The Borg were not a match for Species 8472 in Star Trek: Voyager’s episode "Scorpion." They needed humans' help to design a weapon against Species 8472.

If humans were smart enough to design a weapon against Species 8472, why can't they design weapons to resist the Borg, given that Species 8472 were victorious over the Borg? This is illogical.

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    Humans have completely wiped out the Dodo and yet we can't wipe out the common cold, despite it being substantially smaller.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 10:32
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    @Valorum: respectfully disagree that Victim of Circumstances' answer should have been delete-hammered. It is a legitimate point, and we should be encouraging new users to improve their posts, not chastising them Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:28
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    @Valorum, the analogy is valid in pointing out that the question is flawed because it doesn't follow from the fact that A beats B and B beats C that A can beat C. RPS is an example. (Also, it's not only a child's game) Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:35
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    overall, humans have successfully resisted the Borg....multiple times. The premise of the question is flawed ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:38
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    @Valorum, then give them the chance to improve instead of deleting and putting the rep-1 user off the site forever. The answer even had a link. This is vastly more developed than all kinds of not deleted answers. Downvote if you like, but the answer wasn't worthy of delete-hammer. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:43

3 Answers 3


I think the premise is flawed. Species 8472 turned out to be vulnerable to a blend of Borg technology (beyond our capacity to design, but not beyond our capacity to re-task) and highly experimental Human technology (The EMH). Species 8472 may well have the ability to destroy Borg cubes, but at no point do humans gain the sort of unfettered access to their tech that they do with the Borg's.

That all being said, humanity has shown both a desire to design weapons to help them in their fight with the Borg and a strong capacity to do so.

Anti-Borg weapons

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    You should add "holographic bullets" to the list of effective weapons.
    – RobbG
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 16:57
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    You forgot the most effective anti-Borg weapon ever produced: Captain Janeway’s bloody-mindedness. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 17:00
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    @PaulD.Waite I believe you meant the writers unwillingness to end a series by killing everyone in the cast. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 21:04
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    Would've been a memorable ending though
    – Steve-O
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 21:11
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    Untested, but in I Borg, Jordi and Data developed something akin to a computer virus that they believed could wipe out the entire Borg race.
    – jpmc26
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 1:03

Humanity (i.e. the Federation) has been able to resist the Borg (as Valorum's answer shows with a few examples which I shall not repeat).
Comparing the Borg to Species 8472 is like comparing apples to gneiss. Their vulnerabilities and strengths are not variations of degree in the same mode.

The Borg have been shown to lack ingenuity or inventiveness. It seems that this is one of their essential flaws: once assimilated, the knowledge, technology, and biophysical capabilities of the subject are copied and utilized, but the more mental traits seem to be ignored and idle.
Their ability to adapt in the past has been limited to an adjustment of permutations — e.g. changing shield frequency to match and neutralize (through destructive harmony) the incoming phaser frequency.

That is probably why the Collective finally agreed to Janeway's accord, and why it assigned an adjutant (7 of 9) to work with the Humanity: the Collective was learning that it could gain more from them if they went unassimilated.

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    It is likely that the Borg's apparent adaptive technologies (i.e. matching shield frequencies to nullify directed energy) are techniques that they assimilated. In fact, the only deductive/investigative action I can think of apparent within the Borg is when the queen is trying to infiltrate/eliminate Unimatrix Zero. Unimatrix Zero was a nascent result of the Borg collective consciousness and limited to a select few drones, so the likelihood of that being something another race encountered, and thus techniques against it having been assimilated, is slim.
    – Xantec
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:02

The problem you think exists is none in reality, but instead two different situations there, that SEEM similar but are not.

The Borg are able to adapt quite fast to all weaponry. This means a specific weapon may work once, or twice but then the Borg have adapted. Thus humanity HAS already designed weapons against the Borg, but they have proven not efficient enough quite fast (as they try to out adapt beings used to adaption).

Species 8472 on the other hand has had technology that by itself was beyond the Borgs. Thus they were declared a primary target for assimilation. BUT the problem is their technology was so high that they could simply destroy Borg cubes sent to assimilate them; which they did and counterattacked.

As Valorum has mentioned in his answer: Borg lack ingenuity. Which is what humans have in abundance. Thus with our own way lower than Borg technology level, we can sometimes even the playing field against the Borg a bit until they adapt. With Species 8472 on the other hand...they had a technological advantage the Borg were unable to counter as no other species they had assimilated or could assimilate had appropriate technology. So they needed ingenuity which they got in the form of the Federation crew joining sides with them.

What is more though is that the Federation was too low in tech level to make a difference, thus the Borg changed that by helping out with their own tech. Thus the Borg Tech and human ingenuity make the difference there.

But back to the question: The problem is that the 2 situations are completely unrelated. Borg are adapters without ingenuity, while Species 8472 have a VERY high technology level, but are not as adaptive as the Borg or humanity. So aside from the Federation being the underdog with quite some improvisational talent in both situations. Those two situations are radically different from each other.

  • Honestly, the Federation wasn't too low level in technology to fight against 8472 on their own. From TNG "Evolution" we know that the Federation already has their own nano-machines. Programming a batch of them to break down organic molecules and then loading them into a torpedo should logically be an extremely simple project. Voyager's biggest problem was defending against the attacks of 8472, which the enhanced armor and shielding from the Borg helped them with. (But to be honest even that doesn't make sense, when a Borg Cube couldn't absorb or deflect a single shot from 8472's bio-ships.)
    – Xantec
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:08
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    The Federation's nanite tech was hundreds of years behind the Borg's. Wesley couldn't even work out how to get two nanites to cooperate without them going 'Skynet' and trying to destroy the ship.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 15:54
  • Are you certain that it was Valorum's answer? Hehe, whatever. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 18:18
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    @Valorum: Heh, I don't know whether that comment was deliberately ironic, but I enjoyed it :D Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 18:22

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