Starts With A Bang

Star Trek: Discovery Is Smart-Sounding Scientific Nonsense, Season 1, Episode 4 Recap (Synopsis)

Captain Gabriel Lorca aboard the bridge of the Discovery, during a simulated combat mission with the Klingons. Image credit: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive.

“You were always a good officer. Until you weren’t.” -Saru, from Star Trek: Discovery

Science is full of great ideas and brilliant discoveries, and some of those more recent ones have made their way into the popular consciousness. TED talks, popular blogs and online magazines, and Facebook pages and internet memes have helped disseminate bits of knowledge to millions. But how much of what’s come through is actually worth knowing, versus how much is simply science-sounding buzzwords that’s content-free?

Outside the event horizon of a black hole, General Relativity and quantum field theory are completely sufficient for understanding the physics of what occurs; that is Hawking radiation. Image credit: NASA.

As we dive deeper into the world of Star Trek: Discovery, that’s what I fear we’re looking at: the IFLS of a Star Trek series. Invented terms an misinterpreted legitimate science is the norm now, as though no one could be bothered to speak with a science consultant. It’s like the filming/script-writing crew is suffering from the same myopia as the crew of the Discovery: unable to look beyond of their own, bull-headed path.

In the early 21st-century, we’ve successfully mapped out practically all the stars in our neighborhood in three-dimensional space. Somehow, we’re to expect that starfleet doesn’t have vastly improved maps of star systems and black holes hundreds of years in the future. Image credit: Richard Powell / Atlas of the Universe.

The terms may sound smart, but this is jumping from science fiction into science fantasy, and leaving morality behind. Catch the latest recap, and hope it gets better from here!