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Bucktown
Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 3:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

I wished when Archer confidently said, "We have a saying on Earth, Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime", the deuterium guy just looks at him and responds flatly, "What's a fish?"
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Bucktown
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 12:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Am I the only one with the takeaway when she takes out the purse at the end that T'Mir WAS T'Pol? I actually think that's a great twist, if so. Perhaps it's too far back to fit in with Vulcan lifespans, but the setup of the episode seems to be hinting that T'Pol is much older than anyone on board Enterprise realizes.
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Bucktown
Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 5:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi,

Thanks for compliment! In an alternate universe, I hope my counterpart was able to write some Star Trek episodes.

And I agree with you re my analogy being not quite accurate - it was only meant as a direct rebuttal to Brian Lear's analogy, not one I would have brought up as an exemplar.

I agree that the issue of a total world-wide intervention is much more complex than a heart transplant. But my argument to that is that even if Archer and Phlox believed they didn't have enough information, they erred on the side of natural selection and non-interference, which they knew very well would cause the extinction of millions (if not billions) of a sentient life form. Why not err on the side of life, especially if they can do something about it? Isn't that what practicing medicine is all about? Not making moral decisions based on who deserves to live and die but just saving any life at all costs? We subvert natural selection every day by taking all kinds of medications. Medicine itself is a form of species interference, rendering natural selection amongst humans almost moot.

I think this episode made a mistake using medicine and disease as a vehicle to explore non-interference, if that's the route they wanted to go. A more nuanced discussion would have been political, as we can apply that to our current world's situation, especially at the time this aired circa 9/11/01. At what point should a society interfere in another's development or internal politics? Do we have a moral duty? Or do some well intentioned decisions in the moment sometimes backfire?

What if the Valakians were actively committing genocide against the Menk? Does Archer have the right to intervene on moral grounds? Is it worth starting a war with the Valakians to save the Menks? Even if Archer intervenes and overpowers the Valakians with his superior technology, then what? Does Archer have to stay there permanently to keep the peace? I find that much more interesting than a doctor withholding necessary medical care.
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Bucktown
Mon, Oct 21, 2019, 3:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Brian Lear,

I don't think that's an accurate analogy at all. The Menk have no need for a "new heart." Their health is perfectly fine, so it's not like a hard moral or medical choice needs to be made here. Only the Valakians have need for medical intervention. And if cured, there is no evidence that it will only prolong another inevitable extinction. A cure is a cure.

The failure of this episode is the junk science that if 2 sentient species co-exist and one goes extinct, the other will flourish and "evolve" into a more intelligent species. So Phlox and Archer did not provide necessary medical services as a result.

The more accurate analogy would be: "Patient 1" is dying and in need of a heart transplant. "Patient 2" is his brother and is perfectly fine and healthy. The doctor has a perfectly good new heart waiting to be transplanted into Patient 1, but the dumb amoral doctor, with absolutely no evidence, believes that Patient 2 will flourish into a better individual without his brother around anymore, so condemns Patient 1 to die. What a load of bollocks.
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Bucktown
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Sleeping Dogs

"I cannot believe a race as obstinate, belligerent and primitive as the Klingons would ever have invented the wheel, never mind done anything useful with it. For them to be a warp-capable civilization is incredible. But anyway..."

Michael,

I forget where this came from precisely, but wasn't it established in canon in an earlier show that the Klingons stole all their advanced technology (including warp) from the Romulans? Of course the Romulans wouldn't have any kind of Prime Directive, and the Klingons becoming warp capable centuries before they naturally would explains a lot.
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Bucktown
Fri, Oct 11, 2019, 3:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Jason R.,

I think Dr. Phlox's use of the word "evolved" is totally and dangerously incorrect. When he says a species is "more evolved" than another, it propagates the unscientific belief that evolution has an ultimate destiny, when in scientific reality, it does not. Evolution is based ONLY on genetic mutations that benefit survivability in a particular environment over those without the mutation. We're not all destined to become pure beings of light.

The words he could have used that would have been scientifically correct would have been "developed" or "complex." It's possible the Valakians may have had a more complex neurological system than the Menk. But it is IMPOSSIBLE for Phlox to know if a species' brain would become more complex generations down the line without the use of a time machine. The only argument I could see is by wiping out the Valakians, the Menk's prime benefactors who they relied on for survivability, would create a new environment where the Menk must adapt or die, possibly favoring resourceful Menk over the long run.

This episode gets 0 Stars purely for the garbage science alone. This episode may have even informed some people's personal understanding of evolution, which is almost unforgivable.

But this episode is not about evolution really. The story they wanted to tell (but also failed here as well) was about the origins of the Prime Directive and non-interference in other planetary races' development. Many people have stated here in the comments in respects to the appalling interpretation of the Prime Directive in this episode, so I don't need to go into it too.

But there was something here that could have worked and made sense as a morality tale for the need of non-interference, and they totally missed the opportunity. Everything in the episode is the same leading up to that conservation between Phlox and Archer. My change would have been Phlox couldn't find a cure. He's a doctor, not a cultural anthropologist, so of course he then pleads with Archer to still try to help them live (Hippocratic Oath and all). The Valakians had earlier asked Archer for their warp drive technology so they could go out on their own to see if another species can help them find a cure. Because of Phlox's urging and his own pain at seeing suffering, Archer reluctantly gives the Valakians the specs for warp drive to help them save themselves. But the Valakians prove incapable of handling this new technology in their current state of scientific development, where they unintentionally cause an anti-matter chain reaction, destroying the entire planet. Both Menk and Valakians are now wiped out. The Prime Directive is about culture, technology, and engineering and the need for a race to develop social ideas and these advanced machines on their own. It is NOT about watching people die until they magically figure out warp drive technology.

Yes, my proposed story change is a lot darker, but it actually is a story about the need for the Prime Directive that MAKES SENSE, both scientifically and culturally.
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