Friday, November 7, 2014

Interstellar: Starting over on a new 'Earth'

The movie Interstellar opens in theaters at a time when Earth is facing major losses of biodiversity and ecosystems, says David Lynn, an Emory professor of biomolecular chemistry.

While humanity is challenged to find out what’s happening to Earth and how to make adjustments, we have also begun to realize that billions of Earth-like planets likely exist in habitable zones around the stars of our galaxy.

“In as little as 10 years, we could know whether we’re alone in the universe, whether there are other living systems,” Lynn says. “That’s an exciting prospect. It’s not clear necessarily that we’ll find out that there is intelligent life or not. That may be a lower probability, but that’s also possible.”

Much of the science in Interstellar is not accurate, and its vision of the future may not come true. And yet, it is still an important film, Lynn says, since its themes resonate today, during a critical time in our history.

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