Ultimate Star Trek Xtreme

The OC writes the only episode of Star Trek I would ever watch:

Okay Gene, here’s the outline. Returning from a mission dirtside, the Away Team discovers that a freak malfunction of the transporter contrast control has turned them all black. Piccard retires to the executive conference room (I understand we’re contractually obligated to use the conference room set for at least five minutes in each show, right?), opens the executive safe, and reads the Enterprise warranty, only to discover that the transporter is covered by a carry-in service contract and the nearest XEROX service center is 200 light-years away.

Troi gets a “bad feeling” about this.

I liked the original Star Trek when I was a kid. I didn’t like it as an adult, however, and I loathed ST:TNG and all the subsequent Treks. (I really liked Galaxy Quest, though, and not because it poked fun at Trekkies. Go figure.) I only saw part of a few episodes, but ST:TNG was one of the most derivative shows I’ve ever seen. By way of example, I once freaked out a Trekkie by telling him the plot of a show he was watching after seeing the first few minutes.

I didn’t stick around to watch it unfold, so around an hour later, the guy came out and demanded to know how I could have possibly known what was going to happen. It was simple, the whole story was ripped off from Ann Rice’s Lasher.

Bad Astronomy, bad science

No scientist should even open his mouth about other scientific disciplines, nine times out of ten, he merely discredits the entire profession:

evolutionary biology does in fact explain our concepts of justice, equality, and freedom. Just because you say it doesn’t doesn’t mean it doesn’t. We evolved these concepts as prehistoric humans and the species we evolved from developed into tribal cultures. Those concepts helped ensure our survival, so we adapted to include them in our daily lives.

I’m definitely going to nail an evolutionary biologist to the wall with this one during the next discussion of evolution. I so love how scientists in one discipline make outrageous, nonsensical claims for other disciplines, which are then completely disavowed by the scientists in that discipline. Scott Hatfield, I should very much like to know your opinion on the matter….

Now, do provide the scientific evidence for this evolution of justice, equality and freedom, BA. What was the mechanism of this “evolution”? How fast did these concepts evolve, and from what? At what museum may we view the memetic fossil evidence? And given the clear empirical evidence that a belief in God is hugely beneficial for the rate of human propagation, aren’t you really offering a proof of God here?

This is the best part:

It’s clear to me that you don’t really understand anything at all about science, the scientific method, and how successful it is in understanding the world and universe around us.

This is pretty amusing coming from someone who genuinely believes there is scientific evidence for the evolution of abstract concepts. This is especially ironic when that same someone claims conclusive proof of what he also declares cannot be seen, tasted, heard, touched or sensed in any way. This is a particularly interesting statement in light of the way in which scientists reliably insist that science is not in the “proof” business at all.

The idea that science is successful in understanding the world around us is also amusing. Whether one looks at an individual, a family or a society, the one thing you can absolutely count on to rapidly destroy it is following the advice of the scientists interested in the matter. Assuming, of course, that the entire planet isn’t destroyed first by a few of the more deadly gifts that scientists have so kindly given humanity. Thanks, science!

You may now make your historically ignorant statement attempting to give science credit for that which either predates science, was created by non-scientists, or should more rightly be credited to entrepeneurial activity.

And FYI, libertarian!=ultraconservative.

So much for rational materialism

The Bad Astronomer doesn’t realize that science is undermining the basis for materialism:

The energy budget of the Universe is the total amount of energy and matter in the whole cosmos added up. Together with some other observations, WMAP has been able to determine just how much of that budget is occupied by dark energy, dark matter, and normal matter. What they got was: the Universe is 72.1% dark energy, 23.3% dark matter, and 4.62% normal matter. You read that right: everything you can see, taste, hear, touch, just sense in any way… is less than 5% of the whole Universe.

In other words, even by its own lights, science and rational materialist philosophy is only relevant to five percent of what we currently consider to be all known Creation. Combined with its complete inapplicability to abstract concepts such as justice, equality and freedom, this shows that even attempting to build a social order on a secular basis is not only doomed to failure, but is quite arguably insane.

The importance of education

Considering some of the lawyers I’ve known, I find it difficult to believe that most literate children would have a tough time passing U.S. law school exams:

Brazil’s lawyers have been shocked to find that a boy aged eight has managed to pass the entrance exam to law school. The Bar Association said the achievement of Joao Victor Portellinha should be taken as a warning about the low standards of some of Brazil’s law schools…. My dream is to be a federal judge,” the boy said, according to Globo TV’s Web site. “So I decided to take the test to see how I would do … it was easy. I studied a week before the test.”

I don’t know why they don’t simply let little kids who can pass the tests practice law or rule from the bench, the results couldn’t be significantly worse. Imagine how effective a little girl crying in front of an all-female jury would be.

A land without children

I’m sorry about the absence of bloggertainment for the last two days, but I actually had to do a bit of what passes for labor these days. This took me to Germany, and the most remarkable thing I noticed was that during my entire trip, I saw a grand total of three children. Now, granted I wasn’t often in an environment where one would expect to see a lot of children, but even at the train station or when a friend and I walked to lunch through the middle of town, I saw virtually no one younger than 15 or so.

When I mentioned this yesterday to a media relations woman – a pretty, married German lady in her late twenties and childless – she commented that German women are taught to believe that if you take the time to pursue a college education, you have wasted those years should you subsequently fail to “use” that education by having children instead of a career. But when I asked her if she felt she was making effective use of her education by keeping the press informed about her company’s latest innovations in a minor field of electronics, she laughed and admitted that she was already beginning to wonder what was so damned important about her career. This was remarkable, since questioning the intellectual status quo isn’t exactly what you’d call a strong point for Germans of either sex.

In the Terry Pratchett novel Interesting Times, the British humorist notes that a breeding bias for treacherous killers eventually creates a situation where it is dangerous to lean over a cradle. In light of this observation, it seems remarkable that even the most staunch proponents of evolution fail to recognize the obvious problem intrinsic in teaching the more intelligent 50 percent of the female population that they have a moral imperative to unquestioningly render themselves worker drones. It’s also remarkable that so many people believe themseselves to be “using” their education by virtue of their employment in a job that has nothing whatsoever to do with their university studies.