Avatar and biology
I finally saw the movie now. The one interesting idea of the movie that really stands out, is the idea of a real “wetware” avatar, to be inhabited by a human soul, to live in a wetware kind of Second Life. If you leave aside this basic idea, and the impressive CGI recreation of this world, I found the rest of the movie disappointing. The biology of it is once again unoriginal, a lot of the plants and animals there are either direct copies of terrestrial organisms (trees), or easily recognizable transplants (some jungle plants looking and functioning as some well known brown algae). And never mind the plotline, which apparently marries the Captain Smith and Pocahontas love story with the leave-us-alone theme of Apocalypto (which I suppose also delivered the idea of blue colored humanoids). Coming back to the movie’s imagination of another world – in analogy to the last post on “natural” vs “artificial” architecture design it makes me wonder, can we at all imagine organic worlds that do not look like our known world? Must any organic-biological world have the same “design features” that we know from ours? That means, segmentation, axial and bilateral symmetry, tree-like growth, separation of neuronal and somatic networks, etc. Of course this movie actually copies known morphologies wholesale, as do most sci fi movies. But if it didn’t, would truly “other” morphologies still include features that we’d recognize as “organic” in origin?