Wong Debate

Round 3

The Superlaser Effect

Guardian


> RSA Debate
>
> Round 3, Part 1b (Death Star firepower)


(Response has been ordered under topic headings)

*** Length:

> > > I urge you to heed your own stipulation about brevity and cut
> > > it down.
>
> > <snip 5 paragraphs of nitpicks and justifications for excess
> > verbosity>
>
> I repeat the request that you cut down the unnecessary verbosity,


If you don't want a long message, then don't ask me to repeat myself in
regards to a definitions already given, details already discussed, et
cetera.



*** MCR BS:

> You have only defined what your MCR is NOT.

MCR, again? Mike, you have been told that is improper. Your continuing
use of that phrasing after being informed of that fact is even more
improper. I have not used "DET theorist" ever since you said you thought it
was prejudicial, even if I didn't understand why you felt that way . . . why
your continued use of your own prejudicial language?

> > Further, the DET theory fails to address the similar rings around the
> > Death Star I, Death Star II, and so on, and so forth. More ad hoc
> > theories would no doubt have to be employed in order to explain those
> > events.
>
> Your MCR


"Superlaser Effect". If that's too long for you to type out, use SF (since
there are already too many SE's running around).



*** The Opening Crawl:

<26 lines snipped>
> > However, there is no reason to make this assumption. I find it
> > questionable that the opening crawl of Star Wars was making a foray
> > into physics and weapons yield data, as opposed to simply describing
> > the awesome capabilities of the Death Star.
>
> And those capabilities happen to be a vast amount of raw power. Deal
> with it.


Why did you unnecessarily add to the length of your post by quoting a grand
total of 30 lines only to completely fail to respond to them in any
meaningful way? My point is not altered or defeated because of your
unsupported assertion which is contrary to it.



*** Original vs. Special Edition and the attempt to include the EU:

> I notice that you assume the original versions can be completely
> ignored. Justify this assumption.


It is not an assumption. First, I'm curious why you're asking because your
own Sansweet Encyclopedia quote says that the newer versions are canon . . .
the rest are left out altogether. Given your acceptance of that quote, you
shouldn't have a problem.

At any rate, there are other quotes to the same effect:

""The digital technology that ILM pioneered in films like 'Jurassic Park'
and 'Forrest Gump' allows me to revise a few scenes which bring the
movie closer to my original version," Lucas said in a prepared
statement."

"There were parts of the movie that didn't live up to his vision, and now he
has the ability to fix and add to the movie."
- Howard Roffman, Lucasfilm's VP of licensing.

(From a Reuters/Variety press release, reprinted at
http://home.swipnet.se/~w-22083/base/news.htm, and in "Daily Variety"
according to
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=22NOV199409
335142%40bestla.calstatela.edu)

Also, there have been scene-specific comments . . . Lucas, in the annotated
screenplays, says:
"The scene in Jabba's palace was supposed to have a big musical number, but
unfortunately, we ended up with only a couple of shots. Now, thanks to
digital technology, we're able to turn this scene into the real musical
number that it was supposed to be in the first place."
- George Lucas
Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays
(as reprinted:
http://www.starwars.com/episode-vi/classic/2000/05/classic20000529.html)

The Special Edition is the fixed version of the trilogy, the way it is
supposed to be in order to make it closer to Lucas's vision.

> Keep in mind that in most forms of analysis, original data is always
> preferable over processed and revised data.


The Special Editions are corrected data. We would not wish to use incorrect
data that we know is flawed, would we?

Of course, you feel that, in spite of Lucas, the SEs may be wrong:

> 4. It is proof that the SE's are aphysical and that they are obviously
> doctored versions of the originals (a conclusion already agreed upon by
> most observers in the case of Greedo's infamous first shot in the Mos
> Eisley cantina).


Incorrect. They are the completed vision of Lucas (unless and until he
decides to do more to them).

And hey, I don't like the Greedo thing either, but if we're going to talk
about *the canon*, that's what we have to work with. Now, if we want to
talk about Star Wars as *we would prefer it*, then Han blew him away and
that's that. However, we can hardly have an objective discussion of the
evidence if it's a free-for-all situation where everyone picks and chooses
what they wish to believe.

> > And last but not least, employing the non-canon would also include
> > such things as the Sun Crusher or Galaxy Gun, other devices which
> > employed fancy non-DET maneuvers to blow things up.
>
> And both of those were infinitesimally small compared to the Death Star,
> thus proving my point for me: if the Death Star used the same tricks, it
> wouldn't need to be so large.


You forget . . . the Death Stars were to take on entire fleets as well. In
the non-canon, the Sun Crusher was a fighter that used small size and
virtually impenetrable armor to bypass fleets and reach a sun, where it
would use resonance-torpedo chain reactions to cause supernovas. The Galaxy
Gun fired starship-sized hyperspace missiles that only had to survive long
enough to hit the planet and set off the planet-destroying nucleonic chain
reaction. Further, both of these were created after the Death Star, and
decades after the Death Star was first designed.

In short, you're talking about new, different chain-reaction technologies
applied in totally different paradigms, ignoring the principle I was
pointing out to you to begin with.

> and there are official statements from Lucasfilm-sanctioned publications
> to back this up.


Now wait just a minute. You can either argue the canonicity issue, or argue
the superlaser issue, but you can't argue the latter and use the fact that
we're arguing the former to slip in irrelevant EU material. (I already
mentioned to you in my last post that one of your claims failed due to
non-canonicity.)

You said in your opening post: "However, as a matter of basic principle, it
is impossible to hold a rational discussion based on the evidence without
first determining what the evidence is, ie- what is admissible. Therefore,
we must deal with the issue of Star Wars continuity first."

It was fine, at the time, for you to go on and talk about the superlaser
afterward, because you were following the dictate in the debate parameters
that we should discuss it on canon grounds. But, if you now feel it
necessary to run to the EU to try to find back-up for your claims, then I'd
suggest you pick one of the following options: concede the superlaser
debate, request a pause in the superlaser debate to await resolution of the
canon issue, or keep the debate on canon grounds as dictated.

I would suggest the third option, though you're welcome to pick the first.
:-)


*** Your Denials of Theory Definition, Logic, and the Philosophy of Science:

> > II. The Definition of the Superlaser Effect
>
> > > "The true nature of the "superlaser" remains an undescribed piece of
> > > superphysics . . . Questions of "how" the superlaser functions may
> > > be unanswerable, but we can determine useful limits on the
> > > capabilities of the technology." - Saxton
>
> > The Death Star employs the Superlaser Effect.
> > This effect is based on some form of mass-energy conversion against
> > relatively dense (i.e. solid) matter to create the required energy
> > effect, with direct energy transfer effects being non-existent or
> > extremely limited. This effect is not instantaneous, which would
> > suggest a chain-reaction or propagation time for the effect.
>
> Scientific ignorance:


That's yet another unnecessary and incorrect attack:

> in reality, heat/mass transfers over any distance
> are NEVER instantaneous.


Nor did I claim the reverse about heat/mass transfers, as you might've
noticed had you actually read what I said above.

> > The mass-energy conversion is almost certainly not achieved by way of
> > combustion, fission, fusion, or antimatter means, since none of these
> > can provide the required energy output in a reasonable fashion, and/or
> > reasonable timeframe, and/or in a manner consistent with the Death
> > Star's stated and observed capabilities.
>
> This is not a definition.


You're almost right . . . it's part of it.

> You simply define your MCR to "create a planar shockwave" with no other
> explanation whatsoever? How convenient!


Oh please. Your self-professed scientific background must have ended up
making you aware of other theories that included certain things as
assumptions, now given causal relationships in the theory, without a
nuts-and-bolts explanation for those observed facts besides the causal
relationship. Einstein's theory is a prime example of such inclusive
assumptions . . . by assuming the speed of light was a constant, everything
else followed. And when the predictions of that theory were put to the test
twenty years later, the theory was vindicated. Even though we know now the
theory was incomplete, it wasn't *wrong*, and was a damn sight better than
what had come before, because it actually explained things.

Similarly, my theory regarding Alderaan has been vindicated by the
observations which have taken place *after* the theory was created, such as
the Death Star ring examples, the planar effects with ship-killer shots from
DS2, the ring center, and so on.

Meanwhile, like a profoundly in-your-face version of Mercury's orbit, the
DET theory does not and cannot explain the rings, band, secondary blast, et
cetera, et cetera.

("But Einstein had the math!" you'll no doubt wish to claim. He sure did .
. . he had access to the mathematical and theoretical underpinnings of the
knowledge of the time. We are not given the formulae regarding the
Superlaser Effect any more than we are given the formulae regarding
hyperdrive. If I had either (or even the background formulae of either), I
wouldn't be talking to you . . . I'd be using them.)

> And HOW does it do this, pray tell?

*That is its nature*.

> Why shouldn't I simply copy your method and define a new
> "planar-ring DET" theory, in which I state that the Death Star uses a
> special form of energy transfer which "creates a planar shockwave?"


Because that would be a modification of your theory, unsupported by the
evidence and inapplicable to any other cases of rings, also involving yet
another ad hoc theory on top of your other increasingly-contrived Alderaan
theories such as invisible beams, invisible shields, and so on.

> Moreover, your theory is undefined,

Oh good grief. It is defined as far as the evidence allows, unlike ad hoc
one-shot theories which use guesswork and assertion in the place of facts.

> > It is, therefore, not a matter of a fallacy of any sort. It is a
> > matter of false predictions of one theory, as opposed to true
> > predictions of another.
>
> Your failure to define your theory means that any "predictions"
> generated from it are false.


The theory has been defined. Your continuing efforts to claim otherwise are
wasteful, silly, and dishonest.

> Your interpretations all tend toward rigid inflexibility;

That's logic for you.

> A good scientist or historian tries to
> find an explanation which makes sense, does not introduce unnecessary
> complexity, and explains as much of the data as possible. Your approach,
> on the other hand, is to declare most of the evidence (the entire EU,
> the entire original trilogy) inadmissible prior to investigation.


I weight the evidence according to its validity. That's because to do so
makes sense, does not introduce unnecessary complexities, and accepts as
much of the Canon Policy as possible.

> > > Occam's Razor: "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily."
>
> > Indeed. Just above, we have three separate extra entities piled on top
> > of DET. Meanwhile, my theory requires but one, with nothing piled on
> > top.
>
> No, we add only ONE entity: the planetary shield.


. . . and the invisible laser, and the X of the rings, and whatever the
hell the band is, et cetera.

> You add ONE entity as well

No, I only have one entity, period. 0 + 1 = 1.

> C. In order to explain away the rings, they must be chalked up to
> _______ for BOTH of our theories.


Completely untrue. My theory gives them a logical cause, and explains their
existence elsewhere. You chalk them up to mysteries and ignore them.

> > (Then, of course, there's the Galileo argument. When Galileo noticed
> > that the moon had mountains, church-men were shocked and appalled . .
> > . according to their beliefs, the moon was a perfect sphere. So, they
> > argued that there was an invisible crystal over the moon, thereby
> > making it spherical. Galileo, in his wit, replied that the invisible
> > crystals were arranged into even taller mountains . . . I suppose I
> > could argue that the superlaser released billions of invisible flying
> > gnomes that dismantled Alderaan piece by piece, but I really don't see
> > the point of such claims.)
>
> More sophistry. The only one inventing extra mechanisms here is you.


I did not refer to mechanisms, but to unsubstantiated (and contradicted)
claims such as your invisible beam argument and invisible shield argument.
My theory requires the 'invention' of a mechanism only inasmuch as the canon
requires it.

> Conventional energy transfer does not need to be justified; it is the
> default behaviour of energy, as dictated by the laws of thermodynamics.
> The only way to show that something more complex is happening is to show
> that the left side of the equation does not equal the right side, and
> you have failed to do this.


The left side *doesn't* equal the right side . . . the predictions your
theory makes do not hold water, and to shore up the theory you use
increasingly contrived ad hoc guesswork that ends up being inapplicable to
other examples.

> Consistency with observations is evidence!

No, only observations and facts are evidence. Consistency is merely helpful
(if we wish to understand the evidence).

> > You have been shown the fact that DET cannot explain the rings, and
> > does not explain the Death Star rings, either. You dismiss that
> > argument with the following:
>
> > > "Alternative syllogism fallacy (A or B; if not A, then B). The fact
> > > that the conventional explanation cannot explain the non-physical
> > > behaviour of the fire rings does not lend weight to your undefined
> > > MCR."
>
> > However, that is incorrect . . . you have mistaken my argument for
> > one that falls victim to that fallacy. You see, DET not only fails to
> > explain the rings of Alderaan and the Death Stars, but it also stands
> > opposed to those rings by virtue of the predictions one would expect
> > from DET. It is a failed prediction.
>
> Please re-read the definition of the alternative syllogism fallacy (A or
> B; if not A, then B). You deny committing the fallacy, and then you
> REPEAT it!


No, Mike. You've once again claimed a fallacy by slicing an argument
through the middle and holding up half an argument as fallacious. You
might've noticed had you allowed the argument to finish out:

> > Meanwhile, my theory is based on the observations. As it stood from
> > the beginning would suggest that all of the fire rings should have as
> > their centerpoint the approximate center of mass of the object being
> > destroyed.


Which I then continued with "This prediction was rendered true by . . . "
and gave one of several examples. Again . . . no alternative syllogism
fallacy. Your theory fails to make valid predictions, and fails to
subscribe to the canon. Mine does neither. It is not "your theory is
wrong, *therefore* mine is right" as you claim . . . it's "your theory is
wrong, *and* mine is right".

(Naturally, that doesn't invert into yours being right if mine is wrong.
Not only is that logically invalid, but there's the fact that even if my
theory were wrong, yours would still be more wrong.)

> > > 100% of your attempts to generate evidence for your undefined MCR
> > > are examples of the alternative syllogism fallacy (if not A, then
> > > B).
>
> > Absolutely incorrect. What we are dealing with is not-A AND B. The
> > two arguments are not dependent on one another, though the comparisons
> > are quite telling.
>
> You have still failed to define a theory,


Untrue, yet again. I've made a hypothesis, and was confirmed time and time
again, and have defined the theory as far as the limits allow.

> By your OWN ADMISSION, this questionable interpretation was a COMPLETE
> SURPRISE to you, which means that your theory did NOT successfully
> predict it.


I, personally, did not expect to see the polar material. I thought any
existing matter would likely have been deep sub-surface, and certainly
obscured by debris. However, the existence of material doesn't make the
theory wrong, especially given that it required only the slightest
clarification to the theory. One would think that your claims of a
scientific background would include knowledge of the history of science,
where such examples are commonplace.

> You simply declare that it "predicts"
> everything we observe, without explaining how.


Can you predict what would happen if a starship at hyperspace impacted with
the mass-shadow of a planet? Okay, explain precise nuts-and-bolts about how
that occurs. Can you predict what would happen to a starship's range if a
starship's hyperdrive was damaged and began leaking? Okay, explain the
precise nuts-and-bolts of how that occurs.

I ask these rhetorical questions to point out to you that you do not require
the nuts-and-bolts in order to make predictions based on known parameters,
contrary to your counter-scientific assertion. You can make *better*
predictions with the nuts-and-bolts knowledge and mathematical models, but
they are not required for a theory to be correct, or valid as a theory.

> Moreover, your bizarre claim that a theory need not have
> predictive powers is scientifically ignorant in the extreme;


Wrong. What I said was that "even though the expectation that a theory have
predictive powers is a questionable one given the untestability of any
theories regarding sci-fi technology, the theory did successfully predict
the mass-centered nature of the DS2 ring prior to this theorist's noticing
of that effect."

That does not imply or require that theories do not need predictive powers
in any situation. It does, however, mean that demanding testable
predictions from a theory regarding science-fiction technology (which is, by
default, not open to testing) is peculiar.

Nevertheless, my Alderaan theory did successfully predict related incidents
and facts.

> Even an untestable theory should still have
> predictive powers, even if we can't test those predictions


Exactly.

> (and I must
> point out that a theory can be testable even without experiments;
> observations made after formulation of the theory represent tests).


Then thank you for acknowledging the confirmations of my theory, if even
indirectly.

> Your theory has no predictive powers whatsoever,

How odd, given that predictions were made, 'tested', and confirmed.

> By the way, please model the rates of energy release for your chain
> reaction,


Which occurrence, and in what area? Oh, and while I'm doing that, please
present a model of the effects you would predict from a DET superlaser.

> For the umpteenth time, an undefined theory can NEVER defeat a
> well-defined theory, even if the latter theory is imperfect.


That is completely bogus on so many levels. First, you yourself are
employing the very fallacies you wish to claim of me, by demanding a
deathmatch between the two theories.
Second, your claim that a well-defined theory, even if imperfect, can still
stand belies a complete ignorance of the history of science, and logic.
Ever heard of steady-state cosmology, or any other theory that got its ass
handed to it in the history of science because it didn't match with the
evidence?

Third, DET theory is not "imperfect" . . . it is horribly wrong and useless,
because it does not even begin to explain its primary explanatory goal of
Alderaan, nor does it deign to explain any other similar event.

Fourth, just how in the world do you think DET is well-defined in regards to
Alderaan?

> Our disagreement is not over Star Wars evidence, but over basic
> scientific philosophy, or to be more specific, your failure to
> employ it.


Uh huh.

> does not explain those rings either. You can't simply say that
> it uses a reaction which "creates a planar shockwave" and leave it at
> that.


It is an assumption of a causal relationship, confirmed by observation. It
is therefore an explanation. It may not be as detailed as you want to claim
it has to be, but it is as detailed as it needs to be to serve as an
explanation.

> This would be like explaining fire by saying that it's a reaction
> which "creates flame".


Oh good grief. That's just a horrendously false analogy, and you know it.
Now, if you'd said something like 'the flame is a result of an exothermic
chemical reaction of such-and-such basic appearance depending on size, the
presence of oxygen and/or other suitable elements and compounds, etc.' you
might almost have a worthwhile analogy. At least it would be testable . . .
you'd simply start an exothermic chemical reaction within an oxygen
atmosphere and see what happens.

Similarly, my theory was testable, and has passed every test.

> > > "The principle of parsimony is intrinsically hostile to any theory
> > > which introduces extra or undefined mechanisms."
>
> > Perhaps, but it is even more hostile toward theories which do not
> > explain the evidence. Remember, something must be explained by a
> > theory before parsimony will even bother with it, and DET not only
> > fails to explain Alderaan without lots of extra ad hoc entities, but
> > also fails to explain the exact same phenomena with reference to the
> > Death Stars.
>
> And since no undefined theory can explain ANYTHING, your theory is STILL
> inferior.


Which would be true, but for the fact that my theory is *not only* defined,
but *also* passes the test of prediction.

> This is a quite a fantastic little bit of sophistry you've concocted; a
> theory is tested by comparing it to to the observations and THEN seeing
> whether it is consistent with them.


Do what? I have no idea where you're creating this from. A theory is
tested by comparing to the observations AND seeing if it is consistent with
them. The same holds true for a sub-theory, such as your shield claim.

> You take the conventional explanation, claim BEFORE TESTING that
> part of it fails the test, remove that part, and THEN you test it.


Wha? The hell? Mike, I have shown you that your theory cannot exist
without the shield theory stacked atop it (which you appear to accept), and
I have shown that your shield theory is false (which you apparently don't
accept).

That is not a straw man, as you claim. However, you seem to be mixing these
concepts up in your mind, in some strange indeterminate manner. THAT is a
straw man.

> And when the butchered strawman version of the theory doesn't
> work, you shake your fist in triumph.


Once again, your mixing up of the facts of what's going on does not concern
me, nor does your flowery description of what you think based on it.



*** Chain Reactions:

> What are the preferred reactants

The matter of the planet is the preferred reactant. Given the likely high
efficiency of the reaction, between 0.02 and 0.1 percent of the planetary
material would be sufficient.

>, since all chain reactions are material-dependent?

Incorrect, as previously pointed out to you, both in my last message and on
your forums previously:

> > You have previously claimed that all chain-reactions are dependent on
> > certain materials . . . fire burning better than steel, hydrogen
> > fusing better than iron, and so on.
>
> > However, you have pointed out only those chain reactions which are
> > based on particular sorts of particles, and have failed to acknowledge
> > the existence of reactions which are not dependent on a certain
> > element or compound.
>
> > One such chain reaction I'm familiar with was the one that caused the
> > big stir when the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider was due to come
> > online at Brookhaven. It is called the "Ice-9 Type Transition". Some
> > physicists were nervous that the RHIC would end up doing more than
> > creating quark-gluon plasma. They were concerned that it would end up
> > creating a negatively-charged strangelet (a particle with three quarks
> > like usual, but two of them strange), which would 'eat' all the nuclei
> > of Earth, turning them into other strangelets. The problem would be
> > that all these similar-charged strangelets would have repelled one
> > another, leading to the destruction of the planet.
>
> > As you might guess, this hasn't happened. As luck would have it, the
> > worst that might have happened given the energy levels employed at
> > RHIC would be a positively-charged strangelet being created, lasting
> > long enough to snatch electrons from some innocent nearby atom. But,
> > in any case, there is precedent for the idea of a funky,
> > non-material-dependent chain reaction even in our
> > comparatively-backwards physics.
>
> Thank you for using your diligent web research skills to provide another
> example to prove MY point: their theories were proven to be bunk,


Wrong. Their prediction that the RHIC might create such a reaction was
argued to be highly unlikely, mainly by virtue of the fact that RHIC was
unlikely to produce such an event, given the nature of the accelerator,
mixed with the general unlikelihood of negative strangelet production at the
accelerator, due to various factors.

Further, there's the common and contrary assumption about the required
nature of negative strangelets . . . i.e. that for an Ice-9 transition,
strangelets must be absolutely stable in bulk at zero pressure. However,
some Ice-9 theorists found that temporary metastability could be sufficient
(therefore not requiring absolute bulk stability), and would explain the
lack of evidence for negative strangelets running amok in the universe from
cosmic rays, et cetera.

http://www.arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-ph/pdf/9910/9910333.pdf

Most scientists favor the arguments relating to the assumption tht absolute
stability in bulk is required. That doesn't make the other claim bunk . . .
just in the minority, with the assumptions they operated under being highly
unlikely.

> Your use of a FAILED example hardly disproves my point.

Not failed, simply unlikely.

The principle you're missing, however, does not revolve around whether *this
particular* sort of "Ice-9 type transition" (it's a general term from
Vonnegut, previously applied to the whole "polywater" mess) is likely or
unlikely to occur. The principle is that not all chain reactions are
dependent on certain types and combinations of baryons and atoms, as you
claim.

Saxton refers to the superlaser as being a piece of superphysics . . . well,
there's a whole lot of particle physics and other physics out there that we
simply don't know yet. To argue that it is impossible, now and forevermore,
for there to ever be any chain reaction that is not dependent on certain
types and combinations of our common baryons and atoms is absurd.

(That's roughly akin to arguing that it is forever impossible for a living
being to achieve or surpass lightspeed in any way, shape, or form. That
would, to paraphrase Solo, end our trip real quick.)


*** Invisible Pink Beams and Basic Superlaser Facts:

> > Also, any attempt to use the ICS theory can only detract from your
> > shield interaction argument, owing to the fact that there is nothing
> > visibly occurring at or near the planet prior to the green beam's
> > impact. The superlaser beam takes 38 frames to reach Alderaan, at
> > 24fps and from a stated distance of 6 planetary diameters (or about
> > 77,000km). Even rounding the time down and the distance up, that's
> > still 1.5 seconds to traverse 100,000 kilometers, which would still
> > only be 67,000 km/s, or just under one-quarter lightspeed. Any energy
> > traveling at lightspeed would have been affecting the planet well
> > before we see the superlaser hit the planet.
>
> Pure sophistry. You are using the ENTIRE time between initial firing and
> target impact, even though the beam obviously stops, circulates, and
> builds at the focal point of the dish for most of that time.


What?!?

http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSSEframe28.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSSEframe67.jpg

Using your own DeathStar-SE.avi, at what you claim to be 24fps and which has
been confirmed by Windows and VirtualDub, the superlaser is first seen to
depart the focal point of the multiple beams at frame 28. Contact is made
with the planet at frame 67. I even subtracted a frame for caution's sake
when I said that it took 38 frames.

You say the beam stops . . . what, does it back up after it was released?

> In reality,
> the beam builds up at the focal point for a while but once this process
> is over, it takes only -second to cover the 72,000km distance to the
> planet, which means that it travels at roughly c.


Utter nonsense. Please re-watch your film.

(Also, your math is off . . . 6 planetary diameters times an Earth-like
diameter is 77,000 kilometers (about 76,500, actually, but I was being
generous), not 72,000.)

The beam is moving at a maximum of one-quarter lightspeed. That and the
nature of the Superlaser Effect imply either a beam composed of accelerated
exotic particles (in which case the slowdown at the tributary focal point
would be odd), or a ray of exotic energy released from the focal point of
the tributaries in some manner.

> There is evidence of an invisible beam component (see TESB)

Before the visible, not after.

> there is evidence that glowing pulses ride along an underlying
> carrier (see the DS superlaser as it builds power at the focal point),


The 'carrier' is quite visible.

> Therefore, it is hardly unreasonable to conclude that the underlying
> beam can persist even without a visible component.


Except for the fact that the underlying beam was visible, and that there's
no evidence of an invisible component with the superlaser.

> D. The established phenomenon of invisible-beam components can
> successfully explain the secondary explosion.


Except for the fact that your invisible beam doesn't exist. Not only does
not not interact with the planet, invisible shield, or anything else before
the green beam's impact, but there is also nothing to suggest that a beam is
continuing to strike the surface afterward. Where's the vaporizing
planetary debris, or even just any luminescence of material after the end of
the green beam along its flight path at all? As with your invisible shield,
the invisible laser is contrary to observation.

> Dr. Saxton's interpretation of the Death Star superlaser is the same
> as mine;


If so, then you're both in error, since there is no evidence for an
invisible energy beam moving at lightspeed in regards to the superlaser, and
certainly no evidence for it continuing after the fact.

> He states (quite correctly) that they cannot possibly be ordinary lasers.

Which, you'll note, is precisely what I said.

Also, in all this "invisible beams" and "well-defined theory" talk, I have
yet to hear you identify just what the beam is composed of (either the
visible or your invisible one). You seem to agree that it is not an
EM-based laserbeam, so what is it? A particle beam? What sort?

> However, unlike you, he does NOT make a leap in logic to conclude that
> the energy released by a turbolaser impact must therefore come from
> something OTHER than the turbolaser beam itself.


I have made no such "leap in logic", and your claim that I have is a weak
straw man



*** The Band:

> > The band outer boundary is also visible in your Frame 4 and moves
> > further in Frame 5, and one can see that it is obviously unrelated to
> > any pre-existing surface or atmospheric object (frames 0 and 2
> > included for reference):
> > http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/AldBlastBand4&5.jpg
> > You have chosen to deny the existence of the white band encircling
> > the globe outright: "The bands are a figment of your imagination.
> > Nothing more." This is incorrect, as the canon visuals demonstrate in
> > two separate ways.
>
> Your imaginative artwork proves nothing. No one sees these "bands" but
> you.

I've demonstrated the band (it's singular, Mike) in two separate ways. Your
continuing insistence that it does not exist is entertaining, but
irrelevant.

> B. The luminescence patterns on the planet are obviously random.

Like I said, the band must be denied in your theory.

> You arbitrarily decide that the white-hot glowing region around the
> dark spot is a "band" by virtue of being next to a dark spot,


. . . between the dark spot and the comparatively unaffected spots,
actually.

> even
> though it exhibits none of the geometric regularity of a circle and is
> obviously random.


Which explains its circularity as it wraps around the globe how??? Again,
you are claiming something contrary to observed (and easily observable)
fact.

Further, your comment about geometric regularity is bordering on a straw
man. Nowhere have I argued that the band is a perfect circle of precise
proportions, any more than I've argued the rings are perfect circles of
precise proportions. Given the conversion effects and the nature of a
planet, I'd actually consider it odd if the band was an absolutely perfect
circle. However, as the band meets itself on the other side, any variation
will cancel out.

> > The lack of band dissipation supports the concept of mass-energy
> > conversion, provided the remnant polar material observed is subsurface
> > (i.e. mantle or upper mantle). The notion of chain-reaction or
> > propagation related to the band is supported by the timing . . . the
> > secondary blast begins concurrent to when the band would meet itself.
> > The secondary blast occurring after the superlaser has terminated also
> > supports the idea, since no additional energy input was occurring from
> > the superlaser.
>
> False-cause fallacy.

I didn't say that the band caused the secondary blast. I simply pointed out
that the timing supports a relation of the band meeting itself on the other
side and the beginning of the secondary blast.

> what makes you think this bright glow
> is the CAUSE of heating rather than a SYMPTOM of heating?


I know of no heating effect that could cause the band effect to encircle the
globe while leaving the surface untouched beforehand, and also allow it to
continue to exist afterward, and which doesn't lose energy as it travels.
Why, do you?

> > ... you claim that the above shot shows that the center of the dark
> > spot is at least 3500 kilometers away from the impact point. First,
> > and most importantly, it should be noted that the dark spot is not
> > the basis of band location, contrary to your assertion.
>
> Of course not. The dark spot is not centred on the superlaser, nor is it
> centred on the band. These phenomena are obviously random, rather than
> being the geometrically predictable phenomenon you imagine them to be.


Another paltry straw man. I never claimed that the dark spot was the basis
for band location, or that the dark spot's shape had to be geometrical.

> And
> did you notice that the rings are NOT lined up with your imaginary
> "bands", or that they leap away from the surface simultaneously around
> the entire circumference, long before your imaginary "bands" reach the
> far side?


Yes. Why should the band be lined up with the rings? It's origin point is
the superlaser impact point.

> The fact that the rings leave all sides of the planet simultaneously even
> though your imaginary "bands" have yet to reach the far side, or the
> fact that the rings aren't lined up with your imaginary "bands" both
> indicate the level of wishful thinking evident in your undefined "theory".


Why should the band (it's still singular) be lined up with the rings?

> > Second, the radius of Earth is 7000 kilometers, but I see no valid
> > centerpoint which could be half that radius distant from the point of
> > impact, as illustrated below:
>
> Anyone can draw a line between the centre of the dark spot to the corner
> of the white flash where the superlaser hits, and come up with the same
> figure. Your denials change nothing.


I have given you the evidence and made my point. You claim that my "denials
change nothing". If you are going to fail to address the point and the
evidence, do not bother responding. Alternately, do not claim that my posts
are unnecessarily long . . . here's 10 lines wasted. Please pick one of the
above options.

> which supposedly propagates across the surface of the planet
> causing very lttle damage and then abruptly causes the whole planet to
> explode like a bomb.


Straw man. Again, I do not claim a causal relationship between the band and
the secondary blast. As I said: "The notion of chain-reaction or
propagation related to the band is supported by the timing . . . the
secondary blast begins concurrent to when the band would meet itself. The
secondary blast occurring after the superlaser has terminated also supports
the idea, since no additional energy input was occurring from the
superlaser."

It is phrased that way because no one knows what is going on beneath the
surface . . . naturally, we can't see it. And, because we are never in a
position to get a good view of what's going on beneath the surface when the
effect takes place, I have not tried, as others might, to make bold, foolish
assertions in absence of data.



*** The Death Star Reactor and the Novel Evidence:

> Amazingly enough, you don't even notice the GLARING
> CONTRADICTION between this claim and your corrollary claim
> that the Death Star is limited to nuclear fusion: if they
> have some technology for converting any arbitrary inert
> material into pure energy, why would they be using nuclear
> fusion for their reactors?


I was wondering when you were going to attempt that silly argument. What
you have failed to consider is one of the basic facts of science and history
. . . employing a potentially vast energy source as a weapon is a helluva
lot easier than making it into a generator. Making fusion bombs was easy .
. . controlled fusion for a reactor is not. Add to that the fact that to
make this superweapon, they evidently had to build ridiculously huge
starships with massive internal systems dedicated to the weapon. Assuming
they could even control the reaction when it is in progress and/or make it
controllably self-sustaining (two awfully huge assumptions), the smallest
known example of the technology is still enormous, and requires similarly
huge fusion reactors just to get it going.

(Also, where do you put it? If you build a huge facility on a planet,
something goes wrong and the chain reaction gets out of hand, the planet
might explode or be made rather inhospitable. You put it in orbit, and you
have to beam the power down some other way, and ignore details like the
potential "Ewok Holocaust" repeat if something goes wrong, the
'environmental unfriendliness' (to put it lightly) of sending death rays
into the atmosphere (depending on the power production rate), and so on. In
short, assuming it can even be controlled, it's unworkable as a power
source. Perhaps, decades after RoTJ, things could be different . . . but,
then, Lucas isn't making a third trilogy, so we don't know that.)

> How do you know that the activation energy for this
> "reaction" is lower than the energy requirement for simply heating up
> the material?


Because the Death Star was incapable of creating the required energy with
the reactor. Further, what use would the technology be if they could have
done the same basic thing in a simpler, more direct fashion?

> > A. "Space filled temporarily with trillions of microscopic metal
> > fragments, propelled past the retreating ships by the liberated
> > energy of a small artificial sun"(ANH Novel).
> > This describes the power source of the Death Star as having the energy
> > of a small sun, and/or being a small artificial sun. In either case,
> > we have a Death Star powerplant that cannot be described as being more
> > than around 1e26W, the power output of our mid-sized natural sun.
> > Further, suns operate off of nuclear fusion, and the quote above
> > suggests the same of the Death Star.
>
> Wrong. Suns do NOT necessarily "operate off of nuclear fusion". Pop
> quiz: does nuclear fusion occur in a neutron star?


That's a neutron star, Mike, not a sun. All suns are stars, but not all
stars are suns.

http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=sun
http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=star

Your argument is nullified.

Besides, how do you expect to have a smaller-than-usual artificial neutron
star without having to input energy to keep it together?

> Does nuclear fusion occur in a white dwarf?

No, but that's the *remnant* of a sun. Using the quote in that manner would
constitute a severe lower limit for the output of the DS reactor, which I
see no need in employing. Besides, how do you liberate the energy of a dead
ember of a star?

Again, it's the liberated energy of a small artificial sun. Even if you
wish to escape the fusion implication, you still have the energy upper limit
to deal with, which is many, many times less than what you need it to be.

> > B. "Luke had seen the shattered remnants of Alderaan and knew that for
> > those in the incredible battle station that the entire moon would
> > present simply another abstract problem in mass-energy conversion"(ANH
> > novel, p. 178).
> > The way in which the superlaser does its job is defined above. Some
> > have argued that this somehow refers to the reactor of the Death Star,
> > but that claim does not fit the context of the quote. Luke is
> > pondering the incredibly tough temple and the remains of Alderaan,
> > along with the (possible) destruction of the moon.
>
> Ah, I see. And even though Luke is a farmboy with no training in physics
> and certainly no knowledge of planet-destroying battle station design,


If he was as ignorant as you want to claim, then how would he even know
enough to refer to it as mass-energy conversion? Beru said he just wasn't a
farmer type . . . Or do you consider his half-joking desires for time
alteration or teleportation (as he mentions to C-3PO) the average notions of
an ignorant farmboy?

Clearly, he was made aware of that element of the Death Star's technology.
Unless, of course, you wish to claim that everyone was silent on the matter
and that no one can ever learn any detail "off-camera".

> you are confident that a detailed semantic analysis of his ruminations
> will reveal the inner workings of superlaser physics.


Another pitiful straw man. It is yet another confirmation, not the bedrock
my standard is planted on.



*** Shield Basics:

> > 3B. Outside Evidence for Planetary Shields
> > You claim that there is outside evidence for the existence of
> > planetary shields in Star Wars:
> > "The defense systems on Alderaan, despite the Senator's protestations
> > to the contrary, were as strong as any in the Empire. I should think
> > that our demonstration was as impressive as it was thorough."
> > Tarkin bragged that the destruction of Alderaan would be impressive
> > because Alderaan's defense systems were as strong as ANY IN THE EMPIRE
> > Unfortunately, we are not told what this refers to. Orbital defenses,
> > anti-ship surface weaponry, fighter craft, jamming equipment, and/or a
> > naked guy with a sharp stick could all be defined as a planetary
> > defense system, and would logically have been the expected sort of
> > defense in a pre-superlaser universe.
>
> Sure, and Tarkin thought that THOSE types of puny defenses would make
> his massive planet-destroying battle station significantly more
> impressive?


Well, probably not the naked guy with a sharp stick, but any of the other
defenses (or combinations thereof) may or may not have been impressive
planetary defenses to Tarkin. Your belief that they wouldn't be is no doubt
colored by your belief in the EU materials and your belief that Alderaan has
a shield capable of repelling 1e38J of raw energy. However, neither of
those beliefs are valid.

> A. The well-known phenomenon of planetary shields successfully explains
> the lack of cloud burn-off.


A "well-known phenomenon" with no evidence of its existence? The hell?

> > As the superlaser hits, the cloud bank above the impact site is
> > unaffected. This suggests that there is no DET-style interaction with
> > the atmosphere. You claim that the planet is protected by a shield
> > which repels the superlaser until around Frame 4. As evidence for your
> > claim, you point to a "halo" of atmospheric brightening effects which
> > appear on the right side of the planet, past the terminator.
>
> For the umpteenth time, if the shield explanation works, then it wins
> because shields are already known to exist.


No, Mike. You need proof of your claim, and responses to disproof. You
can't simply assert that because you've claimed something, it *must* be so.
If that's all anyone had to do, we wouldn't be debating, now would we?

> but since planetary shields are known to exist

And this is just a good-old fashioned attempt to sneak in something false.
Planetary shields are not "known" to exist. You've hypothesized them, but
your hypotheses do not match with the observed evidence.

> Moreover, since planetary shields are defined

Oh really? Do please explain the nuts and bolts of them, then . . . no
doubt these were explained in the canon. You compare it to the Hoth energy
shield (which obviously allowed matter through). Explain the details of how
these hypothesized planetary shields do what they do, and explain the
interaction with the superlaser beam. Do all the other things you insist
are necessary for the Superlaser Effect, but are now mysteriously
unnecessary for something you're hoping to sneak in and/or claim is valid
merely because you have claimed it.

> > Naboo seemed to have little more than luck and fighters as its defense
> > system. They were, as Panaka pointed out, a non-violent people.
> > Similarly, Leia described Alderaan as being a planet of peaceful
> > people . . . I see no reason to assume that Alderaan would suddenly
> > have planetary shields when no other Republic or Imperial planet has
> > been seen to have them.
> > <snip>
> > ... the technology itself is not known to exist
> > <snip>
> > ... a threatre shield does not make for a planetary shield.
>
> Hoth. Theatre shields are known to exist, and with broad coverage. A
> network of such shields would constitute a planetary shield.


Proof that planetary shields can be linked in such a manner? Remember, by
your own argument, you can't assume any sort of shield has the qualities of
any other.

Further, we do not know what "broad coverage" actually was. The base was
tiny, and the slow walkers appeared mere kilometers from the base, from an
unspecified location, with terrain and snow to hide them, if necessary. You
need some sort of proof of planetary shields, not unsupported assertions.

> Moreover, the ROTJ shield covered, if not the entire planet, then
> certainly one hemisphere of it, as described in the ROTJ novelization.


We saw the shield, Mike, in the Absolute Canon. It wasn't even close to
being that big.

> You said that the shield "is the only explanation that can possibly
> explain the situation", but you were confident that you could prove
> there was no shield. When it was pointed out that you did NOT
> successfully prove that there was no shield, you suddenly changed your
> position and claimed that you never acknowledged the validity of the
> shield in the first place, even though everyone can see quite clearly
> that you did.


Your entire paragraph above is a weak, weak falsehood on your part. First,
you misconstrued my statement about the cloud situation in the hopes that it
might have tactical utility, and now you refuse to acknowledge the fact that
you misconstrued it. Further, your suggestion that I was confident and then
my argument was somehow smashed by you is horribly erroneous on both counts.
Not only did I not say what you wish I said, but overconfidence of the sort
you are claiming (not to mention the implicit accusation of a lie to cover
it up) is not part of my nature. I generally make precisely-worded
statements, meant to imply in context exactly what I wish to imply . . . no
more, no less. The fact that you have misconstrued one of those statements
and now wish to claim that I have lied based on your misunderstanding is
foolhardy.

> As for your rhetorical grandstanding about how the DET/shield theory
> needs the shield, congratulations for proving that which is already
> self-evident: a theory needs all of its components in order to work.


That's just it . . . your theory not only doesn't get all of its components
that are required to be built on top of it to cover up what doesn't work,
but also fails to make valid predictions even with all that multiplication.

> > > 100% of your arguments against the conventional theory are strawman
> > > distortions, because the conventional explanation includes a shield,
> > > and you insist on REMOVING the shield from that theory before
> > > attacking it.
>
> > Incorrect . . . there is no straw man in play, because there is no
> > evidence for a shield.
>
> Wrong. You are distorting the theory by removing a piece. THAT IS A
> STRAWMAN FALLACY.


No, you are adding a shield component to a theory which fails with or
without it. The fact that I have denied you your shield by using the
evidence to disprove it is not a straw man attack.

> Do not shift the burden of proof to me;

You make the claim, you have to provide the evidence. Is that not how
things work?

> we already know that shields exist, and that they can explain the
> visible phenomena.


Except for the fact that neither one of your claims above is true.

> You act as though I must produce some kind of irrefutable proof
> of a shield being installed before you will even consider the
> possibility as part of a THEORY, thus justifying your refusal
> to even subject the idea to TESTING.


No, but it might be helpful if you would provide the slightest proof that
planetary shields do in fact exist, as opposed to asserting that the mere
fact you have claimed them is itself proof.

I incorporated the planar aspect into the Superlaser Effect theory because
it fit, and that assumption has been borne out by the evidence. You seem to
incorporate shields as part of your DET theory, even though the very concept
is disproven by the canon evidence.

*That* is why shields don't work, Mike. And since you seem to agree that
shields are your only way out, that's another reason why your theory fails.

> > What you have failed to notice (besides my comment immediately after
> > what you quoted regarding how your pro-shield argument ignores canon
> > facts) is that I was not acknowledging the validity of the shield idea
> > . . . I was acknowledging that you require it to be valid, and badly.
>
> Actually, you said that a shield "is the only explanation that can
> possibly explain the situation" and then attempted to disprove the
> existence of a shield with your fallacious reasoning about Rebel
> starship shields and planetary shields necessarily being identical in
> every conceivable respect.


There was no fallacious reasoning involved. I pointed out the lack of any
glow (shield or otherwise) before superlaser impact against the hull of the
ships. You said:

""Weak analogy" fallacy: You assume that since A and B perform similar
functions, then ANY property of A must also apply to B. To be more specific,
you assume that since a planetary shield and a starship shield are both
shields, then ALL of their outward characteristics must be identical."

But this is absurd, both in regards to your assertion that I claimed it (I
did not claim that every single property must apply to both in every single
situation, as you suggest) and in your assertion that an Alderaan shield
both would and would not glow, apparently at random (I say that due to your
most peculiar claim that there is an invisible lightspeed component to the
superlaser, even though it is not seen to be interacting with the shield
prior to the slower visible bolt's impact
(http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/HateMail/RSA/AlderaanBlast-0.jpg)).
Further, to argue (as you do, both in reference to Alderaan and the ships),
that shields only do certain things sometimes when hit by a superlaser blast
is most peculiar.

Finally, you're the one claiming the existence of shield halo as a result of
the Gungan shields. Well, which is it? Can shields be comparable to one
another, or can't they?

"This fallacy ignores the fact that there are many underlying differences
between A and B (eg- sheer scale, the fact that one operates in or near an
upper atmosphere while the other doesn't, the fact that one is projected
thousands of kilometres away from its base while the other is a
"hull-hugger", etc), so not all properties of A are guaranteed to apply to
B."

I already pointed out the peculiarity of your "thousands of kilometres from
its base" idea, and given that we have no reason to assume profound
differences between the alleged Alderaan planetary shield tech and Mon Cal
starship shield tech (unlike we do, say, in regards to the Gungan shield
tech) I find your argument that 'maybe they might be different' specious.

Again, there is no light until the ships themselves are hit.

"A real-life example of this fallacy ..."

. . . is itself fallacious, since it's a false analogy . . .

"... would be to assume that since a rear-projection TV and a CRT TV are
both TV's, and CRT TV's are known to employ powerful magnetic fields,
rear-projection TV's must employ powerful magnetic fields too. Therefore, if
we were to use your "reasoning", we could prove that a rear-projection TV is
not a TV by simply observing the absence of the strong magnetic field."

Actually, for your false analogy to hold any water as an analogy:

1. There should be no evidence for the existence of rear-projection
televisions. People might know how to shine a bright light behind a piece
of paper and make convincing hand puppets, and they might know how to make
CRTs and fairly large CRTs, but that's as close as the technology is known
to get.

2. "Magnetic field"? Why the appeal to the invisible again? The person
claiming to have an operating rear-projection television should be incapable
of turning it on and showing televised images on the screen. Should any
light play on the screen from within the room, that should be used either as
proof that the TV is working, or at other times as proof that the TV is not.

And so on.

> I explained that your disproof was utterly fallacious (with
> the TV example in support) in my last post , and you quietly
> dropped that part of your argument,


No, I simply didn't have the time, space, or patience to respond to every
one of your incorrect claims of fallacy and various faulty examples in
relation to them. Since you have decided to make more of your false
accusation of the fallacy (while also suggesting that I "quietly dropped"
it, as if hoping no one would notice), I have now replied.

> but you STILL cite its conclusion that the shield "ignores canon facts"!

That's because it does, Mike.

> You claim that you can do so
> because there is no evidence, but for the SECOND time, I must point out
> that if the full theory (including the shield) can explain our
> observations, then THAT FACT is the evidence you require.


Again, you make the peculiar assertion that merely because you have claimed
something, it *must* be so. Where does this peculiar notion come from?

The shield, assuming we ignore your position that no shield acts like any
other, must operate along certain parameters, whether or not we know the
nuts-and-bolts of its operation. You yourself have made certain claims
about the shield, and these have been shown to be incorrect. I have pointed
out facts which are contrary to any shield theory.

So, again, I must ask you . . . how does the existence of an unsubstantiated
claim contrary to other evidence magically constitute evidence?

> 2. Provide satisfactory reasoning for dismissing even the POSSIBILITY of
> a shield,


Asked and answered, repeatedly.

> so that it is not even evaluated as a THEORY.

It's a hypothesis contrary to facts, Mike.

> As long as it is POSSIBLE, it is valid for inclusion in a theory,
> and all of your attempts at sophistry aside, that fact remains.


(Well, at least this is a weaker, more rational version of your claim that
merely because you've claimed it, it proves your case.)

You're right . . . as long as an invisible shield is possible, it is a valid
ad hoc entry into your theory. However, whether it is possible or not, the
claims you have made regarding it are contrary to canon fact.

> Your stubborn insistence on removing it from consideration is
> indicative of your level of discomfort with the idea;


Quite true. I'm not comfortable accepting that which is contrary to canon
fact.

> you realize that when the DET/shield theory is
> employed with all of its pieces in place, it defeats your theory.


No, because it doesn't work.

*** Observations regarding the continued existence of
*** planetary material vs. shield halo/vaporized material/other:

> > You have also claimed that they are not grounds to conclude that some
> > Superlaser Effect occurs. You are partially correct . . . alone, they
> > are not. However, they are not the sole piece of evidence.
> > <snip repetitions of earlier claims about planet's surface being
> > intact after explosion begins>
>
> Already dealt with in my previous post. There is already luminescent
> material hundreds of kilometres away from the planet well before any of
> this happens.


And as proof of this, you point to blue material that is fireball-free.

In regards to Frame 2, you said in your first message: "There is no fiery
explosion; there is luminescence but nothing is being thrown away from the
planet, and we can clearly see unaffected oceans underneath." In your
second: "If it's an atmospheric effect, then there is no reason why you
would see patches of blue ocean between the impact point and the "halo" to
the right", and that it's a shield we see.

Well, the oceans are not unaffected areas without any additional
luminescence . . . they are brightened too, as I have shown you. And yet,
you claim that by the time we reach Frame 5, your Frame 2 rules are to be
thrown out the window . . . no fiery explosion is needed, and bluish
luminescence is sufficient cause to believe that vaporized material is being
thrown from the surface.

The same effect, but two causes? That's inconsistency, now not only in
regards to the left side of the planet, but to the areas adjacent to the
superlaser strike zone, as well.

You know, by that argument, the entire period of blue luminescence from the
first frame of impact on (i.e. anything bright blue anywhere) is
"luminescent material hundreds of kilometers away from the planet", which
would mean that your shield theory is bogus.

Alternately, all blue luminescence is a shield, which means it is up at
least until the band passes the outermost visible areas of the planet, which
would once again mean that your shield theory is bogus.

Again, please pick one.

> > [Re: patchy luminescence as evidence of shield rather than atmospheric
> > light transmission] Illogical: a light source producing a diffused
> > brightness in the atmosphere need not automatically obscure everything
> > below it. A clear sky, though appearing blue and virtually opaque to
> > us, does not appear that way from orbit.
>
> We are not talking about a "diffused brightness". We are talking about
> atmosphere heated to white-hot luminescence, such as that which you
> would see in a nuclear fireball!


That is your claim, but it is disproven by the brightened but blue surface
which we can see. You falsely argue that my claim is something about
skipping light or some other such nonsense, but now you deny the blue
patches which you previously asserted. Please pick one.

> Your pretty picture of a sunset diffusing light a few degrees over
> the horizon hardly proves that atmospheric diffusion can cause
> white-hot luminescence to cover an entire hemisphere from a
> concentrated point!


Oh, come on. You know good and well that's not my claim. Where have I ever
suggested that the point source of the superlaser, and the point source of
the superlaser alone, single-handedly produced the hemisphere-covering flare
of your Frame 3 which, in your words, "saturates the video medium"? The
answer is 'nowhere', because by Frame 4 the band is already quite a distance
from the impact site. Therefore, it is likely that we simply do not see the
band within Frame 3 due to the intense saturation of light. Given the
propagation speed of the band, it was likely already the size of a large
continent by that point.

> If the planet's atmosphere could do this, there would never be
> any night-time!


We already know that Alderaan extends the rather dim sunlight *at least* a
couple of dozen degrees around the planet's surface (probably more, given
the appearance and likely drop-off value, but it's hard to confirm more with
image brightness manipulation before wash-out occurs). There's no logically
valid reason to assume that it would not do the same (or more) with a
bright, continent-sized light source.

> > > It generates a fireball in all directions moving outward from the
> > > point of energy release, with no patches or open holes whatsoever.
>
> > Then why the claim of fireball-free vaporization in regards to Frame
> > 5?
>
> Who said anything about the atmosphere being "fireball-free"? It is
> glowing white in a contiguous region, is it not?


In Frame 5? Yeah, the circular band, but I don't see how this helps you.
The left side of the planet is not glowing white. It's bright blue, but
there's none of the "white-hot vaporization" that is fireball-free that
you're claiming.

> > Note the gray clouds, and the diffuse surface details. This suggests
> > one of several things . . . either the cap is too dim, or the planet
> > receives very little sunlight, or the atmosphere is much thicker or
> > denser than that of Earth.
>
> And how does this make it possible for atmospheric light diffusion to
> selectively brighten areas with clouds


Gratuitous straw man regarding your continuing claim of selective
brightening. I've demonstrated it to be a straw man, *and* shown you the
disproof that your straw man is even what is seen.

> Please explain how a 23.5 gigaton energy release will cause
> an entire hemisphere to glow white-hot,


I have never claimed that, as you are well aware, nor is it required or
implied by my theory.

> or how its energy will propagate
> in a selective fashion which favours clouds.


You don't understand that bright light will reflect and refract off clouds?

Further, what I'm curious about is why you insist that this shield halo
energy redirection effect of yours favors such a brightening of the clouds
only. The clouds are absolutely aglow, yet there's no direct reflection of
this off of the surface toward the observation point from the ground.
Unless the planet's surface or water has a horrendous albedo, there's no
reason this halo that brightens the clouds to an extent greater than they
are brightened by their own sun should not reflect off the surface of the
planet. Alternately, if you're claiming that this shield halo is somehow
magnifying the incident light on the planet below, then why would the white
cloud area past the terminator be as bright as the rest of the clouds?
Again, your argument is inconsistent.

> > Further, it is interesting to note here the fact that Alderaan,
> > despite appearing quite dim overall, is surprisingly well-lit past the
> > terminator.
> > http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/Ald-0-0-bright.jpg
> > Note the visible atmosphere past the terminator in the brightness and
> > contrast-enhanced shot to the right. The same result occurs no matter
> > which frame you look at prior to the superlaser hit. This suggests a
> > natural atmospheric diffraction of light far greater than what one
> > would expect from a planet such as Earth, as one can observe much more
> > closely in the following shot:
> > http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/ap11ann/kippsphotos/6692.jpg
>
> Wow, a blurry long-distance shot of Alderaan seems to show slightly more
> atmospheric refraction than a very clear short-range shot of Earth.


Long distance vs. short range? Do you not understand that the short-range
shot should be brighter, showing us more?

> Of course, you ignore the possibility that this is due to simple video
> resolution limits


Why would low resolution selectively place a blue glow toward the right?
Why would this selective low-res "feature" then be enhanced when the
superlaser hits? Further, if the resolution is so poor, how do you justify
your claim that the left side of the planet is flinging vaporized material?

> No one said the energy had to go 100% down. If it is released
> in an omnidirectional fashion upon shield failure,
> nearly half of it will be headed toward the surface.


And why would it do this all of the sudden, when it had previously been
directing the energy outward or sideways? For that matter, just what sort
of shield failure are you suggesting? Does it fail at the point of impact
and spread outward, or just suddenly collapse on itself? Do the generators
absorb the energy and then re-radiate it in close proximity to the
superlaser strike zone? Please, pick one, or add your own and pick that.

> You are pointing to vague bluish regions and arguing that
> they MUST represent solid, intact planetary surface still in its
> original location despite obvious evidence to the contrary.


"Vague bluish regions"? You mean the visible surface of the planet on the
left, which has not moved from its prior location in the slightest? Or the
spot you pointed out as a "skipped" area of blue and claimed was unaffected?

> Moreover, there is the physics of the situation; we can see enormous
> volumes of material hurtling away from the planet. It does not take a
> PhD physicist to see that if huge clouds of superheated and vapourized
> material are flying away from a surface, there MUST be some kind of
> damage to that surface!


On the other side of the planet, better than half a hemisphere away?

The point, Mike, is that I am denying your claim that the atmospheric blue
haze is vaporized material. I have also now pointed out to you that your
arguments are inconsistent on that count.

> > Finally, though the original state of the theory left open the
> > question of how much DET was involved in the superlaser beam, I
> > eventually came down on the side that there was none or virtually
> > none. My discovery of the lack of atmospheric effect served as
> > confirmation of that hypothesis.
>
> I presume you refer to your "discovery" of what everyone else clearly
> identifies as a shield,


1. Those are clouds, Mike.
2. You mistakenly assume that everyone else believed, as you claimed, that
there were no significant differences between the OE and SE.

Regarding the polar material:
> How does this prove your theory?

It supports the idea that the band is converting surface material as it
passes, provided that the polar material is subsurface, as stated.

> 1. It is an optical illusion.

Possible, but highly improbable.

> 2. It is an overeager interpretation of a vague outline.

No, it's quite visible, and the location leaves only one conclusion.

> 3. The planet is exploding in a grossly asymmetrical fashion, hence part
> of it stays in place for a long time. This may have something to do with
> the rates and directions in which energy is transferred throughout the
> planet's mass


. . . which would require that either Alderaan or the superlaser be
"lop-sided" or grossly asymmetrical in some way. The latter is not
supported by the canon, and the former is unlikely . . . a planet whose
composition or mass distribution were that lop-sided would be extremely odd,
and would be contrary to much of our geophysical knowledge.

>, or perhaps some fantastic side-effect of the shield,

. . . a shield for which there is no evidence, and which your argument
contradicts . . .

> which would imply that part of the shield stayed up for a while, perhaps
> from shield generators on the far side of the planet which survive longer.


How would the shield protect the planet from damage that was coming from
within, as DET would suggest to be the case?

> > However, you argue that it is vaporized material *only* for the second
> > modified screenshot, and *not* the first. For the first, you argue
> > that it is a shield effect, "PRECISELY as we would expect for the far
> > side of a shield which has just been struck by a superlaser versus a
> > shield which has already collapsed."
>
> More sophistry. If the shield collapses, the energy must go somewhere,
> and a lot of it will head downwards and vapourize the surface. There is
> no contradiction between an energetic shield and a vapourized cloud of
> material flying up from the surface shortly afterwards.


Ah, but there is a contradiction, now identified in two ways. Not only do
you ascribe the blue glow to two separate causes with regards to the
screenshots of the side of the planet, but in regards to the planet's
brightened blue areas as the superlaser hits, too.

> > This is a gross inconsistency: you ascribe two separate causes to
> > what is a visually identical phenomenon, claiming that one is
> > vaporized material (even though this makes no sense without a
> > fireball) and claiming the other is a shield effect (even though
> > there is no evidence for a shield, but I'll be coming back to that
> > shortly).
>
> Visually, it IS an identical phenomenon: a shield which radiates energy
> or a piece of superheated matter which radiates energy will have the
> same appearance. This has been demonstrated many times in the movies by
> visibly glowing shield/bolt interactions, including one in which the
> entire front face of a Star Destroyer's lower superstructure glowed
> white-hot. For that brief moment, it was impossible to tell if the metal
> was white-hot or a shield was radiating the energy away.


But, in the case of the ion cannon bolt (which is what I assume your vague
reference was aiming for), there was no observed material flying away, just
as there isn't in this case . . . UNTIL the band passes. There's no
fireball . . . no huge cracks in the crust . . . nothing to suggest that
your claim of vaporizing blue material is correct.

> > Finally, your assertion fails to take into consideration the fact that
> > the planet is three-dimensional. We would expect to see any ejecta
> > which heads from the surface directly toward the observation point as
> > somewhat less luminescent, given that there wouldn't be so much
> > luminescent material behind it and adding to the luminescence. This
> > can also be seen in the large dark debris area's explosion, where
> > you'll note the rightmost side of it is darker than the left side.
>
> Actually, debris of any given temperature heading toward us will be MORE
> luminescent, since it is closer and the inverse-square law dictates that
> it will appear brighter for that reason.


First, the inverse-square law will not allow for the sort of incredible
variation you are hoping for in this case. Second, you have ignored the
fact that there will not be luminescent material behind that which is headed
for the observation point, whereas luminescent material toward the edges
will have luminescent material behind it.

> > [Re: secondary blast] The only argument I've seen you make which could
> > possibly have anything to do with the secondary blast is your
> > reference to inertial confinement fusion (which, granted, was made in
> > reference to the polar region, and not the planetary core). However,
> > inertial confinement fusion is based on even, uniform target heating,
> > whether it is done by almost 200 lasers focused on the target surface,
> > or by even heating of a container which heats the target via
> > radiation. I do not see how a lone superlaser beam could be expected
> > to produce this effect for the core or polar region.
>
> Strawman. ICF is a hopeless theory for the IRON core of a planet, and I
> never made that argument.


Are you even reading what I write before you cry fallacy? I never ascribed
the argument to you. I quote from what you quoted of me: "... which could
possibly have anything to do with the secondary blast..." and "(which,
granted, was made in reference to the polar region, and not the planetary
core)."

Again, I must reiterate that your constant false accusations of fallacies
are unnecessary and undesirable.

> ICF does, however, provide an example of where
> a densified core can remain in place in a spherical explosion, because
> the inertial pressure from the expanding outer layers holds it in place.
> I was merely pointing out that outer-layer expansion pressure could keep
> a densified core in place for some time, hence the persistent spherical
> shape inside the expanding cloud of debris (certainly a better
> explanation than your bizarre claim that the surface is intact despite
> trillions of tons of vapourized and superheated matter emanating from it).


Your claim that the polar material (and/or the left side of the planet,
depending on which "persistent spherical shape" you refer to) could be the
core of the planet makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. First, the
curvature is way off. Second, your argument requires that the core move up
to the polar region, and then stop to await the secondary explosion.
Finally, if you refer to both the polar material and the left side of the
planet, inertial confinement isn't the answer you're looking for . . . you
need the core to grow substantially.

> You think that expansion from the centre of mass somehow proves a chain
> reaction?


No, that's another straw man. An *explosion* from the center of mass does,
especially in regards to DS2 and its centrally-located reactor. As I showed
you, the explosion *does not* escape or vent through the non-existent parts
of the station as one would expect, and the ring does not have as a center
point the reactor's location.

> If you heat up a volume of material to extreme temperatures,
> what do you think it will do?


False analogy, regarding either theory. You're talking about relatively
even heating, not DET with a laser beam that is tiny compared to the target.

*** The DS2 anti-ship shots:

> > The planar aspect to superlaser and superlaser-related explosion
> > events is a constant. In the case of Alderaan, we have two rings. DS1
> > gives us a ring-and-a-half, while the DS2 gives us only one ring.
>
> Wrong. The Rebel ships destroyed by superlasers in ROTJ create no planar
> ring.


Nor did I say they did, as you ought to have paid attention to. However,
they did have a planar aspect. In the case of the Liberty, it is observed
when the secondary blast occurs. We face it almost edge-on.

http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari127.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari128.jpg

In the case of the Wingless, it is seen by the screen-filling gassy-looking
shockwave. It is not three-dimensional . . . none of the other vehicles are
obscured by it in the slightest, including the distant Y-Wing and the
transport.

From DSCalamari.mpg:
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari228.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari229.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari230.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari231.jpg
(frame 232 was a repeat)
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari233.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari234.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari235.jpg
(frame 236 was a repeat)
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari237.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari238.jpg
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari239.jpg
skipping to the last:
http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~randers2/DSCalamari274.jpg

> > 0. DS2 ship shot against the Wingless
> > You claim that the planar puff is a thin surface layer superheated
> > and blown off. This claim makes no sense, and is contrary to the
> > evidence. Please explain.
>
> We see luminescent matter flying away from a ship which is obviously
> still intact. If it is not a thin layer of surface material, then please
> explain what ELSE it could be,


Which was done above. What I'm curious to know is how in the world you
expect the superlaser to vaporize only the surface materials of the ship,
and do so with the products departing in a planar orientation.

> unless it's some kind of
> shield/superlaser interaction (an alternate explanation which is even
> more harmful for your preferred theory).


No, because the smaller fireball which would consume the ship is already in
progress, much as happens with the Liberty. That would be inconsistent with
other examples of planar behavior.

> The micro-superlasers in AOTC showed no planar ring.

1. You assume that the same technology was being used for the superlaser
and the green beam weapons of AoTC. This you do despite the multi-decade
gap between them and the fact that the Geonosians evidently did not design
the LAATs or SPHA-Ts, as they did the Death Star.
2. You assume that rings should always appear no matter what, even though
you have already been shown the differences related to scale.


********** Conclusion

> > Again, as with the Canon argument, I am at a loss to understand why
> > there's an argument going on. There can be only one . . . let's go
> > with the one that sticks to the canon facts.
>
> Your grandstanding notwithstanding,


Grandstanding? No, Mike, seriously . . . I do not understand why you're
continuing to argue the point, at least from the view of reason.

> What part of this don't you understand, Robert?

The reason you continue to argue for your theory is what I do not
understand. It fails logically, scientifically, canonically, et cetera, and
no matter how many desperate and contrived additions you pile on top of it
(or denials of the evidence allowing you to make it simpler), it simply
isn't going to work, and the fact that it appears to be an article of faith
doesn't make it work, either. Star Wars may be fantasy, but that doesn't
mean our attempts to understand it should be.

To quote you: "Deal with it."

 


On to Round Four

Back to The Wong Debate

Back to STvSW