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Old May 23 2013, 09:19 PM   #52
Re: Amok Time doesn't make sense.

Yet it seems that the whole problem in "Amok Time" arose from the childhood bonding of Spock and T'Pring: had this not taken place, Spock would not have had anybody to fight over, and perhaps no logic-hindering lust in the first place. Vulcans could thus avoid all the hassle by discontinuing the practice of bonding.

If OTOH pon farr takes place whether there's bonding or not, it still remains unclear why bonding is practiced. It doesn't seem to alleviate Spock's mate-finding problems any: he has already been given a designated mate by telepathic and social means, but his biology is having none of it.

It thus seems to me that much of the ritual is practiced for reasons other than biological or socio-logistical necessity. In the past, the biological or logistical need for bonding young people may have been overwhelming: without the bonding of a boy from village A with a girl from the distant village B, the desert-dwelling hermits would limit themselves to inbreeding and soon die out. It would be an adaptation to the harsh conditions of Vulcan, as opposed to the lusher and less isolation-enforcing original homeworld that Sargon's people transplanted these folks from. With modern transportation, though, the bonding would have become meaningless. Doesn't mean it would have become illogical, though; there would be plenty of logic in maintaining traditions as a cohesive social force, even if the traditions themselves are senseless.

Whether the pon farr aspect of it all comes from the lusher origins or from the later desert adaptation (perhaps evolved by the Vulcans themselves, perhaps installed by Sargon's folks), it's hard to tell. Cyclically limited procreation would be nice for desert folks living in extreme scarcity, but nothing in Trek suggests that pon farr limits procreation. It merely promotes it, by encouraging and even enforcing the forming of couples - but what happens thereafter is neither promoted nor inhibited as far as we know.

ST: Enterprise ('Mirror) said that Vulcan females go through their version as well.
Since bisexuality, apparently a minority trait in the "real" universe just as in the real real one, is extremely prominent in the Mirror universe, we might just as well decide that female pon farr is another perversion that is rarely heard of in the "real" universe.

But we also have ENT "Bounty", where T'Pol from the "real" universe associates her odd symptoms with pon farr, without introducing the idea that females would be unlikely victims.

Timo Saloniemi
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