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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old July 24 2014, 12:28 PM   #61
at Quark's
Lieutenant Commander
 
Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

Although I haven't read through the entire thread, it got me wondering.

We know that there's usually no 'magic' in the trek universe. With that I mean, seemingly magical feats are usually explained by high technology. And even if this isn't the case (the power of Q, the prophets, the Douwd, Vulcan telepathy, etc), it's usually implicitly assumed that there is a scientificl explanation (the trek universe conveys the feeling vulcan telepathy can ultimately be explained by physics and biology, even though we are not given that explanation, the Q simply have a knowledge of nature we don't yet have, etc ).

There's even the famous saying: "any sufficiently technology ...<etc>" that's much used. But is there even one instance of something being portrayed as magic in the Trek universe ? I can't think of one so quickly ..
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Old July 24 2014, 04:21 PM   #62
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

Well, there's that thing established in Where None Have Gone Before and Haven that in the Trek universe, space, time and thought are all part of the same fabric, which is presumably the explanation for telepathy and Wesley's crazy mind powers. The writers kind of ditched that between Haven and Journey's End, but it's also the likely scientific explanation for why 'Evolving' constitutes becoming telekinetic and then transforming into a glowy ball.

All those matter/thought relations are Trek's scientific explanation for most of the 'Magic' we see.
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Old July 26 2014, 07:58 AM   #63
grendelsbayne
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

at Quark's wrote: View Post
Although I haven't read through the entire thread, it got me wondering.

We know that there's usually no 'magic' in the trek universe. With that I mean, seemingly magical feats are usually explained by high technology. And even if this isn't the case (the power of Q, the prophets, the Douwd, Vulcan telepathy, etc), it's usually implicitly assumed that there is a scientificl explanation (the trek universe conveys the feeling vulcan telepathy can ultimately be explained by physics and biology, even though we are not given that explanation, the Q simply have a knowledge of nature we don't yet have, etc ).

There's even the famous saying: "any sufficiently technology ...<etc>" that's much used. But is there even one instance of something being portrayed as magic in the Trek universe ? I can't think of one so quickly ..
It's been a while since I saw it, but the whole 'slowing time' thing in Insurrection didn't really feel very scientific to me at the time.
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Old July 26 2014, 04:36 PM   #64
T'Girl
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

at Quark's wrote: View Post
seemingly magical feats are usually explained by high technology
Perhaps with Trelane you could use that, some others too.

But with someone like Apollo, my impression is that whatever technology was in the temple was a booster for his natural magically abilities, that extra organ in his chest that McCoy couldn't identify might have been the source.

Grey Mitchell already had some magically ESP abilities, they were noted in his service records, the encounter with the barrier boosted those abilities tremendously, but the barrier didn't give Mitchell ESP from scratch.

Spock's ability to mind meld is a natural magical ability.

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Old July 26 2014, 04:38 PM   #65
Nerys Myk
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

T'Girl wrote: View Post
at Quark's wrote: View Post
seemingly magical feats are usually explained by high technology
Perhaps with Trelane you could use that, some others too.

But with someone like Apollo, my impression is that whatever technology was in the temple was a booster for his natural magically abilities, there was that extra organ in his chest that McCoy couldn't identify might have been the source.

Grey Mitchell already had some magically ESP abilities, they were noted in his service records, the encounter with the barrier boosted those abilities tremendously, but the barrier didn't give Mitchell ESP from scratch.

Spock's ability to mind meld is a natural magical ability.

But those make the abilities biological/physical rather than magical.
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Old July 26 2014, 04:56 PM   #66
publiusr
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

Exactly. If Q can't figure something out--and if a far future tricorder that can detect psionics can't spot a phase dorr spell--then it's magic.

The closest example is a DC comic where Scotty actually faced gremlins--Hector o' the clyde...
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Old July 26 2014, 06:37 PM   #67
T'Girl
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
But those make the abilities biological/physical rather than magical.
If someone in the Trek universe has paranormal or supernatural abilities, that would be what I'd call "magic." If they can read minds, move things by the power of their minds, start a fire the same way, this is magic.

In Spock's Brain, Chekov heated a rock to a red glow using a phaser, this is technology.

If Chekov had done the same thing solely through the power of his mind, that would be magic.

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Old July 26 2014, 08:08 PM   #68
Nerys Myk
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
But those make the abilities biological/physical rather than magical.
If someone in the Trek universe has paranormal or supernatural abilities, that would be what I'd call "magic." If they can read minds, move things by the power of their minds, start a fire the same way, this is magic.

In Spock's Brain, Chekov heated a rock to a red glow using a phaser, this is technology.

If Chekov had done the same thing solely through the power of his mind, that would be magic.

Reading minds is physiological for Vulcans. Not magic. It's like saying animals who use echolocation are magic because humans don't use it.
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Old July 26 2014, 08:43 PM   #69
T'Girl
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Reading minds is physiological for Vulcans. Not magic. It's like saying animals who use echolocation are magic because humans don't use it.
Bats accomplish echolocation through making a sound with their mouth and listening to the speed of the return with their ears. Humans can do this to a very limited extent to locate the closest wall in the dark.

If a bat could "map" a chamber solely though mental powers or abilities this would be magic. Because it would be paranormal/supernatural.

Vulcans being able to read someones mind through touch (or being close) is a case of a paranormal ability, magic.

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Old July 26 2014, 08:52 PM   #70
Nerys Myk
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Reading minds is physiological for Vulcans. Not magic. It's like saying animals who use echolocation are magic because humans don't use it.
Bats accomplish echolocation through making a sound with their mouth and listening to the speed of the return with their ears. Humans can do this to a very limited extent to locate the closest wall in the dark.

If a bat could "map" a chamber solely though mental powers or abilities this would be magic. Because it would be paranormal/supernatural.

Vulcans being able to read someones mind through touch (or being close) is a case of a paranormal ability, magic.

Nope. It's portrayed as a innate physiological ability in Vulcans, so not magic. Its the context that makes "not magic". Vulcans are aliens with different abilities than humans. In the world of Star Trek mental powers are real and can be tested and measured through science.
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Old July 27 2014, 11:45 AM   #71
Nightdiamond
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

They added the Katra idea too, which mean Vulcans have spirits. And that the spirits can be directed by chanting.

I think another good term might be pseudo-science - when something has the look and wording of science, but is based on speculation or guesses.

The term "neural energy" looks like a code word for spirit or ghost.

Yet some trek characters seem to think that in the 24th century, the concept is superstition.
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Old July 27 2014, 04:59 PM   #72
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

T'Girl wrote: View Post
at Quark's wrote: View Post
seemingly magical feats are usually explained by high technology
Perhaps with Trelane you could use that, some others too.

But with someone like Apollo, my impression is that whatever technology was in the temple was a booster for his natural magically abilities, that extra organ in his chest that McCoy couldn't identify might have been the source.

Grey Mitchell already had some magically ESP abilities, they were noted in his service records, the encounter with the barrier boosted those abilities tremendously, but the barrier didn't give Mitchell ESP from scratch.

Spock's ability to mind meld is a natural magical ability.

In the Trek universe, space, time, and thought are all made up of the same 'stuff'. That was established by the Traveler in his first appearance and can be used as a fake science explanation for any weird mind abilities.

This reminds me of a Futurama episode where they're talking about souls and the Professor is insisting "It's not souls, it's scientific!" That's basically Star Trek's explanation.
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Old July 27 2014, 11:31 PM   #73
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
In the Trek universe, space, time, and thought are all made up of the same 'stuff'. That was established by the Traveler in his first appearance and can be used as a fake science explanation for any weird mind abilities.
That's true. The Traveler did say that. I was looking for something a little more specific than that, say like "telepathy waves," but if that's all there is, then that's all there is.

I agree with Nerys Myk that the idea, or the conceit if you will, in Star Trek is that telepathy, Vulcan katras, Q's abilities etc. all have scientific explanations in-universe. It's just that Federation scientists hadn't grasped it all yet. So, yeah, in that sense, an application of Clarke's third law.
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Old July 28 2014, 01:24 AM   #74
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

Sorry for the double post, but this popped into my head. From TAS: "One of Our Planets Is Missing" (written by TOS alumnus Marc Daniels) [transcript]:

TAS wrote:
KIRK: His daughter. She's eleven. Spock, is there any way we could establish whether or not it is definitely intelligent? Perhaps a Vulcan mind touch.
SPOCK: It would require physical contact, which is impossible, Captain. But I may be able to reach out with my mind. If we focus our sensors onto the cloud's synaptic electrical impulses, the input could be routed to the ship's computer for analysis into thought.
UHURA: I can link in the universal translator and put it on the audio system from here.
KIRK: Can you do it in time?
SPOCK: It is impossible to calculate, Captain. There are too many unknown factors. I can only try to accomplish the link. No more.
SULU: Twenty six minutes exactly to Mantilles, sir.
KIRK: All right, Spock. Get at it.

Captain's log, stardate 5372.1. The cloud will reach Mantilles in seven minutes. Spock has been working on the mechanics of reaching the cloud's thoughts, but I doubt if there's any time left. And even if we do establish contact, can we communicate with it and persuade it not to kill?

[Bridge]

SCOTT: The procedure is ready, sir.
KIRK: Thank you, Scotty.
SPOCK: Ready, Captain. [OC] Listen to me. Listen to me. You are not alone here, there is someone else. Listen to me.
So, science.
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Old July 28 2014, 01:47 AM   #75
Nightdiamond
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Re: Examples of magic in the Star Trek universe?..

Sometimes it looks like the mind/space/time being all related idea is Trek's way of side stepping science, so they can do 'magic' stories.

Normally, Trek appears to have an atheist/materialistic view of the universe. Anything must eventually have a scientidic explanation for it. TNG said that a lot.



But still, here's something interesting to show that ESP may be possible.

An experiment with dream telepathy was done at a Grateful Dead concert. The Grateful Dead and the audience participated.

These were the instructions given to the audience:

You are about to participate in an ESP experiment.
In a few seconds you will see a picture. Try using your ESP to send this picture to (the receiver).

He will try to dream about the picture. Try to send it to him.

This is one of the pictures the audience was shown and asked to send:


The sixth slide that was shown to the audience that night was M. K. Scralians painting The Seven Spinal Chakras, which shows a man practicing yogic meditation while sitting in the lotus position.

The seven Hindu charkas of the body are vividly colored on his body, and a bright yellow circle of energy surrounds his head.

This is the dream that the receiver reported having: (edited for space)


I was very interested inusing natural energyI was talking to this guy who said hed invented a way of using solar energy and he showed me this box

....to catch the light from the sun which was all we needed to generate and store the energy.He was suspended in mid-air or somethingI was thinking about rocket shipsIm remembering a dream I hadabout an energy box anda spinal column
Maybe all of this possible after all, we just don't know how in the world it works.

Last edited by Nightdiamond; July 28 2014 at 02:24 AM.
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