I’ve been tumbling a thought around in my head the past few days, an idea that I just can’t seem to let go of. One of those thoughts that, once in your brain, even if it only makes an appearance every so often, keeps showing up. I’ve only briefly put any real effort into thinking it through, and so far haven’t come to any conclusions, but I’d like to put it out into the world to be considered by others.
It all started when I read this Savage Chickens comic :
I got to thinking about the Prime Directive in Star Trek, and how the Federation is just simply not allowed to interfere at all with the internal development of alien civilizations. Say, for example, the Klingons invent wine bottles, but have yet to invent the corkscrew, the Federation isn’t allowed to give them the technology. Flipside to that, Klingons will never invent the corkscrew, because they’ll either open up the bottle with a Bat’leth (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFPrmgy7SmQ), or they’ll just smash a bottle over a Ferengi’s head to break it open:
Excuse me little Ferengi, but I’m thirsty and your head is a perfect blood wine bottle opener.
So, the Prime Directive. Can’t give a man a cup for the water he’s dying to drink unless his race has already discovered the cup.
Except that inter-species sex, which has WAY more potential to alter the course of the species, is totally fine. More advanced medicine because your species doesn’t know how to fight a disease? Nope, you’re shit out of luck. But sexing up their ladies? Introducing a whole new set of genes into their gene pool? No problem. Oh, and the medicine you’ll need to counter the space-syphilis we just gave you? Yeah, you’re going to have to develop that on your own.
Oh, that little infection you caught from me? I only have one shot of penicillin, and it’s not for you.
Does this strike anyone else as completely against the spirit of the Prime Directive? Or does love (or lust, in Kirk’s and Riker’s case) truly conquer all? And with it, completely change the genetic makeup of an entire species, permanently. You know how a ton of humans can trace their lineage back to a handful of famous people? Imagine a few hundred years after the Enterprise visits Fucky-Alpha 14, they’ll all be able to say that Kirk was their great-great-great-great-grandfather. And now they’re all allergic to ragweed, even though they have no idea what ragweed is. Seriously, there’s something wrong with that system. The Prime Directive: preventing species interference except for the one area where it really counts.