Graphic of an exploding head from Scanners

The Science of Cronenberg: Transcript 07

DAVID CRONENBERG: In a way, despite the sci-fi experiments, it’s more realistic in terms of what scientists are doing. I don’t think any scientist wants to admit, or probably doesn’t even really literally think that he’s moving towards creating perfection. Honestly, that’s more like a religious project rather than a scientific project.

PIERS HANDLING: But they’re trying to improve at the very least.

DAVID CRONENBERG: Yes, it does come from my feeling that part of this being thrown into existence is that we can’t—it is so overwhelming that we can’t accept anything as a given. We think. That’s where control comes from. I think its existential fear that induces control, the desire for control. Part of the control is to defeat death. All religions have some version of that. To me that’s delusional and it’s a fantasy. Religion to me is a fantasy. But I understand it because it comes from the inability to face the inevitability of death. So, that’s part of where the desire of control comes from. You don’t find that in animals. They’re controlling something else, their environment perhaps, but they’re not really worrying about death because they really don’t think that it’s going to happen to them. Whereas we know it is, and we feel the desperate need to do something about it. A lot of the desires for improving humans has to do with the body and health and extending life and so on.