Saturday, April 23, 2011

The "face" of evil

While they seemed to be fairly primitive in appearance from the start - was that really a bathroom plunger for their ray gun? - the Daleks from the TV series ''Dr Who" have struck fear in the heart of we mere mortals. Why is it so? Why should some robots who go around saying "exterminate", especially when they are totally incapable of negotiating stairs (wheels for feet, remember?), be cause for such terror? Thankfully someone has taken time to consider this and believes we fear Daleks because they are "evil". Dr Robin Bunce believes they represent what we ourselves might become if we let science and technology triumph over our humanity. They are, he suggests, more evil because we recognise they were once "good". And recognise them we do: a Study by the UK's National Trust in 2008 reported that while only 53% of children could identify an oak leaf, 9 out of 10 could recognise a Dalek - although this should not be taken as proof that people really do know danger when they see it!

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