RELIGION IN MOVIES - 1 Lauryn Soorani Assignment 4, April...

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Lauryn Soorani Assignment 4, April 2009 Lindsay Nelson Writing 140/Religion 140 The Synergy of Science and Religion: Is It Possible? In a world experiencing constant cultural growth, science and religion have been seemingly pitted against one another in what seems to be a never-ending battle for global social dominance. While there have been seldom few accounts of science and religion co- existing peacefully, based on the novel by Carl Segan, Robert Zemeckis’ 1997 film, Contact attempts to suggest that it is a possibility not entirely out of reach. The film explores how such an event would affect the religious and scientific world as the two find themselves in bitter disagreement while also unknowingly sharing like ideals, through the depiction of a scenario in which humans gain contact with intelligent alien life. Though much of the film focuses on the fierce debate between the scientific and religious, scattered throughout the film and obviously shown as it draws to a close, is the suggestion that the two have the potential for compatibility because of like qualities. Unfortunately, because of various flaws in character development and portrayal as well as in story details, the film is unsuccessful in drawing a true parallel between the two. The film follows the personal mission of Dr. Eleanor Arroway, a scientist employed at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute , to make contact with a world far beyond that which we already know. Having lost her faith in God at a young 1
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age after the death of both her parents, Arroway learns to find faith in science far beyond the realm of human understanding and experience; the existence of intelligent alien life. As the film draws to a close, Arroway confidently proclaims, “I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us. .. seems like an awful waste of space.” Finally, after years of persistence research, Arroway’s unwavering dedication is rewarded when she picks up a radio signal from the distant Vega star. When the message is finally decoded as being instructions on how to build an intergalactic transportation machine, mankind is plagued with the resulting religious, political, and scientific complications and a heated debate begins over whether or not to build the machine. While some believe the message could be a trap, stating that there is no reason to trust its sender, others such as Dr. Arroway states that we must trust them they are most likely a highly evolved and
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2009 for the course WRIT 140 taught by Professor Alvandi during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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RELIGION IN MOVIES - 1 Lauryn Soorani Assignment 4, April...

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