Timothy Jones

April 24, 2002:

Timmy, you could have saved both us a lot of time by simply pasting your name into the "style over substance" form letter on my E-mail page, because that's your entire post in a nutshell. Not only do you lie about evidence, but you spend most of your time attacking my style while ignoring key points. You carefully quoted every single insult (out of the context of its originating paragraph, of course), so that you could call it an ad hominem attack. Look up "ad hominem", Timmy; insults and ad hominem attacks are not the same thing. It is possible to insult without committing an ad hominem fallacy, and it is possible to commit an ad hominem fallacy without insulting someone. The ad hominem fallacy is to attack the man rather than the argument, and it doesn't matter whether that attack takes the form of a crude insult or one of your holier-than-thou proclamations of superior maturity. Either way, it's an ad hominem attack if it's used as an excuse to ignore a point (the way you use it) but it's not an ad hominem attack if the point is eventually dealt with directly.

I dealt with every single point you made, Timmy (not difficult to do, since you really made only one point). Unless you can point to an example of a point you made which I ignored solely on the basis of character attacks, you have no evidence whatsoever of ad hominem attacks. However, anyone who examines your laughable excuse for a rebuttal can easily see that you routinely dismiss or ignore points based on your criticisms of my behaviour or personality, which is a classic ad hominem attack. Moreover, your incessant attacks on my motives, personality, maturity, etc. constitute the majority of your post by volume!

Sadly, it doesn't end there. You deliberately deleted parts of my rebuttal, and not just for the sake of brevity. Normally I don't expect full quoting of an argument in a rebuttal, but that's because most of my opponents edit just to save space. You, on the other hand, sliced out pieces of paragraphs and even sentences, and the nature of the pieces you sliced out is such that in most cases, it's clear you were attempting to use "ad hominem" as an excuse to dismiss a perfectly legitimate point unanswered. You invariably described all of the deleted sections as "ad hominization" (I leave it to the readers to look at the previous page, examine your deletions, and judge for themselves how dishonest that was) even though you actually made a point of carefully quoting and attacking every direct insult I made! By quoting every insult and then describing deleted sections as "ad hominization", you were obviously trying to make it seem as if there was some really bad material in the deleted sections (and of course, it goes without saying that you never posted my rebuttal in its original form; it's a good thing I bcc'd Mr. Dalton on my original rebuttal so that I have a witness, otherwise you'd probably claim that I'm revising the deleted sections now). By making an explicit note of some of your deletions, you also tried to make it appear as if those were the only deletions, when that wasn't true either. Very clever demonstration of sophistry, Timmy. But neither of us is running for office, so cut the political bullshit.

To top it all off, you had the audacity to finish by asking me to answer "honestly" even though you E-mailed me the day after posting this to the newsgroup, and you didn't tell me you'd posted it! Not one word, or even a vague hint! Worse yet, I E-mailed you back on the following day asking for an E-mail response, and you still said nothing (hell, you didn't even answer at all, thus leading me to assume that you had quit and I wouldn't have enough material for a full hate mail entry on you, until Rob Dalton informed me of your trickery). And finally, nowhere in your posted "rebuttal" did you make it clear that you were no longer communicating directly with me, so it seems as if you're holding an E-mail debate with me when you're not (indeed, Rob was shocked to discover that I hadn't seen it). Do you honestly expect to run around holding your nose in the air and claiming the moral high ground when you obviously tried to hide your rebuttal from me? It would be bad enough if you posted it and "forgot" to tell me. But by E-mailing me the next day and not mentioning it, and then worse yet, ignoring my reply and my direct demand for an E-mail response, you made it very clear that the deception was intentional. You're a contemptible, lying little shit, Timmy. I know you'll probably quote that single sentence out of context in your next stealth rebuttal, but I really don't care. Most of the trophies on my Hate Mail page are ignorant and/or stupid and/or dishonest, but you take the cake. I have never had someone try to pull this kind of bullshit on me before. Even the knuckle-dragging "We hate StarDestroyer.Net" clique at SpaceBattles don't try to pretend that they're holding an E-mail debate with me when they've actually cut off correspondence.

Unlike you, I'm not going to play games by trying to make you look bad through selective quoting. Debates are about who's right and who's wrong, not who tries harder to produce a superficial impression of "maturity". Nor am I going to let you suck me into your vortex of repetitive long-winded debating over every little sentence. I will try to quote each point only once, and I leave it to the readers to examine your entire post to see for themselves that the rest of it (mostly attacks on my character) is either repetitive or useless.

And now for your dumb-ass arguments (all of which are predicated upon the cretinous assumption that the bridge tower hit was the only impact sustained by any ISD in that asteroid field, not to mention your total ignorance of collision physics):

I think the asteroids weren't destroyed at all, merely fragmented with inaccurate SFX.

I've almost forgotten what it's like to debate a full-blown, old-school hard-line Trekkie. Your inconsistent method of interpreting the films is quite breathtaking:

  1. In your first E-mail, you claimed my position was "in conflict with the overall preponderance of the visual evidence from the SW films," thus suggesting that you believe in accepting the bulk of the evidence rather than allowing your interpretation to be dictated by a single event, which may be an outlier (thus implying measurement error, although you make no effort to justify that in this case).

  2. In your stealth rebuttal, you scaled the motion of objects onscreen, in order to come up with a figure somewhere below 2 km/s for the bridge tower asteroid. All of a sudden, you're perfectly willing to base an argument regarding the entire SW universe upon frame-by-frame analysis of a single scene, blithely ignoring all extenuating circumstances (the ship had come through a battle and had already been in that field for hours, perhaps days), not to mention all of the official literature, the science of collisions, the baseline level of technology established by the Death Star, and the structural stresses imposed upon an ISD by its own observed acceleration (which eliminate the possibility of weak hulls).

  3. But now, after vacillating from "accept the bulk of the visuals, ignore outliers" to "take one scene out of context and analyze it in isolation", you shift positions again, so that anything you don't like is just "inaccurate SFX"!

Habitual self-contradiction is the first sign of an irrational and/or dishonest mind, Timmy. The situation here is very simple. The evidence supports my conclusions, not yours (visuals showing that ISDs vapourized asteroids in TESB, and that fragmentation is so far beneath their capabilities that even the relatively puny Slave-1 could do it). The logic supports my conclusions, not yours (Slave-1 does not have the firepower of an ISD, and any ISD chasing the Falcon through that asteroid field must have taken thousands of hits). The physics of collisions and structural failure supports my conclusions, not yours (a high-momentum, high-mass impactor can be more dangerous than a low-momentum, high-energy beam weapon). You claim that my solution creates a dilemma, but that dilemma only exists because you idiotically ignore all of the aforementioned factors!

I don't even see why I'm bothering to explain any of this to you. It's quite clear that you are interested only in sophistry, spending most of your time trying to make yourself look better than me rather than dealing with logic or evidence. It really doesn't matter what I say or what points I make, does it? You'll simply delete anything you can't handle as "ad hominization", evade other points by focusing on style over substance, and make up bald-faced lies about the movie to fill in the rest.

The implications of this constant hail of asteroid impacts are quantified and discussed on my Shield pages.

I was looking at your star destroyer page, Mike. It doesn't mention let alone have links to any other pages. And really, such related things should at least be mentioned in arguments you made there, which are endangered by the asteroid collision energy figures. In other words, you need to address and respond to them on the same page where they become a problem for you, the star destroyer page.

My shield pages ARE on my StarDestroyer website, you sub-sentient fungus! Click on the "Technology" button in the left-hand frame, scroll down to the Imperial shield section, and click on "Details". What do I need to do, send you a copy of "Windows 98 for Dummies"?

Remember, some SW proponents have actually tried to claim gigaton energy figures for TL bolts. Not only do the visuals never support anything of the kind, you can easily tell no small rock contacted at less than 2 kps would ever reach such an energy figure.

Hasty generalizations now, eh? You think that every single asteroid in that field was the same size and speed (relative to the ISD) as the one which hit that bridge tower? You figure that none of them were much bigger, or much faster-moving? That's fascinating; precisely how did you arrive at that mind-numbingly stupid conclusion? (whoops- I shouldn't have said that; you'll probably strip out that last sentence and attack it in isolation as an "ad hominem attack").

Besides, you have completely ignored the whole point of my first E-mail, which was that we're looking at thousands of asteroids, not one. Given the incredible density of the field through which the Falcon flew, it's obvious that any ISD in that field would have been getting absolutely hammered until it blasted a region clear around itself. Even then, it would still take a constant hammering from asteroids which slippped past its defenses. What the fuck do you think the ISD captain was talking about when he said that "considering the amount of damage we've sustained, they [Han and friends] must have been destroyed"? They were racing right after them into the heart of that field, and you saw how dense it was. If the Falcon had trouble avoiding asteroids, how many asteroids would have been in the path of a mile-long Star Destroyer or worse yet, the Executor?

Big asteroid

Take a look at the picture, Timmy. Look at how close the asteroids are to each other, and how big they are (the red ovals highlight the Falcon and the shadow it casts on a nearby asteroid that's easily a hundred metres long). How the fuck is a mile-long spaceship supposed to fly straight through this without hitting more than a "singular" asteroid in the process? I repeat: no one with an intact brain stem could possibly watch that scene and come to your conclusion that the asteroid which hit the ISD's bridge tower was the only damage the ship took. You are in contradiction with the visuals (which show multiple impacts, see the video clip later on), the dialogue (describing a steady rate of damage for all ships, although it was only crippling for one), the canon novelization (which describes a "steady rain" of asteroids), the official books (which say the same, and add that the asteroids were definitely nickel-iron and were vapourized), and the logic (which forces us to ask how an ISD could have followed the Falcon through the densest part of the asteroid field without taking a hit). Yet you have the audacity to claim that the "preponderance" of evidence is on your side! The fact that you haven't produced any evidence in defense of your claims (lies don't count) doesn't seem to bother you in the least; you're obviously hoping to score a win on style over substance.

Therefore, one can quickly conclude that, since ISDs are indeed vulnerable to the rock collisions, they cannot be producing TL bolt energy amounts anywhere close to the GT figures some have argued for.

Still harping on this "gigaton" nonsense, eh? News flash: it's a red herring. It's the heavy turbolasers which can pump out hundreds of gigatons in a single blast, not the light trench guns. Would you try to disprove the firepower of the USS New Jersey's 16" guns with an example of what its 5" guns do? Since the heavy turbolaser turrets on an ISD are orders of magnitude larger than the invisibly small trench guns which are used in most starship combat (and which were used to vapourize the TESB asteroids), they don't really factor into this. There is some question as to how often these things are used, since we never saw them fired in the movies. It should be noted, however, that they have been used in the EU; Lando Calrissian destroyed an ISD with a single volley as he came out of hyperspace over Calamari in Dark Empire (we could actually see that it was breaking up into two pieces as he passed by), and the following passage from "Isard's Revenge" p.112 (softcover) is also interesting:

"Yonka's ship had come in perpendicular to Direption's keel and raked it with shots from all its starboard guns, running from bow to stern as it passed. Heavy turbolaser batteries played shots over the Hegemony ship's unprotected port side, burning great black pits in the ship's white hull ... In yet more spots laserfire burned straight through the hull. Wedge could see space through the stricken ship."

Direption was an ISD, and a smaller vessel was able to blast holes clean through it main hull (not just part of its bridge tower, even though its heavy turbolasers would have been smaller than an ISD's heavy turbolasers. But you probably ignore SW official material, don't you? The fact that it has official status (unlike the Trek TM's) probably means nothing to you, since you're one of those Trekkies who ignores SW official material while mindlessly quoting Trek TM's even though they've been described as mere "speculation" by their own publishers.

In any case, I will not quote any more of your "gigaton"-related arguments because they are a strawman fallacy. At no time did I claim that every single shot from a light turbolaser (and I note that you assume full yield is always in effect, even when their orders are to capture, not kill) is in the gigaton range.

Yes, I too have long been a part of these debates, off-and-on. And I am well aware you your reputation for claiming intellectual authority you don't really possess (that whole "I have a 'physics.org' address, so I'm a physics authority!" debacle, where it was proved, and admitted that your membership doesn't establish that, as well as your reputation for attacking arguers instead of arguments as you're trying to do to me.

You're confusing me with Mike Griffiths, you toady little imbecile. This may come as a shock to that gelatinous mass of decaying rodent droppings that you call a brain, but I'm not the only person in the entire world with the first name "Mike". He's the guy who claims his physics.org address proves he's an expert, while you're the guy who likes to appeal to the authority of your "physics prof" on ASVS (don't bother to deny it, a Google search can easily confirm), and I'm the guy who doesn't have to play these kinds of bullshit games, because people can tell I'm genuine, and not just some fanboy with a subscription to New Scientist magazine. I may take sadistic pleasure in making fun of intellectually stunted cretins who are too arrogant to back down, but I don't bullshit.

From my original rebuttal: "This isn't the Post Office, Timmy. Seniority doesn't mean anything. And by the way, not only have you failed to provide a shred of quantitative evidence to back up your claim (and erroneously accused me of also failing to do so), but you have also implicitly assumed that heat transfer weapons and physical impacts are precisely identical in mechanisms and defensive difficulties, which is completely nonsensical."

[more irrelevant ad hominization snipped]

The text you deleted was hardly "irrelevant ad hominization", Timmy. You used the first sentence as an excuse to delete the entire paragraph. Stop playing games by deleting problem points as "ad hominization", and answer the damned point, which is that you fail to recognize obvious differences between the defensive difficulties associated with physical impacts and directed-energy weapons. Do you know anything about the physics of collisions? Why do I even ask, when you made your inability to deal with this point clear by fallaciously dismissing it on the basis of its style?

There is no evidence they withstood any impacts at all. Every collision we ever see or are told about is a significantly damaging one. Again, you cannot assume what is not in evidence, just because your position needs to.

"Not in evidence?" You're certainly good at pretending to have a valid position, but unfortunately for you, you can't put your money where your mouth is, while I can. I wasn't bluffing about my threat to post videos exposing your deception. Like all desperate Trekkies, you resort to bald-faced lies and hope that no one will notice (hell, you hoped that I wouldn't notice your entire rebuttal!) Click here to see the evidence of that which you flatly deny: a Divx5 video clip of two asteroids slamming into an ISD while it vapourizes a couple of asteroids. Oh, and you might want to check out these screenshots of both impacts:

Impact 1 Impact 2

Whoops! "No evidence they withstood any impacts at all", eh? You crowed (while hoping I wouldn't hear about it) that I must "assume what is not in evidence", eh? You obviously didn't bother checking out the film to see if I was telling the truth. Perhaps you assumed that I was bluffing about hitting you with the evidence? Unfortunately for you, I don't bluff. Better luck next time.

The ones I saw destroyed were hardly big, mike. In fact, they were not much bigger than the mere widths of the TL bolts that struck them!

(Sigh) More of your blustering attempts to revise the movie, eh? Too bad you don't have any screenshots, and I do. Does the asteroid below look like it's barely any wider than the TL bolt? Not to anyone with functional eyes, Timmy.

Asteroid

Trek ships are not threatened by them, whether at the under 2kps speeds we see in ESB, or even at many times the speed of light. Ergo, Trek ships must have far better shields and/or hulls. By extension then, their weapons are indirectly shown to likewise be stronger than those of SW ships like ISDs. You can insult me all you wish, but until and unless you say something to directly engage this argument, as far as I and other reasonable people are concerned, it stands.

I will only quote this bullshit once, Timmy: I have "engaged" your argument, but you have ignored my rebuttals. Once more: you lie about Trek ships being able to warp right through dense asteroid fields (yet again, you make pronouncements without bothering to produce a single example of this capability), you can't expect any intelligent person to believe that no ISD took a single asteroid hit in that field apart from that bridge tower impact, you completely ignore evidence which contradicts you (such as all of the visuals, the canon novelization, the official books, etc), and you ignore the physics of collisions. On every level, from every angle, I have shown that your argument is worthless, yet you continue to insist that I have not even "engaged" it! Your capacity for self-delusion is awe-inspiring.

However, not only would this choice be unwise for the SW proponents, it would in fact be in conflict with the overall preponderance of the visual evidence from the SW films. Simply put, turbolasers do not disable or destroy capital ships such as corvettes or other ISDs in just one or a few hits.

Oh really? Open your eyes before you open your mouth. In the beginning of ANH, a turbolaser bolt splinters off the Tantive IV's shields, and the remnants blow a chunk of the ship clean off.

I beg to differ. What I saw, and saw clearly, were several hits being absorbed by Leia's ship, the Tantive IV, and the one that got through destroying only a portion of the middle of the ship.

More lies. Where do we see these multiple direct hits? Even the one that blew off part of its dorsal superstructure wasn't a direct hit! And by the way, I like the way you help me out here, by going from "[single] turbolasers do not disable or destroy ... corvettes" to "the one that got through destroying only a portion of the middle of the ship" (thus disabling it). Sorry, but whether you recognize it or not, you just conceded the point. One hit, one kill on a corvette (and don't say it wasn't a kill; disabling and capturing an enemy vessel is the same as a kill). By the way, here are some more pretty pictures to show that the "one that got through" actually splintered rather than punching cleanly through, just as I said. Look at the middle picture; it was not a direct hit.

Tantive IV Shot 1 Tantive IV Shot 2 Tantive IV Shot 3

Another day, another piece of evidence that just happens to directly contradict you. So far, you seem to be amassing a near-perfect record of inaccurately (or more likely, dishonestly) recollecting canon events.

Considering the KE of a small rock contacted at less than 2 kps did more damage to the bridge superstructure of an ISD in ESB (you remember, just before we see the officer put up his hands and vanish from the holographic communication with another officer and Vader), I am hardly going to conclude something in defiance of all this evidence.

(sigh) Time to explain high school physics to you. It's the reaction force that you have to worry about, not the energy. It's possible for a low-energy, high-momentum object to penetrate armour (to say nothing of a relatively flimsy bridge tower) where a high-energy, low-momentum weapon would not. I recently went through this with IXJac, and I see no reason to repeat myself. Believe it or not, there are differences between physical impacts and heat transfer, Timmy. That may be why I had to take separate heat transfer and fracture mechanics courses in university, rather than treating them as the oversimplified, conjoined and synonymous subjects that you seem to think they are.

Here's a hint: if the structure is much stronger than the asteroid, the asteroid itself will absorb most of the energy.

No, but because the preponderance of evidence shows the exact opposite of what you're claiming. For example, a small rock contacted at a relative velocity of under 2 kps will hardly be a "multi-megaton" event. And I never saw any ship in ESB, including any ISD, take even one such impact with sustaining substantial damage. I did, however, see many instances in all the SW films of turbolasers and other large SW ship weapons being used on other ships, which managed to absorb one or even several hits before or even without loosing their shields. I'm sorry if it makes you upset, and I'm sorry you feel the need to take your anger or frustration out on me. But the fact remains the majority of the evidence (in fact, all of it except the single visual you refer to, which as has been argued is questionable in its validity) shows that the strongest weaponry in SW other than the DS superlaser simply isn't all that strong, at least not when compared to Trek level weapons.

I've already shown how your smug pronouncements about the "preponderance" of evidence are clearly wrong, and I'm not particularly interested in your attempt to misrepresent my contempt for your dishonesty and ignorance as "anger or frustration". You came after me with full knowledge that you would receive the Imperial Smack-Down™, so don't whine about it now. It's obvious that you planned to misrepresent the inevitable Smack-Down™ as an ad hominem attack from the beginning, since you quite clearly have no idea how to distinguish the insults you so richly deserve from the ad hominem attacks which you inflict upon others. Thare are only two real points in your otherwise worthless paragraph:

  1. You assume that if one particular asteroid hit with less than "multi-megaton" energy, then there must not have been any multi-megaton impacts anywhere in the entire field, despite what the books say. I have enough faith in our readers to assume that most of them are intelligent enough to figure out that this does not follow. By the way, does it occur to you that by the time we see the ISD vapourizing asteroids, it must have already cleared out a large space with its hull and its weapons, so that most of the punishment would have already taken place? We saw incredible asteroid concentrations in the Falcon's flight as it headed toward the big moon-sized asteroid, but when we next saw the ISD that chased it there, there was a big clear space around it. Do I really need to connect the dots for you?

  2. You admit there is an enormous conflict between your interpretations of weak SW weapon power across the board and the Death Star, yet you make no attempt whatsoever to resolve it (apparently, it's more important to generate a false dilemma between canon visuals and your idiotic assumption of only one asteroid impact on any ISD in the entire field). I suppose you probably think it's reasonable to imagine that the Death Star is trillions of times more efficient (even after accounting for the size difference) than every other piece of weapons technology in the Imperial arsenal, eh? Even though it's based on the same principles? Despite what Dodonna said?

It must be nice to be able to perform analyses without having to bother analyzing anything!

Indeed, as when, say, someone just writes a string of insults to the person they're "arguing with," instead of returning courtesy with courtesy, and reason with reason? If you want to "win," Mike, you have to earn it, not just browbeat it out of those on the other side. This is why I'm so proud to be on the Trek side. Win or loose, we don't generally feel the need to do that nearly as often. Try it some time. You'll feel better, be less bitter and have more to think about. Or I suppose you can just hold true to your present form, and respond to this with angry quips like "Oh, gee, thanks doctor! I suppose you're a fucking psychologist now. What a laugh, to think you know all about everything and can give advice to someone who's obviously done the work you're too stupid to do, etc etc etc." It's up to you. One way though, you'll find, is more productive....if that's even of interest to you.

I pointed out that you talk a lot but don't actually analyze anything (you present no calculations, and no evidence), and your only response was to wax poetic about what you perceive to be my personality flaws and state of mind? I'm in awe of your ability to endlessly attack me instead of my points, while (incredibly enough) accusing me of ad hominem attacks. I strongly suggest that you actually look up "ad hominem" sometime, rather than simply tossing the term around without any comprehension of its true meaning. By the way, I explicitly warn everyone on my E-mail page to expect flames if they send me moronic arguments or refuse to read my website before commenting on it. You have done both, so don't whine just because I meant what I said.

Because my re-definition is anything but personal, but based on the very same, canonistic medium. I witness simply that there is more of it telling against your position than for it. When visuals belie each other, we have no choice but to take the preponderance of data as overriding of the minority. This is especially so when we have reason to suspect the knowledgeability of those that produced it.

You have failed to produce a single relevant example of visuals contradicting each other. The only conflict here is between the canon visuals and your moronic assumption of just one asteroid impact in the entire Hoth asteroid sequence.

[Regarding fragmentation scene in TESB which disproves his claim that the SFX people had no "time" to show fragments] That was two asteroids hitting each other, if we're thinking of the same shot. It was in their interests to draw in the fragments in that case, to highlight the spectacular nature of the collision, and the effect the debris had.

You're evading the point. You claimed they had no time to show asteroid fragments, or (wrongly) that they would be invisible against the backdrop of space. I showed that they obviously did have time to show fragments if they were so inclined. This is the part where you're supposed to admit you're wrong, instead of producing the meaningless non-rebuttal that they showed fragments because "it was in their interests" to do so. Of course it was in their interests to do so, but you are implicitly admitting that it was not in their interests to show these fragments in the asteroid vapourization scene! Why not? Even if we disregard suspension of disbelief (which you must do, since you obviously refuse to tie yourself down to a consistent method of interpretation), what reason do you have to believe it's a "mistake"? If it was a "mistake", then why didn't they fix it in the Special Editions? Worse yet, not only did they not show your solid fragments, but they took the time to show something else: glowing liquid splattering around for a split-second before evapourating. This was not a "mistake", Timmy. It's just a scene that you can't explain, so you clap your hands over your ears and mumble "nyaaa nyaaa nyaaa, I can't hear you, it never happened, it was just a mistake".

And what about Episode 2, Timmy? Did you notice this scene from the trailer?

Fett blasting asteroids

Asteroids get blown to solid debris in the Star Wars movies, but it only takes a fighter to do it! Want more? See this video clip from the "Mystery" trailer, and this video clip from the "Clone Wars" trailer. What pathetic evasion are you going to use for this? Are you going to claim that a capital ship's naval artillery is no more powerful than a heavy fighter's guns now? Face it, Timmy; the TESB asteroids were vapourized. SW weapons are far more powerful than you are willing to accept, and mere fighters can accomplish that which you believe to be the limit of capital ship weaponry.

And you know, now that you mention it, that shot only adds weight to my point. After all, there it was just a small dusting of micrometeorites that the Falcon flew through, and even those managed to rock the ship! And yet, as some would have it, I am yet expected to somehow believe that this same ship can take hits from TL bolts (which we saw it do), that would supposedly be "gigaton" powered? This is a clear contradiction, and yes, a real, not false dilemma.

Ah, so much stupidity, so little time. Where to begin?

  1. Not all turbolaser bolts are in the gigaton range. There are heavy bolts, medium bolts, and light bolts, distinguished by differing bolt sizes (not to mention different sizes of guns). There are different yield settings. Of course you can show that some turbolaser blasts are below the gigaton range, but that doesn't mean that all turbolaser blasts are below the gigaton range.

  2. The "small dusting of micrometeorites" had no real effect on the ship. One big chunk hit it and buffeted it slightly. C3PO didn't even lose his footing! Yet again, you rely on lies about canon events in order to make what you laughable refer to as a "point". Click here to see a short video clip of the scene, in which we can all clearly see that the ship is not "rocked". If you want to see the ship really get rocked, click here to see it getting slammed by a light turbolaser blast to the back quarter. Its cockpit is knocked at least 5 metres down and to the right in just 1/8 second, for an average acceleration of 64 G's! This would have killed them without acceleration compensators (and yes, this is also discussed in one of those Technology pages on my site which you didn't bother to read).

  3. You are still evading my point. You claimed that they didn't have the "time" to show fragments. This example shows that they did have the time to show fragments, thus you are clearly wrong. You can insist that you're winning and that the evidence is on your side all day, but I've got a shitload of screenshots, video captures, and novel quotes to back me up, and you've got nothing but hot air and your holiter-than-thou attitude.

Yet again, the proof is in the pudding. You can bluster and lie about onscreen events all you like, and you can continue spouting your holier-than-thou declarations of moral superiority or your smarmy accusations about my debating style, but at the end of the day, you've spent all your time trying to make yourself look good, while I've spent all my time producing evidence to show how completely wrong you are.

Ah, like the way personal abuse lacks analytical rigor. Yes, I see your point only too well. Now, you should try learning from it. I mentioned Occam's Razor, because your treatment of this issue on your web site violates that principal, and because my argument utilizes it in a way that I thought ought to be made clear to interested readers. Especially if anyone that reads it hasn't been formally educated in philosophy. It was not meant to be condescending.

Stop bullshitting, Timmy. It was meant to be condescending. You were just trying to "get under my skin", in the hopes that you could use your "style over substance" attack when I reacted by telling you that you were full of shit. Unfortunately for you, the style over substance attack is a fallacy, I would have insulted you anyway because I have a low tolerance for bullshit, and you know nothing about Occam's Razor. By delaying a detailed discussion of precisely how and where you went wrong, I gave you one chance to back away from this foolishness, Timmy. You should have taken it.

You see, Occam's Razor is a dead-end for you. It compels us to choose the theory which is simplest (ie- employs the least number of useful terms), when confronted with multiple competing theories which have equal descriptive/predictive capability. This actually hurts you, for two reasons:

  1. My theory is actually simpler than yours. While my theory requires only basic physics and the canon visuals and dialogue from TESB, your theory requires the extra terms of real-life budgetary limitations and SFX artist motivations. Not only do these terms relate to variables which exist outside the fictional universe in question (thus destroying suspension of disbelief), but they cannot be satisfactorily evaluated, thus invalidating them for not one, but two reasons. If both of our theories had equal predictive capability, Occam's Razor would compel us to select my theory, not yours. You call your theory "parsimonious," but it's quite obvious that you haven't a clue what that word means.

  2. Your theory does not have descriptive/predictive capabilities equal to those of the prevailing theory. While I can successfully rationalize all of the relevant visual evidence, as well as the dialogue and the canon novelization, you cannot, hence your attempt to ignore the novelization and the dialogue, and dismiss some of the visuals as "inaccurate SFX".

You lose on both counts, Timmy. Your theory forces us to drop some of the evidence while mine doesn't, and your theory requires extra terms while mine doesn't. Next time, try looking up logical principles such as Occam's Razor before you misrepresent them in your zeal to attach their names to your credibility. You expect us to ignore some of the visuals, the novelization, and the dialogue while dropping suspension of disbelief and accepting your mind-reading of SFX artists' motivations 20 years ago, all so we can choose your half-assed theory that only one ISD was hit by one asteroid in the entire Hoth asteroid field chase sequence.

Then why were Klingon heavy cruisers destroyed so effortlessly by Jem'Hadar fighter ramming attacks in DS9?

Jem'Hadar ships are substantially bigger than small asteroids, and they impacted at higher speeds. It is you that seems to have the penchant for creating false dilemmas, not I.

False dilemmas? Don't make me laugh; you claimed that Star Trek ships can shrug off impacts from multi-million ton asteroids at "many times the speed of light"! How can you turn around and use the miniscule speed of Jem'Hadar fighters (<2 km/s, despite your claim of "higher speeds") as an excuse for Klingon battlecruisers being torn to pieces in ramming attacks? This is no false dilemma; it is a point which you are incapable of answering. Worse yet, you used this opportunity to proudly demonstrate your incredible stupidity, your penchant for outright lies, and your scientific ignorance once again. Let us review:

  1. Your outright lie: the asteroid which hit the ISD's bridge tower was roughly 70 metres wide. A Jem'Hadar fighter is also roughly 70 metres wide. It is not "substantially bigger", and in fact, since it's less than 20 metres thick, it's actually substantially smaller, with less than a quarter of the asteroid's volume.

  2. Your stupidity: this factoid might have escaped your infantile mind, but an asteroid is a completely solid, nickel-iron mass, while a Jem'Hadar fighter is mostly air by volume. A solid nickel-iron asteroid has roughly one order of magnitude greater overall density than a Jem'Hadar fighter, and since it's more than four times as big, we're talking about a 40x mass advantage.

  3. Your scientific ignorance: "higher speeds"? Maybe high-school physics is beyond your miniscule brain, but in case you flunked grade 10 physics, the physics of a collision are dependent upon the velocity change. The velocity change of the Jem'Hadar fighters upon hitting Klingon cruisers was much smaller than the velocity change of the TESB bridge tower asteroid. The TESB bridge tower asteroid was stopped cold, which means that the bridge tower's superstructure was able to generate enough reaction force to deal with 100% of its momentum. The Jem'Hadar fighters which tore through Klingon cruisers, on the other hand, were not stopped cold (in fact, they lost very little of their speed during the collision), which means that the Klingon ships' hulls and shields could not generate enough reaction force to deal with 100% of their momentum. Worse yet (for you), they were not moving at higher speeds. See the attached video clip, in which the ship impacts at roughly 1 km/s and loses no measurable speed during the collision even though it tore the Klingon ship in half, thus indicating truly pathetic structural strength on the part of the Klingon ship.

  4. Stuff that obviously escaped your incompetent analysis: did you see the asteroid plunging deep into the ISD's bridge tower, or did you see it completely pulverize on impact? Unless you plan on lying yet again despite my inclusion of a video clip, you saw it completely pulverized on impact without achieving noticeable penetration into the superstructure, which means that the superstructure was demonstrably stronger than a solid nickel-iron asteroid despite having a miniscule fraction of its load-bearing area.

  5. More stuff that obviously escaped your incompetent analysis: the fact that the ISD's bridge tower didn't shrug off the impact does not mean that it is necessarily weak; it is not reasonable to expect that the relatively thin walls of the bridge tower could stop a >5 million ton asteroid (do the math on a solid nickel-iron asteroid of that size) without even buckling.

  6. Yet more stuff that obviously escaped your incompetent analysis: an ISD's bridge tower does not have the same wall thickness as the main hull. Your attempt to generalize about the entire hull based on the bridge tower will fool no one with any remote semblance of intelligence. Would you base conclusions about the USS Nimitz's hull on its bridge tower? The Klingon ships which were destroyed by Jem'Hadar ramming attacks, on the other hand, were actually torn to pieces; they suffered total primary hull failure.

Klingon ramming

Any comparison between the Jem'Hadar kamikaze attacks and the TESB bridge tower impact can only lead to the conclusion that an ISD is orders of magnitude stronger than a Klingon battlecruiser against physical impacts. The fact that the ISD in question had already withstood tremendous punishment on its way into the asteroid field and may have also taken damage in the Hoth battle is merely icing on the cake. As for your bizarre claim about Star Trek ships effortlessly handling impacts from multi-million ton asteroids at "many times the speed of light", that's so far removed from rational consideration that I'm amazed you had the temerity to make it in the first place, and even more amazed that you were actually stupid enough to defend it.

Why was the Odyssey destroyed so easily by a single impact?

See above. Also, remember what happens to a starship when it is destroyed by running into another; its warp core would obviously breach, releasing a tremendous amount of energy. This would also occur on the other ship, so it's not at all hard to see why colliding ships are often destroyed.

The warp core breach is irrelevant because it wouldn't have occurred if the ship's defenses had held, which was the point I was making. We could see that the Odyssey's primary hull was heavily damaged by the impact, well before its warp core cooked off. See the accompanying pictures; the Jem'Hadar ship's small size and the heavy damage caused to the primary hull are both clearly visible (and by the way, it was even slower than the ship that tore a Klingon battlecruiser in half; see the accompanying video clip). The only thing we learn here is that a Federation Galaxy class ship's main hull is far flimsier than an Imperial Star Destroyer's main hull, and that a Klingon battlecruiser's main hull is a joke (no wonder they need to hide behind cloaking devices).

USS Odyssey Shot 1 USS Odyssey Shot 2

Why can't Federation ships warp through dense asteroid fields?

Because there are much bigger asteroids there, far bigger than those small rocks the ISD in ESB was so threatened by.

Actually, we've never seen an asteroid field in Star Trek with anywhere near the density of the asteroid field in TESB. You can respond to my accusations of dishonesty with tit-for-tat counter-accusations if you like, but I can back up my accusations with proof in the form of quotes, screenshots, and video clips, while you cannot. Your debating technique is obviously honed for newsgroups, where people aren't allowed to post binaries and therefore, you can continue to lie through your teeth without having the evidence shoved in your face (Edam tried this same trick). Unfortunately for you (and Edam), I can attach whatever binaries I like, and I am perfectly willing to post any form of evidence which is required in order to show what a liar you are. I have done so repeatedly, but in this case, you haven't even provided the name of an example of such ultra-dense Trek asteroid fields for me to disprove with visual evidence, and I'll just let that omission speak for itself.

Has it ever occurred to you that the nav deflectors are only good for interstellar dust, not asteroids massing hundreds of thousands (or in some cases, millions) of tons?

I know what the E-D Tech Manual says; the nav deflector works from objects ranging in size from particles and micrometeorites up to and including small asteroids, even at high warp, where the kinetic energies from even dust particles would be astronomical. I never tried to say they could deflect asteroids massing "thousands or millions of tons."

Yet again, you have crammed so many stupid mistakes into a single paragraph that I must present my rebuttal in list form:

  1. At no time does the TM state that the nav deflector can deal with asteroids. It points out that asteroids are one of the hazards that a starship can encounter, but its only description of nav deflector capabilities says that it is capable of "pushing aside larger objects that may present a collision hazard.". At no time does the TM quantify its idea of a "larger object" other than to state that they are larger than "submicron particulates", which does not exactly support your implicit conclusion that they were referring to multi-million ton 70 metre wide asteroids.

  2. The nav deflector is irrelevant because it is a long-range, highly directional system. According to the TM, the subsystem which deals with macroscopic objects is actually a "tractor/deflector that sweeps thousands of kilometers ahead of the ship, pushing aside larger objects that may present a collision hazard." At no time is it described as a defensive system against impactors which may come from any direction, and if it worked as you suggested, we wouldn't have seen the Odyssey destroyed by a ramming attack, nor would we have seen Klingon battlecruisers ripped in half by Jem'Hadar kamikaze fighters.

  3. The TM is full of glaring mistakes and it has been declared as non-canon speculation by its own publisher, so the whole point is moot anyway. And since there are no observed canon examples of the nav deflector shoving aside 70 metre wide asteroids either onscreen or even in dialogue, you've got nothing.

  4. You are lying. You did try to say they could deflect asteroids massing thousands or millions of tons, by making specific reference to the sort of asteroid that hit the ISD's bridge tower and saying that "Trek ships are not threatened by them." How heavy do you think a 70 metre wide solid nickel-iron asteroid is, Timmy? Since its volume is around 180,000 cubic metres, the only way for it not to have a mass of at least "thousands or millions of tons" is to have a density of less than 6 kg/m³, which is only 6 times the density of air! Are you going to claim that the TESB asteroid has the density of a heavy gas now?

Actually, on second thought, I retract that last accusation. I don't believe you were lying when you thought that the TESB asteroid was less than a thousand tons despite having a volume of a couple of hundred thousand cubic metres. Given your astounding incompetence, your general scientific ignorance, and your sloppy method, I think it more likely that you were just so astoundingly stupid that you thought it might actually make sense for such a large object to have such a small mass.

But there is a reason to think it cannot take even a single hit from a primary turbolaser discharge that supposedly has more energy than the kinetic energy of the singular (not thousands, Mike, singular, which is all we've ever seen) impacts of small rocks that do serious damage, when contacted at relative velocities of less than 2 kps.

"Singular impacts"? "Small rocks"? The Falcon flies through an incredibly dense asteroid field, wending its way around asteroids (many of which are well in excess of 100 metres wide) so close together that they actually collide on a regular basis, and when an ISD chases it into the same area, you figure it couldn't possibly have taken more than one hit from a "small rock" in the process? Do you also assume that people don't get wet in rainstorms unless someone shows you each drop hitting their clothes? Are you really so stupid that you can't connect the dots between a dense hail of asteroids and a large number of impacts on a ridiculously large ship? And what about these quotes from the canon TESB novelization?

"Darth Vader looked like a great silent god as he stood on the main control deck of his mammoth Star Destroyer. He was staring through the large rectangular window above the deck at the raging field of asteroids that was pelting his ship as it glided through space." p.93 softcover.

"Undaunted by the steady rain of asteroids on its massive hull, the Star Destroyer relentlessly followed the smaller ship ... Suddenly a gigantic asteroid appeared in the Millenium Falcon's path, rushing toward the freighter at incredible speed. The ship quickly banked out of the way, and the asteroid hurtled past it, only to explode harmlessly against the Avenger's hull" p.127 softcover.

I grow tired of debating what really happened in the films with you. This is not a legitimate argument; we're not making points and counter-points; you're simply lying about the films and I'm simply producing more and more evidence that you're full of shit.

The superlaser is not at issue here. I don't need an explanation.

The superlaser is a giant compound turbolaser. You do need an explanation.

Actually, no, I never said that. I said it does significant damage. If you can produce a quote of me claiming a one-hit kill of an ISD by an asteroid, by all means do so. I just said damage...a lot. {If I'm really so repetitive, you shouldn't be making such obviously fallacious miss-quotes, now should you.}

Close enough. You figure one hit can defeat its shields and hull. Don't be a nitpicker.

I saw only one instance of a rock hitting an ISD, and that was the one that destroyed its bridge superstructure...all quibbling about "the spine" of it to one side. None struck the ship that was shooting them down, because they were moving so slowly so as to have time to steer around or fragment them with TL fire.

The ISD's bridge superstructure was damaged, but not destroyed by the impact. If it was completely destroyed, then why was its captain still standing seconds later? Click here to see a video clip of that hit, where you can clearly see that the ship's captain is still standing several seconds after the impact, or look at the screenshot below to see the ship's captain 1.75 seconds after impact. The bridge is obviously damaged, and since the bridge shields are obviously down, a series of internal explosions and depressurizations probably caused heavy casualties inside. You could see that he was reacting to some bright flashes of light on the bridge,, and then he recoiled from something and the transmitter failed. But contrary to popular belief, we don't even know for sure that he was killed! All we know is that he recoiled from some kind of event on the bridge about two seconds after the impact, and that the holo-transmitter failed. But your logical leap from a structural failure to a vast over-generalization about ISD hulls being helpless before such asteroids (despite examples to the contrary) is simply another example of your propensity for obstinately clinging to a pre-ordained conclusion regardless of what the facts may be.

Bridge tower asteroid

If only you were as polite for my enduring your abuse.

If only you had the balls to insult me openly, rather than carefully using polite language to attack what you perceive to be my personality flaws while lying through your teeth and evading or ignoring the points I make. The only difference between "You're a fucking liar" and something like "I choose the parsimonious path because I can honestly face the evidence. You should too" is that the first guy doesn't mince words. Your holier-than-thou attitude, carefully worded ad hominem attacks, and style over substance fallacies might fool kids who haven't yet learned to think critically, but they won't fool anyone else.

Mike, no offense, but you need to learn how to better interact with people if you want to be taken seriously. If you cannot, you have my pity, but not much more of my patience. I'm sorry, but if your next post replying to this one is as hostile, I will not read or reply to it, no matter how many time you or others grand stand on that refusal to claim "victory."

Awww, you already wrote up a pre-emptive excuse for quitting, just in case I managed to discover the rebuttal you tried to hide from me. How thoughtful!

But you shouldn't have bothered, because I already have victory regardless of whether you answer this or not. I had it before you began, when you chose to use an argument which was easily discredited years ago, and you had so little confidence in it that you meticulously surrounded it with a veritable mountain of window dressing first. Any intelligent person could have read your very first post and seen that you were bullshitting, and I only responded because people asked me to, and people have been telling me for years that it would be great to see your mottled head on my trophy wall. I don't know who or what you think you are, or what you believe your credibility to be among sci-fi fans or "vs" debaters, but you are in no position to lecture me on how to be taken seriously.

You won't admit it, and I'm sure you'll call this parting shot "ad hominization" (as if that will fool anyone), but you've demonstrated quite clearly that you're nothing but a cowardly little chickenshit who's afraid to face the truth or fight fair, so you resort to sophistry, lies, and evasions. You didn't even have the cojones to send me this reply of yours, so you quietly posted it to the newsgroup (in an old thread titled "Timothy Jones: Read This"; not exactly the sort of place where I would look for a rebuttal even if I was an ASVS regular) without telling me, and then you cut off E-mail communication in order to make me think that you had simply quit.

I've run into a lot of chickenshit debaters over the years, and you're one of the dumbest yet. And that's saying something; some of my opponents need to take off their shoes in order to count past ten. I hate to break this to you, but even the average Jerry Springer audience member is probably smart enough to see through your bullshit. At least the flamers have the balls to come at me directly, the idiot fanboys simply stumble forward and flail wildly at me until they're bloodied and beaten, and Stilgar's little rabid B5er friends know enough to keep their distance because I'll squash them like bugs. But you just play endless games, mixing fallacies with lies and an omnipresent "holier than thou" attitude, and trying to appeal to the least rational among a crowd that saw through you years ago. You're the sort of person who embarrasses philosophers and scientists by misinterpreting all of their ideas and then presuming to champion their cause. If you were any more pathetic, you'd be a fashion consultant for N'Sync. I fart in your general direction.

Fatality!


[Editor's note: this was not what you'd call a legitimate "debate", since it never really got past what a lawyer might call the "discovery stage" of presenting evidence (and that's only for me; he was busy doing PR for himself). Therefore, I'm not going to bother doing a post-mortem on it the way I did for the Gothmog and Edam debates (after all, a post-mortem would assume that the patient had, in fact, been alive at one point). But if you're feeling bored, you've got nothing better to do, and you want to write one for me, be my guest. If not, then I would suggest that you return to regular activities such as Internet surfing, pornography, over-eating, and masturbation (unless you're reading this from work, in which case I suggest that you immediately pick up a clipboard and start walking briskly with a pencil in your hand and a pensive expression on your face, in the hopes that you have one of those bosses who can't see through this trick)]


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