The Science of Twilight

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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by Kyrie »

That's precisely right as far as I can recall, there were no reports concerning what might - after a while anyway - have seemed like a sudden slew of missing people - I'm just theorycrafting. :P

The point I was trying (and apparently failing miserably) to make, is that in modern times, a small army's worth of people suddenly vanishing from their daily lives within a limited area wouldn't go unnoticed, at least not as time passes. And then there's the issue of their diet; leaving yet another concentration of missing persons in the same area. It all adds up. I imagine the inevitable indiscretion that might lead to public exposure is one of the reasons why making your personal vampire army is frowned upon by other vampires.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by ringswraith »

That's exactly right, Kyrie- after all, the only rule was that humans should never know of their existence. Which is why Edward, at first thinking the deaths in Seattle were the work of a singular entity, called it a "deathwish."
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by pharmer4 »

You also have to remember that creating a new-born is not an easy thing for most vampires, especially ones who are not experienced with it (This includes Victoria, and definately includes her primary New Born).

I mean, Rosalie did not trust herself to make Emmet, and carried him miles so that Carlisle would do it.

Edward also initially wanted Carlisle to make Bella, because he did not know if he would be able to trust himself.

I think it is only reasonable to expect that the bodies found were just the tip of the iceberg, and would have been made up of a combination of failed attempts at recruiting newborns, and the necessary "rations" required for a newly raised army.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by Spiritus »

Good afternoon, all. I will confess to you all at the start that I dislike this series. I dislike it for a number of reasons. But I'm not here to attack your series. I'm here hoping to make you think. I, by nature, am a scientist, so when I heard about the scientific depravity committed in these books, I dove in to examine the issues. I felt personally insulted by Meyer’s “use” of science. She has spat upon what I love, and I am not one to just let that happen.

I will try to keep my statements and questions as civil as possible, but please forgive me if I get a little excited. I also apologize if any of my points have already been discussed.

Before I begin, I want to direct you all to this thread: ... thread=638

It's extremely well-written and well thought-out. I expect you all to read it before reading me, as I will be saying some things on the assumption that you are acquainted with his points and may well reference it in some of my points. Feel free to disregard all the non-science stuff in there if you want, except for the "Fantasy does not excuse a lack of realism" section.

1) The problems with hybrids

First, I want to address the mule/liger explanation to the hybrid that everyone cites. The liger does more to hurt your cause than help it. The vast majority of the time ligers must be euthanized very early in their lives. This is due to malformations of the skeletal structure and internal organs. In the cases where they don't die easily because of critical organ failure, they suffer greatly from slow organ failure or are invalids because their skeletons don't work right. All this despite that lions and tigers are nearly identical in skeletal structure, organ size, shape, and function, eating habits, instincts, lifespan, et cetera, et cetera. This because of the chromosomal difference.

And yet somehow, we’re expected to believe that two creatures as radically different as meyerpires and humans can crossbreed perfectly? Look at the differences: bodily functions (cellular, glandular, respiratory, digestive, nervous, excretory, sensory), genetic structure, cellular structure, eating habits (more on that later), the list goes on and on. Heck, the genetics of m_venom must be leagues different from human genetics into order to create the m_pire traits in Renesmee, yet it functions perfectly as h_sperm? We’re led to believe that Renesmee is a perfect amalgam of human and m_pire traits: soft, warm, durable skin, plus the ability to live off of human and vampire food, plus a special gift (and probably a few other things I'm forgetting), yet not even mules (whose parents are MUCH more similar) get it all; they’re stumpy, dim, and sterile. Why can humans and m_pires breed when humans and dolphins (which are 99-99.9% genetically identical to humans, depending on your source) cannot? Assuming Renesmee could even exist, she couldn’t possibly function as well as she does. The genetic differences between the two species are too numerous and too radical for such a blend to be made. Not even counting what a fusion of organ function should look like (lungs that completely function + lungs that don’t function at all = (1+0)/2 = 0.5 = lungs that half function = death), the conflict of blood making genetics+venom making genetics should render her inoperable.

One last thing I want to point out. I know arzim touches on this, but I want to expand on it. M_pire venom (and vampire venom in general) is EXTREMELY potent when it comes to genetic modification. To affect such a change in an ordinary human (a radical modification of almost every aspect of their body), it has to be insanely powerful. So the assumption that it does a halfway job when fusing with a human egg is, in no uncertain terms, ridiculous. It is DESIGNED to override human genes; not only that, it can affect these changes in EXTREMELY small quantities. The human egg would immediately become an m_pire and, by the nature of m_pires, would remain an egg forever, as m_pires never experience cellular division outside of healing.

(As a cute piece of irony, it’s funny how such a devout Mormon was inspired to make such a hybrid by an incubus, a demon that rapes women in their sleep, sometimes killing them, sometimes impregnating them with half-breeds that are extremely evil.)

2) The problems with Isabella’s pregnancy

Again, arzim touches on this, but I feel it warrants expansion.

50.6% water, 45% red blood cells, 4.4% combination of over 10 kinds of other substances, including waste and carbon dioxide. That’s the contents of human blood. It’s potentially lethal if ingested in large enough quantities. It has ZERO nutritional value.

Now it’s well established that Isabella was still human throughout the pregnancy. She consumes zero human food during the entire month of her pregnancy (more on the length later). Permanent organ damage –which always leads to death- occurs 1-2 months into starvation. Logically speaking, Isabella should not have survived her pregnancy, as the fetus would have sucked her dry. An ordinary person can survive 1-2 months of starvation because they have fat and fat-soluble vitamins and minerals stored up; in a pregnant person’s case, the fetus would be draining all those stored essentials. The phrase “eating for two” is quite literal; the woman not only has to eat for herself, but provide an excessive amount of nutrients for the fetus, as it is basically making a fully-functional baby from scratch. That’s not even taking into account that it’s a hybrid fetus; it has to form cells that have m_pire durability and hybrid division rates (i.e. reaching the physical age of 17 by age 7) and whatever addition to the brain that allows for her reverse-empathetic power in addition to all the normal human stuff. Isabella should have been a husk inside of a few days.

Not only would a diet of blood be lethal for Isabella, it would also have killed the fetus. When it’s established that it has blood, human skin, a fully-functional digestive system, et cetera, it’s also established that the formation of such requires certain ingredients. Meyer attempts to violate the most basic rule of alchemy (not to mention physics): you can’t get something from nothing. The physical makeup of the hybrid fetus would require all the fats, proteins, vitamins, et cetera, that a regular fetus would require, plus whatever is needed for the m_piric add-ons, NONE of which are even SLIGHTLY provided in a liter of human blood. The fetus shouldn’t have been able to form AT ALL, much less grow into a super baby.

3) The problem of bloodthirst

I’ll grant you, I can’t recall if it’s ever explained exactly why m_pires need blood, but I don’t think it would be particularly relevant.

Something that needs to be understood about living creatures is that “need” is quite literal. Nothing good happens when needs are ignored: ignoring the need to breathe results in suffocation, ignoring the need to eat results in starvation, ignoring the needs to urinate and defecate results in blood poisoning and rupturing of the bladder, ignoring the need to sleep results in exhaustion, insanity, and death. The body does everything it can to force these needs: breathing is reflexive and forced, prolonged hunger is extremely painful, and urination and defecation are forced after so long, as is sleep.

So how can m_pires’ bloodthirst be justified? They have no needs. Their bodies are entirely self-sufficient; what little needs they have are filled by their venom (which, again, violates physics, as they never take anything in so that new venom can be made [and don’t tell me that they take in blood for this; blood doesn’t have the components to make something so powerful]). That’s the only way they can be immortal: if their bodies have no need for anything in order to perpetuate perfect, unending survival. Yet their unstoppable thirst for blood breaks this condition. The body does not create such powerful urges unless a failure to comply with them would have extremely negative consequences. But what consequences could there possibly be? They have no need for any sort of nutrition (which they couldn’t get out of blood anyways) because their cells never degenerate. Their “need” for blood is completely arbitrary and serves no purpose other than to forward the plot. I suppose it can be justified by saying that m_pires have a habit of evolving completely useless characteristics (i.e. their beauty), but that’s kind of mean to say.

Another thing about the consumption of blood: why is it “consumption”? Oral ingestion is indicative of sending it through their digestive system, which is established early on as nonfunctioning (though not exactly how it doesn’t work; is there no stomach acid or what?). If we assume that the blood’s target is the villi, and also assume that the villi have been modified to completely absorb the blood (as m_pires make no waste), what can be gained from it? Water? If their bodies needed water (which they don’t), they wouldn’t crave blood. Blood is too toxic to be sought over regular water, and more difficult to get. Red blood cells? Their only function is to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body, neither of which is a process that m_pires require. Clotting agents? M_pires don’t bleed. The various trace elements of proteins and such? Again, they aren’t given to cellular degeneration, so they require nothing like that. They have absolutely no reason to take blood from anything other than to make them vampiric enough to call vampires (which, considering how vampire lore was positively mangled in this series, I am surprised at). In fact, they have no reason to consume anything ever; as they are physiologically inert their bodies require nothing to exist except their venom, which they seem to produce ad infinitum all by themselves. I say again, it’s all completely arbitrary. Even making it oral is arbitrary. The original vampires absorbed blood directly into their bloodstreams by way of mouths on their hands or hollow, needle-like tongues, and they did it because they were evil (hence their weaknesses to garlic and holy objects). Neck-biting was introduced by Dracula to add another element of eroticism, an element Meyer rejected from her series almost entirely, rendering the oral method pointless, and m_pires, as stated before, have zero reason to consume the blood of anything.

Unless, of course, we’ve been fooled. The Twilight Wikia states that “purplish-black bruises appear under their eyes, becoming more pronounced with thirst. The bruises signify the fact that vampires never sleep”. M_pires get bags under their eyes because they don’t sleep? Hold the phone; this could change everything. The bags your get under your eyes are sort of like micro-aneurisms. If you go without sleep for a long enough time, the blood vessels under your lower eyelids decay and break, filling pockets with old, dead blood, which is purple in color. That’s what bruises are, too: dead blood from broken vessels. Does this mean that m_pires are, in fact, given to cellular degeneration? Is the complete lack of sleep causing bags under their eyes? If this is the case, then I have some bad news: m_pires are insane. Besides creating bags under your eyes, sleeplessness has another, much more nasty effect: insanity. During REM sleep your brain is allowed to rest, as not nearly as much is demanded of it. However, not allowing it to rest causes its neurons to decay. This is always bad news. The death of too many neurons really messes you up: loss of control of motor function (eventually just the loss of motor function), hallucinations, slurred speech, personality decay, and eventually death. From personal experience, too little sleep causes me to read things that aren’t there, have random, violent spasms (I’ve thrown more than one book across the room because of this), and the sensation that my esophagus is filled with acid. And that’s from less than a day lost. A few weeks is lethal. Edward has been awake for approximately 90 years. No way is he playing with a full deck. (Actually, that had nothing to do with the bloodthirst problem. I just wanted to get it out there.)

3.5) The problem with Edward’s bloodlust

Refer back to the beginning of point 2 where I outline the contents of human blood. This formula is universal; the only time when a person’s blood does not look like that is when they have some kind of disease.

Now, we’re informed that the “smell” of Isabella’s blood gives Edward the fits like no other blood ever has. My question is simple: how can that be? There are only two levels of distinction for healthy blood: type and genetic. Now, unless Isabella has some new, unheard-of Type Z blood, there’s no way Edward has never encountered her type before in the almost 90 years he’s been an m_pire. That would mean that when Edward finds that she’s super-special-snowflake-yummy-smelling-and-tasting, he’s discovering this BY SMELLING AND TASTING HER DNA. This is, in no uncertain terms, absurd. All DNA is made of the exact same materials in different orders. There are no smells or tastes to become crazed by. Not only that, but the same genetic sequence is present in the entire body. Hair, skin, and saliva (among other things), all have the exact same DNA as blood. Isabella could be completely drained of all blood and Edward should still have fits. His specific madness over her blood is completely arbitrary.

4) The problems with super speed, rigid cells, and flammable sweat

Anyone familiar with air friction? Hopefully those that are get where I’m going with this and can skip ahead. For those that aren’t, remember that air is matter. It’s composed of oxygen and nitrogen and carbon dioxide and crap from pollution and bits of dirt and dust and who-know what else. Newton’s 3rd Law states that “the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions”. This is what air friction is: as a body moves through the air, what’s in the air pushes back, and this impact changes kinetic energy to thermal energy and inhibits movement. Now, normally things move so slow that this friction is negligible. However, at higher speeds, this friction causes objects to gain heat. Things like satellites on re-entry get extremely hot. Distance traveled is irrelevant so long as the speed is high enough.

So the question becomes: why does Edward, who attains speeds so high that the human eye cannot track him, not burst into flames when he runs? His entire body is lubricated with a highly flammable substance. He should explode whenever he runs because the air friction would heat up the lubricant enough for it to ignite.

(And nobody say “it’s because it’s a liquid”; you get lighter fluid moving fast enough and it goes up. Though that’s actually irrelevant, as if the lubricant didn’t attain the proper heat, Edward’s skin cells would.)

His non-crispiness is especially difficult to accept when you consider his skin cells. They are reportedly hard and rigid. If you hit two objects together that have those qualities, odds are you’ll get a spark. Any time an m_pire smacked against anything tougher than an uncooked noodle (especially each other during their numerous bouts of wild sex) they should have burst into flames (well, “anything” is a bit of a hyperbole, but the list is very long). The only way this wouldn’t happen is if the “lubrication” was actually a coating; of course, then we would have had to endure Isabella telling us ad nauseum about how wet/slick Edward’s skin is, which isn’t quite so romantic.

5) The problems with sparkles

Meyer herself informs us that m_pires’ skin have the reflective properties of crystal. This brings up an issue with the whole sparkle business. Crystals don’t turn on and off. Some facets may shine brighter than others, but they will shine when exposed to light. Regardless of how they may move their bodies, m_pires shouldn’t sparkle when exposed to sun, they should shine. Entire patches of skin should reflect the sun’s rays, not just a couple of cells at a time. They should look like beings of light wearing clothes.

Another problem is why they only sparkle in sunlight. Reflection is reflection, regardless of the light source. The fluorescent bulbs in their classrooms should produce a noticeable effect. The only way this wouldn’t happen is if the sparkles were of UV rays (the only thing sunlight really has that artificial light from household bulbs doesn’t), which are not only invisible, but cause skin cancer. So basically, walking in sunlight makes m_pires walking cancer lasers. Guess that explains why they stay out of it.

The other problem with the sparkle phenomenon (besides that it happens at all) is that they have to be in direct sunlight for it to occur. Because the sparkles are a reflection of light, any amount of light that people can see by should produce a visible effect on them. Combining that with my previous point, it should appear to the citizens of Forks that the m_pires shimmer all the time. There should be a constant, low-intensity reflection of light coming off of their skin at almost all times, creating a shimmering effect. They should appear blurry, even when stationary.

I’m tempted to go on and on with more problems (such as how Isabella’s mind is unreadable when she’s a muggle, or that the shapeshifters MUST shift regularly to stay healthy), but I feel what I have given is sufficient for now. Please question and discuss, I will check back regularly to see how things go.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by ringswraith »

At the risk of having a big red "X" painted on me, I'm responding.

See, I have a couple of... "issues" with your post.

By posting that link, you have basically allowed readers here to go to that website and find typical arguments already shot down. This leads me to believe you really don't seek discussion, because what can we say that hasn't already been mentioned in the other thread? All you'd need to do is go "Please see x argument on y page here: <link>."

And if your response is "Well I wanted to hear something that hasn't been mentioned yet," well, why are you asking here? Because this is a forum for Twilight fans? We, the users on this forum, are not the author of this series. Anything we say is either grounded in what's on print, or pure speculation derived from what's on print. We are not Stephenie Meyer. If she wants a vampire and a human to have a baby, well that's her prerogative. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer was mentioned in that thread; what about when Angel impregnated Darla? That shouldn't have been possible. But it made for a good story and progressed the plot.

My other issue is the whole "fantasy does not excuse a lack of realism" defense. I especially like how they use Merriam Webster to define "realistic," but use Wikipedia to define "fantasy." If you look at the Wikipedia page for "fantasy," there are several marks there that say "dubious- discuss." If you're going to compare something, compare it with something similar.

The definition of "fantasy" on the Merriam Webster website:
1obsolete : hallucination
2: fancy ; especially : the free play of creative imagination
3: a creation of the imaginative faculty whether expressed or merely conceived: as a: a fanciful design or invention b: a chimerical or fantastic notion c: fantasia 1 d: imaginative fiction featuring especially strange settings and grotesque characters —called also fantasy fiction
4: caprice
5: the power or process of creating especially unrealistic or improbable mental images in response to psychological need <an object of fantasy> ; also : a mental image or a series of mental images (as a daydream) so created <sexual fantasies of adolescence>
6: a coin usually not intended for circulation as currency and often issued by a dubious authority (as a government-in-exile)

"...just because something is fantasy does not mean it is unrealistic." It's "fantasy." It's not "realistic." The genre is called "fantasy fiction," not "realistic fiction." What exactly were they trying to prove here? That because certain elements don't make scientific sense, it's not fantasy? That because certain elements don't make scientific sense, it should be a horrible story?

I honestly don't know why you bothered posting that here, Spiritus. You said you came here hoping to make us think. What I think is that some people have way too much time on their hands and would do anything to ruin other people's fun. I don't care that you dislike (maybe even hate) this series- that's your opinion, and I respect that. Perhaps you should respect those of us who are willing to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy a story that someone else put out.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by roseaurora »


That post was hilarious!!!

Thanks for the laugh Spiritus!
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by who_needs_fangs? »

:lol: Feeding a troll! Naughty, naughty, you two!

Oh, and I read that lovely thread we were directed to. First off, not even a sixth grader would cite Wikipedia in an argument, and then compare it to Marriam Webster. Secondly,
Antis wrote:- Rosalie had shallow ambitions as a human, was a damsel in distress, and has a victimized backstory as opposed to say, Jasper, who was kickass.
Yes, because killing the people who wronged her with her bare hands is exactly what a damsel in distress would do.

Please excuse me if this is terribly written, I'm rather tired, and this isn't really worth much trouble. Should have let Sydney chew this guy out when she wanted to.

Spiritus wrote:I’m tempted to go on and on with more problems (such as how Isabella’s mind is unreadable when she’s a muggle, or that the shapeshifters MUST shift regularly to stay healthy), but I feel what I have given is sufficient for now. Please question and discuss, I will check back regularly to see how things go.
Muggle? Last time I checked, nobody was talking about Harry Potter :roll:
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by Kyrie »

who_needs_fangs? wrote: Muggle? Last time I checked, nobody was talking about Harry Potter :roll:
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by debussygirl »

Spiritus wrote: (As a cute piece of irony, it’s funny how such a devout Mormon was inspired to make such a hybrid by an incubus, a demon that rapes women in their sleep, sometimes killing them, sometimes impregnating them with half-breeds that are extremely evil.).
Now you are spatting upon what I hold most dear in my life.
Why, pray tell, can't a Mormon write about evil? Just because we don't uphold rape and killing doesn't mean we can't use it in our writings to show immoral actions.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Post by BeccalovesEdward »

Spiritus, that was just a waste of your time and everyone who had enough patience to read through it.
It's a story, it's fiction, it's magical. If you are going to argue about how her vampires can't exsist so whole-heartedly, well congratulations for pointing out the obvious. No freaking duh they can't exsist. Thus the word fantasy in its genre.
Stephenie has said multiple times in her series that it is magical. She says, through Carlisle, that the way Jacob shapeshifts is magical. She has Bella say multiple times that Edward belongs in a story book and can't possibly be real.
So, Spiritus, how about you let people who enjoy living in a fantasy world and talking about a fantasy book just be in peace instead of trying to start a petty argument. Thanks.
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