I had an epiphany while was watching the movie Jaws recently: it occurred to me that the movie is an allegory for some of the science vs ideology political battling we have going on, especially if one looks at the "debate" surrounding anthropogenic global warming. It sounds weird, I know. But the really strange part is that the parable of the shark predated the AGW debate by about three decades, and that alone should be able to convince one of its divine truth.
Larry Vaughn is, quite simply, a denialist. As the Mayor of Amity Island, he's responsible for its well-being, and to him, this means primarily the economic well-being. As long as the people on the island are making money from the tourists, his job is secure. A shark attack is bad for business, so it simply cannot be allowed to be true. So the first death becomes a boating accident; all it takes is a small change in the coroner's report. Hey, we’ll just change the wording of this study’s conclusions
The story of the first attack has gotten out, so when the locals catch a shark, it is assumed that it’s the shark. When he’s presented with the opportunity to obtain actual evidence by cutting open the shark, he declines. But at least now it’s acknowledged there is (or was) a shark. Well, there is warming. But it’s natural! No reason to spend money on it.
When Hooper gets a shark tooth from Ben Gardner’s boat, it’s not enough that he has seen this — he can’t actually show the mayor the tooth, so at that point, the evidence doesn’t exist as far as Vaughn is concerned. He gets people to go in the water and downplays the shark attack with a reporter. Warming stopped in 1998!
*Bruce was the name given to all of the mechanical sharks from the movie. I am not sure if any of them taught Hegelian philosophy.