out. Otherwise,
enjoy the read, and don’t post, Junkie.
If you want to get technical, cows, other mammals, other tetrapods, and so on really are “phylogenetically” fish (Osteichthyes: Sarcopterygii: etc). In my first lecture for comparative vertebrate anatomy every semester, I zing the students with “You are a highly evolved form of fish,” and scan the crowd for wide eyes.
I’m an evolutionary biologist and gritted my teeth through a couple parts of Ancestor while slaving away in a UTokyo lab all summer, but am all for suspension of disbelief. That said, nettling bits may have helped keep Ancestor at the bottom of my list of Sigler favorites. Still, it’s all in good fun and remains vastly superior to nonsensical garbage produced on the SciFi channel. I was sorry to hear about the fate of the Ancestor pitch to that network. Blah.
Nothing you have said has yet to provide specific issues with Scott’s book, especially the print verison. It cleared up a TON of factual errors. Overall, as a Developmental and Cell biologist I think that Scott has been doing a pretty decent job in the print version. I would actually argue that I am more qualified to make that assessment.
Your comments about being “fish” (although true) have not bearing to this discussion. There still is a mammal ancestor species that lived sometime during the Permian era. Scotts factual errors with embryonic development were cleared up in the print version. All other bio-speak was decent. Scott really does put some effort into learning about his topics.
and still laughing
to the average reader these errors are what make an interesting footnote and have no real bearing on the story line or the fact people wanna be entertained (THAT is what fiction is all about, right??) so errors in factual information can be overlooked and be as i said, an interesting footnote. in most cases it brings more interest to the story
as my voices say, “FACTS be damned, FULL SPEED AHEAD!!”
It’s all about the Numbers, my friends
The Math god
Actually, I’m no stranger to embryology and cell. I spent some time in Danio and Neurospora labs a few years back. There’s no need to be snarky – I’ll overlook that uncalled for discourtesy. My comment was not meant to point out an inaccuracy in the text, but was rather a reply to an older post denying that mammals are fish. It was threaded incorrectly.
Although if you want to throw the gauntlet down, we can discuss the quite impossible logistics of assembling a functional ancestral mammalian genome – epigenetics aside! – given the overwhelming preponderance of rapidly evolving selfish junk choking the code and pathetic taxon sampling among sequencing projects. Or, even a cursory knowledge of the fossil record precludes anything remotely resembling Sigler’s entertaining beasts from being a MRCA of Mammalia.
Calm down, really.
…perhaps if you’d read the attached addendum you wouldn’t have misinterpreted the discussion.
The Irishman from Ohio"I never Get to Get it!"-Wacko Warner
The secret ingredient is really…cockroaches…well I thought it sounded good. I will leave you two alone now.
Involved in Gregg Bear’s Darwin books is what I love… i’m with you it involves the What if factor
Was the fetus’s eating each other in utero… which would have provoked bowel movements in utero…. what goes in must come out
Get that sucka Scott.
- These gathering hosts of loyal junkies, under the command of the great SCOTT
As long as you back it up with specifics, the great one will listen, otherwise, #$%@ or get off the pot.
This missive brought to you by SynapticJam
This Pusher likes Synaptic Jam on toast – hhhmmm… tastes like chicken
- Numbers are the keys that unlock the universe…
and they grow so fast, they probably eat "whatever "is there inside — including the BM, ( Does BM stand for Baby Mcbutter?
*I am the Rear Admiral and you must obey*
See I was relating it to humans, it happened to my oldest and it wasn’t a good situation, but you guys are right, they were growing very, very fast.
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