Fake Study Based on 'Star Trek: Voyager' is Published in a Scientific Journal

Thursday, 15 February 2018 - 9:06PM
Star Trek
Thursday, 15 February 2018 - 9:06PM
Fake Study Based on 'Star Trek: Voyager' is Published in a Scientific Journal
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There's two things to always keep in mind: don't believe everything you read, and never attempt to exceed warp 10 while flying a starship.

As for how these two things are connected, an anonymous biologist recently submitted an intentionally fake study based on a Star Trek: Voyager episode to various scientific journals, trying to weed out some of the more reckless scientific journals that don't properly vet what they publish. And the biologist succeeded, likely to his dismay, as his fake study was accepted by four journals and actually published by one.

The study, called "Rapid genetic and developmental morphological change following extreme celerity," appeared in the American Research Journal of Biosciences (they appear to have since pulled it down), listing the author as Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, the character who designed Voyager's holographic Doctor. Based on a controversial episode of the show called "Threshold," the study details how moving at speeds past warp 10 can cause extreme evolution into a frog person.



Essentially, it's a long and fancy sounding description of the episode where Tom Paris somehow discovers the secret to surpassing warp 10 - a feat which much smarter characters in the franchise could never accomplish - and reaching this speed causes him to mutate into an amphibious creature, kidnap Captain Janeway and mutate her, and then mate with the mutated captain to create three amphibious offspring.

It's considered one of the worst episodes of the show, and one of the weirdest. And "weirdest episode" is a big accomplishment for Voyager, which had other episodes where characters would fuse together or get locked in computer simulations with killer clowns. Considering that Next Generation told a similar, much better story involving amphibious mutations called "Identity Crisis", a lot of fans aren't fond of "Threshold".

The fake study is one of many recent "sting" operations for predatory scientific journals, which - especially in this day and age - need to properly vet and review their articles to avoid pushing misinformation. A similar stunt was done last year, with a journal publishing a comprehensive study about midi-chlorians from Star Wars.

So at least until we can manage warp speed at all, let's hold off on claiming it can turn you into a frog-thingy in supposedly reputable scientific journals.
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