3-Body Problem not scientific and disappointing

I stopped watching the 3-Body problem in Episode 2. I have heard of this world wide popular Chinese Sci-Fi and wanted to see it.

However, the basis of the movie involved a lack of understanding of what science is, and based on the public’s misinformed understanding of what science is.

So let me list the issues with the 2nd episode discussion.

  1. Science never claims to have discovered any type of absolute reality. It merely hypothesizes a model to explain observation. Tomorrow something might be observed and the entire edifice of science needs to be redone. The Morley-Michelson experiments with the speed of light brought down Newtonian mechanics and led to General relativity.

  2. When experiments don’t repeat, it usually means there are one or more factors that aren’t being controlled.

  3. When experimental results don’t fit the scientific model, scientists are usually really, really happy. There is something new to be discovered. What depresses scientists is that the existing models will explain everything and there is nothing new to be discovered.

  4. There are phenomenon which aren’t predictable. Turbulent fluid flow will have different patterns when repeated even when the initial conditions are the same. The high energy experiment in the movie would just suggest that at the energy/space-time range of the experiment there is some type of turbulence in the substructure of space. Actually, in trying to unify gravity with guantum mechanics, one of the thoughts is that at very small time-scale space-time is a turbulent foam.

  5. There are scientific things we don’t understand. A humorous slogan in quantum mechanics is, “Shutup and calculate…” What it means is that equations for quantum mechanics always, I mean always works. However, scientists have been discussing now for about a century what the is the reality underlying quantum mechanics. They don’t have a clue. There are some basic questions. The physicists aren’t depressed.

Astronomical observation shows that the majority of the matter of the universe is dark matter. No one has any idea of what that is. Scientists aren’t depressed about it.

  1. The clockwork universe in the movie in terms of predictability went out with Newtonian mechanics in the early 20th century with the rise of both Relativity by Einstein and quantum mechanics by the Danish and German scientists.

  2. Scientists already suspect that space and time isn’t the real reality. There are various theories about this. There are groups working on this. The Feynmen graphs have suggested that space and time aren’t so real. It is just how our mind makes sense of reality.

I might watch the rest, but I am taking a break at the moment.


Thanks for the heads up!

1 Like


It’s SciFi. Not reality.

More of a social study about humans who sell out the world because of flawed thinking and the rest of us who want to live here without being ‘eaten/harvested/pillaged/overrun/colonized/etc.’ by aliens.

How can we ‘turkeys’ fight off the murderous intentions of the farmer?


You are correct regarding the theme of the book and movie. Also, given that China was a victim of imperial powers this would have resonance with a Chinese audience and many other audiences around the world.

H.G. Wells “War of the Worlds” and “Men in the Moon” both were anti-imperialist. “War of the Worlds” was to show the treatment of the Earth as Britain treated the colonized peoples.

The author decided to anchor the plot line with an indepth commentary of physics which I don’t know if the author took seriously or not.

When I saw the movie “pi” (3.1459…) I recognized that it was based on a Platonic idea of mathematics rather than a formalist idea of mathematics. I was able to overlook it. The public overwhelmingly has a Platonic idea of math. “Platonic” isn’t called that because Plato advanced it, but because it is a good descriptor of the popular understanding of math.

The other aspect of the colonial experience on earth is that some groups are willing collaborators with the imperialists for individual or group advantage. The solidarity of the world’s militaries is interesting. The reality would be they would be all plotting to curry favor.

If we actually had an alien menance, likely the budges for archeology and geography and geology would suddenly increase manytimes over, since we would be looking for earlier visits and stuff left behind. Oceanographic research would increase to monitor the ocean floor and there would be probes all over the solar system.and out to the edgeof the heliosphere and maybe beyond.

1 Like


Let me start of by saying that I have only watched the first episode of the series, but I am currently reading the book that the series is based on (basically The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin).

The books are indeed extremely popular worldwide especially in the science fiction community. Pretty sure they were actually not banned in China even though they highly criticize the Cultural Revolution (but then again the CR is a theme that the Chinese also have mixed feelings for). The series also became extremely popular for multiple reasons. One of them is that there are quite a few fans the original novel and another is the fact that there are barely any movies/series that fall under the category of science fiction when it comes to C-entertainment industry, so it is something unique and with a high production quality.

I understand your thoughts and where you are coming from and I can’t really argue since they are accurate, but I would like to tell you about my perspective and how I personally experienced what I have read so far.

First of all, the book and the series are science fiction and I think it is important to think of them as such. The majority of the main concepts are based on science but from then on the author takes quite a few liberties and goes to all kinds of directions. Now, if you are a hard core science fan and you are looking for science fiction that is as accurate to science as possible, then you may not enjoy the book nor the series. However, if you also would like to venture into some interesting and fun ideas then you may like the book.

Now the book, is pretty descriptive when it comes to the ‘‘scientific point’’, but it takes quite a while to basically fully lay out a specific idea and some things are just really not as they seem at first glance or at first understanding.

For me what the book does is basically describe a type of science that just cannot be fully comprehended by the amount of intelligence and knowledge that humanity currently has. Or to be more precise a type of science that is hard to comprehend concept wise and even harder to prove. However, it doesn’t really feel like ‘‘let me write some stupid scientific stuff and make it look real’’. I would say it kind of makes you think ‘‘what if’’.

From a scientific kind of point that ‘‘what if’’ may sounds ridiculous or just incomprehensible for the amount of knowledge we currently have, however taking into consideration what you said ‘‘Science never claims to have discovered any type of absolute reality’’ I think the book presents some very interesting scenarios.

Besides the purely ‘‘scientific aspect’’ though, the book basically explores the blurry line between science and religion (or more precisely religious practices). Like I said I haven’t personally watched more than one (or two, I don’t remember) episodes, but I have heard many people saying that the series doesn’t manage to fully make the scientific parts of the book understandable or just fully fleshed out like it is in the novel (plus not that great CGI and lack of the disturbing and ‘‘fear of the unknown’’ atmosphere that the book has).

I don’t know many things about science, but if you are interested, I would definitely recommend you to give the book a read.

I personally feel like it describes some very interesting concepts and you will perhaps appreciate the book a bit more if you are into science, since there are definitely some parts that need a bit of a higher level of understanding, at least from my pov. Now those parts may not be scientifically accurate (more like based on some scientific concepts) and fall more on ‘‘impossibility’’ aspect, but they are definitely interesting as ideas and concepts and I would dare say mind opening.


Thanks for your inputs. I will not be reading the book. I watch these series while working on projects.

I think the author’s intent is to show that humanity isn’t always going to find reality comprehensible in a scientific way. I was somewhat surprised on how it was done. On the other hand for the general public, perhaps this is the way you get your message across.

1 Like

Incidently, there has been some popular ideas about what the high energy colliders might do, and also in this series I see the Hadron Collider is invoked as a point of discovery of inconsistency.

The reality is that cosmic rays impinge on the earth. Out is some of the remote deserts there is instrumentation to observe them crashing into the atmosphere. They hit a nuclei and cause a shower of particles. They can be detect with scintillators on the ground and the light flashes they create in the air, but you can’t see them with the human eye. Then there is what scientists have taken to call “Oh My God” particles. Some really high energy neutrionos. The fact is, at energies of millions and billions and trillions times higher than the hadron collider no unexpected physics has been observed. Though their collisions can’t be observed like in a collider.

The other aspect are supernovals, type 1A. They are consistent back to the near beginning of time. They involve very high energy dynamics. They are a marvel for consistency. That is why they are used to calculate the distance of galaxies and then the calculation of the red shift to measure the universe itself.

So high energy physics isn’t having inconsistent results and tends to show that no inconsistent results will be forthcoming.

1 Like

This article is about the crisis in high energy physics since they aren’t finding the supersymmetric particles. Essentially, we don’t understand why we, and every object in the universe isn’t becoming a black hole. The article is a little old. String theory is currently falling out of favor.

However, even though there is a serious hole in quantum mechanics, not one scientist has committed suicide.

1 Like

I do hope to be in the right discussion stream.

Hi all, does anyone nows the maker of the film music ? I like it very much,
only can mention some short sentences like “Endless drifting” or “Countdown clock”…
So who is playing this music, which group or artist ?
An enthusiastic reader of the books of Cixin Liu in german language.
Best regards,
Georg S.

1 Like