The following quote is from the Jurassic Park book, spoken by the character Ian Malcolm:

Most kinds of power require a substantial sacrifice by whoever wants the power. There is an apprenticeship, a discipline lasting many years. Whatever kind of power you want. President of the company. Black belt in karate. Spiritual guru. Whatever it is you seek, you have to put in the time, the practice, the effort. You must give up a lot to get it. It has to be very important to you. And once you have attained it, it’s your power. It can't be given away: it resides in you. It is literally the result of your discipline.

Now what is interesting about this process is that, by the time someone has acquired the ability to kill with his bare hands, he has also matured to the point where he won't use it unwisely. So that kind of power has a built-in control. The discipline of getting the power changes you so that that you won't abuse it.

(full context of the quote can be read here)

To my best recollection, I don't remember ever reading the book. I did, however, see the three movies. And for whatever reason, the part of the movie that quotes the text above (albeit, probably paraphrased for brevity) has always stuck in my memory.

Unfortunately, when I wanted to look up the specific way it was said in the movie, I could only find the quote above from the actual book, and nothing that resembles it from the movie. I even searched online and found (what I thought was) the full script for each of the three movies: JP1 JP2 JP3

Again, I don't remember ever having read the book, I've only seen the movie, and for whatever reason I knew of the passage above. To that end, I figured I'd ask for help from this community.

Does the quote above from the book appear anywhere in any of the Jurassic Park movies? Even paraphrased or summarized or explained differently. And if so, please provide some details as to me where and when. If you provide a link to a youtube video, you get extra credit, and my eternal gratitude.

Edit: For what its worth, I seem to remember specifically mention of Black Belts or Killing someone with their bare hands as a part of the movie. And vaguely I seem to remember it as coming from the 2nd movie (The Lost World). Added this to maybe help provide some clues.


1 Answer 1


The exact diologue is to my knowledge nowhere to be found in any of the movies. But I think in a quite changed form it is still there in the book's adaptation. In the scene in Jurassic Park where they all are dining after their first welcome to the facility and after visiting the labs, Dr. Ian Malcolm says something pretty much to the same effect:

Malcolm: Don't you see the danger, John, inherent in what you're doing here. Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet's ever seen but you wield it like a kid that's found his dad's gun...I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here: it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You know, you read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of genuises to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had, you petented it, packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox and now you're selling it!

Hammond: I don't think you give us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody has ever done before.

Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't start to think if they should.

Seeing that the essence of the original dialogue is about the responsibility and knowledge of the moral implications that come with acquiring power over time in contrast to just finding it out of nowhere, this still seems reflected well in Malcolm's dialogue in this scene. So while the particular quote in the book seems to occur at a different time and while I haven't read it myself, I think his words in this scene are very well the adaptation of this quote, or at least the nearest you get to its actual message.

  • Brilliant, thanks for your answer! (and edit of my question). I'm going to postpone on marking your response as the answer just yet, because I specifically remembered something about Karate or a Black Belt and Killing someone with their bare hands, and I vaguely remember it being from Jurassic Park 2. So, I'm going to leave this question open a few days longer in case someone remembers a similar dialogue in one of the other movies. But again, thanks for your answer!
    – Eddie
    Nov 8, 2014 at 15:33
  • @Eddie Thanks and no problem, maybe I'll look into the other parts, too (haven't seen the first two for quite some time anyway). But I don't recall such dialogue from any part (though, I only watched dubbed versions, but they don't make too major changes when dubbing).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Nov 8, 2014 at 15:35
  • I'm waiting on Netflix to send me the 2nd movie, so I might come across it again while watching it. Its funny, I didn't particularly enjoy the movie, but for whatever reason that quote/part has always stuck with me over the years.
    – Eddie
    Nov 8, 2014 at 15:36
  • This is actually a paraphrasing of another quote from earlier in the same chapter in the first book: "Scientists are actually preoccupied with accomplishment. So they are focused on whether they can do something. They never stop to ask if they should do something.
    – Ava
    Jul 1, 2018 at 10:19

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