Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Science-Minded Characters & Religion

Many of you probably think of religion and science as always constantly at odds. And while it’s true that religion and science often disagree with each other, many of you probably don’t realize that devoutly religious people have contributed to science. Catholic Jean-Baptiste Lamarck developed the theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics (a sort of early theory of evolution). Fr. Georges Lemaître was a cosmologist and Catholic priest, and is the father of the Big Bang theory. Of course Catholics aren’t the only religious people to contribute to science. Obviously, Albert Einstein, one of the most famous and influential scientists in history, was Jewish and was agnostic but strongly identified with his Jewish heritage, and Judaism was a major influence on his life. Jonas Salk was devout in his Jewish faith (and often seemed annoyed by the religion vs. science debates) and a medical researcher. He is famous for developing the first polio vaccineJābir ibn Hayyān is both Muslim and the father of chemistry. Abdus Salam, another practitioner of Islam, won the Nobel Prize in physics for his electroweak interaction theory. In fact, it’s because of his faith that Salam pursued science. He said:

The Holy Qur’an enjoins us to reflect on the verities of Allah’s created laws of nature; however, that our generation has been privileged to glimpse a part of His design is a bounty and a grace for which I render thanks with a humble heart.

So there are a lot of scientists throughout history who contributed greatly to their field and still loved and professed their faith. But you wouldn’t know that if you looked at our pop culture. Almost every science-minded character is an atheist. There is nothing wrong with having a lot of characters be scientists and atheist or agnostics (in fact, it’s important to have characters like that), but I worry that if every science-minded character is an atheist or agnostic, we end up perpetuating the conflict between religion and science.

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In Brightest Day: Batman, Winnie the Pooh, OCD, and a Lack of Representation

I’ve wanted to write a post about how OCD is portrayed in pop culture for quite some time now—but to be honest, there really aren’t that many obsessive-compulsive characters out there. Off the top of my head, I can name the Riddler from DC Comic’s Batman and Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh. Rin tells me that Pearl from Steven Universe also suffers from OCD, but I don’t watch that show and therefore cannot comment on it. So that leaves me with the Riddler and Rabbit, which are not that many characters at all.

the-riddler-killing-timeUnfortunately, despite being one of the more well-known mental disorders out there, OCD is sadly not that well understood by people at large. I think this helps contribute to the lack of representation—and what representation us OCD suffers do get is normally not that great either.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Noodle’s Top 10 Headcanon Bi Characters

I basically live for representation of LGBTQ+ characters. As a bi person, I’m especially starved for good bi representation. Unfortunately, such characters are especially difficult to come by. Then there are wonderful characters who could be great bisexuals, and that’s where headcanons come in. A headcanon is something that is not explicitly stated in the text, but doesn’t contradict it either, and you like to imagine it’s true. It’s not as great as actual representation, but it can be great fun and provide comfort when actual representation isn’t there. So, today I want to share with you my Top 10 characters whom I like to imagine are bisexual and who would make excellent representation if they were made canonically bisexual.

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No Really, Trust Me: Pan’s Review of Loki: Agent of Asgard #13

At long last, here comes Verity to save the day! But I’m getting ahead of myself; last you all heard in #12, Loki was still tied up and on fire as Future Loki explained the immutability of fate. That condition persists, but now with the understanding that said fire is metaphorical fire, and in the conflagration, Loki is confronting the specters of eir former selves as future Loki goes right on cackling, like he do. In the dreary headspace Loki finds emself in, Original Loki and Kid Loki both wait, swathed in an eerie green glow, to give em life advice.

What's a group of Lokis called? A murder? A fib? A failure?

What’s a group of Lokis called? A murder? A fib? A failure?

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Fanfiction Fridays: see me now by seventhswan

Big Hero 6 has quickly become a favorite in my household, and I was struck during a recent re-re-rewatch with the realization that fanfic shipping Honey Lemon and Gogo might be a thing that exists. AO3 quickly validated me by providing not just one, but a number of delightful femslash fics. Of all these, I especially loved seventhswan’s see me now.

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Home is Nothing to Write Home About

home movieWhen it was announced that The True Meaning of Smekday was going to be made into a movie called Home, I was beyond excited. The True Meaning of Smekday is a fun book about an alien invasion that’s actually about colonialism and imperialism, and it stars Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, a biracial girl who, along with her cat and an alien Boov friend, saves the Earth. How cool would it be to see this on the big screen?!

Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t that cool. As an adaptation, Home fails on almost every conceivable level. It’s no longer about colonialism or imperialism except in the most shallow of ways, and what’s worse, Tip can no longer truly be called our protagonist. However, because the plot of the movie is so different from the plot of the book, I think it’s worthwhile to judge the movie on its own merits, and write a post comparing the two when I’ve seen the movie again or when the DVD comes out. Unfortunately, as a Hollywood film, Home turned out to be a predictable, only casually funny, dull movie.

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Throwback Thursdays: Star Wars Animated Adventures: Ewoks

I used to love Star Wars Animated Adventures: Ewoks as a child. As a young girl, how could I not have a special place in my heart for the Ewoks? They’re cuddly woodland bear people who play a significant role in the Rebels’ defeat of the Empire during Return of the Jedi. Using nothing more than sticks and rocks, the Ewoks manage to kill both a bunch of Stormtoopers that had superior technology and any viewer’s suspension of disbelief. By the war’s end, the Ewoks also become good friends with our Rebel heroes. Then, they all sit down together at a campfire to cannibalize the Stormtroopers who just died while happy music plays in the background. Of course I adored them.

Look at them. Obviously, they hunger for human flesh.

Look at them. Obviously, they hunger for human flesh.

So when I first encountered Ewoks back in the mid-90s, I fell in love almost immediately. Now, nearly twenty years later, I had forgotten that Ewoks existed. At least that was the case until I saw that Lady Geek Girl owned a copy of it on DVD. And well, much like Saika’s experience in revisiting A Troll in Central Park, I have discovered that some things from my childhood are really not as good as I remember them. There’s no nice way to put this: Ewoks is just bad.

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