TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by TheGodBen, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. HolidayRomantic

    HolidayRomantic Phloxist Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    HopefulRomantic is feeding the cats again
    Ben, I don't recall anyone displaying blind reverence for divine forces or mysticism or worshipping the god Darwin and making offerings to his altar in "Dear Doctor." I saw two men struggling with their values and with science, and finally making a choice, even though the choice was impossible. There was no easy answer, no way to tie the ends up neatly with a pretty bow. That was the point. And it worked just fine for me.

    So what if the elk (and their faulty mating instincts) are preserved due to our good-intentioned "intervention," but as a result, some other species dies out because there are so many elk around?

    No one knows the future, and you can't predict mutations and their consequences. And with intelligent species such as the Valakians, you can't know what they are capable of accomplishing with time or research or determination. I'm still not seeing a catch-all solution for this kind of dilemma.

    What about "Assignment: Earth"? Our gallant Enterprise crew went back to 1968 and tried to keep humans from destroying themselves. Or "City on the Edge of Forever"? Hitler destroyed Earth, but our heroes went back to keep the species from wiping itself out.

    In TOS, the Prime Directive seemed to be something that sounded noble and sensible, but which Kirk blew off whenever he thought his POV was wiser than that pesky old PD. TNG was probably much more anal about it because of the way Kirk didn't take it seriously when he didn't want to. "Dear Doctor" was a great character study for me because it looked at a PD situation before there was any PD to toss away when convenient, and Archer had to figure out what to do on his own.
     
  2. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Dammit, you're nitpicking my nitpick!

    But the way it sounded to me was that 'Warbird' was meant as a ship class, and 'Warbird' as a ship class is so tied to the Romulans, and so it bothered me. YMMV.
     
  3. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    If you want it
    Used to be "Bird of Prey" was tied to the Romulans, then came STIII. Oh the streets ran wild with nitpicker's blood that day.
     
  4. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I think the writers felt it didn't matter because both the Klingons and the Romulans have had a "Bird of Prey" so they figured they could both have Warbird classes as well.

    Yes, I know the Klingon BoP was supposed to a be Romulan design, which Klingons stole/traded/co-designed. (In the real world, this story element was cut).

    Besides, couldn't the same be said for the "Warbird" classes?
     
  5. Yug

    Yug Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    That's exacty what you proved young Ben, and that your crap at understanding it. Your brother may overcome the razor sharp fan scenario in a way YOU never thought of... but HE did, so he gets smarter not shorter. He begins to develop physical traits and mental advantages that you short little fucks can't defend against or advance beyond. So your brother and his prodginy will be giving your short little offspring well deserved noogies for the next million years !!

    Darwin had a theory, and a good one, but as any student of Darwinism will tell you, Darwin barely scratched the surface. And a vast array of other factors that we may never see in practice, or even have thought of, will also have influence in the development (or lack there of) of a species... but you said (in Mordo's voice) "that's not how evolution works" refering to the episode, and yet I don't think you or anyone really knows how evolution works in that respect, and that's the point, let the natural course of things decide.... Especially when talking about two sentient and intelligent races living on the same planet. It's a whole new ball game, and it happened on Earth, possibly more than once, and could happen again... (Cat's are practically being born with new thumbs all over the place, what the fuck is that about !?!)
     
  6. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    They're awaiting the rebirth of Basement Cat, who will then lead the feline hoardes of hell in a bloody uprising to take over as the true masters of the world.
     
  7. Solarbaby

    Solarbaby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    solarbaby
    What or whom is Tasty Coma Wife?

    Oh never mind I just got it Temporal Cold War. I just google Tasty Coma Wife and found some actress from starship troopers.

    Is there any reference to using Tasty Coma Wife?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  8. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    I'm not sure, but it seems to be a Scrubs reference: Here.
     
  9. Yug

    Yug Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Cool, and adorable !!
     
  10. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    But the problem I have is that I don't believe the choice was impossible, I believe that the choice they made was based on faulty logic and faulty science and that the "right" choice (based on my understanding of the situation) was for them to give the aliens the cure. Given the arguments presented on screen then Archer and Phlox's decision made sense, but my point is that the arguments presented on screen were faulty.

    Humanity has caused an unknown number of extinctions in our time on this planet and we are continuing to cause them. Just imagine all the lifeforms which could be saved if we were to die out; over thousands of years the endangered species on this planet would have a chance to recover, and over millions of years a new dominant species could emerge. So lets stop treating people for their medical troubles, hospitals are healing people who have developed natural illnesses like cancer and if those people die then the other species on this planet will have a greater chance to flourish.

    Besides, saving the elks would be unlikely to cause the extinction of another species because we would not be altering the environment of this other species, we would be maintaining it. Also, if we saved the elks and thousands of years later that somehow led another species towards likely extinction, then I would advocate some more human intervention to save the other species. It's not an either/or situation, we can try to save both.

    Yes, the Valakians may find a cure in the decades in the decades that follow and their race might be saved, but that doesn't alter the fact that Phlox already had a cure and they chose not to use it. It wasn't a case of might and maybe, it was a case of could and will. Archer had a cure and chose not to use it, so if the Valakians never did find a cure then they're deaths are on Archer's head.

    No, they went back in time to do historical research and found evidence of aliens interfering in human affairs so Kirk and Spock tried to stop them. Personally, I think the aliens were wrong to interfere in our affairs, and it was also a terrible episode planned as a pilot for another series, so I have trouble considering it canonical.

    They went back to fix the timeline because McCoy accidentally changed history, they weren't interfering, they were attempting to prevent interference.

    Admittedly, my crap is indeed poor at understanding evolutionary theory. ;) It just tends to sink and not do much else.

    Whaaaaa? :wtf: Firstly, I never said that my brother would get shorter because evolution does not work on a single generation, it builds upon variation over several generations. Secondly, I never said that my brother would die, I said he was more likely to die.

    What you're advocating here is Lamarckism and evolution does not work that way, traits "learned" over the course of one's life are not passed down to your offspring, only your predetermined genetic traits. For example, I'm pale and scrawny, but I could go to a gym and build up some muscles, and I could suntan until I'm a darker shade. It would be difficult because I'm not that way naturally, but I could become buff and tanned with enough work. However, that would not be passed on to my children because those are "learned" traits, my children would still have the genes which made me pale and scrawny.

    But most importantly: I'm not short! I'm 6 foot. :mad:

    Okay, if that's what you want to do, but that means we're going to destroy hurricane levees, destroy flash-flood canals, we'll stop warning people when tsunamis are about to hit in their area, volcanoes too, and we should stop trying to predict earthquakes. And we'll have to close down the hospitals as I've previously suggested. Lets let the random and unthinking forces of nature decide which of us lives and dies and lets not complain when it is somebody close to us who bites the bullet. After all, they were supposed to die.

    I don't believe in a god or the notion that certain things are "supposed" to happen, I believe that the universe works under the principle of organised randomness; things happen under the laws of physics and biology but there is no plan to it.

    Behold the Tasty Coma Wife. She eventually became JD's girlfriend and then disappeared in the season 2-3 hiatus so that they could have JD lust after Elliot again.

    And for those of you wondering about that Archer/Daniels slash fiction I wrote, it was purely to get the "It's like a baguette" line in there. (The scene starting at 1:40)


    Shadows of P'Jem (*½)

    Shuttle-crashes, main characters captured, ransoms and rescue attempts... all original material which we've never seen on Star Trek before. :rolleyes: I've said it before, episodes which focus on main characters being captured and trying to escape often fall into the trap of being boring unless there's an interesting and unusual twist, such as B'Elanna being split into human and Klingon halves in Faces. Archer getting some boobs in his face does not qualify.

    [​IMG]
    Nipples Ahoy!: 3

    I like that there's an episode which is all about following up on the events of a previous episode, but it has been about four or five months since the events of The Andorian Incident, it's a little late for this sort of direct follow-up. I like that they've brought Shran back, but his reasoning about wanting a good night's sleep is so simplistic it is almost as if a child wrote it. I even like the idea that Vulcan is propping up puppet governments to support them, but I don't like how T'Pol's situation is resolved all because she jumped in front of a bullet. This episode should have been earlier and it should have been much, much more than it is.

    Archer Abuse: 6
     
  11. Yug

    Yug Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Actually, some research reveals it's possible... But regardless, these comments are based on your generalized and simplistic analogy, not mine... I expanded on it to make the point.

    I'm not speaking of "learned" traits, I'm speaking of the further capacity to learn (big brains) not just physically adapt.

    Nope, that's the natural way of things, to develop those abilities to problem solve and preserve our species and better our world... it's called a survival instict, and takes a role in our own evolution. We're even evolved enough to want to protect lesser species for the good of our own planet, but we don't give guns to monkeys... or in this episode, warp drive to underdeveloped societies not ready to utilize such tech or use it in a way that interferes with the natural progress. That's part of the debate in the story.

    Yup, agreed, that's my entire point about your comments... but you criticized the writer's of the episode for supposedly not understanding a concept that you have little grasp of.
    That's my issue here.
     
  12. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    Really? Don't take this the wrong way because I'm not trying to call you out on this, I'm just genuinely interested in this as I know nothing about it and I'd be interested if you could point me in the direction of a source on the issue. :)

    Of course it is simplistic, I'm not a biologist and I'm not a teacher, I just read about science from time to time. And I was half-joking; who lives in an environment where there's razor-sharp fans whirring above their heads?

    I could call you out on that you're not accounting for the lenght of a person's arm, how often that person would normally stick their arm above their head, how often they jump, how high they can jump, what sort of undulation exists on the ground, how fast the fans are, whether all the fans are at the same height, the size of the gaps in between the fans, the material the fans are made of, the protection these fans present from attacks by birds of prey... but that would be nit-picking. :p

    You think I believe that there is only one factor at a time involved in evolution? :lol: I was being vague because I was only trying to explain how evolution can affect one physical attribute of a species, namely height. I didn't go into detail on all those other things because I wasn't trying to explain all those other things, and I think you know that.

    I wouldn't call it the natural way of things, but it is the way things are and it is the way I think things should be. But if you want to live in a world where nature, and not intellectual thought processes, decides who lives and who dies then we have to get rid of all the things which protect us from nature. I don't want to live in that world, you don't want to live in that world, only hippies and idiots want to live in such a world.

    And that's not part of the debate I'm arguing against. Go back and read everything I've said since watching Dear Doctor, not once will you see me advocating giving the Valakians warp technology, and I've said at least once that one of the good aspects of the PD is that it prevents such technological contamination. Archer would have been a damn fool to hand over warp technology to these people. Hell, I even said that the first three acts of the episode is worth five stars, and Archer's decision not to give them warp technology happened in act three.

    All I have advocated is that Archer and Phlox should have given the Valakians the cure they had.

    Okay, you know more about evolution than me, that wouldn't be hard for anyone who works in biology or medicine. So you're saying as an expert that the interpretation of evolution provided in Dear Doctor is correct, and that Phlox was right to argue not to give a cure for this illness because the Menk might one day become the dominant species on the planet? That makes sense to you, not using medicine to provide a cure to an illness which is likely to kill an entire civilisation? Evolution intended that to happen, so we shouldn't use our brains to make it stop?
     
  13. Tallis Rhul

    Tallis Rhul Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Location:
    Rakantha Province
    I'm gonna hold my hands up and say that I think I understand the theory of evolution (I have GCSE Biology, that's it) and every time I try to wrap my head around the debate I keep getting blocked by the fact that Tasty Coma Wife was mentioned... Brings a whole new meaning to survival of the fittest.

    I think Ben's last statement is quite right though, it's not really ethical to say that a cure shouldn't be provided for the Valakians just because the Menk might become the dominant species. To be fair, if they are going to become the dominant species in the long-term then there's not really a huge amount the Valakians can do about it, and there's nothing to say that the illness they had was the only thing that could make that happen is there?

    Maybe it's just my strange view on the world/universe that says witholding (sp?) a cure is doing harm... but isn't "Do no harm" supposed to be a universal principle of medical ethics?

    I thought Shran's reason for helping Archer wasn't bad, but only if taken with a large pinch of cheesy-line film salt. I hope they didn't mean it literally and it was just the Andorian's way of saying "I owe you one." There should have been at least a short flashback of him smacking Archer in the mouth though... maybe as a deleted scene we could put on repeat...
     
  14. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I agree on the cheese factor, but I always put it down to owing someone something was in fact an enormous social faux-par on Andoria and left it at that - Shran is too cool a character for me to criticise anything he says or does. :P

    Unless it's the entirety of his characterisation in These Are The Voyages...but that was hardly the character's fault. ;)
     
  15. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    I would love to know what MikeSussman has to say about this. :lol:
     
  16. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    About "Dear Doctor":
    The species change by adapting to their environment.

    Phlox discovered that the Menk were adapting toward incresing intelligence under Valakian influence.
    The Valakians' disappearance would change the Menk's environment and Phlox couldn't have more than some vague predictions about the Menk evolution in the new circumstances - unless he could see into the future. And then, there are imprevisible variables - an asteroid hitting the planet, a disease - that couldn't be surmounted by the primitive Menk.
    By refusing to give the Valakians the cure, Phlox+Archer prejudiced both the Valakians and the Menk:
    The Valakians were denied a chance of survival;
    The Menk survival/evolutionary future towards higher intelligence has become more uncertain - with the Valakians they were sure to become smarter across generations; without them, they MAY evolve in that way.

    The episode is trying to create a moral dilemma by saying that under the Valakians, the Menk wouldn't evolve at all - this is directly contradicted by the episode itself (which showed the Menk developing at an impressive pace).
    Even if we consider this assumption (and the bad science on which it is based) as true, Phlox+Archer's decision is still morally wrong (disgusting, actually) - they condemned a species to death so that another one has a chance of flourishing.
    This is analog to letting a person die (a person that could be saved with certainty) so that a dr Mengele waana-be can chop her up for spare organs and use these organs in order to try and save another person (an action which may or may not succeed).
     
  17. HolidayRomantic

    HolidayRomantic Phloxist Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    HopefulRomantic is feeding the cats again
    Phlox never said the Menk's increasing intelligence was a result of the Valakians' control over them. In fact, he implied that the Menk's advance was being impeded by the Valakians.

    I think Phlox's intent is to give the Menk the chance to reach their potential -- a chance that is arising because of the situation (the Valakians' genetic illness and decline).
    What I get from this is, the reason it works is because only one species is dominant. If the Valakians are cured, the Menk will not be freed from the Valakians' control because the Valakians will likely see no need for the status quo to change. The Menk would remain the lesser, dependent species, their potential unfulfilled.
     
  18. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    I say cure the Valakians and let them and the Menk sort out who gets the planet. Hey, it worked for the Centauri and the Xon! :techman:

    Oh, wait... :eek:
     
  19. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    I must say I'm quite horrified at the folks in this thread who are attempting to justify and/or defend the ethics of "Dear Doctor". You do know that you're essentially arguing for Social Darwinism, right?

    I think Yug may be referring to epigenetics, which does indeed give a (limited) ability for acquired traits to be passed on to several generations of descendants.

    IIRC, there were breeding experiments done with plants a few years back where a certian type of thorny bush was exposed to a pest which caused said plant to react by growing larger thorns in defense. Descendants bred from that plant expressed the same oversized thorns as the parent, even in the absence of any environmental factors that could have triggered it. The effect eventually went away after several generations.
     
  20. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    As I said, bad science: evolution is not encoded in the genome of a species. It is an adaptation to the environment. If the Menk show signs of increasing intelligence, etc, it's because they live in a specific environment (aka with the valakians) and are adapting to it.