RSA Debate

Round 5, Part 1b (Death Star Firepower)

(Posted Saturday, October 12, 2002)

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.

Pot calling the kettle black. Instead, you produced yet another huge long-winded post which was more than twice the size of mine and which mostly delved into irrelevancies or points already refuted.

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.

I believe the audience can look at my posts and see for themselves that arguments are MUCH easier to follow BEFORE being dismantled into sentence and paragraph fragments. Your post is filled with this type of tedious and defensive justification of your own actions.

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".

Sorry, but MCR is more accurate than "Superlaser Effect", since you have never defined it in a remotely meaningful way, hence it IS a "mysterious chain reaction". Stop whining just because nobody will ever take an undefined theory seriously. We now continue to my 9 points, each of which you naturally answered with more than twice as much text as I used to make them:

Point 1: Parsimony

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?

http://www.weburbia.com/physics/occam.html

In other words, you cannot defend your argument on the basis of parsimony OR Occam's Razor, so you use the rhetorical trick of providing a link to a presumably authoritative source and IMPLYING that this link somehow supports your argument even though it doesn't. This is the kind of empty rhetorical tactic which typifies most of your arguments, and it will not fool anyone but a child.

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.

Wrong. Your MCR is an extra mechanism which you introduce into the equation. I cannot believe your audacity in claiming that you can introduce an extra physical mechanism and not admit that you have added a term by doing so. I can only conclude from the above argument that you are either incompetent or lying.

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.

Wrong yet again. The conventional theory involves a beam which exists, and therefore carries mass/energy. It also accepts the laws of thermodynamics, which tell us that mass/energy will be exchanged between the planet and the beam. And finally, it includes a shield which covers at least the facing hemisphere and which can briefly block the energy. All three of these terms are known quantities; the superlaser beam exists, the laws of thermodynamics are valid, and planetary theatre and global shields are known to exist.

Your theory replaces the shield with a mysterious chain reaction which you have never properly defined, not even with a simple reaction rate.

* 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. *

Lies. The DS2 explosion offset is caused by the fact that a very rapidly heated object will tend to expand from its centre of mass (in fact, expansion from centre of mass directly OPPOSES your chain reaction because it indicates very RAPID heating of the entire mass from the inside out, perhaps with highly penetrative radiation or high-velocity particles, as opposed to a steady progression from one side to the other, which would be naturally offset toward the point where the reaction begins). I mentioned this in a previous post despite your claims that I have not. As for the ship-killer shots, they prove nothing aside from your desperation. I explained the laughable fallacy of your assumption that they disprove Alderaan's shield back in round 2, part 1b, and a starship is hardly comparable to a planet in mass, composition, or structure.

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 lies and desperate attempts to disprove the existence of planetary shields only make YOU look bad, not me. Han could not land on the Endor sanctuary moon unless they deactivated the shield, remember? Many Bothan spies DIED to get them a shield deactivation code so they could land! Why would any of this be necessary if the moon was not protected by a planetary shield? I pointed this out in my previous post, and you ignored it. Also see the ROTJ novelization:

Ackbar looked at the view-screen; the electronically generated web was gone. The moon, and the Death Star, now floated in black, empty, unprotected space.

Did you see that? The moon AND the Death Star.

Frankly, I grow tired of answering your incredibly long-winded arguments. I challenged you to respond PROPERLY, and CONCISELY to my arguments. 9 points, 2-3 paragraphs apiece. You responded to point #1 with no less than TWENTY SEVEN paragraphs, all of which contain your usual sophistry, evasions, suppression of key points, exasperating focus on side-issues, piecemeal rather than contiguous rebuttals, circular logic in which you state your conclusions as fact, etc. You are being deliberately unreasonable, you are making no effort whatsoever to be even remotely concise despite your own pre-debate stipulations, and quite frankly, the most common audience feedback that I've gotten on this debate so far is that you are so long-winded and boring that it makes the whole debate completely uninteresting, and nobody wants to read your bullshit any more.

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.

You think "matter of the planet" is an acceptable chemical definition of reactants? (laughs hysterically)

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?

You honestly have NO CLUE what a reaction equation looks like, do you? Did you fail high-school chemistry? You actually think you can define a chain reaction by saying that there's "matter of the planet" on one side and "energy" on the other side? As I said before, your chain reaction can be described in one word: VAGUE.

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.

Hardly. I asked the question because I knew you would cite ambiguities and refuse to answer it, since what we DO know of the explosion indicates a wildly inconsistent reaction rate under your "theory". As per YOUR theory, it takes more than 1 second for your imaginary "bands of brightness" (which you define as the chief indicator of the reaction) to reach the opposite side of the planet. This indicates that the reaction moves around the surface of the planet at less than 20,000 km/s. However, I refer you once more to exhibit A:

Alderaan Blast Shot #3
Frame3

Roughly 0.08 seconds after impact, one entire hemisphere is already glowing white-hot. You claim that this is mere light-diffusion from a 23.5 gigaton blast at the point of impact, thus betraying your scientific ignorance; the atmosphere cannot refract light by more than 90 degrees around the curvature of the planet, and the P-K extinction "dino-killer" asteroid was not theorized to create this effect 65 million years ago even though it was ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND gigatons, not 23.5!

This shot shows that IF there is no shield (as per YOUR theory), then the "reaction" must have initially shot around the planet at a rate of nearly half the speed of light! Indeed, it's more like 0.8c between frame2 and frame3, and it's already slowed down by frame3. Sorry, but all available observationsare grossly inconsistent with your so-called "theory". This screenshot shows that if we go by your theory (in which the beam carries an insignificant 23.5 gigatons and the rest is caused by a chain reaction which is completely indiscriminate of chemical composition), then the reaction rate was so high that entire process should have been complete by frame 5. Instead, we see the reaction virtually stop:

Alderaan Blast Shot #4
Frame 4

In the end, this brings us right back to the point I made in my very first post: you have no plausible explanation whatsoever for the fact that the "reaction" shoots around an entire hemisphere at half the speed of light and then PAUSES. This is EASY to explain with a shield (the shield is holding and re-radiating over that area), but under YOUR theory, you are forced to resort to laughably ignorant stories about light naturally refracting more than 90 degrees around the curvature of a planet.

There are similar reaction-rate inconsistencies in your story about your imaginary "bands" moving slowly around the planet and then abruptly and violently causing the rest of the planet to explode in one frame later on, but I trust that the audience has gotten the point by now.

Point 2: Unsolved Mystery Fallacy 1: Fire Rings

I challenged you to answer concise 2-3 paragraph points with 2-3 paragraph answers, you chose to answer this one with 22 paragraphs. I don't have time for this. You can try to spin-doctor my tendency to answer only your summaries into some sort of victory for yourself (indeed, you have already done so), but exhaustion tactics are no way to win a debate, and you will fool no one but yourself.

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).

In other words, you cannot explain how your MCR produces the fire rings, just as I cannot explain how a conventional process might produce the fire rings. Concession accepted; the unsolved mystery of the fire rings does not favour your "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.

Circular logic: stating your conclusion as a fact.

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.

Your MCR is a wild guess. It is not supported by the evidence in any way, since your only proofs thereof are attacks on the conventional theory rather than demonstrating how the MCR can do better (see the fallacies of syllogism which I mentioned in my very first post). And the only thing it "sticks" to is your sticky fingers, after techno-masturbating all over your Star Trek video collection.

(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.)

Thank you for being the first to appeal to mockery in round 4, despite your own pre-debate stipulation to not do so. This pre-emptively nullifies any "concession accepted" sophistry you use if I return the favour in round 5.

Point 3: Imaginary "Bands of Brightness"

Robert, you defended your claims of the "bands" and your silly idea about a huge secondary explosion being triggered when they "meet" at the far side by simply restating them (along with the usual sophistry and grandstanding, of course). And of course, despite responding to 1 short paragraph with EIGHT of your own, you still managed to snip out the main point of the paragraph, so I will repeat it: "Try lighting a book of matches at one end. Watch what happens: an exothermal chain reaction shoots along the row of matches (which don't glow until it REACHES them) until it reaches the end, whereupon it closes in upon itself and ... fizzles out."

What; no answer? Of course not, because you HAVE no answer! There is no way for a chain reaction to start at ½c, slow down to a tiny fraction of that, and then suddenly release a violent burst of energy at the end, AFTER running out of reactant. Anyone who's ever lit up a book of matches can understand this.

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'.

Ah, so you finally admit that you cannot explain the secondary blast with your MCR? Then your MCR has no advantage over the conventional theory (since you have already admitted that you cannot explain the fire rings either). Therefore, my longstanding criticism of your fallacies of syllogism stands: you are using faulty logic to elevate one theory over another even though it does not solve the proposed weaknesses of the other, and introduces many new weaknesses of its own, not least of which is the fact that it requires an extra, unknown mechanism. Sorry, but you lose.

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."

Evading the point, which is NOT to propose a specific explanation but to simply point out that there are virtually infinite possibilities, so there is no need to assume that your MCR must be the only solution (particularly since you admit that it does not solve the mystery at all).

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?

Ah, I love making fun of scientifically ignorant people. First, it IS possible for low-mass singularities to exist; a planet's core is not massive enough to form one NATURALLY, but that is irrelevant and you know it. Second, a low-mass singularity would not cause an implosion effect; outside its event horizon, the gravity of a singularity is unremarkable, and it would produce no more gravity than the corresponding mass did before. Third, since the beam itself does not introduce any angular momentum, the angular momentum of the system CANNOT "increase". Conservation of momentum is a fundamental physical law! Fourth, the physics of ICF are well-known and observed; rapid expansion of outer layers from a laser creates enormous pressure in the core, which is how laser-based fusion works; your failure to comprehend this mechanism only reflects badly on you (although it would take some kind of unconventional mechanism in the superlaser to produce a singularity, hence the need to point out that this is a competitor for your low-energy MCR rather than a component of the basic conventional theory). And finally, the secondary blast delay would be the rapid evapouration of the singularity into gamma rays after it runs out of matter to accumulate, caused by the fact that most of the planet's mass is too fast and too far to pull back in, and Hawking radiation over a small event horizon will rapidly deplete the singularity's mass/energy.

I'm not saying that this is necessarily what happened, but I'm trying to point out that if one tries to concoct explanations, one must do better than simply saying "chain reaction which uses ... ummm ... matter ... and produces a secondary blast and planar shockwave". If one tries to theorize about a mechanism, one must do better than saying "ummm ... glowing bands ... meet each other ... touch off huge explosion for some reason".

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.

Concession accepted. You admit that you have no more explanation for the secondary burst than I do. Therefore, there is no need to elevate your MCR over one that is properly defined and does not introduce any mysterious undefined mechanisms.

Point 5: Fear of Evidence

"!"? 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?

The SWE states that everything but the Special Editions either "comes in second" or is quasi-canon, Robert. Moreover, the fact is that Lucas IS engaging in historical revisionism; Greedo did NOT shoot first. You are the ONLY person out there who insists that Greedo really did shoot first.

<snip more repetitions of your claim that the EU and the original versions of the films should be thrown in the garbage so as not to interfere with your fantasies>

Point 6: Inconsistency (ie- hypocrisy)

Speaking of extrapolation and 'inconsistency (ie- hypocrisy)': <snip quote from my website about the unreliability of technological extrapolation>

How does that quote mean that we cannot say that a large number of theatre shields would constitute a planetary shield? One need not techno-extrapolate unknown capabilities in order to recognize that if one shield generator covers X square kilometres, then two of them would cover 2X square kilometres, and so on, so that a large number of theatre shields would cover a planet if necessary. You are either being deliberately obtuse or your intelligence is even lower than I had feared (and yes, I know you will crow "concession accepted" at the insult; frankly, I don't give a damn, because you made this debate so thoroughly dull and uninteresting that nobody is even reading it any more).

... 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 ...

Yadda yadda yadda. In other words, your idea of a "test" is your assumption that it cannot possibly exist in the first place, which means that you REFUSE to test the theory against the Alderaan observations themselves. You have failed yet another challenge.

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.

See above. Your evidence "against" a shield is based on horrible logical fallacies of syllogism, and your claim of no evidence is a joke, based on your refusal to test it against the Alderaan observations.

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.

(points and laughs at troll) sorry, but you're only making a fool out of yourself. Yes, at one point it's a shield and then it's vapourized surface material; that would represent the moment of shield failure! This is beyond your feeble comprehension?

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.

In other words, you admit that you refuse to test the conventional theory on a level playing field, complete with the shield. You lose. Again.

Point 8: A Candidate for your MCR

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

Astonishing.

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.

I see. You dismiss it as a joke, in order to hide the fact that you cannot refute it. Face it; you cannot prove that a modified DET theory would not fit your criteria (without needing your silly theories about magical super-reactions in the "matter of the planet"), so you simply run and hide. Typical.

Point 9: Energy Level

Let's look at www.m-w.com (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.

Is that kind of transparent sophistry the best you can do? I showed that the definition of "sun" merely refers to celestial objects which are very luminous, and does not necessarily require nuclear fusion. You attacked my incomplete quoting of Merriam-Webster but failed to refute the point: NOWHERE IN THE FULL DEFINITION IS NUCLEAR FUSION EVEN MENTIONED. You are attacking me, not the argument.

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.

Your desperation is pathetic, and it would be amusing if not for your dogged determination and the fact that you obviously take this SOOO seriously, which has inclined more than one observer to muse that you should seek psychiatric help. There are lots of ways to be "like" our Sun besides using nuclear fusion; the dictionary SPECIFICALLY mentions "warmth and brilliance"; it does NOT mention nuclear fusion.

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?

Of course not! Did I ever CLAIM to? Do I look like the kind of person who would ENJOY reading thousands of words of your tedious and defensive monologues? I don't think ANYBODY read your entire >20,000 word post, except possibly for yourself and perhaps a few psychiatrists who might be interested in having you as a patient. Instead, I skipped to your summary, because summaries are SUPPOSED to cover all the major points, and because I do not have the time OR obligation to carefully pore over a >20,000 word diatribe in a debate where brevity was one of the ground rules. While you were huddled over your computer, typing for hours upon hours, did you really think anybody would want to read 20,000 words of that tripe? The fact that you couldn't tell until this point whether I'd even read your entire post is simply more proof that your posts are almost entirely filled with dragging, tiresome self-justifications and repetitions. If you wanted anyone to read every word, you should have posted less than 20,000 words. Some of us have LIVES, you know.

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.

Ah, I see now what your objection was. You should have left it buried, because you are completely wrong on all counts. Nuclear fusion has been used as a natural power source for billions of years, with no technology or human intervention required (see that big glowing thing in the sky which we call "the Sun"; believe it or not, it actually runs on nuclear fusion). Nuclear fission was also found in a natural fission reactor, this time much closer to home, at Oslo. Chemical combustion was used for warmth long before it was used for weaponry. In reality, the "basic facts of science and history" are that any given mechanism will be used in a controlled manner BEFORE it is used as a weapon (it might even happen NATURALLY). Moreover, the "basic facts of science and history" will reveal that any given mechanism will be researched under controlled conditions LONG before it is implemented on a large scale; that is how scientists and engineers work (not that I would expect YOU to know anything about that, despite your pretensions of study).

Ah, but what about MAN-MADE nuclear reacitons? Glad you asked. Controlled nuclear fission was produced in an atomic "pile" on December 2, 1942 in Stagg Field, Chicago, nearly 3 years before the July 6, 1945 detonation of "Trinity", the first fission bomb. As for FUSION, it was in 1919 that Ernest Rutherford produced the first artificial nuclear fusion reaction, by bombarding nitrogen atoms with alpha radiation to produce oxygen, and it was in 1934 that he produced deuterium fusion under controlled conditions. Sorry, but controlled nuclear fusion predates "Ivy Mike" (the first fusion bomb, detonated in November 1952), by 33 years, and even controlled DEUTERIUM fusion predates "Ivy Mike" by 18 years (more gratuitous trivia; the first successful fusion reaction in a toroid-style reactor was produced at Harwell ZETA facility in August 1957, just 5 years after "Ivy Mike"). The only difficulty with nuclear fusion has historically been commercial viability, ie- making net-positive energy. In the case of your mysterious chain reaction (which requires no special confinement and no special materials), this would be far, far easier than it is with nuclear fusion anyway.

And finally, your argument rests upon the absurd assumption that superlaser technology is so new and exotic that the leading scientists of the Republic and the Empire were unable to devise a weapon from it. Did it ever occur to you that if a bunch of Geonosians in the Outer Rim can design massive-scale implementations on their own, decades before ANH, then it is obviously NOT some kind of exotic new undeveloped science? Did it occur to you that compound turbolaser technology was already widely deployed in AOTC, on the gunships and the self-propelled artillery pieces? Did it occur to you that the very FIRST prototype of an untested piece of technology is invariably a small-scale device, rather than an enormous weapon? Or did you think that they would go straight from theory to giant-scale implementation? You've been watching far too much "Star Trek", Robert. You don't seem to have the SLIGHTEST inkling of how engineers work. What makes you think superlaser technology is so new and poorly understood that they couldn't possibly use it for power generation if it has these fantastic properties of requiring no special confinement or materials? That would make it the EASIEST reactor design possible!

As an aside, I like the part at the end where you claim that they need fusion reactors in order to "get it going". From which zit on your ass did you squeeze this assumption?

(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.)"

Here's a hint: they have these things called "spaceships" which could obviously use high-density power sources, and where they could easily be tested without risking terrestrial safety or worrying about having to "beam the power down" to a planet, since they could use it for various purposes onboard. This is all too easy; are you deliberately TRYING to make yourself look ridiculous?

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.

I never CLAIMED to read all the way through your incredibly long-winded third-round post. And since you have made it clear that I only missed one major point by doing so (and a pathetic point at that), it is clear that my decision to save time by only dealing with your summaries was a good one. Admit it; most of your posts are simply tedious evasions and self-justifications, not logical points. I'm sure you will claim victory because I didn't pore over your entire >20,000 word post, but frankly, that little bit of sophistry will not help you climb out of the hole you've dug for yourself.

Your Weak-Kneed Summary

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.

Nothing but your wishful opinions, all refuted many times. Parsimony rejects extra mechanisms, particularly undefined ones which have no predictive power. You have CONCEDED that you cannot explain the fire rings and secondary blast any better than I can, hence they do not support one theory over the other. Your ridiculous claims about the nonexistence of planetary shields at Alderaan (or even the POSSIBILITY thereof) are based on horrible fallacies of syllogism, and you have CONCEDED that you refuse to test a shield against the Alderaan observations, showing how much you fear it. Your "bands" exist only in your fevered wet dreams. And finally, your claims about Death Star energy limits are based on some of the worst examples of sophistry and scientific ignorance that I have ever seen (I particularly enjoyed the part where you proudly quoted the full Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of "sun" as proof of your argument, even though it says NOTHING about nuclear fusion, exactly as I've been saying).

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.

For the umpteenth time, DET is a better-defined theory because it has a defined mechanism which is known to work (laws of thermodynamics). Yours does not. As for the two unsolved mysteries, I never CLAIMED to be able to answer those questions. And since you have finally conceded that you can't either, this means that they do not "support" EITHER theory. Hence, you are caught in a bald-faced lie when you claim that they support your theory over the straightforward and conventional one.

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.

Pure grandstanding.

To quote you: "Deal with it."

Ooooh, such creative rhetoric! Whatever will I do? Oh yeah, I'll just point out that I HAVE dealt with your key points, MANY times. This argument has been nothing more than a case of constant repetition since the very first post. You have failed to address key problems with your MCR (not least of which is the fact that it is not defined), you conceded points and then backtracked when I pointed it out, you have employed the most astounding arsenal of sophistry and logical fallacies I have ever seen, and every attempt by you to employ any kind of scientific principle has only made you look like a fool.

If nothing else, you are an interesting psychological case study. While most debaters soften their stance if it appears that their position has been weakened in any way, your reaction is the opposite: you HARDEN your stance, dig in your heels, and use even STRONGER rhetoric. It's as if you believe that by stating the superiority of your argument in an increasingly emphatic manner, you make it stronger. Perhaps you should try posting in all-caps, since that is the inevitable progression of your debate tactics.

Of course, I realize that you will now rush to your computer to type up another profoundly long-winded response for this final round, once again doubling or tripling the size of my arguments and shredding every paragraph into sentence fragments for your piecemeal debate style. Quick, Robin! To the Bat-Computer!!!!


Continue to Round 5

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