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Old September 18 2012, 11:18 PM   #44
The Imperious Leader
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
Re: Prime Directive problem with "Homeward"

sonak wrote: View Post
Vanyel wrote: View Post
I don't think I noticed one very important thing in this discussion regarding Homeward, that by moving the Boraal to another planet they could be dooming the Boraal to disease that they have no means of fighting. They are also introducing what may well be an apex predator onto a planet that would have developed it's own advanced species. Or the Boraal could introduce a disease that would kill on the scale of the Permian Extinction.

You could say that the transporters would filter out any disease, except that it doesn't filter out all micro-organism that can cause disease. For example in our gut are bacterium that are beneficial to humans, in fact needed by humans, but can cause another species, even other humans to become sick. So the transporter would leave those in the Boraal because the Boraal need them. Those micro-organisms could then infect the planet to which they were moved.

Moving them was a stupid thing to do, to quote Jurassic park:
This isn't some species that was obliterated by deforestation, or the building of a dam. Dinosaurs had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction.
The Boraal were selected for extinction.

The choices were moving the Boraal to another planet. Possibly dooming the planet and/or the Boraal.

Leaving them to their doom.

Bring them on the Enterprise, destroying their culture. Why? Because to them only gods can travel to the stars, make water out of nothing, and moving from one place to another without walking there. You can't get around that. Send an Aircraft carrier back to when humans were hunter gatherers over even when we became farmers. Would those primitive humans understand a machine gun? A jet fighter? or a huge ship that travels the waters faster than they can run on land?

Yes, it's cruel; but in this case leaving the Boraal to their fate was the correct choice.

your view of evolution depends on a fallacy, though. Extinction doesn't mean "nature" "selected" a species for extinction. Extinction these days can be caused by Mankind's activities. In the past, it could have been caused by a natural disaster's effect on a habitat. The bottom line is that natural selection is a metaphor for success or failure to adapt to an environment.

Your reading design into the process because it helps your argument, but Human scientific achievements "interfere" with natural processes and so what? Humans have ethics to make those decisions.

As for cultural contamination-cultural change is a part of every culture, and better a changed culture than a dead one.
Yes, due to our level of technology, we can cause our own extinction, the Boraal could not. They were a pre-industrial society. They didn't have any means of developing nuclear arms, or a strain of virus or bacterium that could wipe them out. Natural selection could also mean that a species has no way to adapt quickly enough to it's new environment. The Snowball Earth for example, or the impact of a large comet or meteor. In any even, the Boraal were not able to adapt quickly enough, or like a large impact event they could not adapt. They were not "meant" to survive, their planet was not "meant" to sustain life at that time or maybe ever again.

I believe Carl Sagan said something like, intelligent life could evolve on a planet orbiting a Red Giant star, but it would die (due to the relatively short life span of a Red Giant) before they knew they were in any danger.

The Boraal were saved for selfish reasons. Then put onto a new planet where they did not belong, which would devastate them or the planet. They would be doing what Dr. Carol Marcus wanted to avoid, destroying an established ecosystem.
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