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  #1  
Old 06-02-2009, 06:03 AM
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I thought it is time for another PD thread.
What's your opinion about the story from "Dear Doctor", does it go too far to not help a species which suffers from a genetical disease, is this social darwinism, or is not interfering the only way to allow the other sentient species on the planet to flourish and reach its full potential?
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:20 AM
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I recently re-watched the episode on DVD. I think Phlox presents his case effectively for non-intervention. Archer faced his own dilemma when asked to supply that species with a warp engine. I guess the real question is whether evolution is a theory or fundamental scientific principle. The show presents it as the later. If i recall, there was also a suggestion that the DNA breakdown of that species was caused by the advanced state of their society.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:24 AM
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I agreed with Phlox. It was heart wrenching, but in the end the dying species must save themselves. Saving them would have been unfair to the other species.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:52 AM
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The interesting suggestion of this episode, that Denobulans already (and Vulcans if you take the series overall) have a principle like the Prime Directive, was the most fascinating aspect IMO. Phlox did neither share the humans desire to help strangers and neither did he share their pity for the other species. So humans would like to help both species, but this is impossible as helping the dominant species would give them an evolutionary advantage while helping the other species would only be possible via heavy political interference which is clearly out of the question.

What seems like straightforward help at the first glance is in fact preferring one over the other species. It still smells like social-darwinism to me, all my intuition cries "help them!", and I think that's precisely the reason why there has to be a rule like the Prime Directive, without it most Starfleet officers would not hesitate to help and thus interfere. Good intentions can have long-run, unanticipated, disasterous consequences.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
The interesting suggestion of this episode, that Denobulans already (and Vulcans if you take the series overall) have a principle like the Prime Directive, was the most fascinating aspect IMO. Phlox did neither share the humans desire to help strangers and neither did he share their pity for the other species. So humans would like to help both species, but this is impossible as helping the dominant species would give them an evolutionary advantage while helping the other species would only be possible via heavy political interference which is clearly out of the question.
I think it had more to do with his conscience as a scientist than a Denobulan 'Prime Directive'. The interesting thing is that this over-rules his conscience as a physician to heal the sick. He draws the line very clearly, this issue is outside of his duties as a physician.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:24 AM
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I thought Phlox nailed it perfectly by making the anology to Earths period when neanderthals and home-o sapiens were competeing for dominance. How would we have liked it if another race showed up and wiped out home-o sapiens, leaving the neanderthals to inherit the Earth? (Sorry about the silly misspelling, but the "nastiness filter" won't let me do so correctly.)

An extremely well done episode! (Funny how many of the ones featuring Phlox ARE my favoirites of the series.)
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:30 AM
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BTW, chator: evolution is a "theory" in the same way that gravitation is a "theory" or that osmosis is a "theory"... everyone except those with an axe to grind, (wishing to keep TX and KS schoolkids stupid enough to keep going to church, and putting money in their collection plates) accepts this as a a natural process in the universe.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FanWriter45 View Post
I thought Phlox nailed it perfectly by making the anology to Earths period when neanderthals and home-o sapiens were competeing for dominance. How would we have liked it if another race showed up and wiped out home-o sapiens, leaving the neanderthals to inherit the Earth? (Sorry about the silly misspelling, but the "nastiness filter" won't let me do so correctly.)

An extremely well done episode! (Funny how many of the ones featuring Phlox ARE my favoirites of the series.)
Yeah, it was kinda nice to have a species and a character which does not try to dominate the Galaxy, yet just offers a new perspective upon mankind. Has not been done in Trek since ... Spock.
One of the best moments was one of Phlox's wives aboard flirting with Trip who had inhibitions about sleeping with someone else's wife ... and the two Denobulans laughing warmly about those silly humans.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:24 AM
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horatio,

I agree! When Phlox was introduced, and had such obvious enthusiasam for "humanity's optimisim, and willingness to help others" it was like a breath of fresh air! I still think that my favorite episode with him has to be the one where the rest of the crew has to be sedated and he tends to the ship alone for several days as it passes through a dangerous region of space, and begins to hallucinate... We learned TONS about the inner workings of the character from that one. Plus, it was just kind of cool, in a way harkening back ot the Odessey, where the ship has to pass the rocks of the Sirens...
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chator View Post
I think it had more to do with his conscience as a scientist than a Denobulan 'Prime Directive'. The interesting thing is that this over-rules his conscience as a physician to heal the sick. He draws the line very clearly, this issue is outside of his duties as a physician.
Wasn't it this very episode where Phlox mentioned that Denobulans don't have an equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath but always respect the wishes of their patients?
A very subtle note on medical-ethical questions we face at the moment.
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