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Given the common ancestry of the Romulans and the Vulcans, and that the Romulans emigrated only about 2,000 years ago (in the TNG era: a drop in the bucket in terms of evolutionary biology), should there be a number of Romulans capable of initiating a mind meld? Is it ever explicitly shown that they can mind meld or that they specifically can't mind meld?

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    I don't have the episode on hand to check, but I think ENT 4x14 "The Aenar" mentions or hints that Romulans do have extremely weak telepathic ability. If it was there, it was an offhand comment and not in the episode summary. – Izkata Feb 5 '12 at 5:21
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    It's also a major plot point in ENT that Vulcans only just started using mind melds again in the 22nd century. – user366 Feb 5 '12 at 5:34
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They used to have telepathic abilities, but not anymore. Expanded universe reference on Memory Alpha states:

It is explained in Vulcan's Soul that the Romulans rejected the telepathy of the Vulcans and slaughtered or enslaved the telepathic ones among them during their exodus to the Romulan system: the telepaths became the Remans.

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    Aha. The Reman article references the ENT episodes I was thinking of in the question's comments. They must have been mentioned, but it was before I knew the difference between a Reman and a Romulan (I'd watched ENT before any other series) – Izkata Feb 8 '12 at 12:52
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Also the Romulans missed out on the spiritual/social Renaissance that the Vulcans underwent where they tamed their emotions and mastered their minds. Where Vulcans began a process of reflection and mental discipline, the Romulans focused on conquest and empire building. Not only that but, as mentioned by @HNL, they rejected the meditative lifestyle entirely, going out of their way to excise those with telepathic potential from their society.

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The Romulans demonstrate some latent telepathic ability in the two-part episode Gambit where a Romulan uses the Vulcan psionic resonator that "focuses and amplifies telepathic energy" Thus they demonstrably have similar telepathic capabilities to Vulcans.

  • Just to be clear: I didn't have the reputation to add the information as a comment, or I would have done so. – Drigan Oct 17 '14 at 14:07
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    The "Romulan" in question was actually a Vulcan posing as a Romulan. – O. R. Mapper Jan 25 '15 at 15:54
  • It's a rather strange isolationist that seeks help from outside the group she wishes to isolate. Also, the talk page seems to indicate that the claim of her being an isolationist may not come from a canon source. – Drigan Jan 25 '15 at 21:50
  • Grrr . . I meant to say her being a Vulcan isolationist may have come from a non-canon source. I'll have to watch that episode again sometime with this in mind. – Drigan Jan 25 '15 at 21:57
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    Skimming over the transcripts, it's true, it's not explicitly stated that she's Vulcan. On the other hand, I think it is made to look like she is indeed Vulcan. What we know is: Toward the mercenaries, she poses as a Romulan. Toward Picard, she poses as a Vulcan V'Shar operative. Also, there is a group of Vulcan isolationists trying to get hold of the artifact. It does not seem like the Romulans have any part in this; toward the mercenaries, a criminal Romulan might just appear as less suspicious than a criminal Vulcan. Instead, it seems reasonable that Tallera belongs to one of the ... – O. R. Mapper Jan 25 '15 at 22:49

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