Some clever humor and bad science in the movie “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

I found the movie version of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams to be very clever and amusing. But the producers of the movie created a short companion video titled “Making of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (available on YouTube) that contained a bit of bad science in it. It presents the discredited theory of Lamarckism as an explanation for the physical deformities of the Vogons. Briefly stated (and as presented in the video clip below) this is the idea that if you flattened people’s noses by hitting them in the face with a shovel for millions of years, they would then inherit the trait of flattened noses.

Here is the section from the video “Making of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in which the movie’s director, Garth Jennings, presents this bit a bogus science as the back story for how the Vogons came to be as deformed as they were over a span of millions of years. The Vogons are a clever visual caricature, but their evolution is not very good as a concept in science fiction.

The Evolution of the Vogons (TubeChop Video)