Magneto Has It

The introductory voice-over to the second X-Men film went: “Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain… or simply a new species of humanity fighting for their share of the world?” Such false antimonies are a staple of Hollywood trying to be portentous. In fact, there is no either-or, for evolution proceeds by speciation and in no other way. The implication of the first option, that all humans will gradually acquire superpowers and thus become “the next link in the chain” (whatever that is supposed to mean), is without scientific foundation; were there to be such things as superpowers, they would probably arise as mutations in an isolated human population, which, if it re-encountered the previous model, might then out-compete it. The ancient John Wyndham got this right in The Chrysalids. As some thoughtful critics have pointed out, it is Magneto and Stryker who see the most clearly.

Posted on August 11, 2009 at 10:05 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: CULTURAL ODDS AND ENDS, Reflections On SF

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  1. Written by Ghost in the Machine
    on August 13, 2009 at 23:41
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    So perhaps, then, we need an Evolutionary Guard?

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