The Neutronium Hull Fallacy

An EU claim is being discussed in this particular page. This one regards the EU statements that a substance known as "Neutronium" (a term used to describe the material making up neutron stars) is used in constructing hull plates for Imperial warships. In this particular case, Mr. Anderson attacks the alleged fallacy by examining the properties of neutron stars, and then concluding that the "neutronium" used in SW cannot be the same substance found in neutron stars in real life.

Unfortunately, he misses the entire point while nitpicking minutiae and semantics. The point is that the EU sources say that the hulls of SW ships, made up in part of neutronium, can easily shrug off thermonuclear devices. Contrary to his belief, it does not matter what something is, what matters are its effects. Since SW ships can easily shrug off thermonuclear devices, it is readily apparent that the SW ships will almost certainly win in a conflict between SW and ST ships, especially given the firepower demonstrated by the E-E (the UFP's most modern warship) in "Nemesis."

[Editor's note: I don't think RSA should get off the hook that easily. This page is actually a classic example of his astounding penchant for unapologetic self-contradiction. He claims that SW neutronium cannot possibly be neutronium because it shouldn't exist outside of neutron stars. He mocks "Warsies" by saying "They are claiming that somehow, magically, neutronium has escaped from a neutron star and decided to bury itself just under the surface of a moon." Then he turns around just a few paragraphs later and says that ST neutronium is neutronium even though it's routinely found outside of neutron stars, and that we should "try to find a rationalization for its existence outside of neutron stars. It simply will not do to claim that there are two separate materials, since this represents a multiplication of entities unsupportable by the dictates of Occam's Razor, or good sense."

Is he trying to contradict himself in the most spectacularly offensive manner possible? How can he say apply different standards to SW and ST so blatantly? You'd think he'd do a better job of hiding it, no?

The SW Encylopedia has the following entries:

Durasteel: Used to build everything from space vehicles to dwellings, this ultra-lightweight metal can withstand radical temperature extremes and severe mechanical stress

Dura-armour: Industrial-strength military armor, it has the ability to absorb and divert blaster energy. Dura-armour is made by compressing and binding neutronium, lomite, and zersium molecules together through the process of matrix acceleration.

Now let's see how RSA chooses to interpret these two cites:

Star Wars Neutronium

1. Found in veins on a moon. (Cracken's Threat Dossier)
2. A heavy metallic element. (SWS, Rebel Dawn, etc.)
3. When alloyed with the other metals iomite and zersium, can be made into durasteel. (CTD)
4. Durasteel rods can be bent by an angry woman. ("Daala turned and ripped one of the electric-blue glowtorches from the floor behind her. "Enough!" she shouted. She raised the durasteel staff high and smashed it down upon the tabletop. The glowcrystal exploded into shards with crackling blue sparks, and transparent fragments flew in all directions. She hammered the rod down again and again, denting the table, bending the staff, and fragmenting the end." (Darksaber, p. 133)"

Notice how he tries to prove that dura-armour is not neutronium by showing that durasteel is not indestructible; there is profound scientific ignorance inherent in this approach. First of all, a metallic matrix impregnated by neutronium pellets would not become indestructible; if you put a super-strong pellet in a thin steel rod, would the whole rod become as strong as the pellet? Second, neutronium is useful because of its density and theoretical superconductivity; it is a fluid substance and would obviously not have rigidity.

But wait; there's more! Did you notice his other notes, saying that neutronium is found in veins on a moon and is a heavy metallic element? Did you notice that while he gave a nice quote to support the "durasteel rod" idea, he gives only vague references for those other points? Why? I dug up the original quote from Cracken's Threat Dossier:

"As luck would have it, a remarkable find is made on Koratas, Dathomir's fourth moon. Digging through the thick, red - tinted soil, Imperial scientists stumble across several rich veins of neutronium, lommite and zersium. These minerals are the primary components in the alloy known as durasteel, the most common warship - grade armour used in Imperial ship construction. Excited by the discovery, Zsinj moved all his shipbuilding facilities to Dathomir"

Interesting; a chunk of neutronium is found in a moon, and this is such a remarkable discovery that Zsinj immediately moves his entire shipbuilding facilities there. RSA obviously wants you to think that this is where they normally get neutronium, but that obviously isn't the case. Could a chunk of a neutron star exist outside of its parent star? Unknown. Could it accrete material as it moves, or slam into a moon or planet and get stuck there? Undoubtedly. Is this any more disproof of its neutronium nature than the rogue neutron star "fragment" in TNG's "Masterpiece Society?" You tell me; I'm sure RSA will find some way to explain why the rogue fragment in "Masterpiece Society" was real neutronium while the rogue fragment found buried on a moon in "Cracken's Threat Dossier" was not. One parting note: the odds of finding the exact constituents of dura-armour in one place, already mixed together, are probably not high. This "vein" may have actually been artificial, perhaps the result of some huge ancient space station crashing into the moon or something.

And what about the other sources he cites, SWS and Rebel Dawn? Well first, the "SWS" is probably supposed to be the SWE (Star Wars Encyclopedia), and we've already seen that quote. As for "Rebel Dawn", I have a copy of it, and I can't find the word "neutronium" anywhere in it. Could I have missed it? Maybe (although it does contain an important sequence revolving around a neutron star (not that this helps RSA's case that SW neutronium does not come from neutron stars), but since RSA's the one making claims, he should provide the quotes. As it is, any argument he uses to prove that SW neutronium is not neutronium can be turned around and used more easily on ST neutronium, particularly since ST neutronium is explicitly stated to be "solid", and neutronium is not solid. RSA may believe he is a mental gymnast, but he's more of a mental contortionist; I've never seen someone able to twist around upon himself the way he can]

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