The Fear of God: Annihilation

20 Aug

Left to right: Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in ANNIHILATION, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Alex Garland’s Annihilation.

One Response to “The Fear of God: Annihilation”

  1. FictionIsntReal August 21, 2019 at 5:57 pm #

    Nathan warns us of fear and tells us to live free of it, but we evolved the capacity of fear for a good reason. One of the things toxoplasma gondii does to mice it infects is preventing them from being afraid of the smell of cat urine so that they will be eaten and the parasite and continue its life cycle. Being “transformed” by a parasite, a cancer or a predator consuming us is entirely rational. The film Annihilation depicts the Shimmer as something which we would be entirely reasonable to fear.

    As Greg Cochran likes to say, your genes did not evolve to kill you. Those would be selected against, while genes favoring self preservation would increase to the point of fixation. Among those genes are the ones which give us the aforementioned capacity to fear. Populations with a long history of agriculture tend to have evolved more resistance to alcoholism, while populations without a history of alcohol are highly vulnerable to it. A drug like fentanyl is new, so no population has evolved any resistance to it.

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