By RazzaTazz 4 Comments
Last weekend's exposure to Rip Hunter comics from the 1960s left with with a bizarre observation, though maybe observation is not the right word. In two separate issues the group of heroes must travel to the past, and specifically to seek out a genius from another time. One of these was Da Vinci and the other was Galileo. When the heroes encounter Da Vinci he has been able to use Renaissance knowledge of chemistry to create a weapon of mass destruction. Galileo on the other hand is being visited so that he can provide extensive information on Jupiter which he didn't leave in his notes and he is shown using a robot which he can ride in. The problems with this logic are kind of glaring. Galileo would not have been able to build a functioning robot, especially so that modern scientists have a significant amount of trouble with this with a knowledge of modern science. Equally so, while Galileo was a great astronomer, the telescopes he was using then could probably be replicated now with less than $100. So as the modern scientists need his detailed sketches of Jupiter, it does not fit just how detailed they could be. Equally while da Vinci did have some chemistry training, it is not something which he was ever famous for. Of course this is a campy comic book series and not very serious, but da Vinci still does show up in limited exposures as well in the modern day. This can be in the Dan Brown book, as a member of the Illuminati in the Tomb Raider movies (I think this was the case) or in certain video games. The idea seems to persist that da Vinci or others figured out stuff centuries ago which has laid dormant to the prying minds of modern science. It is maybe an effective plot device, but one which comes down to a belief in science as something which it is not.