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Re: [Synoptic-L] The Existence of Q

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  • LeeEdgarTyler@aol.com
    ... indication ... Ed Tyler: If I may offer the following pedestrian observation: In the year 2001, in America at least, it is entirely possible that the
    Message 1 of 29 , Mar 2, 2001
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      > > At 09:05 PM 3/1/01 +0000, Ron Price wrote:
      > > > Suppose we come across a novel by an unknown author with no
      indication
      > > >of its date of publication. In the middle of the novel we come across
      > > >the phrase: "to boldly go where no man has gone before".
      > > > As in the synoptic case, there are three main possibilities.
      > > >(1) Star Trek copied it from the novel.
      > > >(2) The novel copied it from Star Trek
      > > >(3) Star Trek and the novel are dependent on a common source for the
      > > >phrase.
      > > > Which is the most likely? I would guess in this case that there is of
      > > >the order of 99% probability that the novel copied from Star Trek. What
      > > >do you think?
      > >

      Stephen Carlson replies:

      > > It seems to me that all three options are possible. The main
      > > thing going for option (2) is that Star Trek was disseminated
      > > very widely and the novel was not. Therefore, there are more
      > > opportunities for the novel to use Star Trek than for reverse
      > > to happen (or for the unknown common source to be used).
      > >
      > > Here's where the analogy to the synoptics breaks down: we
      > > don't know how widely disseminated the gospels were in the
      > > first century.
      > >

      Ed Tyler:

      If I may offer the following pedestrian observation: In the year 2001, in
      America at least, it is entirely possible that the immediate source of the
      saying "to
      boldly go where no man has gone before" is an oral tradition encountered by
      the author. Star Trek is no longer as widely disseminated in program form
      as it was, but "Trekkies" abound. They transmit the Star Trek tradition
      independently of the original television series or its later syndicated
      broadcasts and tapes.

      I bring this up because in a Folklore class I taught a couple of years ago a
      student did a project on the folkloristics of the trekkie phenomenon. A
      semi-scientific poll she took on campus revealed that a startling proportion
      of
      students had never seen an episode of the original Star Trek, although
      nearly all knew of the "to boldly go where no man has gone before" motto,
      Vulcans, Klingons, etc., and could name the primary characters of the series.
      (Even those who had never seen an episode knew who Kirk, Spock, Uhuru and
      Scotty were.) In fact, the phrase "Beam me up Scotty" was even more widely
      recognized than "to boldly go where no man has gone before." They had
      gleaned this information from Star Trek's generally immanent role in our
      culture and through oral tradition; even most of the students who had seen
      episodes of the series said that their primary sources of knowledge on Star
      Trek were oral tradition and allusions to it in popular culture.

      Because sayings like "to boldly go where no man has gone before," "Beam me
      up. Scotty," and "Blessed are the poor" are easily circulated verbatim
      without recourse to fixed texts (written or video format), it is difficult
      to
      establish the source of any given written instance. While in the case above
      the TV series Star Trek would likely be the original source for the saying,
      the author of our hypothetical novel could quite easily have come across it
      without ever having seen an episode.

      > best,
      >
      > Ed Tyler
      > Baton Rouge, LA

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
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