The first asks the question “Is Star Trek a Religion?” This is a fascinating question (Spock joke intended). The minister at the Unitarian Church back in Knoxville Tennessee lectured on this topic a while back. In some ways it certainly fills the bill. There’s a believe system, a “text”, and an idolized founder in Gene Rodenberry. I’m not sure where I stand on this question. I mean– I don’t worship Gene Rodenberry or anything but would I judge someone who does harshly? It’s like that episode of The Family Guy where Peter starts the Church of the Fonz. In the end we have to find faith where we can, right? I’m also reading a book Star Trek and Philosphy: The Wrath of Kant which also looks at Star Trek through scholarly eyes. Perhaps Star Trek isn’t so much of a religion as it is a philosophy. In any case, the book is worth a read– but I warn you that it gets a little heavy. If you’re already having a “my head hurts from stress at work” kind of day, it might not be the best escape plan.
The 2nd article I read this morning made me think of Tim. 🙂 You can find it over at The User’s Guide to the Universe Blog and it’s titled Star Trek: Fun with Time Travel. It mainly focuses on the new JJ Abrams film and how his time travel plot fits in with accepted theories of time travel. The idea is that the universe can branch off into different realities caused by time travel. So when you back in the past and change things- you create a parallel universe where those changes have happened– but your universe is unchanged. This is different from the Back to the Future theory (or as I call it, the “Tim Approved Theory”) of time travel where you can change the present by going into the past. I can’t say I agree with the blogger. He doesn’t even really delve into the Back to the Future model deeming it unscientific. Pretentious much?