RSA Debate

Round 4, Part 1b (Death Star Firepower)

(Posted 7:25am Tuesday, October 8, 2002)

(Summary at the bottom)

> Preface

> *******

Once again, I am going to snip out your off-topic material, as per my statements in the EU post. Your off-topic claims do not have merit or relevance.

I will, however, respond to one point . . . you seem to take issue with the fact that I rearranged your disorganized post into a logical order and concept grouping, and you claim that I ignored your main points. I responded to every point you made (and indeed was helping you to make them by putting them in a sensical order) . . . if there was some point you wanted to make which was scattered amongst the disorganization and never directly stated, the fault is your own.

Also, I note with displeasure that you *continue* to use your prejudicial term "MCR" to refer to the Superlaser Effect, while I still have not used what you considered to be the similarly prejudicial "DET theorist".

Regarding the nature of the debate, you suggest that I am:

> claiming that "as the challenged party", you have the right to change the subject as you see fit!

I'm not sure what you're misunderstanding or misrepresenting to arrive at that suggestion, but that is not my claim nor has it ever been.

> And since you insisted that I open the debate instead of you, you forfeited your right to select the subject.

Mike, please try to be more consistent . . . first, it is your stated belief that the challenged party sets the topic. Second, I already told you what we were going to be debating long before the debate began. Your decision to throw in the EU matter was acceptable, so long as it didn't interfere with the main topic.

> By the way, I challenge you to answer this as a normal debater would, by answering each WHOLE point with a single CONTIGUOUS rebuttal,

That is neither necessary nor logical. Arguments are supposed to be based on proof, and developed toward a conclusion of some sort. I could leave out your claims entirely, but I quote each bit of proof and moment of development along with my rebuttal for ease of reference, and to avoid your claim (being made anyway) that I have ignored such-and-such or so-and-so.

It seems that you would rather have me quote an entire section of text, and then start to discuss it . . . in which case I'd be left to start from your conclusion, instead of pointing out the flaws you make as you make them. While it might be helpful for you if I had a hand tied behind my back in such a manner, I do not find it a valid request.

> Point 1: Parsimony

> ******************

> The principle of parsimony, also known as Occam's Razor in this context,

This is an example of what I just referred to. I could quote the next 37 lines and only afterward point out the fact that there is a difference between Occam's Razor and the more rigid Principle of Parsimony, but why should I wait to point out flaws?

> A lesser-known aspect of this principle is that unobservable terms are redundant by definition, since they cannot be evaluated and therefore cannot be used for quantitative prediction.


> Or as Stephen Hawking put it:

> "It seems better to employ the principle known as Occam's razor and cut out all the features of the theory which cannot be observed."

The full quote is in regards to uncertainty and determinism in the universe:

"We could still imagine that there is a set of laws that determines events completely for some supernatural being, who could observe the present state of the universe without disturbing it. However, such models of the universe are not of much interest to us mortals. It seems better to employ the principle known as Occam's razor and cut out all the features of the theory which cannot be observed."

> And this is where we come to the single biggest problem with your so-called "theory": it replaces the planetary shield with your MCR, so the number of terms is the same,

No Mike, the number of terms is not the same, because the Superlaser Effect does not replace the planetary shield.

You must (1) have a beam type which operates on the target surface via DET, and (2) a shield which covers the planet and can hold the beam's energy at bay.

My theory involves (1) a beam type which can induce the Superlaser Effect on relatively dense concentrations of matter.

* And then, once we're done there, you still have to contrive mechanisms to explain the other events . . . the DS2 explosion offset, the ship-killer shots, and so on, as previously explained and ignored. Meanwhile, I've still got one theory, going strong. *

> but planetary shields are KNOWN TO EXIST in SW

You're still claiming this?

> (ranging from tiny ground theatre shields

. . . which is not a planetary shield . . .

> to huge theatre shields like the one at Hoth

. . . which is not a planetary shield . . .

> which could easily be networked,

. . . which means you're claiming they could exist, not that they are "KNOWN TO EXIST" . . .

> and even planet-encircling systems such as the one at Endor).

. . . which is not a planetary shield, unless you wish to claim that there is no difference between a 12,000km ball of rock and a ~900km technological monstrosity.

> Your MCR, on the other hand, is neither seen or mentioned anywhere in the canon.

It's seen at Alderaan and elsewhere, as has been demonstrated. Though it has not been mentioned, this is not a requirement . . . many canonically observed facts are not mentioned outright.

As an example, look at lightsabres. The blades are not mere light, nor is the similar canonical description "laser sword" valid, because we observe them behaving in a manner irreconcilable with the behavior of mere light. I see no reason for us to insist that they are composed of simple photons merely because nothing else has been said on the subject.

> Moreover, your MCR cannot possibly be evaluated in any quantitative manner. You have NO WAY of assigning it any numbers whatsoever.

Blatantly untrue. I calculated the matter requirement for the conversion explosion of Alderaan which was observed assuming an Earth-like planet, and have made estimates on efficiency based on the sketchy information on leftover material that was available. With more detailed data available, I could assign more precise figures to the Alderaan shot. With more detailed data on materials and similar details available, I could assign figures to the Death Star blasts and ship-killer shots, as well.

I find your claim quite odd, though . . . you estimate the DET firepower of the Death Star based on the assumption that Alderaan is Earth-like, so estimation from the canon is not a new concept to you.

> You cannot determine how much energy it produces,

And it is absurd to expect such a thing, since it will always be a target-dependent figure. For a world such as Alderaan, and assuming Alderaan is Earth-like it will be in the neighborhood of 1e38J.

> other than assuming that the superlaser is weaker than the explosion by some arbitrary figure.

The superlaser itself serves as a catalyst . . . it's energy content is only relevant in that regard.

However, I have shown you that neither beam type (DET or SF) can involve more than 23.5 gigatons against the entire volume of atmosphere it encounters, and that is a high-end estimate. Further, I have argued that the Death Star's power generation capabilities would not allow for energy production in the required 1e38J range. Finally, there's the logical point that if they could do it in a more direct fashion, they wouldn't need to employ any fancy tricks to get the job done.

> You don't even know what the reactants are, or what the reaction rate is!

The reactant is approximately 1/10000th of the material of the planet, assuming a ~50% efficiency to the Superlaser Effect energy release.

> Your MCR is a textbook example of a redundant, unobservable term.

Blatantly untrue. By that argument, wind and gravity are redundant unobservables, since in spite of the fact we can observe the effects and apply the theories successfully, the mechanisms themselves cannot be directly observed.

> The minute you try to make it "real" by assigning numbers to it such as a reaction rate, it quickly produces predictions which severely contradict observation.

The above is a "textbook example" of an utterly unsubstantiated claim.

> So here are my challenges on point 1:

> 1. Define the reactants employed by this reaction,

As has been done repeatedly. But, once more, it is the matter of the planet.

> as well as the reaction products.

Given that it is described as mass-energy conversion, one logical candidate would be energy, wouldn't you say?

As for any differences in the leftover matter compared to that which made up Alderaan, I'm afraid I haven't had the opportunity to pore over the remains of Alderaan lately, and I see no reason to needlessly speculate, just because you have hoops that you feel need jumping-through.

> 2. Estimate the reaction rate in the case of Alderaan.

Again, you're asking me to speculate in the absence of evidence . . . we cannot see the interior of the planet, and we are not informed of any details regarding what is going on beneath the surface. Why the insistence on this tactic? Speculation is not required, and even if the speculation were made and you managed to disprove it (which would be interesting, given the absence of evidence), there would be no harm done to the theory itself.

> Point 2: Unsolved Mystery Fallacy 1: Fire Rings

> ***********************************************

> As mentioned many times before, you cannot prove that your MCR exists simply by showing that the fire rings are an unsolved mystery.

And if so, then it's a good thing I never tried to prove the Superlaser Effect that way. It does, however, make for a nice bit of disproof regarding the DET theory, which is how I have employed the rings.

> So what if the fire rings are not explained by conventional physics?

Then perhaps conventional 20th Century physics is not the route by which one should expect to understand them, or the Alderaan event.

> Have you got a BETTER idea?

Yes, I do. Abandon the bias toward the antiquated theory, and then abandon the antiquated theory. Increasingly-contrived additions and tweaks designed to try to explain away major flaws in any theory says something about that theory . . . it's even worse when you end up saying "uh, I dunno" and throwing your hands in the air, as you do with the rings.

Instead, accept the argument that the rings and planar effects are directly related to the superlaser and mass distribution. Superlasers are seen to produce planar effects, and the monstrosities carrying the superlasers are also seen to enjoy planar effects upon their destruction. (And, in the case of DS2, the superlaser itself "poofed" first, before the blast, and in all cases the planar effects are centered along the center of mass, evidently.)

You could argue that they are instead related to the Death Stars themselves, but such arguments make no sense. The only connection of other destroyed objects with the Death Stars would be proximity, but that does nothing to explain the observed effects (especially given the variable effects which do not correspond to the variations in proximity).

> There's the rub; you can't supplant A with B unless you can prove that B is better. B is NOT automatically assumed to be better if A is not quite perfect!

A is imperfect. B may not be perfect (though this has yet to be shown), but it is certainly light-years better than A by any objective criterion.

> The fire rings defy the laws of physics in many ways. First, they slow down spontaneously in the vacuum of space.


> Second, they are not visible from the ground (watch ROTJ; the fire ring follows right behind the MF as it streaks toward the Rebel fleet, which is sitting between the DS and the planet; this obviously means that the ring is headed straight for the sanctuary moon, yet we see Ewoks looking up at the sky and seeing nothing).

We should not expect for them to have seen anything. Using Phil Skayhan's Rings.mpg (30fps) as a reference, I note that the DS2 ring becomes visible at Frame 423. Assuming a 900 kilometer station, the inner boundary of the ring reaches a diameter of 1800 kilometers at Frame 453, one second later. Recall, if you will, that assuming positional accuracy on the Rebel hologram (which is consistent with the orbital visuals), the Death Star was orbiting at an absolute maximum of 2000 kilometers from the surface of the moon.

We do not cut to the planet's surface until Frame 597, by which point the rings are long gone. The rings existed for at least a dozen frames (depending on your resolution) as a barely-perceptible line, disappearing completely circa Frame 578.

> Third, they cause no effect upon striking the atmosphere of Endor; not even a harmless "aurora borealis"-style lightshow.

We do not see the rings interact with the atmosphere at all, since we are not in a position to observe contact between the two at any point.

> So what are they?

A planar effect related to the superlaser.

> How much energy do they carry?

There is no way to determine a figure, canonically.

> And how does your theory predict their existence?

The prediction was that superlaser-related explosions would exhibit mass-centered planar effects, as per the Alderaan example. This is observed most strongly in the DS2 example, with support from the DS1 and ship-killer shot examples.

> Isn't it entirely possible that they are some wholly exotic hyperspace side-effect which can only be seen by our omnipotent observer, since the phenomenon is heading straight for the Ewoks and they can't see it with the naked eye?

Illogical. First, I've never heard of your omni_scient_ observer. Second, there is no reason for the Ewoks to have been expected to see it, due to the time factor. Third, even if the time factor weren't a problem, why would we expect the omniscient observer to show us the rings in a space shot, and then suddenly falter from within an atmosphere? There's no reason to assume that we were looking straight through Ewok eyes.

> Ultimately, the fire rings crush your argument rather than helping it, because the ring simultaneously appears around the entire circumference of the planet.

Your assertion that this somehow crushes my argument is illogical . . . ring formation around the entire planet is not and has never been the slightest bit inconsistent with my theory. I'd be more surprised by a partial ring.

> While the conventional theory has the planet exploding from the inside out (which should produce effects that are centred on the core),

Now you're venturing into the absurd . . . it appears that you hope to claim consistency between DET and the rings, which just isn't going to work (though I applaud your gall in being the first to try to make such a claim, to my knowledge).

However, your effort fails for the following reasons:

1. The primary Alderaan explosion did not have a focal point at the center of the planet, and we do not know how far any DET beam might've penetrated.

2. The secondary Alderaan explosion did not have a focal point at the center of the planet.

3. You ignore the mass-centered nature of the DS2 explosion.

> your argument has the planet reacting from the outside in,

Straw man . . . as stated, we do not know what is going on beneath the surface.

> Here is my challenge on point 2: explain how your MCR produces the fire rings. Do not dismiss the challenge by pretending that you have already done so (hint: you can't just say "it creates planar shockwaves" and call that an explanation).

Once again, you demand an unrequired and illogical specificity of me (and which you obviously do not require of yourself or your own theory).

The planar effects are produced by the Superlaser Effect, and the nuts-and-bolts of this are not known. There is something of a scale factor involved . . . larger converted objects/ more energetic effects create planar effects of a higher order. However, we are not told what the rings are composed of, and it is futile to speculate about the nuts-and-bolts of their origins in the absence of data, and improper to demand it.

Unlike some people, I go precisely as far as the evidence allows, and no further . . . I don't make wild guesses and hope they stick.

(And, again, how do you hope to disprove anything I might say? Subspace shockwaves? Sure, why not. Trillions of flaming gnomes? Hey, that's great, too. Death Star flatulence? Fantastic. Trillions of flaming flatulating subspace shockwave gnomes? Superb.)

> Point 3: Imaginary "Bands of Brightness"

Way to avoid the prejudicial language, chief. Also, I've had to remind you several times that there is but one band. I would advise you to make a better effort to understand the basic facts of a theory before declaring it false, just for future reference.

> ****************************************

> You produced a marked-up picture to show your "bands of brightness". EVERYONE who has seen that picture has come away convinced that you are delusional.

That's funny, since I've been e-mailed/received site feedback from people who also see them and agree that they exist. What I'm curious about is how in the world you feel that is relevant . . . this is a discussion of fact, Mike. Fact is not based on public opinion, or your rather peculiar perception of it.

> You have no plausible explanation for why the planet is white-hot luminescent for thousands of kilometres AHEAD of the imaginary "bands" in the early frames,

I assume you refer to your Frame 3, which you described in your first post as undergoing a saturation of the video medium. It strikes me as rather inconsistent for you to now claim that this represents a clear image of white-hot luminescence.

Or, perhaps you refer to your Frame 4 . . . but no, that can't be, since there is no white-hot luminescence thousands of kilometers ahead of the band.

I trust you do not refer to Frame 5, wherein you claim that there is vaporized material flying away along the leftmost side of the planet, in spite of your multiple claims to the contrary regarding Frame 2.

> And finally, you claim that when the "bands of brightness" close in on themselves at the other end, a huge secondary explosion results.

No, you're arguing a horrendous straw man. As I just told you in my last post:

"I didn't say that the band caused the secondary blast. I simply pointed out that the timing supports a relation of the band meeting itself on the other side and the beginning of the secondary blast."

This does not mean that a huge explosion *results* from the band meeting itself, Mike.

> Point 4: Unsolved Mystery Fallacy 2: Secondary Blast

> ****************************************************

> You claim that the "secondary blast" is explained by your MCR. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case, as I have shown above.

When? With the strawman argument? Straw men show absolutely nothing, Mike, except what might be very kindly referred to as 'creativity'.

> Even if we humour your imaginary "bands of brightness",

. . . which is actually one band, easily observable . . .

> and even if we humour your desire to interpret this as an exothermal chain reaction moving through the planet,

. . . which I have not claimed, since I can't see the internal dynamics of the effect as it is going on beneath the surface any more than you can . . .

> the fact is that if the secondary explosion doesn't occur until the "bands" reach the far side of the planet, then it actually DISPROVES your MCR by not fizzling out at that point, the way an exothermal chain reaction should.

And here you reach your conclusion, based on ignorance of my theory, denial of evidence, and two straw men. Absurd.

> Ultimately, your MCR is shattered, not supported, by the secondary blast.

Wrong. The secondary blast constitutes the largest energy release event of the Superlaser Effect (obviously). The fact that secondaries occur with other superlaser-related events is icing on the cake.

> There are an infinite number of theories one might concoct to explain what it is (particularly since the delay is really not that large; I suggest people watch the clip at FULL speed to see what I mean).

Around a second passes and the superlaser has ceased, which is more than enough to be peculiar.

> For all we know, the superlaser is so intense that it creates gravitational distortions, and part of the core becomes a short-lived singularity (which spontaneously detonates in a massive burst of gamma rays).

I already created and destroyed this basic concept back in May on ASVS in a lovely brainstorming thread (actually, I was pondering trying to make the core a spinning pulsar to explain the rings, but concluded that it wouldn't work at all). As my brainstorming partner put it: "Hmm, you're right, that is insane. Keen, but insane."

First, the planetary core isn't going to be even remotely massive enough to create a genuine singularity. Second, gravitational distortions of that calibre would create an implosion effect on the planetary debris, if even due to the simple fact that the core would suddenly have to shrink to a diameter measured in meters. Third, you'd be looking at some profound angular momentum increases which are magically able to avoid translating to the rest of the planet, or the material therefrom. Fourth, this is your inertial confinement thing gone haywire, failing due to the same basic problem . . . you're shooting the core with a comparatively small beam; why would the entire core compress in such an orderly fashion, leaving everything else untouched? Finally, why the secondary blast delay, mixed with the explosion offset?

> But regardless of how we choose to rationalize it, the point is that there is no reason to imagine that any exotic reaction would require LESS energy.

Except basic logic and the requirements imposed by the Death Star reactors.

> So here is my challenge on point 4: explain why your imaginary "bands of brightness" would create a massive explosion AFTER running out of reactant.

Your challenge is illogical, since it is based on a straw man.

My challenge to you would be to explain it via DET theory. You've abandoned the rings as unknown unknowables, and simply ignore the band, but surely you realize you can't ignore every basic fact of the event and still declare your theory about it sound.

> Point 5: Fear of Evidence

> *************************

> Your theory relies upon exclusion of evidence:

This may just be the most absurd claim in your post. I'm the one including the evidence (rings, secondary explosions, and so on), while you are the one excluding it by ignoring it outright and/or chalking it up to unknown unknowables that magically don't change anything.

> you must eliminate the entire EU,

My theory does not rely on the elimination of the EU . . . that is a completely separate issue. What you consider elimination of the EU in this debate, I consider respect for canon as the supreme fact, and the basis upon which the EU is to be judged. In other words, the EU does not and should not re-write canon.

> explain away the opening crawl of ANH,

There's nothing to explain away, except your assumption that the opening crawl must venture into Death Star firepower analysis, instead of simply expressing the fact that it's a big damn scary thing can destroy entire worlds.

> and even dismiss the original versions of the canon films!

"!"? Why the exclamation? You're *supposed* to dismiss the original versions . . . that's what the Special Editions are for! The Special Editions are the way Lucas wanted it to be, and so he corrected the originals accordingly.

You insist on the Star Wars Encyclopedia quote elsewhere . . . why ignore its dictate that only the Special Editions are canon?

> As a matter of principle, our arguments over canon and continuity exist only because YOUR theory is wholly dependent upon an ultra-strict interpretation.

No, my theory is dependent on observations of canon, and the supremacy of the canon over all else. Whether the EU is valid material is irrelevant . . . I'd argue the same point in any case, because the EU cannot re-write canon.

> The conventional explanation works equally well with or without the EU.

Actually, it doesn't work either way . . . but your attempt to invoke the EU does demonstrate the fact that your position is even weaker without it.

> The conventional explanation works equally well with or without the original versions of the canon films.

Actually, it doesn't work either way . . . but your position would be better with the originals, since the original versions don't include rings or the other odd FX, but do include what is almost certainly a planetary shield.

> The conventional explanation works equally well with or without the opening crawl of ANH.

Then will you stop insisting on your fanciful interpretation?

> Your "theory", however,

. . . must be put in quotation marks during this grandstanding session, so as to make it look doubtful, while you claim that it . . .

> rests upon the flimsy platform of

. . . canon evidence, and . . .

> your dogmatic and inflexible brick-wall claims

. . . that canon evidence is supreme,

> regarding what you call the "Canon Policy" (invariably capitalized for extra Religious Power(TM)).

Ah, yes, the accusation of religious thinking. I was waiting for a repeat of your common line of attack against any and all adversaries, and here it is again.

First, the Canon Policy exists as argued, though that's part of the other section of the discussion. Second, I don't need the Canon Policy argument for the Death Star argument. Third, I capitalize it as a long-standing editorial convention (loosely based on German noun capitalization habits), to prevent confusion with generic usage (most notably in regards to "continuity" vs. the EU in-house "Continuity").

> So here is my challenge on point 5: how can you claim to be conducting "evidence-based debate" when you expend so much effort trying to SUPPRESS most of the evidence? Even "foggy" pictures of the situation (as per your Cerasi quote) are better than no pictures at all.

1. Mike, your accusation that I am suppressing evidence is a clever way to whine about the fact that the EU is irrelevant in this debate. This was decided in advance. Deal with it.

2. The EU materials are not valid evidence in any debate, or on any subject (except those dealing with the EU specifically). Deal with it.

> Point 6: Inconsistency (ie- hypocrisy)

> **************************************

> You flatly deny the existence of the Alderaan planetary shield because there is no explicit statement that it exists.

No, I deny it because there is no *evidence* that it exists, there is *evidence* that it doesn't, your claims that evidence does exist are self-contradictory in regards to Alderaan, and based on flights of fancy when you attempt to extrapolate it from theatre shields.

Speaking of extrapolation and 'inconsistency (ie- hypocrisy)':

"These unsupported leaps of logic and extrapolations are unreasonable. There is only one reasonable rule to follow when asking ourselves what people in a sci-fi universe can do: "if they've done it before, they can do it again." We simply don't understand this fictional technology well enough to extrapolate. An example may be helpful:

If a medieval knight saw a helicopter, he would correctly conclude that it can fly. He might also incorrectly assume that it can fly to the top of the highest mountain. A helicopter cannot fly to very high altitudes because the thin air affects its rotor lift and engine performance, but a medieval knight wouldn't know this (indeed, many people today don't know this). Even if the knight were to ride with the pilot and pick up some of the terminology, he still might not figure it out, and it might not occur to the pilot to bring it up. That is why he would not be justified in extrapolating any capabilities for the helicopter beyond what he's actually seen, and that is why Trekkies are unjustified in extrapolating new, heretofore unseen capabilities for Star Trek ships." - Mike Wong,

> You refuse to even TEST it against the observations of Alderaan because of the lack of PRIOR evidence (even though the test ITSELF would provide the evidence you need).

How could the test itself provide the evidence, when the test results you claim contradict one another? Remember, it is you who claims that Frame 2 shows shielding, and Frame 5 doesn't, despite the fact that the effect on the left side of the planet is visually the same. And yet, you claim separate causes, *and* ignore the same effect on all lightened blue or glowing areas, such as the visible seas of Frame 1 and 2.

> However, if you were to apply this policy in a UNIFORM manner, you would have to disqualify your MCR for the same reason: there is no explicit dialogue or prior observation whatsoever to even remotely hint at the existence of this MCR (indeed, it's much worse; at least we know planetary shields and theatre shields have been mentioned before).

1. There is *evidence* for the Superlaser Effect.

2. The evidence for it is not self-contradictory.

3. It successfully explains the situations observed.

4. You're doing it again . . . once again you've claimed planetary shield knowledge where none exists.

> So here is my challenge on point 6: explain why you think we should carefully consider your MCR while disqualifying the planetary shield before we even reach the starting blocks.

It could, perhaps, be because the planetary shield concept fails when put to the test, and since I've demonstrated that you need it by pointing out how DET fails even more horrendously than usual without it, the DET theory doesn't hold water.

What I find absurd is that you seem to be under the impression that the entire DET theory must be tested all at once, and its multiple individual parts are not subject to testing. Even more: when they fail the test, they still cannot be removed from the theory, or else it is a straw man.

This is a very convenient policy for any theory which requires contrived notion upon contrived notion to shore it up, but it also happens to be an illogical policy.

> Point 7: Alderaan Planetary Shield

> **********************************

> You refuse to evaluate the conventional explanation with a shield in place.

Naturally, since there is no evidence for a shield in place, evidence against, and so on.

> Rather than see the visible manifestations of a shield as evidence of that shield, you insist that there is NO shield and then challenge us to explain the shield-like manifestations WITHOUT it!

Your "visible manifestations" change with the wind. At one point, it's shield . . . in the next frame, it's vaporized surface material. And then you expect me to *disprove* a shield that is only sporadically argued for in the first place, while demanding that I not shift the burden of proof to you.

You make the claim, you provide the evidence. Your occasional say-so does not equal the existence of a shield.

> Here is my challenge on point 7: defend your MCR against the conventional explanation INCLUDING the shield.

*** WHAT SHIELD? ***

> If the shield is not a workable explanation, then we'll find out if it fails the test.

Once again, your claim that individual elements of the theory are not open to individual testing (or even individual acknowledgement during an overall test) is peculiar.

> But if you continue to insist on disqualifying it before the test even begins, then I can only conclude that you do not want to face it on a level playing field, with all that this implies.

Our level playing field is reality, and the bedrock is canon fact. There is nothing in support of the shield claim, and the shield claim is self-contradictory. It simply doesn't get to play.

> Point 8: A Candidate for your MCR

> *********************************

> It is based on simple thermodynamics, and it is known as mass/heat transfer.


Your attempt at humor (at least, that's what I hope it is, for your sake) is entertaining, but not seriously capable of matching the Superlaser Effect. As demonstrated, DET does not serve to explain anything, and its demands are contradictory to observed fact.

> So there you have it: since you wouldn't do it, I have helpfully defined your MCR for you.

Not necessary, since I've already defined it.

> Point 9: Energy Level

> *********************

> You insist that the "artificial sun" comment in the ANH novelization

"Space filled temporarily with trillions of microscopic metal fragments, propelled past the retreating ships by the liberated energy of a small artificial sun."

> is a precise description of Death Star power generation physics.

Yes. But, I've also pointed out that even if this should somehow turn out to be incorrect, there's still the little matter of the energy release, and the limitations therefrom.

> You base this on your assumption that "sun" means "something which runs on nuclear fusion".

It's not an assumption . . . it's the use of the term which allows for the highest-end energy figures without being an incorrect use of the term.

> Oddly enough, there are many kinds of star which do NOT run on nuclear fusion (as I already pointed out, and to which you predictably replied by extensively nitpicking details of the examples provided, rather than acknowledging the underlying point),

Your underlying point was not only incorrect, but also not served by any of your examples, Mike. You can claim predictable nitpicking all day long, but if you have no reply don't waste my time by repeating yourself.

> and Merriam-Webster says a sun is a celestial body "resembling the Sun (as in warmth or brilliance)".

Well, well, well . . . I thought what we had here was simply an example of selective quoting, but in fact this is a good old-fashioned lie. I've already warned you about such things, Mike. Let's take a look at what you did:

I gave you the link to the definition of "sun" at, where the results from multiple sources were provided. You, meanwhile, have offerred a mere snippet of Merriam-Webster's definition.

Let's look at (the Merriam-Webster website) and see what else they have to say:

"1 a often capitalized : the luminous celestial body around which the earth and other planets revolve, from which they receive heat and light, and which has a mean distance from earth of 93,000,000 miles (150,000,000 kilometers), a linear diameter of 864,000 miles (1,390,000 kilometers), a mass 332,000 times greater than earth, and a mean density about one fourth that of earth b : a celestial body like the sun

2 : the heat or light radiated from the sun

3 : one resembling the sun (as in warmth or brilliance)

4 : the rising or setting of the sun <from sun to sun>"

You decided to partially quote #3, and insert your own meaning into it by stripping out "one" (i.e. a person) and inserting the idea of a celestial body instead. However, the only Merriam-Webster implication regarding a celestial body comes in definition 1b: "a celestial body like the sun".

I'm not impressed, Mike.

> Nothing there about nuclear fusion being part of the definition of "sun", I'm afraid ... it appears to apply to any luminous celestial body.

Provided, of course, that it is like our sun. Or, in our case, a small artificial version of it.

> Moreover, this entire line of reasoning is inherently self-contradictory. I have already pointed out that your theory calls for the Death Star to be able to convert any arbitrary piece of matter into energy with its superlaser, but NOT its power reactor.

This again? I already answered this silly claim last time . . . it's sitting there on your un-formatted reprint, halfway down the page. Did you even read my last post?

And I quote:

"I was wondering when you were going to attempt that silly argument. What you have failed to consider is one of the basic facts of science and history . . . employing a potentially vast energy source as a weapon is a helluva lot easier than making it into a generator. Making fusion bombs was easy . . . controlled fusion for a reactor is not. Add to that the fact that to make this superweapon, they evidently had to build ridiculously huge starships with massive internal systems dedicated to the weapon. Assuming they could even control the reaction when it is in progress and/or make it controllably self-sustaining (two awfully huge assumptions), the smallest known example of the technology is still enormous, and requires similarly huge fusion reactors just to get it going.

(Also, where do you put it? If you build a huge facility on a planet, something goes wrong and the chain reaction gets out of hand, the planet might explode or be made rather inhospitable. You put it in orbit, and you have to beam the power down some other way, and ignore details like the potential "Ewok Holocaust" repeat if something goes wrong, the environmental unfriendliness' (to put it lightly) of sending death rays into the atmosphere (depending on the power production rate), and so on. In short, assuming it can even be controlled, it's unworkable as a power source. Perhaps, decades after RoTJ, things could be different . . . but, then, Lucas isn't making a third trilogy, so we don't know that.)"

> Or did you ignore this point the first time around because you knew you had no defense against it?

??? Riiiiiiight.

> Here is my challenge on point 9 (since your semantic "artificial sun" argument is so weak that it convinces no one but yourself): explain how the Empire can possibly have the fantastic technology to convert arbitrary masses into energy from tens of thousands of kilometres away while being unable to employ anything more sophisticated than nuclear fusion for power generation.

Mike, you should've just skipped point nine, since it involved you in a bald-faced lie and what I assume was failure to read my last post.

> Summary

> *******

> In the end, we see 1E38 J on the right-hand side of the equation; this is indisputable.

And never disputed.

> You refuse to acknowledge that we should put 1E38 J on the left-hand side as well, and the only "evidence" you put forward on this point (by far the most crucial point, since everything else you mention can be attributed to conventional physics more easily than your MCR) is a seriously flawed semantic analysis.

Wrong on multiple counts:

1. 1e38J *is* on the left side . . . it's locked in the matter of the planet.

2. Conventional physics (i.e. DET theory) does not explain everything, as you yourself have admitted.

3. There's nothing wrong with my semantic analysis (or the backup thereto), and this seems more likely given that lies are required to try to counter it.

4. There's a great deal more evidence for the Superlaser Effect than one quote. To claim otherwise is absurd, and requires us to ignore everything I've said.

> You have willfully ignored your own debate stipulations about sticking to evidence,

Not true. I'm the one who's been dispensing with your snipes and petty personal attacks.

> conducting rational debate,

Not true. I've kept things on-topic, and even helped you try to make your points by showing you how to order things under topics, instead of that scattergun nonsense.

> or keeping it brief.

Not true. I've kept it as brief as possible, given the number of claims you make and the required complexity of untangling them to get back to the truth of the matter.

> In fact, the audience is already rumbling that your ridiculously long posts are an exhaustion tactic.

The truth doesn't come in the form of sound bites and one-liners.

(Pardon the irony of the fact that the above *is* a one-liner.)


In Summary


1. The Principle of Parsimony awards its points to the Superlaser Effect.

2. The existence of the rings and planar effects across the board constitutes proof of SF.

3. Your denial of the bands constitutes an awarding of points to the Superlaser Effect.

4. The existence of the secondary blast points to the SF.

5. The proper acceptance of canon fact (whether or not EU override is required) points to the SF.

6 & 7. The lack of evidence for a planetary shield, the evidence against it, et cetera points to SF.

9. The energy limitations of the Death Star fusion reactor point to SF.

Further, I note that you have failed to answer questions of the same class you illogically demand answers to in regards to SF, yet you still claim that DET is a better-defined theory. You have failed to acknowledge or even defend the self-contradictory nature of your pro-shield argument. You have inconsistently extrapolated far beyond the region of fit. You have ignored my points, and lied to try to combat those whose existence you have acknowledged.

As I've said, I do not understand why the argument continues . . . or, more precisely, the reason you continue to argue for your theory is what I do not understand. It fails logically, scientifically, canonically, et cetera, and no matter how many desperate and contrived additions you pile on top of it (or denials of the evidence allowing you to make it simpler), it simply isn't going to work, and the fact that it appears to be an article of faith doesn't make it work, either. Star Wars may be fantasy, but that doesn't mean our attempts to understand it should be.

To quote you: "Deal with it."

Black Knight

Continue to Round 5

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