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Fact, Fiction, or Future: A Look at the More Fantastic Side of Popular Culture

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. -Arthur C. Clarke

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Fact, Fiction, or Future: A Look at the More Fantastic Side of Popular Culture

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. -Arthur C. Clarke

Introduction

Almost everyone has a favorite television show, movie, or book. There are many genres; two of the most famous being science fiction and fantasy. Giants like Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings permeate our cultural imagination. For most, these are modes of entertainment, a way to relax from life and its stresses. It is called fiction after all, meaning not reality, but could it ever be? What happens when the science fiction we view on our television screens loses the second word?

Fact, Fiction, or Future?

Fact, Fiction, or Future is a unique discussion created by Camp Infinity to examine how the science fiction of today is quickly becoming the science of tomorrow. The idea for the talk was proposed by Camp Infinity Founder, Dan Wooster, as a way to challenge kids to think about how they view entertainment and to inspire them. The very first Fact, Fiction, or Future talk took place during Overnight Camp 1 during Ci 4.0. The talk was a wonderful success, with some kids saying it was their favorite part of camp so far. The talk was also given during the second and third overnight camps of Ci 4.0 to equal praise from the kids.

How does it work?

The forty-five minute to an hour talk begins with a brief introduction explaining the concept of the talk and the rules for discussion. For the Ci 4.0 talk, the campers discussed four different questions:

  1. Can we build a star trek communicator?

  2. Can you see lasers in space?

  3. Can we build a real spaceport?

  4. Can we build a real warp drive?

For each topic, the campers were shown a clip from a television show or film that showcased the technology or concept in question. Then, in several small groups, they discussed if they thought the topic fact, fiction, or future.

Fact - The concept can be accomplished now or has been accomplished. Examples would include cell phones, landing a man on the moon, or Facebook; all of which were considered science fiction only a couple decades ago.

Fiction - The concept is impossible according to the laws of physics or the laws of reason. Watching cowboys fire several hundred rounds of ammunition from a six shot revolver without reloading would fall under this category.

Future - There is the possibility that the concept could be done at a later time with better understanding or resources. Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from the Star Wars universe is a classic example.

After the discussion, each group reveals which category they chose and explains why. The host of the talk then showed the answer, sometimes surprising even the counselors. The answer is accompanied by either a video clip or an extended explanation by the host describing why the concept is categorized the way it is. After all discussion on that question is finished, the next question is posed, and the process repeats.

Conclusion

This talk is for anyone who has ever wondered just how fast the Millennium Falcon flies or how a transporter works and so much more. Fact, Fiction, or Future is another way Camp Infinity is challenging and inspiring kids to grow in their knowledge and pushing them to explore their potential.

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Robert Ring

RJ is a blog writer for Camp Infinity and a student at Bob Jones University majoring in engineering. He loves considering the science and technology claims of science fiction stories. He also loves reading. Throughout his life he has been a dreamer, imagining a never ending series of what ifs and maybes. From a young age, God gave him a passion for learning all he could about the world around him.

Featured Authors

Picture of Dan Wooster
Dan Wooster

Dan is the founder of Camp Infinity, a retired computer science professor, cofounder of a software development company, and a member of the board for Answers in Genesis. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife Karen. They have 3 married children and 5 grand children. He loves to inspire young people with a biblical view of the world, especially science & technology.

Picture of Robert Ring
Robert Ring

RJ is a blog writer for Camp Infinity and a student at Bob Jones University majoring in engineering. He loves considering the science and technology claims of science fiction stories. He also loves reading. Throughout his life he has been a dreamer, imagining a never ending series of what ifs and maybes. From a young age, God gave him a passion for learning all he could about the world around him.

Picture of Georgia Purdom
Georgia Purdom

A member of our advisory board, Georgia is a most gifted author, researcher and speaker for Answers in Genesis.

Picture of Jason Goff
Jason Goff

Jason is the social media manager for Camp Infinity. He loves helping us tell the stories of Ci through the digital mediums of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Picture of Emily Barney
Emily Barney

In addition to her strong organizational skills and heart for children's safety and well being, Emily brings to Camp Infinity a valuable perspective as a mother of two boys. She is happily married to a pastor. In addition, she works as the Children's Ministries Director at her local church. Visitors often comment on the high level of safety they experience when leaving their children under the supervision of Emily's team.

Picture of Jeremy Ervin
Jeremy Ervin

Dr. Jeremy Ervin is the Inaugural Dean of the School of Education at Cedarville University. With his experience in providing professional learning for K-12 teachers and his time teaching pedagogy in higher education, he recognizes how the 21st Century classroom needs to center on the engagement of the learner with enduring understandings.

Picture of Avery Foley
Avery Foley

Avery Foley is a blog writer for Camp Infinity. She holds a bachelors of science in biblical studies and a masters of arts in theological studies. She’s originally from Canada but lives with her husband and young son in Kentucky where she works as a writer for a creation apologetics organization.

Picture of Max Lorentz
Max Lorentz

Max Lorentz has loved science (and astronomy in particular) since childhood. He enjoys sharing it with others, especially with young people. He studied mathematics as an undergraduate and is currently completing a Ph.D. in astronomy.

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