Debate #2: Lord Edam

March 8, 2002 (Edam's second post, part 2/3):

Star Trek Shields: Plasma Weakness

While the first half of your shield page was devoted to just one (easily falsified) argument, the second half contains no argument at all. You aren't a creationist, are you?

Not that it has anything at all to do with the debate, yes I am a creationist.

Because your debating methods mirror theirs. Nitpick, nitpick, nitpick at the supporting evidence for an idea, but don't even try to provide an alternative.

Take away the supporting evidence and the idea is nothing more than fantasy. An idea with no support is as valid as no idea at all.

My page (which you quote) states that "there remains a possibility that the high temperature gases and charged particles are extremely deleterious to shields." That's a pretty mild statement. I list a series of cases in which high temperature gases or charged particles weakened or disabled shields, and I conclude that there is a possibility of a vulnerability here. Frankly, I don't see how I could have been more generous!

And yet each of your cases in support of this "possibility" were either misrepresented or blissfully ignorant of mitigating circumstance, and you ignored several cases that were almost identical to the ones you use as proof, but directly contradict your conclusions.

Naturally, you nitpick the examples, using the time-honoured trick of trying to find something unusual about each example and then assuming that this completely nullifies it. But what alternative explanation do you provide for these incidents? None, and it's not surprising, because the only way to be more generous to Star Trek is to categorically deny the possibility of a vulnerability, and you don't want to admit that your position is quite that extreme. Just to be generous (since you obviously need a leg up on this debate), let's go with your strawman exaggeration and assume that my language was completely unambiguous, even though it was not. The comparison between your strawman exaggeration of my position and your competing position would become:
  1. Me: Shields have some kind of special vulnerability to high-velocity or ionic gas particles.
  2. You: Shields do not have any such vulnerability. The ships can handle megatons of EM radiation, megatons of plasma, megatons of high-velocity particles, etc.

You spend all your time writing off my arguments as strawmen, then go and do the same.

You say: ST shields may have a weakness to charged particles, and here's examples of it
I say: clear mitigating circumstances and misrepresentation. You have no evidence for your opinion. It is just fantasy.

And now, by way of review: the correct way to dethrone a theory is to propose a superior theory, and then show that it is superior by showing that it fits the facts more accurately than the current theory.

You can dethrone the current theory by showing there is no evidence to support it and there is no real reason for it. What's a theory with no reason and no evidence?

In Survivors an antiproton beam fired by a superbeing easily disabled the Enterprises's shields. The energy of this beam was far lower than other shield limits would indicate (for example, a photon torpedo will generate many charged particle with an energy in the low megatonne range - yet shields can withstand these with little problem).

"Low megatonne range?" Where'd you get that figure from? The TM?

At the time, yes. It was all prior to the decision to do away with the TM. There is some support for it. The Pegasus normally results in torpedoes ranging anywhere from a few kT up to GT range. The Die is Cast (both original strategy and demonstrated abilities with the dustclouds & shockwaves), shockwaves in For The Uniform, destroying a large asteroid in Rise (Voyager) - average firepower is normally round about a few MT or higher.

IIRC, nobody's talked about "megatons" on Star Trek since Kirk destroyed an entire ship to produce the <100 megaton blast that destroyed the Doomsday Machine (which was impervious to their phasers and photon torpedoes). Besides, I thought you said the TM was not admissible for this debate! That means you're stuck with "isotons",

And the demonstrated effects of the torpedoes, or can't we take what we see them do and use it to characterise them?

and you're not going to get anywhere that way, because the prefix "iso" in scientific and engineering terminology (not to mention the English language in general) means "equal", or "one".

Exactly, it means "equal", "one"(as in one of, not the value of one), "uniform", "of the same numeric value" (not the 1e0 you happily claimed to be part of the SI prefix in one of your previous debates).

isobar - the same pressure, not a pressure of one bar
isotherm - the same temperature, not a temperature of one therm
isolinear - the same line, not a line of one
isochrone - the same time, not a time of one
isocellular - consisting of equal cells, not consisting of one cell
isoelectric - the same electric potential, not an electric potential of one
I could go on, but I think you get the point,

isoton - the same tonnage. What's the reference? same as what? We don't know. We aren't Star Trek.

It's surprising the number of peope who blinbdly repeat "iso = equal. Isoton = equal to one ton", but never stop to think. Practically any weather forecast shows this logic is completely false (unless those isobaric lines aren't really at different pressures - the "high" and "low" pressures on the weather charts are really nothing more than an evil conspiracy)

In fact, stellar plasma, atmospheric entry incidents, and other situations have shown quite clearly that in many situations, the Enterprise can not handle megaton-level energy, and that the numbers seem to fall into the kiloton range (at best) instead.

Ignoring the other examples of higher torpedo firepower listed above, even if you are right, and the shields can only handly a couple of kT, that would mean torpedoes have an actual yield of a kT or more (4e12J+). According to your own Trek torpedo page, matter/antimatter annihilation releases roughly 70% of its energy in the form of charged pions. This means the majority of the energy from a torpedo attack is charged particles - and a single torpedo has greater energy (and power, given typical explosion timescales measured in milliseconds) in its charged particle products than dropped the shields of the E-d in survivors. How can this be? It could be a charged particle weakness (doubtful - I've only considered the charged particles from the torpedo, and it's still contradicted), or it could be the known superbeing trying his best to get rid of the E-d

We know from "Who Watches the Watchers" that you can run a small phaser bank off a 4.2GW reactor

How small? A shuttle has a small phaser bank, but isn't much of a threat to the E-d.

, and we know from "Night Terrors" that the yield of the E-D's entire weapons complement is inferior to the yield of a large chemical explosion. The latter example is particularly compelling because they demonstrated this to be true by igniting hydrogen with another reactant and exceeding the output of their biggest weapon (the anti-Borg deflector-dish trick) rather than just talking about it.

Their biggest weapon that was being gradually drained by the rift, directed into the rift vs. a great big uncontrolled explosion. Obviously the explosion has different effects on the rare energy absorbing rift than directed energy does. Like firing a jet of gas through a hole in a pipe, vs just setting off the gas in an uncontrolled manner. Does this mean chemical explosions outside the effects of the rift have the same properties? We can't answer that until we have either more evidence or proper understanding of the rift.

Ah, the "escape clause" mentality rears its ugly head. The 400GW blast came from a "superbeing", so this means all bets are off and the whole incident is exempt from rational analysis?

When it clearly contradicts other examples of similar attacks (ie, the ability of the shields to absorb charged particles) we should look at mitigating circumstance - in this case, the very clear mitigating circumstance is that it is all an illusion created by a superbeing. You know it isn't real, so why should you treat is as such?

Are you trying to be as unscientific as humanly possible? Science is a method and a philosophy, Edam.

Yes, designed to explain things we want to understand by using what we know about the situation. Here we have a situation that is clearly contradicting other situations. We know they are both right, so we look for differences to explain the apparent discrepancy. We've got one very big, very bovious difference - Survivors is all an illusion created by a superbeing. How does that affect our conclusions? We certainly can't ignore it (any more than you can ignore air resistance in ballistics).

You can't fake it by pulling fancy terms out of reference books or quoting exotic equations. Anybody can go to a library (or sign up for a physics.org E-mail address),

LOL! you can try signing up for a physics.org e-mail address if you like. Doubt most people would get much luck, though. Last time I checked only people who fulfilled the academic requirements for Chartered Physicist status and were willing to join the IoPgot one. Why not ask the people in charge

but the real litmus test is your approach, and so far, that approach does not appear to be scientific. Why do you assume that the presence of a very powerful being automatically leads to "cannot analyze; all instruments are useless"?

I don't. I assume the presence of a superbeing creating illusions to drive the E-d away coupled with apparent contradiction with other examples leads to "don't trust the fantasy". There's only two unknowns here - the superbeing generating the fantasy, and the jacketing around the beam. One of these creates an apparent contradiction with other examples. Which one it is is clear. It's a fantasy.

A scientific approach to a creature with unknown power is to study that creature, not run away screaming that rational analysis is useless!

A scientific approach to simialr situations with contradictory results is to see what's changed. We know what changed - it turned into a fantasy created by a superbeing.

Your attempt to bolster this non sequitur with examples is weak at best; in "Where None Have Gone Before" (with the Traveler), their warp engine output read low because it was low; the Traveler was doing all the work! Their instruments were working fine; they were still able to determine where they were, how far they'd travelled, how fast they were going (Data said it was "off the scale"), etc. (except when he took them to that bizarre fantasy-land of his, which was obviously not in normal space). Similarly, in "Q Who", their instruments worked fine; they could tell where they were, how far they'd travelled, etc. The presence of a "superbeing" does not necessarily invalidate all instrumentation.

But it DOES invalidate the effects of their systems - the warp drive wasn't working as hard as it should for the Traveller episodes, because the superbeing was doing the work. The Inertial dampeners worked better in Q-Who because Q was doing all the work. The shields worked badly in Survivors because Kevin Uxbridge made them fail.

Don't you understand how sensor systems work in general? If they scanned what looked like a 400 GW antiproton beam to all their systems, this means that its interaction with their own systems was identical to that of a real 400 GW antiproton beam. Sensor technology works by examining the interaction of a phenomenon with its environment. A piece of metal affects magnetic fields, a physical object reflects radar, a warm object emits infrared radiation, etc.

And when it's all a fantasy it looks like what it is, but acts completely differently. It's either the known fantasy causing the contradiction, or the jacketing around the beam. Which is most likely? Their instruments told them there was a house on the recently devestated planet - but it wasn't really there, was it? Because it was a fantasy.

How do you think their instruments work? Magic? Electronic intuition? We may not know what the blast "truly" was, but if their systems monitored a 400 GW blast hitting their shields, this means that it must have acted just like a real 400 GW blast.

If their systems monitored a house and garden on the planet this means it must have acted like a real house and garden. If their systems monitored two humans living in that house and garden this means they must have been real humans. But it wasn't real. None of it was. It was all the fantasy

Your attempt to ignore this incident

not ignore - explain the apparent contradiction by considering ALL the variables.

is like some kind of Peter Pan-ish attempt to run away from grown-up rules. You see a "superbeing" and say "Aha! I've got an excuse! Home safe! Home safe!" That's not how it works, Edam. As I predicted, you look for excuses to throw incidents out the window rather than asking what follows logically from those incidents.

Whilst you ignore the full context of the situation and easily explainable contradictions, and declare this the real answer. How does your theory deal with the fact that a couple hundred GJ of charged particles drop the shields in one episode, but the shields withstand similar energies from charged particles in another?

In ST2 Savick explained the electrostatic discharges in the Mutara nebula would cause problems for their shields and sensors, and very soon after we saw they did. In "Best of Both Worlds", the Enterprise hid in the Paulson Nebula, in "Imaginary Friends" the Enterprise enters a nebula and Geordie specifically states "nothing the shields can't handle". In "One" the Mutara class nebula had no effect on their shields. These are just three of many examples where ships have entered nebulae and NOT been affected by their charged gasses.

So what?

So what use is this in VS debates (and specifically, Trek-Wars where no one seems to have lightening guns)? The electrostatic dicharges (lightening) caused the problems - where's the lightening in most chargd particle weaponry?

The point is that Trek shields have collapsed due to contact with charged particle gases in the past (ST2 is not the only example; the same thing happened to the Cardies in "Chain of Command Part 2"), and since you have taken the ill-advised position that such gases have no effect whatsoever, you have no explanation. I can explain your examples easily; some nebulae are denser and/or more active than others. How do you explain my examples?

Some nebulae are generating energies that do threaten the shields. no need for charged particle weaknesses - just accept that shields handle whatever, and anything that drops the shields is above that level. Can you please provide more information for Chain of Command Part 2 - I remember unshielded cardassian ships hiding in a nebula, but Idon't remember anything about the shields collapsing because of the charged particles there. I do remember them shielding the engine nacelles and transporter systems, but of course this is probably not the deflector shields we are discussing.

You're so busy looking for escape clauses that you don't stop to ask whether your theory fits the facts better than mine does. If charged particles have no specal effect on Star Trek shields, then what happened in ST2 and "Chain of Command Part 2"? Do you think that "electrostatic discharges" are somehow different than "charged particles"? What do you think electrical discharges are made of, if not charged particles?

Charged particles and a lot of energy in the case of ST2, which caused shield failure? In Chain of Command I don't even remember them mentioning shields failing.

[ST:G] In this example the ship in question was a very old damaged BoP. The fact that a low-level pulse was used specifically to force the ship to cloak might indicate that Star Trek shields can operate on a threshold basis - the ionic pulse in question was certainly not enough to threaten the BoP as it caused no damage beyond forcing them to cloak. If anything, this is a better example of a weakness of old Birds of Prey than shields.

Again, you use the "escape clause" mentality. So what if the BOP was 20 years old? Does that automatically mean its shields work on a completely different principle than other Trek shields? I remind you that this BOP, whose shields you seem eager to denigrate, easily withstood several shots from the E-D's main weaponry, yet those same shields were easily pierced by this ionic beam. What's your explanation?

a technological weakness of the cloaking system. Hit it just right (luckily Worf knew the "just right" that was needed) and, even though the shot is not enough to overcome the shields, the cloak engages and (as a result) the shields drop.

You mumble that it caused no obvious structural damage, but neither did the radiation in "Booby Trap", which would have eventually killed the crew!

Booby Trap, where they had an uncorrectable continuously increasing energy drain. Infact, (baring major changes between the script and episode, of course), the problem was not radiation leaking through the shields - it was the shields failing within three hours from the energy drain, which would result in the radiation killing everyone onboard.

GEORDI: With the engines idling, the energy loss has been limited. But our reserves will be depleted in less than three hours. We won't be able to hold our shields in place.
BEVERLY: If we lose shields, the radiation will kill everyone on board, Captain.

and

PICARD (to Beverly): After the shields fall, how long for a fatal exposure?
BEVERLY: Thirty minutes. After that, there's nothing that can be done.
Again, you're so busy looking for escape clauses that you never stop to ask whether your theory fits this evidence better than mine does. If shields do not have any special vulnerability to charged particles, then how do you explain this incident? Was the shield set up to deliberately allow the ions through because they didn't know they were harmful?

the shields on the old BoP have a specific vulnerability to a specific low level ionic pulse that Worf knew about - not a general weakness to all charged particles. Consider all the evidence, not just the bit you want to use to support your theory

That's nonsensical; ions interact strongly with matter, and they would be dangerous to living tissue with or without this design flaw. Moreover, this was a known design flaw, and if they had a way of blocking it, they would have. Instead, the Klingon Empire had to take them out of service because they had no other way of dealing with it!

And replaced them with basically the same vessels minus the design flaw. They dealt with it.

Here, again, Mike is misrepresenting the episode. Initially the probe is emitting a nucleonic beam which probes the shields, then it emits an "unusual particle beam" which penetrates the shields.

Ooooohhh, big difference.

Yes. One is charged, the other, well, we just don't know. If it isn't charged it does not support your case, unless you want to extend that to "a weakness to all particles everywhere", but then we're back to just the normal shields with no particularly notable weakness

It's still a low-powered particle beam that punches right through their shields. It was unusual because it seized control of Picard's brain, not because it punched through their shields. Getting through their shields was the easy part.

you say. I say part of the reason it was unusual was because it got through the shields so easily. who's right?

You will also notice Mike assumes that, because the society has not demonstrated space travel beyond the probe the Enterprise encountered, all their technology must be primitive. This assumes that the influences that drive technological development are the same for all races, when they obviously are not. This race chose to concentrate on prolonging their living memory rather than transporting the people off the planet.

Strawman.

why else would you refer to "a a society so primitive they had not yet developed space travel"? Below you agree they were NOT primitive in the areas that mattered, so pointing out how primitive they are in terms of space travel makes no difference, does it? what's it called when you mention irrelevancies?

Their aerospace/military technology was obviously primitive, while their mind control technology was obviously not. Nowhere did I claim that all of their technology was primitive; that is your inference, designed to distract viewers from the fact that a low-powered particle beam from a society with no aerospace/military program to speak of managed to punch right through their shields ... again.

the society were obviously very advanced in terms of low-level particle beams. Why is their aerospace/military technology of any relevance? We are discussing particle beams (specifically, the weakness of Trek shields to charged particle beams), not warships

Yet more evidence for my argument that shields have some special vulnerability to high-velocity or charged gas particles.

Ah, so now it's no longer "a weakness to charged particles", now it's "a weakness to high velocity particles, or charged particles" - what next? "well, any matter really. and energy, probably, as well, in several forms"?

Yet another case where you don't even try to explain how this incident fits better with your theory, because you can't.

my theory is that your examples are not applicable to the claimed "long history of charged particles being extremely dangerous to shields.". this one seems to fit with my theory quite well

[Your attempt to provide contradictory examples] Voyager's Fair Haven also showed shields were susceptible to the effects of nucleonic particles - but those were high-energy chargeless neutrons. In Voyager's Unforgettable Harry Kim was able to counteract an very focused proton-based particle beam that was designed to "penetrate any shield, even if the modulations are changed"

Assuming you're describing these incidents accurately,

We could spend all day pointing out how we are "assuming the other bloke is telling the truth" - it gets us nowhere. If you have reason to belive I am misrepresenting anything bring up the reasons. I do you the same honour. Infact, that's what this part is all about.

they actually weaken your theory, not mine! "Fair Haven" shows that the Trek shield vulnerability may be to neutron radiation as well as plasma, thus making the vulnerability even worse than I suggested

Yes, it couldn't possibly be that the weakness doesn't exist. It couldn't possibly be that the weakness is to shield attacks above a certain energy threshold. just keep adding every problem I point out to the "yet another weakness" pile. We'll get everything in there soon

(not to mention handing a nice big fat bonus to the B5ers; I'm sure they'll contact you soon to thank you for proving that a Minbari neutron cannon can punch through Federation shields).

the funny thing about the 5ers I know is, they are quite happy to base their claims on demonstrated abilities rather than unproveable weaknesses. Maybe I forgot to mention - I used to debate pro-B5. Still do on occasion.

"Unforgettable" reinforces my argument again; the incident you describe indicates that someone actually designed a special proton beam to take advantage of this weakness (which is nonexistent according to you).

How would an alien species on the other side of the galaxy know about the weaknesses of Alpha quadrant technology? Explain that and you might have a point.

In Starship Down the Defiant entered a gas giant's atmosphere, but their shields did not fail because of the charged particles in the atmosphere. In fact, the charged particles were never stated to be a problem. The major worry was the 10,000km/h plus wind speeds. When the shields of the Defiant did eventually fail it was due to attacks from the two Jem Hadar ships that followed them in. These images clearly demonstrate the shields were still up some time after the ship had entered the atmosphere.

Since I haven't seen that episode in years, I don't recall it all that well, and I'm months (perhaps years) away from starting my DS9 canon database, I can't really contradict you on this one.

since I supplied images (page has been fixed now - apparently my re-direction got broken in a server move. The actual images are image1 image2 image3) no you couldn't.

It's possible that I incorrectly recalled sensor failure as shield failure.

Sensors were degraded and (obviously) the cloak wouldn't work.

However, it doesn't matter; even if you're completely right on this one, it was just one of many examples, and the underlying point still stands. This incident may not falsify your claim as clearly as the other examples do, but it doesn't falsify mine either, and it still raises serious questions about your theory. The atmospheric gas velocity of 10,000 km/h is less than 3 km/s, which is extremely low in terms of astronomical phenomena (solar wind particles move far more quickly, as do starships and sci-fi directed-energy weapons). Why would a 3 km/s wind be a threat to a shielded warship which can supposedly shrug off megaton-yield weaponry, particularly when it has a relatively small aerodynamic cross-section?

I said nothing about 3km/s winds being a threat to the Defiant. Infact, the threat was the JH fighters that kept attacking them. You've admited you have a poor recollection of the episode - don't try twisting any of it to support you until you know what really happened.

Mike is spot on with this one - in Interface the E-d was unable to enter the atmosphere of an unusual gas giant due to the very high turbulence within. However, the problems had absolutely nothing to do with the shields. In fact, a shuttle was sent into the atmosphere BECAUSE its shields would protect it. This quote has no place in a page about shields, and certainly not in a list of examples of shields being susceptible to charged particles.

"The problems had absolutely nothing to do with the shields"? No one stated this onscreen.

so because no one said the problem wasn't the shields we can assume the problem was? What reason is there to assume the shields were the problem at all? what reason is there to assume the charged particle weakness of the shields specifically was the problem?

Are you inventing dialogue now?

you're the one who's finding evidence of a charged particle weakness in an episode where nothing like that is ever mentioned or indicated. You have the scripts for TNG(for your TNG canon database). Check out Scene 47 - "two shuttle craft staggered between the Raman and the Enterprise, with their shields adjusted to refocus the tractor beam" - how can they do that if shields fail when they encounter the charged particles of the gas giant's atmosphere (or does the weakness only apply to the E-d's shields?)

It was a threat. They didn't explain precisely why.

so why assume it was a charged particle weakness? Especially when they later decide to use the shields on a shuttle craft in the same atmosphere.

And the bit about the shuttle conflicts with the scripts,

now you are just making things up as you go along, Mike. Episode 255, scene 47. For those who do not have the scripts, check it out here (taken from the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion CD-ROM)

In "Arsenal of Freedom" the Enterprise entered the atmosphere of the planet at high speed. It glowed brightly, but its surface temperature only approached 4000K. In Descent the hull temperature reached 12000K before nearing critical, and 7000K was declared a safe temperature. Mike's assumption that the E-d was almost destroyed is based entirely on the fact it glowed brightly. Does this mean the space shuttle is nearly destroyed every time it enters the earth's atmosphere? Certainly not - if it was they wouldn't use it. It is merely operating within it's designed safe parameters, where the ablative covering ont eh surface is doing its job.

Nice strawman, Edam! So you think that it's an "assumption" that the E-D was nearly destroyed, and that this assumption is based "entirely on the fact that it glowed brightly?" Gee, what about the Worf reporting that their deflector shields were "nearing overload" and that one of them had already failed? Couldn't that have contributed just a little teeny bit to my conclusion that the E-D was in trouble?

And yet the hull temperature was nowhere near danger levels - they were in far more danger in Descent than they were here. The ship was nowhere near being destroyed.

As for your quoting of temperature figures, they're a red herring because the shields were near or at the point of failure.

the shields on a damaged ship that had barely survived a previous battle. Hardly indicative of what shields can handle.

The ship was in danger, hence Worf's alarm. Your attempt to contradict Worf's report with temperature figures from another episode is a waste of time.

It shows the ship was not anywhere near being destroyed. It was in far more danger in Descent and the crew weren't overly concerned

Again, this quote has zero to do with the effect of charged plasma on shields, as the shields protected the ship against the ionized atmospheric gas. This would better serve as indication of some form of minimal ablative covering (not as much as the ablative armour later included on ships such as the Defiant)

I love it when an opponent's argument contradicts itself.

you didn't see the shields glowing all round the ship then? you did watch this episode, didn't you, Mike? It isn't another one like Interface or Starship Down, which you are sort of remembering, is it?

First you claim that "Arsenal of Freedom" has nothing to do with plasma on shields

It has nothing to do with the claimed charge particle weakness.

Another possible rationalization [for the Enterprise's short survival time in Descent Part 2] is that the ship was damaged, or that the experimental and unreliable metaphasic shield program draws so much energy that is can only be used for a short period of time (this second rationalization is actually supported by one of the few admissable Star Trek novels - Mosaic)

The "escape clause" mentality again

Considering all the facts again.

[Re: "Descent Part 2" solar prominence] In "Descent Part 2", the Enterprise induced a solar prominence to destroy a Borg vessel. The largest solar prominences are known as "coronal mass ejections", or CME's, and in such a prominence, the mass and velocity of ejecta are typically around 1E12 kg and 400 km/s. Anomalously large CME's have involved masses and speeds of as much as 1E13 kg and 2000 km/s in the past. However, the prominence in "Descent Part 2" was nowhere near this size

It may have been nowhere near this size - it was also nowhere near this speed. The Borg ship took up position outside the corona of the star, and the matter from the induced flare reached the ship in a few seconds. This is several orders of magnitude faster than the fastest CMEs ever seen.

Except that we saw this CME onscreen, and it was nowhere near that fast.It was moving at a dozen km/s, maybe.

Yet it managed to cover the distance to the Borg ship outside the corona in just a few seconds. Obviously looks can be deceiving.

Deliberately ignoring the visuals again?

Funny you should accuse me of ignorin teh visuals whilst ignoring the area we SEE the shields working over yourself.

Your dialogue nitpicks are pointless; they might have said "corona", but from the visuals, it looked a lot more like "chromosphere". The corona extends many hundreds of thousands of kilometres away from the surface; if they meant "corona" in the same sense that we use it today, they would have already been inside the corona in "Relics"! Got any explanations for that inconsistency? Corona gas is so diffuse that you could pump a few cubic metres of the stuff into a room and nobody would even notice. I reiterate that they may have said "corona", but the visual effects (not to mention the logic) says that they were actually talking about the chromosphere. The Borg was sitting outside the chromosphere, where it got nailed by a small, slow-moving CME.

Even if it was the chromosphere the CME still covered(several thousand km) the distance in a second or two - clearly far faster than the "dozen km/s" it started off at.

Moreover, you still insist on ignoring the question of whose theory handles this situation better.
My theory holds that Trek shields have a special vulnerability to the type of gas in the chromosphere and photosphere. Even though the EM radiation intensity continues to follow the inverse square law regardless of whether they're inside or outside, their vulnerability suddenly jumps when they're inside because of gas contact, which is why the Borg cube wouldn't go inside, and why the E-D needed special shields to survive for even a brief period of time.

you theory conveniently ignores situations such as Interface and A Matter of Time where the E-d specifically uses its shields (or the shields of shuttles) in environments where the plasma you claim should threaten the shields exists. Infact, in A Matter of time the shields were used specifically to attract high energy plasma - why would they do that if it was a threat to their systems?

Your theory holds that Trek shields have no special vulnerability to the gas.

My theory seems to be closer to "your examples to support the weakness are wrong"

What would scare away a Borg ship, if not for the gas?

The Borg ship, the ship of the people that rarely bother with shields for some unknown reason. What would stop them venturing where shielded ships fear to tread? And in any case, why would they need to venutre inside? Just sit there waiting for them to come out again and nail them.

Instead of dealing with this huge problem with your theory, you try to distract readers from the entire subject by focusing on the energy yield of the CME.

To show it is equally possible it is a matter of energy levels rather than some perceived weakness.

You pretend that the CME was moving at relativistic velocities by ignoring the visuals

by relying on the entire example, rather than a small part of it

Your argument shoots itself in the foot in some ways; if the Borg cube was afraid to go into the corona rather than the chromosphere, this would mean its shield strength is even weaker than we thought!

Borg cubes are almost always unshielded. Not sensible, we all know, but fact. why would an unshielded craft be frightened to go where shielded craft ahve problems?

It would mean that they're afraid of gas which is so diffuse that it would be unnoticeable when mixed into your living room, and that they can't handle even a few minutes within half a million kilometres of the Sun. Is that what you're trying to prove?

I'm trying to prove your examples of Federation shields having a charged particle weakness are wrong. It doesn't surprise me that you attempt to confuse the debate with a side line about the abilities of Borg ships.

It was also not a natural flare, but one induced by the Enterprise. As such, we cannot determine it's density, magnetic intensity, or even the thermal energy of the material involved.

Your unscientific "escape clause" mentality again.

So you can categorically state that it was identical to a natural CME, even though it was caused by a phaser blast?

It was artificially induced, so none of the laws of physics apply to it any more, right? None of the equations governing electromagnetism are applicable because it's an artificial situation?

Did I say that?

News flash: even an artificially induced phenomenon must still follow natural laws

So, how does a phaser induce a solar flare in a star Mike?

Finally, this example was for an unshielded Borg BOMB (the ship was exactly the same as the schematics for the Multi Kinetic Neutronic Mine of Scorpion). hardly a shining example of the ability of Star Trek shields to withstand a certain level of energy or type of material.

ROTFLMAO!! The Borg designed a "bomb" to fit into a scout ship chassis,

Scout ship? I think you're imagining things again Mike. who said that was a scout ship? In Scorpion Seven of Nine present a Multi Kinetic Neutronic Mine - quite a powerful little thing, by all accounts. Where are you getting the idea it's a scout ship? Borg scouts are normally small(ish) cubes like that one Hugh was found near in I Borg

so you conclude that all scout ships must be bombs?

No, I conclude all bombs must be bombs.

Here's a little hint for you: look up "fallacy of composition" sometime. You might find it illuminating. You might also want to re-check your assumption that the "multi-kinetic neutronic mine" is an explosive device rather than a special delivery system

heaven forbid I assume a mine is an explosive device. So, just how many non-explosive mines are there, Mike? Care to give some examples?

(I can't believe you're actually echoing the lame arguments of John Riehle).

Out of the NINE examples Mike has offered of shields being susceptible to charged particles only TWO are directly applicable to modern Trek shields. Due to the serious errors presented above the conclusions of the page, based largely on the erroneous assumptions, are thrown into doubt.

This is exactly like standard creationist debate methodology:

You say that as if it is some sort of insult. Do you have a problem with people who have different beliefs to you?

nitpick the supporting evidence for a theory and use your nitpicks to claim that the theory is imperfect and therefore wrong. Do this while conspicuously ignoring the fact that even if the nitpicks are correct, your theory is still far, far worse.

"Even if there's no evidence for the theory the theory is still right"

Go to Part 3/3


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