Debate #2: Lord Edam

March 13, 2002 (my third rebuttal, part 2/3)

Trek Shield Weakness

Scientific Method

Don't ever remember attacking evolution theory. I said I was a creationist - I didn't say I spend my time attacking other people's religious choices simply because they don't see things my way

Wrong. By describing evolution theory as a "religious choice" rather than a legitimate scientific theory, you are attacking it. I don't go to churches and harass people about their beliefs, but I won't shy away from the fact that by describing creationism as ignorant junk pseudoscience, I'm attacking it. You should be as honest, Edam. If you aren't attacking evolution theory, you shouldn't refer to it as a "religious choice" rather than a legitimate scientific theory. I don't like fraud and slander; if you creationists would simply have your religious beliefs and be done with it, I wouldn't have a problem. It is your collective attempt to reach beyond religion and into science, by denying the scientific legitimacy of evolution theory which angers me. It angers me because it's a lie, and it forces scientists and educators to waste time fighting propaganda campaigns even though they could be more productive elsewhere. While lies obviously don't bother you, they do bother me.

Is this relevant? Only in that you employ creationist distortions of the scientific method, and you refuse to stop. I'm not going to bother answering every single one of your little smart-ass one-line comments and interjections, because it would waste time better spent addressing the only real argument you make on this matter:

"If most of the evidence is wrong and the rest has a 50/50 chance of contradicting the theory or supporting a far simpler theory then the original theory is wrong, no matter how much evidence has been twisted after the fact to fit it.

There's no such thing as a "wrong" piece of evidence, unless it's been faked. You have failed to show that the evidence has been faked, and your "far simpler" theory has the minor little defect that it has no explanation for numerous key events in which low energy events penetrated and/or dropped Trek shields. We always choose the simplest theory, but not when it is directly contradicted by facts. Even the most casual Trek fan knows that there are certain particular substances and phenomena which can drop or penetrate Trek shields without having to meet your minimum across-the-board "energy levels", and all of your attempts to nitpick away at individual examples of said substances and phenomena are a waste of time.

In science, you create a theory and predict what will happen. That isn't what we do. We take evidence and formulate the best explanation for all of it. We are more historians than scientists. Unfortunately for you, you've treated it all exclusively as a scientific analysis - you've created your theory before examining the evidence and you are going out of your way to make everything you can find fit it. If you did things the historical way - start with the evidence and make a theory to explain it - you wouldn't get anywhere near your conclusions. But I'm going on again, and we both know how little time you have for this debate you insisted on, so lets continue..."

Obviously, you still don't understand how it works (and you spout another common creationist lie by claiming that science is not valid if it describes past events). Let's say you have 4 pieces of evidence, all of which can be explained by theory A. The legitimate way to supplant theory A is to show that theory B predicts these pieces of evidence better than theory A. An invalid way is as follows:

Show that evidence #1 can also be explained by theory B.
Show that evidence #2 can also be explained by theory C.
Show that evidence #3 can also be explained by theory D.
Show that evidence #4 can also be explained by theory B.
Declare that theory A is unsupported.

This sounds pretty good, right? Unfortunately, theories B, C, and D are not a coherent theory; they are multiple, inconsistent theories. They don't tie anything together; they tear it apart. They don't explain anything; they are designed only to attack and destroy an existing explanation without proposing a consistent alternative. They may even directly contradict one another. In other words, you cannot simultaneously explain all four pieces of evidence with a coherent theory, what you have done is propose that we replace a workable theory with a hodge-podge of mutually inconsistent "alternate possibilities". This is a very popular unscientific approach which fools a lot of people (it actually sounds pretty good to a lot of people), but nevertheless, it is completely wrong.

Your explanation for ST2 is that they were hit by unheard, unseen lightning with megaton-level yields, and the hull could somehow take this enormous level of damage while the shields couldn't (shields hit by megatons of lightning, because you need to achieve a certain "energy level" to punch through). Your explanation for Voyager's shield-piercing weapon is nonexistent (you ignore the point about how Trek shields must obviously have special weaknesses if someone designs a weapon to take advantage of them, and you try to change the subject). You claimed that "Interface" had nothing to do with shields, and propose atmospheric pressure as the culprit (shields hit by high-velocity particles and not by megatons of anything; direct contradiction with ST2 explanation). You claim the shields were fine in "Arsenal of Freedom", even though Worf said they were not (direct contradiction with "Interface" explanation; pressure is higher in atmospheric re-entry than in the gas giant's atmosphere, yet you claim the shields survived the former and were felled by the latter). You attempt to dismiss my suggestion of a "possibility of a weakness" by distorting it into a strawman version where I supposedly claim the ship is helpless against all nebulae, and all forms of charged particles, and then you attack the strawman repeatedly. In every case, you concoct a different excuse; a different reason for dismissing or ignoring the weakness, while insisting that the weakness does not exist. Three of your excuses actually contradict each other. But hey, you think you've got a theory! News flash: a theory which contradicts itself is not a valid theory. You lose.

Honesty

Stop with the accusations of dishonesty Mike.

you lied about Starship down
you lied about Interface
you lied about the order of FC and A Call To Arms

You are not perfect, Mike. For each accusation of dishonesty you make against me I can prove dishonesty from you.All it does it distract from the debate and demonstrate how childish people can be when things don't go their way.

Again you contradict yourself. You've been mocking me continuously because I'm not as much of a Star Trek geek as you, and I haven't watched most of the episodes in years. Then you turn around and insist that any time I've gotten even the slightest detail wrong (or supposedly wrong), I must be deliberately lying.

You pointed out that my recollection of Starship Down was incorrect. However, a lie would imply deliberate action and then an attempt to cover it up, and neither occurred. Unlike your behaviour when contradicted on matters of canon fact, I did not fight that correction at all, and conceded immediately in my very first debate post that my recollection of that episode may have been incorrect (that's what people call forthright debating, Edam; you should try it). When I'm not sure of something, I admit it rather than stating every vague supposition as hard fact and then demanding absolute disproof. You harp on that admission only because that kind of pitiful minor victory on a point of trivia is all you can hope to seize from your symphony of defeat.

You claimed that "Interface" had nothing to do with shields. I showed that the planet's atmosphere caused shield failure, without anywhere near the amount of energy normally required to overload a shield according to most other figures. You actually admit that the shield failed later in this very post, yet you still insist I "lied about Interface" when I said it was an example of shield weakness. Self-contradiction seems to be habit-forming for you, Edam.

You claim that "A Call to Arms" happens after STFC, not before. You give a vague spoken reference to "the latest Borg incursion" "In Purgatory's Shadow" as proof. Unfortunately for you, it was a two-parter and "By Inferno's Light" (the second part) takes place on stardate 50564.2. That's more than 300 stardates before STFC, Edam. "In Purgatory's Shadow" did not take place after STFC. I don't know what Borg incursion they were talking about in that episode, but it was not the one in STFC. For all we know, they ran into a sphere outside Federation territory and stopped it from reaching the solar system, or Starfleet invented a story about a Borg attack to cover up disastrous losses against the Jem'Hadar. In any case, STFC took place just barely before "Rocks and Shoals", which in turn takes place months after "Call to Arms". The timeline makes sense if STFC takes place after "Call to Arms", because the Defiant was smashed and could have been repaired in the months between "Call to Arms" and the start of the next season. The timeline does not make sense your way, because STFC has to happen before an episode whose stardate is more than 300 units smaller, so there's no time (actually, negative time) to repair the Defiant after STFC.

Weapon Power

[Explaining lack of fireballs from supposedly enormous explosions] you won't get much of a fireball if the blasts were under the surface - as would be consitant with wanting to get rid of the crust entirely

Wrong. If you want to get rid of the crust entirely, you must blast it away from the mantle. This will expose lava, which will be easily visible from space (hell, even forest fires and lightning storms are plainly visible from space). We saw no such thing.

Yet again, you contradict yourself. First you used the shockwaves as proof of monstrous explosions, then you suddenly decided that the explosions were underground, hence no visible fireball (but they still created a shockwave). Tell me Edam, how does a completely buried explosion which doesn't even breach the surface of the planet create these shockwaves? Magic? Did the shockwaves pass harmlessly through rock in order to appear despite not having breached the surface of the planet? And if it's completely buried, how do we know how powerful it is? If it's not powerful enough to expose lava from under the surface, why literally interpret dialogue about destroying the crust?

[Trying to defend relevance of photorp power as disproof of shield weakness] Because that would mean 70% of the torpedo's energy not being blocked by the shields - the difference levels of damage between bleed-through and unshielded impacts are far larger than this would allow. With shields - a few consoles explode. That's about it. Without shields - bye bye hull.

Yes, we saw in ST6 that without shields, the ship's hull suffered damage similar to what it would experience from a large chemical explosion or kinetic impactor. How does this help your side, as opposed to mine? The thermal resistance of the hull is well established, and if a large part of the energy is not being absorbed by the hull instead of the shield, then how do you explain the heavy internal damage they take on torpedo hits even when the shields are still up? How do you explain the superheated hull in "Arsenal of Freedom" and "Descent"? How do you explain the following screenshots?

Hull damage
The ship's shields are still up in this scene, Edam. What's all that damage to the hull?
Could it be large amounts of energy penetrating their shields even though they're still up?
And what about the next screenshot below?

Shields gone
The ship's shields are completely gone at this point, as shown not only by Scotty's report
but also by his shield display, which showed 0% deflector power.

So what's the big difference? The torp punches through the hull now, so it can explode inside the hull instead of outside its shields. That obviously makes it more destructive, but where's this huge jump in power now that the shields are gone? Where's this massive energy that the shields were blocking when they were up? How did the bridge crew survive a multi-megaton explosion inside the hull, less than 100 metres from their position on a ship with no heavy blast doors anywhere? Federation doors are so flimsy that a devolved Klingon can knock them down with his head, remember? Where's the 2 kilometre wide fireball of superheated matter? No excuses, Edam; this explosion happened inside the ship! And if you go for the well-worn "low yield" excuse, then you must explain: if Chang was using low-yield torps, then how did he manage to knock down the shields with them?

Unless we already know "megaton" refers to tons of TNT it's a meaningless figure. Unless we already know the reference temperature or pressure, "isobar" and "isotherm" is meaningless. It is meaningless to us - just like gigaquad is meaningless to us. But it is far from meaningless to the people who use it - the people of Trek. You assume "isoton" refers to tons of TNT, but why should it? Why not tons of C4, why not tons of Korbarg'hed (popular with the terrorists in Debroli II I hear.) Harping on about "iso=tons of TNT" is useless.

Precisely, which is why I've said from the beginning that you can forget "isotons" as a means of establishing high photorp power. It is you who are harping on "isoton" even though I only mentioned it to say that you should dismiss it, because you're desperately searching for minor side issues upon which to claim a semblance of victory.

Concentrate on what the weapons are shown to do, in dialogue (General Order 24 and similar examples from TOS, turning a planet to a smoking cinder in Broken Link, the whole TDiC mission plan) and in visuals (as previously referenced)

Your "previously referenced" visuals prove nothing except for your seemingly boundless capacity for self-contradiction, and your most recent examples prove nothing except for your continuing dishonesty. They did not turn a planet into a "smoking cinder" in Broken Link; Garak merely whined that he wished they would do it (to the Founders' homeworld), and there is no indication whatsoever that he was speaking literally (funny how you ignore examples of slagging and "no witness" exterminations for Star Wars BDZ, and then suddenly turn around and use a vague comment about an event which never even happened as proof of firepower for Star Trek).

You repeatedly mock the fact that I don't watch much Star Trek and imply that I have no right to comment, but I do have the scripts, Edam. I can read, and unless the show bears no resemblance whatsoever to the script, you're wrong. This is why I accuse you of lying, Edam. These aren't minor errors you're making; you take a major event which never happened, and state as a fact that it did happen. That's not a minor error of recollection; that's a complete reversal of the story in that episode! As for General Order 24, I quote:

"All cities and installations on Eminiar VII have been located, identified and fed into our firecontrol system. In one hour forty five minutes the entire inhabited surface of your planet will be destroyed."- Scotty, from "Taste of Armageddon" (after being given General Order 24 by Kirk).

In other words, they hit the major cities. This is what you obviously based your BDZ argument on: the fact that destroying the surface of a planet in Star Trek is just their way of saying "destroy all the major population centres". However, not only is this a greatly diminished goal compared to a BDZ, but they've never actally done it (unlike SW, where we have established examples of large-scale slagging, planets being turned into barren wastelands, and 100% fatalities without a single survivor), and the only times a planet has actually been rendered useless in Trek, they had to use bioweapons (another Trek precedent which you tries to project onto BDZ). The Husnock apparently have enough power to literally do such a thing, but while they're technically Star Trek, they were destroyed by the Dowd, and they certainly aren't the Federation.

In any case, how does this explain ST6? If their weapons are generally kiloton-range as I've been saying (which is still over-optimistic in light of ST6, but let's forget that for now), they can easily do Hiroshima-level damage on a city, so the existence of General Order 24 hardly contradicts anything I've been saying. Several such weapons in and around a city could be quite effective in causing mass casualties, although you couldn't possibly hope to achieve 100% (the 1979 OTA study "Effects of Nuclear War" modelled ten 40 kiloton warheads as opposed to a single 1 megaton warhead on Leningrad, and found that the smaller warheads did roughly as much damage as a 1.17 megaton single blast would have done).

Moreover, you have never addressed my point: even if they do have megaton-yield weapons (which I would assume they use only for planetary bombardment, given the weak weapons they use against each other at close range in combat) how does their existence disprove a shield weakness to certain types of charged and/or high velocity particles, especially since we've seen unexplained weaknesses repeatedly, and we've established that much of the energy of a photon torpedo does get through the shield?

And what effect do Phasers have on shields? We know they have increased effects on some materials - what effect do they have on shields?

So you admit that phasers (a particle beam according to Picard, which is distinctly sublight as we see with hand phasers) have a special effect on shields, despite your previous claim that there's no way to get around shielding without overcoming a baseline energy level? Concession accepted. And that's why they use phasers (this is actually a longstanding idea on my site; phasers are useful to them in combat because they have some specal properties against shields, as well as low-density solid matter).

General

Your only explanations for established incidents of low-power shield failure are:

damaged ship, power of the discharges, unusual particles in the nebula (that one really needs cross-referencing with VOY: Flashback, but I don't have that episode available)

The Cardie ships were not already damaged in "Chain of Command". Voyager was not already damaged in "One" (remember that one, Edam? They couldn't block ambient radiation from penetrating the shields and the hull in a Mutara-class nebula!). There is no reason whatsoever to imagine powerful discharges in the nebula, since they had no effect on the exposed hull. And as for "unusual particles", you have just admitting that there are particular types of particles that can take down a Federation shield without the minimum energy levels you referred to in your last post. Concession accepted.

Verteron Particles

The verteron burst came before the shields were up and overloaded all their systems.

Actually ...

DATA (off console): Sir, it is beginning to generate a verteron field.
PICARD: Shields up! Full reverse, now!
(Seconds later, the device releases its payload)
PICARD: Damage report.
WORF: Warp engines are off-line... shields are down... all subspace systems are inoperative...

They raised their shields before the burst. It took the whole ship down anyway. Picard knew the shields wouldn't be enough, so he also ordered full reverse. Even then, they still got nuked.

From this episode and a number of DS9 episodes (mostly dealing with the wormhole) it seems verteron particles are intimately linked with subspace, and large amounts of them cause distrubtion to subspace fields - you know, the stuff that they use to make their shields. for example, you will hardly ever see a shielded sihp in the DS9 wormhole - because they use verteron particles to make the safe passage.

So what? The point is that particles which don't hurt human flesh can knock out a shield. Cite all the technobabble you want, but that's the fact. And it doesn't fit your claim that "shields handle whatever [energy level], and anything that drops the shields is above that level".

Inner Light

We'd have to know what those particles were first.

No, we wouldn't. The point is that a weak particle stream punched through the Enterprise's shields. I don't have to know exactly what kind of particles they were; the only relevant point is that the beam punched through without having your requisite megaton levels of energy, thus conclusively disproving your claim that there's no possibility of a weakness.

"Night Terrors"

they had no way to create the explosion besides the chemical burn.

You can actually say that with a straight face, eh? Amazing.

[Dismissing torps] And require significant amounts of energy to launch, and if they are based on anything like starship technology would use some form of subspace/AMRE field to travel (actally required for warp travel, as we know they can do from eg. TNG: Emmissary) - harldy much use in an environment that sucks up subspace energy ridiculously quickly.

Blah blah blah subspace technobabble. Enough obfuscation. If they had enough power to fire their big deflector dish weapon, they had enough power to launch a photon torpedo. Photon torpedoes create explosions. If you are correct that a photorp's propulsion system was useless in there, that would hardly be a showstopper. They could have simply dumped it into space and used a tractor beam (set to repulsor mode) to shove it away. Hell, since they were in there for days, they could have simply gotten a bunch of guys in spacesuits to shove it out an airlock as hard as they can, and then waited a few hours for it to get far away. Don't give me this "no way to create the explosion besides the chemical burn" crap. If a photorp could produce more power than that chemical burn, they would have used it.

By the way, there's one other little problem with your claim that their photon torpedoes were only held back because of a propulsion problem. Consider the following quote from "Night Terrors":

DATA: When Tyken was trapped in a Rift, his analysis determined that a massive energy release might overload and dislocate the anomaly. Fortunately, his cargo included anicium and yurium, which he used to detonate a massive explosion. He then escaped through the ruptured center of the Rift.
GEORDI: But we aren't carrying anything that could produce that kind of explosion. Even our photon torpedoes wouldn't be enough.

Funny thing ... Geordi seems to think that their photon torpedoes can't "produce that kind of explosion". No concerns about your technobabble subspace/AMRE propulsion problems are cited, are they? Accept it; a simple chemical reaction can overwhelm the E-D's entire photon torpedo complement. Obviously, they don't carry any truly heavy weapons.

ST:I

Why should I try to wriggle out of it? It has nothing to do with the charged particle weakness, and we should base the abilities of weapons on what they are shown to do not what they are claimed to do. If the conclusion of that is that Trek can create chemical / nuclear explosions more powerful than matter/anti-matter that is just another canon fact we have to live with.

So you admit that STI and "Night Terrors" both show that a chemical burn is more powerful than their weaponry, thus making their weaponry just as weak as I've always claimed? Concession accepted.

By the way, you may dismiss the possibility through your standard "no numbers" fallacy, but it is possible for a chemical explosion to be more powerful than a M/AM explosion, as long as it has enough reactant. If a photorp contains a milligram of antimatter, 7 BLU-82B "Daisy Cutter" bombs will beat it, as will 750 gallons of gasoline (and I remind you that the 1.5kg photorp reactant figure is non-canon speculation).

"Survivors"

I notice you've ignored all the other examples where their systems really did show what was not really there - why are they any different to this one? Kevin Uxbridge created everything in the illusion in an attempt to make the Enterprise leave.

Then why was the damage real? Why were the injuries real? Even if the Husnock ship was an illusion, the damage done to the ship was real, and that's what we're talking about. Stop trying to wriggle out of this with this ridiculous "superbeing" escape clause. Stop trying to generalize by saying that since he created some known illusions, every consequence of anything he did (including the interaction of systems on board the E-D) must have also been an illusion. The ship suffered real damage, and the sensor readings were commensurate with something that should normally have caused that damage.

Physics.org

I'm not appealing to the authority of anything, Mike. You brought it up. I'm just clearing up your lies. I would have been quite happy to go through the whole debate without mentioning my background. I would have quite happily let this drop after correcting your mistake. Why do you want to carry on with it?

Actually, I invite any reader to go back and check my original post. I only mentioned your past newsgroup attempts to appeal to your E-mail address as part of a sentence fragment, in a paragraph which made an entirely different point. You promptly stripped out that fragment and attacked it out of context because you wanted to hoot that only a "chartered physicist" can get a physics.org E-mail address, and now that it's obvious I won't fall for it, you suddenly pretend that you didn't want to discuss it in the first place. You have made a mountain out of this molehill, and you are now trying to pin the blame on somebody else.

I quote my original paragraph:

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? Are you trying to be as unscientific as humanly possible? Science is a method and a philosophy, Edam. 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), 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"? A scientific approach to a creature with unknown power is to study that creature, not run away screaming that rational analysis is useless!"

And your response:

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.

Who's the one who made this an issue, Edam? For me, it was an insignificant part of a sentence fragment. For you, it was a whole point unto itself, and you made it a personal challenge to imply that I would not meet the standards while you did.

You need a degree in the sciences or engineering, then you need to get a current IoP member to sponsor your application to membership, and you need to pay £30 (more for overseas - actual price might be a bit off, anyone who's interested can follow the link above)

This is what I'm talking about. You complain that you don't care about it, but in every message, you keep harping on how difficult it is to get one. I could simply let it go, but I don't like to see people pretending to be something they're not.

I'm not trying to prove I'm a chartered physicist (I'm not)

Self-contradiction again? You admit that now, because I've challenged you to prove it and you know you can't. But just two posts ago, you said that "only people who fulfilled the academic requirements for chartered physicist status" can get one. This is why I accuse you of lying, Edam. Anyone can see how you change your position from post to post and conclude (from your own words) that you are habitually lying. It isn't just this particular side-issue; it's systemic with you. It permeates all of your arguments. You lied about the difficulty of getting this silly E-mail address of yours, in an obvious attempt to make yourself seem knowledgeable. You pretend that I made an issue out of it, when it was you that made an issue out of it. And now you admit that you were lying in your first post, but you still pretend your E-mail address denotes qualifications.

Because it is entirely irrelevant to the debate. The qualifications of the debator are irrelevant. It is the claims that are under scrutiny. Why do you insist on repeatedly attacking people's education? do your claims not stand on their own? Do they need the weight of your degree behind them before anyone will take them seriously?

Pot calling the kettle black, Edam. I attacked your method and criticized your unscientific behaviour in the original paragraph. You chose to strip out the part about physics.org, attack it out of context, and focus on it as an excuse to brag that you're a member of an exclusive club that only lets "chartered physicists" in. Then you act as though I'm the one who is focusing on education. If that is the case, then tell me Edam, where in this entire debate have I described my own education? You have repeatedly attempted to demonstrate your qualifications with this ridiculous physics.org thing, while I haven't mentioned my own qualifications at all. No one could possibly figure out what kind of degree I have from this debate, while you have jumped and danced around, trying (and failing) to prove that you're a "chartered physicist". And now you have the gall to accuse me of arguing on the basis of qualifications rather than merit!

You keep harping on this, and I have not bothered to specifically refute your claims up till now because it's strictly a side-issue, despite your endless whining that I'm the one making a big issue out of this. However, I grow tired of your deception, and your constant bleating of "it's irrelevant, but as long as we're on the subject ... my physics.org address means I have science qualifications". I've gone to the IoP's website, and lo and behold, there are five categories of membership:

Fellow (FinstP) The senior class indicating a very high level of achievement in physics and outstanding contribution to the profession.

Member (MinstP) Open to all those who satisfy the Institute's academic requirements and have gained at least three years' post-graduation experience through employment, education or training.

Associate Member (AMInstP) Open to those with a qualification which will satisfy the academic requirement for future admission to the Corporate class of Member. Mostly intended for those who are just starting out in their physics career, or who have moved away from physics after graduating.

Student Online application form For those taking an appropriate undergraduate course in physics or a related discipline.

Affiliate Online application form Primarily intended for those with an interest in physics, who wish to support the Institute's objectives.

In other words, anyone from an accomplished luminary to a pure layperson with "an interest in physics" can join. According to the domain administrator, any member (regardless of category) can get a physics.org E-mail address. In other words, if I felt like paying the money and I knew a member, then yes, I could easily get a physics.org E-mail address, and so could pretty much anybody else who has a contact. So stop telling everyone you need to be some kind of highly qualified expert in order to get that silly E-mail address!

now I know why you had to drag out my education - your only hope is to discredit me rather than my claims

Speak for yourself, Edam. I've been demolishing your claims one by one, while you've been trying to prove that you're highly qualified.

ST2

There's more to lightning than simple electrons, Mike.

Yes, there's a voltage potential. Doesn't change the fact that even if your ridiculous theory about lightning hitting the ship is accurate, it would still have been an example of a low-energy event (with charged particles) overcoming a Trek shield.

Or they contained verteron particles, or other exotic particles known to damage subspace fields.

Naturally occurring, low energy. The contents of nebulae are not a secret, Edam. There's nothing in there that warps space-time or possesses magical properties. You use "subspace" as a catch-all excuse whenever you have no explanation. It isn't an explanation; it's just a code-word that you use whenever you get stuck in a jam.

the only nebula related shield failure given was the Mutara nebula. Where's the rest of them, and why didn't similar things happen in the other nebula examples I gave?

Oh, all nebula are the same now? Fascinating. And where did this amazing revelation about nebula come from? By the way, look at this script excerpt from the Voyager episode "One":

KIM: Looks like a Mutara class nebula ...
...
KIM: I'm detecting a slight radioactive field ...
...
(they go in, everyone suffers debilitating burn injuries, they come crawling back out)
SEVEN OF NINE: The crew was unable to tolerate the nebula for even a few minutes.
...
JANEWAY: Are you suggesting ... that the entire crew be put in suspended animation?
DOCTOR: Yes. I, of course, would stay on line in order to monitor everyone.
JANEWAY: It's a drastic step ... are there any other options? Adjusting the shields? Innoculations?"
DOCTOR: I assure you I've considered all possibilities. This is the only way."

Hmmm, what's this? The crew was nearly killed by ambient radiation in another Mutara class nebula? Why couldn't their shields stop it? There was no way to adjust their shields to make them effective inside the nebula? Too bad, eh?

[trying to explain why supposedly megaton-yield static discharge kills shield but doesn't even scorch hull]
electrostatic discharge & metal = flows through the surface of the metal
Electrostatic discharge & insulator = blocked or blows up the insulator.
Shields have different conductive properties to the metal hull of ships, so are affected differently by electrostatic discharges.

Thanks, Edam. Thanks for proving yet again that you are a complete scientific ignoramus. Not just an amateur ignoramus, or a rookie ignoramus, but a full-blown 100% flaming top-of-the-line scientific ignoramus. Have you ever seen an electro-discharge machining centre, aka EDM machine? I have. An EDM machine is a device which machines blocks of steel and aluminum through the use of electrical discharge. Tiny arcs corrode away the surface of the steel around an electrode (usually made of copper or carbon graphite), so that you can "burn" an electrode right down into it, thus forming complex shapes. Look up "EDM machines", Edam.

Electrical arcing can and does damage metal, Edam. Go look for another flimsy escape clause. You're still stuck with a nebula that brings down Trek shields on contact, and nothing you've said so far has put the slightest dent in that fact. All you've done is demonstrate your scientific ignorance.

Chain of Command

Let's review:

JELLICO: Could there be Cardassian ships inside the McAllister Nebula?
GEORDI: It's possible... but they couldn't stay in there very long. The particle flux in the nebula would begin to degrade a ship's hull after about seventy- two hours.
...
DATA: In another seventeen hours, their hull degradation will reach dangerous levels.

Exactly as I suspected, they simply can't handle the particle bombardment.

Or they traded the energy required to keep the shields up with the knowledge that they would not be in there long enough to be in serious danger from the corrosive gasses. Or shields raised means a nice big energy signature giving away the ships that are hiding in the nebula. The shields were not up in the nebula, the shields were certainly not dropped by the charged particles as you continue to claim.

So they deliberately kept their shields down, choosing to take serious hull damage (so serious that their survival would be threatened in 17 hours), eh? And they did this ... why? Lemme see your list of excuses:

I love the way you squirm around, trying to concoct excuse after excuse to slither away from the evidence. How many different times must one evade evidence before it becomes obvious that you're simply in denial?

ST:G

You cannot prove penetration, which is required for your charged particle problem.

Yet again, you obviously hope that I don't have access to the movie so I can't contradict you. However:

WORF: They were retired from service because of defective plasma coils.
RIKER: Plasma coils...is there any way we can use that to our advantage?
WORF: I do not see how. The plasma coil is part of their cloaking device.
...
RIKER: Could we access the defective coil and trigger their cloak?
DATA: Perhaps. (suddenly enthusiastic) Yes! If we sent a low-level ionic pulse, it might reset the coil and engage the cloaking systems.
WORF: As their cloak begins to engage, their shields will drop.
RIKER: Right. And they'll be vulnerable for at least two seconds. Data, lock onto that plasma coil.

Get it now, Edam? Lock onto that plasma coil! They were targeting a piece of equipment inside the ship, with a "low level ionic pulse!"

Absolute proof is a meaningless criterion. What I can do is show that if an internal system switched on as a result of external bombardment directed specifically at that system, then the only reasonable explanation is that the pulse got through the shields. You do not have a reasonable explanation with this silly idea about shields holding firm but magically triggering the cloak by themelves (particularly when Worf said the problem was with an internal system, ie; you have a flimsy excuse which makes no sense, and your only defense is that your opponent cannot "prove" the most reasonable explanation.

There was no penetration in Booby Trap, the problems with the shields in booby Trap were not caused by the radiation. There is no point in mentioning Booby Trap whatsoever.

Yet again you knock down a strawman. I mentioned Booby Trap not as an example of shield penetration, but as an example of radiation penetrating the hull without visible damage. It was a direct rebuttal to your claim that the "low level ionic pulse" could not possibly have penetrated the hull because there was no visible damage. Any reader can go back through the previous posts and see the context in which I originally mentioned Booby Trap, and how you've clearly tried to distort that context in a desperate attempt to generate some flimsy semblance of false victory.

Strawman

Strawman. I never claimed that there must be a "general weakness to all charged particles"

you certainly forgot to specify which charged particles the weakness applies to, and your examples seem extremely general

I "forgot" to specify which charged particles we're talking about because I never pretended to know. It's an extremely preliminary theory, remember? That's why I called it a "possibility"! As for my examples being "extremely general", you contradict yourself yet again. First you claim that each example is of a very specific weakness (concocting various sundry escape clauses for each incident, some of which contradict each other) which should never be assumed to have general implications, then you suddenly claim that they're all examples of a general weakness?

No wonder you keep accusing me of misrepresenting your position; your position changes with the prevailing wind!

Voyager Shield-piercing Weapon

[Responding to the fact that it's irrelevant how a Delta Quadrant weapon might be able to penetrate Federation shields without prior exposure] Thanks, then I guess it is irrelevant Star Wars is from a different galaxy when I point out how effective Dominion weaponry will be against SW ships.

Pulling out the fanboy sci-fi series substitutions now, eh? Your arguments continually degrade in quality, Edam (not that they were all that high to start with, but this is pathetic geekboy stuff). The fact that Trek shields are very consistent in their properties (so consistent that Voyager can barter for spare parts in the Delta Quadrant, as I pointed out already but which you snipped out of your reply) does not in any way mean that SW shields are the same. I have no idea what you were hoping to accomplish with this ridiculous red herring.

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

One of the aliens from the species that invented the weapon said it was designed to penetrate any shield, not the Voyager crew. The special properties of the weapon were by design not accident. Or haven't you watched this episode before making claims about it, Mike? If the positions were reversed there would probably be wild accusations of lying being fired off now, but we now it's just bad memory of a never seen episode, don't we?

Go back and read what you're replying to, Edam. The alien designed a weapon with shield-piercing properties, and it obviously worked on Fed shields too, because of the uniformity of Treknology across their entire galaxy. The Voyager crew knew it would work, so they had to develop a countermeasure. How the hell is this refuted by the fact that the weapon's special properties were by design? At this point, it doesn't appear that you're even bothering to glance at my arguments before constructing a strawman and then attacking it, Edam.

Interface

Clearly it had something to do with the shields - but was it really charged particles? Or something else. Like, maybe poor power available on the stricken ship, or the pressure being too great (going back to the end of part one - the shields use forces to counter forces)

Ahh, so now you say that "clearly it had something to do with the shields"? Quite a turn-around from "the problems had absolutely nothing to do with the shields", isn't it? When you make a mistake, why don't you simply admit it? Why fight each and every minor point like this? Why change your position and hope that no one will notice, thus forcing someone else to point out that you've effectively conceded the point?

As for your attempt to pin the blame on something else, my original statement on my shield page referred only to "atmospheric effects", in the context of establishing the possibility of a vulnerability to certain charged or high-velocity particles (obviously a very preliminary theory as I've pointed out many times, but you won't let go of your strawman). You are the one who decided to re-interpret "atmospheric effects" as "charged particles" (and not just "charged particles", but "any and all varieties of charged particles"), Edam. I made no "mistake", contrary to your claims. It is you who made the mistake on your shield page, as you have effectively admitted now with your 180 degree about-face on the question of whether "Interface" has relevance to shields.

They were afraid to go down to the Raman's altitude,

Because they were stretching the abilities of the probe

Here's a hint, Edam: if you want to win a debate, try to make sure that your rebuttal actually helps you instead of the other guy. Yes, they were stretching the range of the probe. But that gives them an incentive to get closer, not farther away! If it were safe to do so, they would have done so. But they couldn't, because their shields can't handle the gas giant's atmosphere. You've wrangled and wasted time over this incident, using every trick in the book, but in the end, you simply can't escape the facts. Say it with me: their shields can't handle the gas giant's atmosphere. No megatons of energy required. You lose.

Arsenal of Freedom

[Explaining why they can't fly through a planet's upper atmosphere] The E-d isn't too good at sharp turns. Turbulence (sharp unexpected wind) is a problem for them. Why take risks when it isn't needed?

Ah, so now it's turbulence instead of shields? Engines that can propel a ship to many kilometres per second can't handle wind? I guess you forgot to take note of the fact that Worf reported the shields failing, so the problem was obviously the shield, not the turbulence.

[Shields] which were still up when they left the atmosphere. I've actually provided a possible explanation for this in the discussion no turbulence up above, and teh force vs force aspects previously.

Ah, so the force required to push an atmospheric re-entry bow wave and ion storm ahead of the ship at tens of kilometres per second was insufficient to bring down the E-D's shields, even though the force required to just sit there in the atmosphere of a gas giant would have overwhelmed them in "Interface?" Here's another hint, Edam: it's a lot easier to pretend you're winning if you don't have to contradict yourself in the process.

imminent shield failure on a ship that is half missing, yes. How can this be applied to the ship as a whole, to the shields as a whole? How much did they lose when they seperated? You'll need to explain all of that if you want your idea to have any validity.

Here's a question for you, Edam: what has a larger aerodynamic drag? A large teardrop, or a small teardrop? What makes you think the ship would have more trouble pushing its way through the air without the big bulky saucer than it would with the big bulky saucer? Woman's intuition? Worf seemed to think that the E-D was a better combat vehicle once "relieved of its bulk"; why don't you?

Descent

[Defending notion of distinct borders to corona and chromosphere] No, but they are generally accepted to have a certain depth. They say "we're out of that" so we assume they are out of it and use the common limits to judge teh distance - not still burried half way in

Don't be silly; the corona extends out over a million kilometres from the Sun. Are you going to say the Borg ship was a million kilometres away now?

so how did the burst cover the distance from the surface of the star to the borg ship in a few seconds? Transported half the distance?

Time elapsed between POV changes. This is not at all unnusual in movie footage, Edam. I can explain all of the evidence, while you can't. Think about it: you take the elapsed onscreen time, assume no time elapsed between POV changes, and ignore the visual speed of the flare. In other words, you take evidence #1 (onscreen time) and use it to contradict evidence #2 (observed flare speed), by assuming no time-lapse between POV changes. You reject evidence #2 in favour of your assumptions regarding evidence #1. You cannot simultaneously explain both pieces of evidence: if the onscreen speed is correct, there's something wrong with the time. If the time is correct, there's something wrong with the onscreen speed.

However, I can easily explain both pieces of evidence at once. I do not make the assumption of zero elapsed time between POV changes, so it's possible for only a few seconds of onscreen time to pass (with undetermined time passing during the POV change) even though the flare is moving at the speed we see onscreen. The Borg ship, with its sensors blinded, didn't see it coming. Do you understand how that works, Edam? Two pieces of evidence? My theory can explain both, yours can't? I win again, Edam. You lose.

[Regarding claims of high-energy plasma in "A Matter of Time"] They said it was high-energy plasma, we have no reason to believe they were wrong(and small quantities of high energy plasma can look like the stuff in A Matter of Time - just look at the pictures from things like SPHERE or STAR or other high-energy plasma experiments)

Only if the quantities are very small, Edam, in which case it doesn't mean squat. Those little glass "plasma ball" novelty items at the variety store generate real plasma, Edam. Does that mean we should use them to contradict nuclear fusion reactor energy density figures? You can put your hand in plasma if the quantities are small enough, but not when the quantities are large. Have you ever seen a plasma torch? I have. You need protective goggles just to look at it in operation, or it will blind you quicker than staring at the Sun. You continue to spout various "no numbers" Trekkie fallacies; you contradict mechanisms by citing other examples of said mechanisms on a miniscule scale, as if quantities are irrelevant.

If they just wanted to wait it out, they could have pulled back a half million kilometres and just sat there.

And lost the Enterprise when it left in a different direction. oops.

Yet again, you contradict yourself. First the cube is hundreds of thousands of kilometres away because somebody used the word "corona". Then, you suddenly decide that it must have been very close, or it would have lost the Enterprise when it turned to flee. Make up your mind, Edam. I'm starting to wonder if you're developing multiple personality disorder.

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!

Key point being into a star. Not just the atmosphere.

Since we're talking about "Descent" here, I don't see what you think you've accomplished by saying that. That was a star in Descent, Edam.

so you know for a fact its density will not change, you know its internal energy won't change. You know all this because you know exactly how pahsers work. Hang on...

It's not a matter of knowing precisely how they work; it's a matter of knowing what they don't do, and they don't densify matter by several orders of magnitude! There has never been a single canon incident involving phasers which has even vaguely suggested that they compress things, as opposed to heating them, blowing them apart, or making them vanish! You're inventing extra mechanisms for phasers without a shred of evidence, with nothing to protect you but the flimsy reasoning that I can't absolutely disprove your half-baked idea. Every mechanism is existent until proven non-existent, eh? What a crock. What are you going to claim next? That phasers can make chow mein, and we should assume that's true unless someone can show how they work and prove that they can't do it?

We know what their scoutships look like. the only time we see the ship in Descent it is described as a Multi Kinetic Neutronic Mine. If you want to say it isn't a mine (aka bomb - explosive device) find us another example where it is something else. Until then, it's a Borg bomb.

No, the ship in "Descent" is described as a starship, not a "multi-kinetic neutronic mine", and its capabilities fit the bill. You are mixing the events of "Descent" and "Scorpion" together in your obviously addled mind. We saw a ship in "Descent", and it was described as a ship. We saw the same shape on a viewscreen in "Scorpion", which they planned to use for making a bomb. From that, I conclude that they can jury-rig a starship chassis into a large bomb, the same way Timothy McVeigh turned a van into a fertilizer bomb. You, on the other hand, conclude that the ship in "Descent" must have been a bomb because the same shape could be used as a bomb in "Scorpion" (by that token, all vans are fertilizer bombs). You use this bizarre logic to conclude that therefore, its shields were weak and they don't count.

News flash: its shields were strong enough to ward off the E-D's weapons, so if you admit that they're too weak to stave off diffuse photosphere gas with minimal energy compared to the EM radiation emanated by the star, then you have effectively admitted that the E-D itself (whose shields are obviously no stronger) is just as weak, and by extension, that Trek shield technology suffers from this weakness across the board.

[Echoing John Riehle's foolishness] Do you know the properties of borg nanoprobes? no? Then how can you say an explosive device would vaporise them?

Looking for escape clauses? Every unknown must work in your favour by default? Why? No, I don't know the exact properties of Borg nanoprobes. But I do know the properties of solid matter in general, and any piece of solid matter in the immediate vicinity of a multi-megaton blast will be vapourized, particularly if it's microscopic.

If you want this to be a theory work on it. Take the examples that need correcting and correct them. That is, after all, what this is about - pointing out the mistakes you have made in the page.

"Mistakes" based on your strawman exaggeration of my position. You have utterly failed to demonstrate that any of these incidents was not an example of a serious weakness; at best, you only helped suggest specific explanations for kind of weakness it was. And in the process, you contradicted yourself so many times that you'll need surgery to pull your head out of your ass.

But wait! There's more! Time for the BDZ argument, as we continue:

Continue to part 3/3


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