Re: "Why is any object we don't understand always called a thing?"
McCoy sure sounds extra cantankerous in that scene. But given the fact that he was in a really bad mood when he beamed aboard, essentially being impressed into service by Kirk and Starfleet, I figure he was just looking for ANYTHING to complain about.
Impressed? I think he was far from impressed if I read that scene correctly.
One day soon, man is going to be able to harness incredible energies, energies that could ultimately hurl us to other worlds in... some sort of spaceship.