Debate #2: Lord Edam

March 10, 2002 (my second rebuttal, part 2/3):

Star Trek Shields: Plasma Weakness

Scientific Method

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

What a shock. Funny how the creationist mindset is often obvious long before you confirm that someone is, in fact, a creationist. Anyway, thanks for confirming that you are incapable of distinguishing between creationist misrepresentations of the scientific method and the real thing.

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.

Exactly the same way you attack evolution theory, no doubt. In both cases, the fallacy is that you have not taken away the evidence. At worst, you misrepresent it. At best, you point out that it might possibly be regarded as something else. Science is not absolute, Edam. You could dismiss any theory if your litmus test is that piece after piece of supporting evidence could possibly be something else. But in order to successfully knock down a theory, you must show more than that. You must show that it is probably something else, and that you've got an alternate theory which makes the facts work better that way.

The facts are still there, and you have tried to dismiss them rather than providing a better explanation for them. This is not a court of law, Edam. You can not throw evidence out of court on the flimsy reasoning that "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit". The only way to show that a piece of evidence does not support a theory is to show that it is completely irreconcilable with that theory, which is going to be pretty damned hard considering my theory was preliminary at best, and never proposed as anything more than a "possibility". It's subject to improvement, and I would welcome input, but you are not interested in resolving issues and questions. You are only interested in finding a way to claim some sort of victory, by hook or by crook.

Flimsy false dilemmas, strawman distortions of the theory, and red herring nitpicks do not make for a reasonable argument, Edam. I state that there may be a weakness here, and the only conceivable alternative theory is that there is no weakness whatsoever. You admit that you disagree with that position without admitting that the only alternative to this very preliminary idea of a "possible" weakness is to flatly deny the possibility!

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.

You're lying, Edam. You flatly deny the possibility of a weakness, but you won't admit it and then you have the audacity to accuse me of a strawman distortion. When someone makes a vague theory of a "possible" weakness and you attack that as a "mistake", what could the "correct" position possibly be if not a flat denial of the possibility? Honesty is obviously not your strong suit.

As for "mitigating circumstances", you miss the point. In science, a theory which helps solve a problem, even if imperfect, is still better than no theory at all. It is possible for the theory to be inaccurate, or for mysteries to exist which it cannot explain (yet). However, you cannot dismiss it unless you've got a better idea, and you don't have one. My "theory" is extremely sketchy and preliminary, and I have never attempted to portray it as anything else. Its failure to be perfect or to explain everything does not mean that you can dismiss it unless you've got a better explanation for all the incidents which it was designed to address.

Weapon Power

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.

TDIC BombardmentRegarding shockwaves, your attempt to derive multi-megaton energy levels solely from shockwaves is completely invalid. Shockwave propagation at the rates seen in "The Die is Cast" (at right, note that they were moving at hundreds of kilometres per second) does not occur even with huge multi-megaton explosions, for the simple reason that wave propagation through air occurs at close to the speed of sound. Even the vast amount of energy released by a hundred million megaton asteroid impact simply creates a bigger fireball, not an atmospheric shockwave which moves at hundreds of kilometres per second. A far more reasonable explanation is that the phenomenon is similar to the subspace shockwave seen at Praxis (which would mean that it has little effect on normal matter).

Simple thermodynamics also come into play. If these were multi-megaton blasts in atmosphere, where were the fireballs? Where were the white-hot balls of superheated gas slowly rising through the atmosphere? After all of your noise about reading declassified military documents on nuclear weapon effects, did you suddenly take amnesia pills and conveniently forget all of it? Where were the points of light burning brighter than the Sun? Why did the entire attack look no more impressive than a night-time lightning display? You can't pump that much energy into a small portion of the atmosphere and have it dissipate without revealing its presence, Edam! When a nuclear weapon explodes, it superheats the air in its vicinity to millions of degrees, creating a firewall which rises through the air and slowly radiates heat to its environment. If there's no white-hot fireball, there's no multi-megaton explosion. Shockwave or no shockwave (which could be an electrical phenomenon for all we know), there's no evidence of multi-megaton weaponry here. Just more of the usual funky Trek electrical effects and chain reactions.

I'm tempted to ask for more detail regarding your other examples, but it's more important to establish whether this is even relevant. The original subject here is the weakness of shields to energetic and/or charged gases, and even if the ship can survive a 1 megaton nuclear warhead explosion at close range, that does not disprove the possibility of a particular weakness. First and foremost, there are numerous nebula shield failure incidents, and you have failed to provide an alternate explanation for them. Therefore, given an obvious problem, we must try to explain it rather than simply denying that the nebula shield failure incidents mean anything. Besides, how do you know that the charged-particle output of the weapon doesn't simply pass through the shield and hit the hull, while the EM radiation is absorbed and retransmitted by the shield? ST ships take damage even when the shield is up, remember?

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)

"What's the reference?" If we use modern units and the only meaning of "iso" which makes sense when attached to "ton", the reference is "one ton of TNT", Edam. If we don't, it's up in the air and it's a useless figure. Either way, it cannot serve as evidence for high weapon yield. Besides, it's a red herring nitpick; the point was that your megaton figure has no support in dialogue, and I have yet to see substantive support in visuals.

I can tell your argument is weak because you devote such large portions of page space to irrelevant items such as the above, while hurriedly glossing over important points such as "why couldn't the E-D go into a photosphere for 5 minutes when they can sit just outside for 3 hours?"

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

Fine, then why don't you solve the problem? Explain why Federation shields were collapsed by electrical discharges in ST2, Cardassian shields were collapsed by nebula gas in "Chain of Command", Borg shields were collapsed by photosphere gas in "Descent Part 2", and the Enterprise's shields took a 15% hit from a flare in "Relics". Explain why they can't block "verteron particles" (from "Force of Nature"), or whatever particles were in the "nucleonic" beam from the mind-control device "The Inner Light". Explain why they can't safely fly through a planet's upper atmosphere. Explain why ships ("Descent", "Redemption") and even whole shipyards ("Shadows and Symbols") can be wiped out with solar flares. Explain all of this while simultaneously showing that there's no way to get through their shields without pumping in megatons of energy, since you admit later on that you think there's no vulnerability to anything except raw energy level.

There's some kind of weakness here, and frankly, it's blatantly obvious to anyone who hasn't chained himself to a pre-ordained conclusion. I make no claims whatsoever about having figured out precisely what it is; I only point out the possibility that it's related to certain types of gases (my shield page mentioned energetic or charged particles), and of all the Trekkies who have ever attacked my site, you're the only one who has ever found this particular part outrageous.

[Re: 4.2GW small phaser bank] How small? A shuttle has a small phaser bank, but isn't much of a threat to the E-d.

No, but a thousand of them would definitely be a threat, and a thousand 4.2GW phaser banks is just 4.2 TW. Still nowhere near "multi-megaton", Edam.

[Re: Night Terrors] 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.

Red herring nitpick. You act as if they had no way to create an explosion besides the chemical burn. News flash: photon torpedoes create explosions, Edam. They knew exactly what this "rift" was, and if a photorp would have been more effective than their big deflector-dish weapon, they would have used it. Face it; their entire weapons complement was inferior to a large chemical explosion! And since you obviously have all the scripts, you can look up the episode for yourself and see that they're talking about the amount of energy, not some mystical property of the chemicals involved in the reaction. That also fits with "Star Trek: Insurrection", where they destroyed So'na warships with a chemical flame because their weapons weren't up to the task. Remember that one? Or are you going to try to wriggle out of that one too?

"Survivors" Escape Clause

[Re: Survivors] 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? [You go on to repeat this nonsensical idea of the entire attack being an "illusion" or "fantasy" 5 times]

Too bad, so sad, but it was not an illusion, Edam. They took real damage and real casualties. And during that very real damage, its systems withstood what they measured to be a 400 GW blast, which means that its effects were identical to a real 400GW blast.

LOL! you can try signing up for a 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

I suspected you would try to appeal to the authority of that domain name. is owned by a publishing company, Edam. And while I don't know how to get a E-mail address (and you know full well that I can't possibly get a response to E-mail inquiries on the weekend), I'm pretty sure that you don't meet the requirements you refer to. They include extensive professional experience in the field, and you work in computer tech support! Is computer tech support regarded as physics? If you want to shore up your credibility despite your creationism and your bizarre attempt to attack a sketchy theory by saying it's imperfect rather than providing a better explanation for the incidents I brought up, then why don't you simply scan your physics degree and post it? Why go through this roundabout way of "proving" that you're a chartered physicist by referring to your E-mail address instead of simply showing people the degree that you supposedly needed in order to get it? And while you're at it, why don't you try to explain how you graduated from physics without understanding the basics of the scientific method?

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.

Irrelevant. Their instrumentation worked fine in those cases, and it is the readings on their instrumentation which you are trying to dismiss. Kevin Uxbridge made the shields fail ... with something that had the exact same effect that a real 400 GW blast would have had.

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?

It doesn't, and it doesn't have to. It's just a sketchy idea, remember? There are too many unknowns to come up with concrete explanations for such specific problems, and too many possible ways of resolving it. Maybe it's vulnerable to certain types of particles rather than charged particles in general. Maybe it's vulnerable to particles with a certain combination of mass and kinetic energy. Maybe it's a combination of charge and velocity. Who knows? The point is that there's ample evidence that it is not equally strong against all forms of matter and energy, hence the "possibility" that it has something to do with charge. If you've got a better explanation for the observed low-energy events which penetrated and/or dropped Trek shields, then by all means, go ahead and provide it.

ST2 Escape Clause

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?

Lightning is made up of charged particles, Edam. They're called electrons. Look it up, Mr. "Chartered Physicist".

By the way, you rely exclusively on unobserved phenomena. Where were the megaton-yield lightning blasts that hit the ship? Why was there no sound of impact inside the ship? Why did the shields drop as soon as they went into the nebula if it took a lightning strike to bring them down? Why would the nebula hit a ship with megaton-yield lighting? Why did they expect the shields to go down as soon as they entered the nebula, without saying anything about being hit with megaton-yield lightning? Why wasn't the Enterprise (already shieldless) damaged by this imaginary megaton-yield lightning of yours?

Some nebulae are generating energies that do threaten the shields. no need for charged particle weaknesses - just accept that shields handle whatever [energy level], and anything that drops the shields is above that level.

What kind of explanation is that? Are you seriously suggesting that these nebulae were hitting the ship with so much raw energy that its shields collapsed, so they were not examples of low-energy events penetrating and/or dropping shields? Where was all this energy coming from, Edam? In ST2, the only power source was a star which was tens of millions of kilometres away! Face it; you have no explanation whatsoever for nebula-related shield failures, so you're reduced to ludicrous fantasies about the Mutara nebula being more energetic than the close proximity to a star! If the ship has a fixed energy handling limit and "anything that drops the shields is above that level", then how do you explain the fact that the shields were dropped by a nebula which was demonstrably not that energetic, since it did no damage to the ship whatsoever once its shields dropped?

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

Again you claim that the shields' only weakness is to being overpowered by brute force, even though ST2 utterly destroys this ludicrous fantasy.

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.

The Cardie ships in "Chain of Command Part 2" could only stay in there for a brief period of time because their hulls were being degraded by corrosive nebula gases. Their shields were down, but only a blithering idiot would lower his shields with full knowledge that this would let corrosive gas eat away at his hull! Obviously, the nebula either knocked out their shields directly, or their shields would have been useless against the gas so there was no point keeping them up. Either way, there's definitely a possibility of some kind of vulnerability, isn't there?

STG Escape Clause

[Re: STG BOP] 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.

Wrong. The cloak is an internal system, Edam. If the pulse altered the operation of internal systems, then it was enough to overcome the shields, because something must have gotten through to affect the ship inside! What part of this don't you understand?

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. [snip chunk of script]

Red herring. The point was that you cannot deny penetration simply because there was no obvious structural damage. I don't care why the E-D would have lost its shields in "Booby Trap", as that has nothing whatsoever to do with the point I was making.

Beating on the Strawman

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

Strawman. I never claimed that there must be a "general weakness to all charged particles". I only described the "possibility" of a weakness to energetic or charged particles, and that's obviously a very sketchy idea which would be subject to refinement. Is it certain types of charged particles? Is it certain types of energetic particles regardless of charge? Who knows? The point is that there's some kind of weakness, and you're trying to exaggerate my position in order to attack it.

[Re: nucleonic beam from "Inner Light"] 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

Strawman again. My claim is nowhere near as over-arching and generalized as you make it out to be. There's some kind of weakness here, and you won't admit it. I haven't figured out exactly what it is yet, and I haven't pretended to. Is it all charged particles? Just certain kinds of charged particles? Which kinds? Who cares? There was something in that nucleonic beam which allowed it to penetrate despite low power levels, and you insist on ignoring that problem in favour of exaggerating my position.

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"?

Maybe. Why not? Read my original page before you continue your strawman exaggerations of my position. I did mention both "high temperature gases and charged particles" in my shield page; do I need to explain to you that high temperature gases are composed of high velocity particles, Mr. "Chartered Physicist"? Besides, I never claimed to know exactly what causes the weakness; I offered up a "possibility", but the point is that the weakness does exist, and you won't admit it. Is it all charged particles, or just certain types? I don't know, and you don't either. But you claim that nothing can get through a shield unless it simply overpowers it, and that's obviously not true. There are special vulnerabilities, and if you won't admit it, that's your problem.

This is the third identical strawman in a row. This is the last repetition that I will quote and reply to, because there's no point answering the same strawman with the same rebuttal 10 times.


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. In fact, that's what this part is all about.

I might have believed that crap a week ago, but I don't make the same mistake twice. The games you played by witholding the "Relics" screenshot and defending your wildly exaggerated 470,000 m² area figure despite full knowledge of its falsehood have clearly revealed you to be nowhere near the honest and forthright debater that you pretend to be.

Specialized Shield-Piercing Weapon Escape Clause

[Re: shield-piercing weapon] 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.

Irrelevant, although the uniformity of Treknology is quite well established. Voyager bartered for spare parts in the Delta Quadrant, for chrissakes! Besides, the point is that the Voyager crew knew it had special shield-piercing properties, and they had to develop a countermeasure for those properties. Even if it was unintentional on the part of its designer, it was very real to them, and that's the only thing that matters. That refutes your claim that their only vulnerability is to raw energy level.

"Interface" Escape Clause

[Re: Interface] 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?

Unless you've got some other explanation, a threat to the shields is the best explanation. The USS Raman was destroyed shortly after shield failure in the planet's atmosphere, remember? How can you deny that this had something to do with the shields and maintain a straight face?

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?)

The shuttles were supposed to stop at a much higher altitude than the Raman, Edam. Don't be obtuse. They were afraid to go down to the Raman's altitude, and when the Raman suffered shield failure and was destroyed, the reason was pretty damned obvious to everone but you. Here's a hint: it starts with "Sh" and rhymes with "fields".

"Arsenal of Freedom" Escape Clause

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.

Red herring. Even if the ship's hull would have survived the heat after shield failure, the point was that the atmospheric friction killed their shields! Who cares how long the ship's hull would have survived afterwards? We are talking about shields, remember? It's becoming quite a chore to keep you on topic, Edam.

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

Weak excuse, Edam. We're talking about being orders of magnitude off here! Even if they were at 5%, they should have still handled this easily, according to your preposterous claim that their only vulnerability is to brute-force energy levels.

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)

Are you being deliberately thick-headed here, Edam? I pointed out that the shields failed, you retorted that the hull was ablative, I pointed out that ablation is irrelevant unless the shields are either down or useless, and you simply repeated that the hull was ablative! What do I have to do to get through to you? The shields were at the point of failure! Are you going to simply ignore Worf's statement to that effect? How the hell does an ablative covering on the hull contradict the fact that the shields were about to fail?

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?

Don't be a smart-ass, Edam. Your position is far too weak for that. Are you going to seriously pretend that Worf's statement about imminent shield failure means nothing? He said the shields were about to fail, and your only retort is that they're still glowing so they haven't failed yet? Of course they are still some visible shield manifestations; "imminent failure" is not the same thing as "already down", Edam! But this is more than enough to show that they were not handling the situation well, hence a weakness. You simply can't be this thick-headed, Edam. I think you're just bullshitting as a delay tactic.

"Descent" Escape Clause

[Re: Descent CME] Yet it managed to cover the distance to the Borg ship outside the corona in just a few seconds. Obviously looks can be deceiving.
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.

You're still missing the point, which is that we don't know the distance. The corona and chromosphere aren't like national borders with clearly defined lines, Edam. You seem to assume that it must have been completely outside the corona or the chromosphere, as if there was some velvet rope and they got stopped by the bouncer. It's just a matter of gas density, Edam. There was obviously some point beyond which the E-D could go but the Borg ship couldn't, although it would have obviously tried to get as close as possible. Your inference about the Borg ship being thousands of kilometres away is unsupported in fact.

As for "looks can be deceiving", they happen to be canon in this case. Too bad for you, Edam. Funny how you're willing to use screen time ("a second or two") as direct evidence while ignoring visuals. How long did the flare really take to hit the ship? A time lapse during a camera change is an acceptable rationalization, but simply ignoring the ship's destruction scene and its flare velocity is not.

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?

It didn't look like high energy plasma to me, Edam. In appreciable quantities, high energy plasma looks like the surface of the sun. That was just a bunch of upper-atmosphere pollution. As for "Interface", you continue to ignore the fact that the USS Raman did suffer total shield failure despite your preposterous claim that the incident has nothing to do with shields! And you still have no explanation for why there would be a sudden jump in danger level when they pass into the corona, or the chromosphere. Maybe not all forms of "high energy plasma" are alike in Trek terminology. Who cares and who knows? Are you going to argue that they do not have any special vulnerability to stellar photosphere gas? Then why does it wipe out their ships so easily? Look at "Redemption", where the same thing happened to two BOPs! Are you going to search desperately for flimsy excuses to ignore that (almost identical) incident too?

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.

Ah, I see. But they stay so close that they can't avoid a CME moving at a dozen km/s? Don't make me laugh. If they just wanted to wait it out, they could have pulled back a half million kilometres and just sat there. Besides, this is hardly the only example of a CME killing a Trek shield instantly. Explain "Redemption", which involves almost identical effects. Explain "Shadows and Symbols", in which an entire Dominion shipyard was destroyed along with all its ships regardless of their status, despite being millions of kilometres away? Explain why they needed special shields to go inside, and why Federation scientists were shocked when somebody proposed a theoretical shield designed to survive entry into a star! Are you going to generate a whole separate list of nitpicks and flimsy excuses for each of those examples too? Are you going to argue that entry into a star is not much more dangerous than hovering just outside? Because unless they move a long way inside, the only significant difference is the proximity to the gas.

As I predicted, you'll do everything in your power to distract people from the key questions: why couldn't the Borg ship go in, and why did the Enterprise need special shields to go in?

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

What?!?!? The "entire example" includes every part of it, including the visuals which you ignore! How can you stand there and claim that it's OK to completely ignore the most objective part of the evidence because you're "relying on the entire example"? What does the word "entire" mean in your dictionary, Edam?

I can easily resolve these problems by simply positing that the ship was fairly close and didn't see it coming because they were almost sensor-blind. Some time elapsed during the POV-change, hence the apparent contradiction between one visual and the next. But when we saw the cube destroyed, it was hit with a slow-moving CME. Done. How do you resolve it? By throwing one piece of canon evidence out the window. I like the way you use visuals when convenient and ignore them when they interfere with one of your pre-ordained conclusions.

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.

No, you're trying to prove that Federation shields have no weakness other than to brute-force energy levels, even though you vacillate between saying that's true and then denying that you have any position at all (here's a hint: double-check your posts for internal consistency before putting them on the Internet). As for your attempt to paint the whole incident as a "side line" by claiming that the Borg ship's shields were down, you're just desperately searching for loopholes. Even the Borg raise shields as soon as they start getting hit by something, and they would have been bombarded with EM radiation as they approached the star. I guess I foolishly leapt to the logical conclusion instead of asking whether there was a loophole for you to slither through. How silly of me.

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

Don't play games, Edam. It's obviously not a natural CME, but that does not mean it is some magical construct which has orders of magnitude greater density than the photosphere gas from whence it came! The photosphere gas is extremely diffuse, and that fact won't change when it's hurled upwards out of the Sun (it will only get more diffuse). The energy estimate stands. This is just another escape clause/delay tactic on your part. I have come to see that your entire debating style revolves around this kind of tactic: wearing down opponents and trying to nitpick your way out of tight spots.

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?

Red herring. The point is that regardless of how it's induced, it is composed of photosphere gas being hurled upwards, and it will obey natural laws.

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

Nonsense. This "bomb" was equipped with weapons, superluminal and subluminal propulsion systems, sensors, etc. It was capable of defeating the Federation's most powerful starship in battle. It was a full-fledged starship by every conceivable definition, and since it was relatively small, I figure it was the Borg's idea of a scout ship. The fact that they designed a bomb to fit into the same chassis as this starship does not mean that this starship was therefore a bomb!

so you conclude that all scout ships must be bombs?

No, I conclude all bombs must be bombs.

Edam, this kind of empty rhetorical answer merely proves to me that you can't adequately defend your arguments, so smart-ass remarks are all you have left.

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?

Sure. The Borg multi-kinetic neutronic mine, which scatters nanoprobes over a five light-year wide area without vapourizing them in the process, the way an explosive device would. Again you have nothing but the smart-ass remark to fall back on because your point is weak. Give it up, Edam. You've been lurching from incident to incident, trying to fend off a mountain of evidence with an endless string of nitpicks, red herrings, and bizarre misrepresentations such as your claim that anything which looks like the picture on 7 of 9's screen must be a volatile, unshielded bomb even though it can destroy the Federation's finest flagship in battle. This is not a debate; it's a circus act.

This is exactly like standard creationist debate methodology:

You say that as if it is some sort of insult.

It is.

Do you have a problem with people who have different beliefs to you?

Not at all. Beliefs are like people; there are lots of 'em out there, and I only have a problem with the stupid, irrational, and/or evil ones.


I present piece after piece of concrete evidence which are consistent with the idea that some kind of special vulnerability exists to certain high temperature gases and charged particles. In each case, you try to show that there is some ambiguity, some kind of doubt. This is not a court of law, Edam. You are not the defendant, you do not get the advantage of an asymmetrical burden of proof, and you can not slither away by attacking my theory without admitting that your own theory (which you claim does not exist, even though you described it twice) is vastly inferior. Science is not about certainty; it will always incorporate a certain amount of doubt. You've got to find a better theory in order to kill this one, not just prove that this one's not perfect.

Your attempt to claim that the only way to hurt Federation shields is brute force is utterly unsupportable in fact, and you demonstrate your own weakness by relying almost exclusively upon your strawman exaggeration of my position, from a "possibility" of a weakness to "high temperature gases and charged particles" into "a known vulnerability to every kind of charged particle in existence".

In short, you have no evidence for your alternate theory whatsoever. Just a string of attempts to weasel away from my evidence by either inventing fanciful alternate interpretations or flat-out denying that they had anything to do with shields even when that is clearly untrue.

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