Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dark Matters: Twisted But True

1.  Watch a few clips to get the gist of the show.

2.  Then read the NYT article about the show.

Post your commentary below. 

Reminder:  anonymous, first name only & 3A

Topics for Consideration:
1.  Nature of Science
2.  Ethical Issues
3.  Scientific Language
4.  Truth
5.  Faith
6.  Reason
7.  Imagination
8.  Intuition


  1. Maxwell 3A
    After reading the article and watching a few clips of the Show, I came to conclusions about the media tagging in connotations on the word science and how that in turn causes people to eventually end up acknowledging those connotations as sensible or sometimes even factual; as discussed last class period. This show pushes out some of the ethical issues that we face every so often in the world today. Mostly about the usage of bombs and bullying as well as criticism. And mental/health issues that are sometimes apart of the reasons as to why people find the needs in bombing other people, as shown in the Video. The nature of science can definitely be viewed as either positive or negative because of its various uses; such as atomic bombs or Lung Cancer research. But this show specifically represents the negative side that science could be viewed as and is often viewed as, because of the media.

  2. Hyon 3A
    I watched several videos of Dark Matter. The one that stuck out to me was about how Dr. Knox and how he had paid to have people killed so he would be able to use the bodies in lectures. It was a problem that Knox, along with Burke and Hare who committed the body snatching, had treated life like it didn’t have as much value as money or his lectures. I found it interesting that people did not question where or how Knox obtained his supply of dead bodies. Another video was about how professor Delgado learned that electricity could be used to control people. It was startling to see that the electricity used in the experiment was stronger than the subject's will and left the subject powerless in trying to control the area affected by the electricity.

  3. Jose - 3A

    Based on the video clips and the topics up for consideration, I can now see that science is not as straightforward as we may have been molded to think of it as. Many of us in class grew up with the idea that science was also stated fact that was the result of experiments done in trials. It is much more than that, but it is just as problematic as it is helpful. With respect to the nature of science, the clips reveal that science does not have a set nature as we have seen in science fair projects where you take variables and tweak one at a time. In the clip where the scientist injects himself with a lethal level of cocaine and ‘observes’ his death, he did whatever it took to test something, which was the effects of cocaine on the body. Was this /really/ science, though? In regards to scientific language, observations help form some basis for science. Could the man really have observed his last few moments? I figured that the as the effects of the drug kicked in, it would’ve been harder to accurately note observations. It seemed more like suicide than a scientific investigation because he was more concerned with getting something down before he died than actually looking at himself, both physically and I assume that it could also be observed chemically. The video of Dr. White and his experiments involving monkey head transplants was also interesting. Here, his imagination took control as he wanted to do something that was not entirely plausible. However, his knowledge of nerves provided reason for him to attempt the transplant as there was that slim chance that the transplant could work. Something interesting that I felt was worth mentioning was that he was smoking a pipe as he operated. I feel as though this shows how science and investigation has changed over time; more safety and variable regulations exist today to create safe, reliable conditions. The article seemed to lack scientific language and made a superficial criticism that didn’t really evaluate the scientific nature of the show. It aimed more at the aesthetic, so connecting back to our history unit, the source is not entirely reliable.

  4. Paola 3A

    When I watched the videos of Dark Matters: Twisted but True, most of it, I perceive as scientists almost being able to control about anything that is abiotic or biotic. It is appalling to know that scientists have such intuition to start and creating ideas for themselves or others. The scientists in most of these clips are presented to be oblivious of their work because to others it is entirely unpleasant especially those with innocent minds. Scientists are always known to have an imaginative, creative, intellectual mind because they learn from classes either biology or chemistry as those gives "facts" on how our whole world and resources process. Reading through the ways of knowing chapter, imagination is one of the greatest way to expands one knowledge than what knowledge can tangibly be unaccepted. Imagination is being able to apply the knowledge that one may have and use it to create ideas, because without it how can anyone's ideas be expressed and presented if all it took was from what they know to what they see around them. Although sometimes I think imagination does not entirely mean something amazing, and everyone have their own views when it comes to imagination. When it comes to science, it is mainly used of reason because it needs to back up what one may be researching about and explaining the mass on how it actually turned out to be. I think that is why sometimes those with faith feels offended by reason if one can think of other ways without much of an explanation or of logic.

  5. Meng 3A

    In the episode of the Young Einstein Enrages Physicist, Einstein's discovery that time are different in different environments, a second in earth does not equal to a second on moon, and a second on moon are different than a second on Jupiter, so space and time are relative. He did an experiment on twin, to demonstrate the his theory. The twins was separated, where one got on a train that speed travel to the light, while the other remains on the same place. The time seems no different to them, however time is traveling in completely different speed. When the twin return, a year for the one who was on the train was only a year compared to the one who remains in the same place was a life time. Einstein's experiment proves that Newton's theory on clock was wrong. But before Einstein's discovery, everyone believed that Newton was right. The things we are considered as truth today, may not be so tomorrow. Einstein's discovery brought the world into a new perspective of time. With Einstein's discovery, people reason that when we are closer to the speed of light, time tends to be slower. As describe in the video clip, on earth there's gravity that pull everything down, and therefore, if we are closer to the platform and time tends to go faster. As the ones who are on the moon or other planet, time would be slower.

  6. Blanca V.

    The videos were very interesting although personally I didn't take them seriously. The article says that the show is about "relating urban legends, conspiracy theories and sensational more-or-less-true stories". Natural sciences are interesting because they range from a wide spectrum, but they provide evidence to "prove" that something is "true". The clips shown, don't really provide us with that knowledge just more like background. For example, the one about unabomber and how the guy was a CIA experiment gone "wrong". They weren't informational but they did provide a different aspect to things. For example, the ethical complications that scientists don't really take into consideration like the one trying to inject ape sperms into females, so an ape monkey could be born. Is that right? Some may claim it is in the name of science. Or the experiment done by a guy who injected liquid cocaine into his bloodstream to "note" the effects this has on people. To what extent is science a sacrifice? The one clip shown about people who were strangled and then sold and peopl turned a blind eye to it, all in the name of science. Or during the Holocaust how Jews and other human beings were being experimented on all on the "name of science". There is a lot of controversy surrounding these aspects, even though the discoveries made by these scientists who weren't using, in my opinion ethically correct ways, are very useful, should they people change their perceptions and allow experimenting to be done on humans for the amelioration of society? Reasoning and intuition is what drives the experiment, you may think that something is happening but you need facts and data to prove it right. That's also the difference between faith and truth. Truth can be proven with facts, while faith is very subjective and cannot be explained to others, it must be felt. Can something scientific be explained solely through faith? Why has such a great margin between the two been created?

  7. Odunayo 3a

    After watching the clips and reading the article, there are two things that I noticed. First, I perception of the show changed after reading the article. Also, I noticed that I didn’t doubt the accuracy of either which I believe falls under the pragmatic theory of truth. I doubted not the accuracy of the videos because they always had a concept that I knew was at least a bit real. The article then said that these stories were stretched and that they use celebrity faces to draw people in. After reading, my pragmatic truth changed because now that I have more information, this is now my new truth because it is more valuable to me if true than if untrue.

  8. I found the clips were very intereating. One focused on the theoeies developed by albert instien (time and gravity). In this case, his discoveries developed falsehold in the eyes of his peers as they feared through realisation that albert's theories could spell their doom as far as fame goes. Also they would be looked as senseless and othodox in the eyes of the masses as their ideas were countered proven. So in this case, truth may not be the most important for all of those who work in the name of science. This makes me wonder if we today are being lied at. The second clip I saw focused on a surgen and his development of surgery. This reflected the, in my perspective, the negativity and the "dark" side science. This is because ethical issues are developed, immagination is twisted in a sinical way that harms others for a "greater good". In this clip, the surgen's main goal is to teach others how to succesfully teach others how to become good surgen as he said they would not become bulchers. And the third clip I saw was of a serial killer who developed a deep hatred for science and those who worked for it. He would kill 3 and wound 23 in an 18 year period. He kills as he fears science is an "evil" institution.in all of these, imagination is used intensively as it is used to develop ideas and somehow manage to develope reason to back these ideas of which they view with high faith. Such ideas are expressed in the article such as if a woman had a child with an ape. Then the queation developes: should science look into it.

  9. Cynthia 3A
    Some ethical issues that came up when watching the video were After seeing what happened to Theodore Kaczynski after he participated in the intense experiment just to determine the best candidates for the CIA, should we still allow the CIA or other government Agency to perform experiment on people. Could mental damage from these trials driven him to terrorism years later? And also how did his brain process the experiment in order to lead him to terrorism later in life. I think that Natural Science and scientist are depicted in this clip as bad because it shows unethical natural science experiment on humans and shows how scientist like Theodore turns out to be evil at the end which goes back to the phrase "MAD SCIENTIST". An ethical issue in the article was when Ivanov was trying to create an offspring of half ape and half human by impregnate apes with human sperm and inseminating women with chimp sperm which is so wrong because that would disrupt the balance in the chain of humanity. But i still understand the reason that Ivanov is trying to experiment because he is trying to discover and learn more about the biological makeup of ape and humans but his reason and his way of reasoning doesn't make the situation right.

  10. Nya 3A
    The first subject I want to talk about is ethics. I found three videos in particular, that I thought were very closely on the borderline as ethical which were the video on the CIA experiment, the video about the Serial Killers and the video on remote controlled mind control. The first video talked about how a young man was part of an experiment done by the CIA and was basically scarred for life due to the lasting effects of this experiment. The experiment was basically done by ridiculing the subjects and having them sit and watch a video recording of it, where the stress levels, skin resistance and heart rate of the subjects were recorded. This experiment is only unethical to me for two reasons. For one, I didn't understand the purpose of the experiment. What were these results going to help the CIA prove or discover? And secondly, even if the experiment was for a good reason, they shouldn't have been able to conduct it without thinking about all the effects that it possibly could have on their subjects. The serial killers' story was a very unique one. The men would provide surgeons with fresh warm carcasses for use in live demonstrations and in return receive payment for them. This to me was just wrong. It seemed like the men were being paid to be "hit men for science" and would just take out anyone who happened to be in their path. At what point is science valuable when life isn't even considered? In the last video I saw ethics portrayed in a more positive way than what I think it was supposed to be seen as. I thought that it was completely ethical for the professor to have that machine because he had a goal that was beneficial to many people, which was to help people who had mental disorders by sending electric waves throughout their brain. I don't see this experiment as unethical just because of its results. The professor wasn't looking for a means of mind control, nor did he take advantage of it in a way that would be "unethical".

  11. Nya 3A Part 2
    Just talking about the show itself, it seems to deal with human sciences more than anything else (a conclusion drawn only from the four videos that I watched). There is immediately a negative connotation to the show just from reading the title "Dark Matters: Twisted but True". Nothing about this title sounds positive at all. It is only inviting in a way that makes you want to learn more about it. I think this comes from the words "twisted" and "truth". To have these two words together seems like an oxymoron. Why would the truth be twisted? And if it is twisted, does it still make that truth true? After reading the article I got a negative connotation regarding of the word scientist and the description of the new host on the show. They talk about mad scientists and call the hosts' voice "deep and sinister". I think that we associate the truth with something that is a fact. And if something is a fact it cannot be altered changed or revised. Though there are obviously situations where that is not the case, I don't think that the initial mentioning of the truth is those listed possible outcomes. Though in science you do experiment, and use facts I think that use also use imagination, reason and intuition. These things are used in a scientific theory or hypothesis. To only mentally produce a question with a preconceived outcome is using all three of these WOK.

  12. Juwan 3A
    I would definitely say that the show is interesting due to its dramatized nature, but I still question the credibility. The show seems to be more for entertainment than educating an audience on the truths behind some obscure conspiracy. The creators of the show probably have some sense of imagination when producing the show. It seems like the show is over exagerated and it reminds me of the show "A Thousand Ways to Die." The show has a large effect on reason because it may seem wacky, but it still leaves the audience wondering if the events being described really took place. The show is on the Science Channel so maybe it is not just for entertainment, but it is extremely hard to tell. I would probably watch the show again simply because i like challenging new ideas that are presented to me.

  13. Ya-Marie 3A
    Based on the reading and the show itself, it shows real life scientific problems that affected society, and also imagination through the skit to allow viewers to understand it better while also being amused with the little jokes said. Also the words that they used makes everything they say believable, making viewers believe that everything may be facts. I do also believe that they may exaggerate the story a little bit in order to grasp the viewers attention. I could not really understand the article because I've never watched the show Fringe, so it was hard to compare his character on Fringe, and his character on Dark Matter.

  14. Jamilet3A
    I enjoyed the clip, it did remind me of the twilight zone and with the guy Nobel narrating, it gave off a spooky, creepy, mysterious feel. Like for every scene you would expect something dramatic and impacting to happen but nothing would. Through-out the whole clip i wanted to know what was said in the interrogation that had affected the character so badly for him to personally become a social outcast and start bombing what he considered as threats, and I wanted to know what were his threats and if the interrogation had to do with any of his choices of bombing. I knew that he was afraid of being laughed at, but why? Was it his imagination? Because the scene the character was at a social gathering the people look like they didn't payed any attention to him, but that was only because the character personally wasn't trying to talk to anyone. So did the interrogation cause him to imagine things that weren't happening? Besides all the questions, this clip appears to be one of those prime examples of how most scientist are shown through the media, as a mad scientist, that scientist are normally social outcast, evil, sensitive, and smart. I guess the media is telling us what these people are capable of ?

  15. Ashanti 3b
    While watching the video clip, I couldn't help but think what poof does this show have? Not once did the show present a document or have to my strandards a realiable source. The show presented all their information as actual fact and my intuition made me question almost everything they stated. Most people would make the assumption that because the show is on the Science channel, that they would only present fact and that they're an expert in whatever they're discussing. Putting their faith into what they are watching and believing without question. Accepting the shows truth is what they need in order for them to have warrant. The article from the New York Times validated my suspicions. Calling the show great "pop corn" television. The author of the article continued to dissect the show with explaing the topics and there scientific validity. Most of the topics that shows premier Episode highlighted didn't hold any scientific truth. The show plays on the trust of it's viewers to make what they say become truth. Most of the views of the show are draw to I not because of the shows content but because of the host and his fame on the Scifi arena.

  16. George 3A
    The show "Dark Matters" is a very unique shows, which brings up weird science experiments that scientists have done in the past. I have never heard of the show before, and I'm not really interested in this show after watching some of these clips, as they make think of all of the brilliant crazy people in the world, which to a small extent I believe I could be one of them. I wouldn't do any of the experiments that were featured in the clips, but I think there is a small crazy part of me that doesn't always come out in public, not crazy, maybe weird would be a better description. The subject has lots of do with TOK, especially with ethics. Most of the experiment done were done in the past, so there weren't many laws in place to govern how people can do experiments, like when Hitler and Tojo did some human experiments on Jews and POWS respectively. Today, many of these experiments cannot be done because of laws that have been set up to make all of the experiments ethical, even to animals, where you can't torture them, or some similar to that to learn more about something. To an extent, I understand why some people are doing experiments like this because it is force, as doing this experiment will yield information that could be helpful, but how the information is acquired in unethical. I think some of these experiments were not actually planned out because some of them wanting to learn more, but them just wanting to explore. Why would one want to try to impregnate a women with semen from an ape? I feel that the show is trying to spread out the truth of the past, which people might not know everything about. With news and the internet, people can easily find out what is going on around the world with a click of a button, but back then stuff like this happens. However, no one knows about it because the ways of spreading this information wasn't easy, as it would take weeks, or even longer to spread the information from point A to point B, but spreading this information around the world would be almost impossible. Dark Matters use scientific language to draw in its audience, by attracting them by providing them with interesting and disturbing topics, so people will tune in a watch their show.

  17. Yeni 3A
    Many people come up with these theories because of different factors. One main factor is that people think that science is evil and they portray it like that because of many bad outcomes. Scientists that have intuition they may expose their theory to the world because they'll have a feeling that what they're saying is true. Also, with faith comes intuition because you need faith to make sure that you're right. Ethical issues is another factor that leads to people in thinking that technology and or science has controlled our minds and because of that we are living in a society that is super busy. Many believe that science is an obstacle to peoples understanding of the true life they should be living. With imagination people come up with both great or crazy thoughts. Scientists who come up with crazy thoughts just sought to look for money and those who usually come up with good ideas they usually reference other past ideas or theories.

  18. Kolleen 3A

    As I watched the videos and read the article I remembered the discussion we have about how science is portrayed in pop culture. In this instance, science is portrayed as evil and comical. Just the name of the show indicates that it is likely to show the negative side of things. I watched 7 videos and scrolled through the titles. There was only one video that had a positive title and a positive message. It was the video for a cure for Pellagra. I wonder why there was only one video that portrayed science in a good way. On another note, I believe that the creators of the show used a lot of their imagination for some of this because some characters were flamboyant, especially the foreign ones. I also believe that the reasoning behind some actions were not sincere and the creators made it up to fill in the gaps in stories and to add comedy. For example, the one about the serial killers selling bodies. I find it hard to believe that no scientist questioned how the other scientist got so many bodies. At least the show could have said no one openly questioned the idea but i find it hard to believe that no one had the thought. I don't like how the show portrayed scientists. There are so many scientists that have helped society by doing research to cure a wide variety of diseases and infections. Then, pop culture has to highlight the negative side r, and criticize science. I suppose it is easier to focus, remember, and criticize the negative than it is the positive.


  19. Mario
    After viewing some clips on “Dark Matters” and reading an article about it, I came to see that there are many different lies that we consider to be true. When viewing the clips I understood that it as exaggerated but it was believable and I honestly took the video into molding my view on the scientist presented, however after researching these scientist I saw that much of the clips were of a different view. But that does not mean it is not a truth. The basic concept behind the clips I saw were that something science worthy was discovered and caused an impact on society. However the form of language the clips used at times made it seem as though these scientist were mad and doing this for the bad rather than the good. Even the title of the program “Dark Matters: Twisted but True” the title gives a negative connotation to the discovery these scientist made. Even though this series connects urban legends, conspiracy theories and sensational more-or-less true stories, I think there is some form of truth behind this series because even though it is not fully factual it gives its viewers the discovery these scientist made and the issues they went through in order to get this theory agreed upon from the clips I watched.


Thanks for posting!!