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Vulcans have strange powers such as mind meld, super strength, and extreme control over their emotions. My question pertains to Spock, a half Vulcan: if he were to have a child with a human it would only be a quarter Vulcan, and is that enough to still have Vulcan powers?

I’d like an in-universe/canon answer please.

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    This is a tough one to answer. It could be a case of squib or miss. – Major Stackings Apr 1 '14 at 14:14
  • Searching through Memory Alpha, I'm not finding any canon examples of quarter-Vulcan characters. Closest thing I'm finding is Simon Tarses from the TNG episode The Drumhead, but he only passes himself off as quarter-Vulcan, when he's actually quarter-Romulan, but no information is given on his abilities or lackthereof. – Compro01 Apr 1 '14 at 14:31
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    Vulcan neck nerve pinch can be taught to humans. Citation: youtube.com/watch?v=RAWOpSkQQek – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 1 '14 at 14:46
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    DVK was kidding, but the Vulcan nerve pinch actually could be learned by non-Vulcans in Trek canon, Data used it here: youtube.com/watch?v=2yxgLMHjGoE ...see also en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Vulcan_nerve_pinch#Use_by_non-Vulcans – Hypnosifl Apr 1 '14 at 15:09
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    The "emotional control" can be taught, too. It isn't some kind of genetically-linked "power" like telepathy. Both Trip in ENT and Suder in VOY benefited from Vulcan meditative training. – Roger Apr 1 '14 at 15:38
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Although there are no quarter-Vulcan/Human hybrids in the Trek Movie and TV canon, I think we can make some educated guessed about their abilities;

Telepathy:

Based on the fact that there are human telepaths, there seems to be no good reason why a Human/Vulcan hybrid would lose that ability, including the ability to mind-meld.

Emotional Control

A variety of races have benefitted from Vulcan teachings on logic and emotional control (Suder in Voyager and Trip in Enterprise) and it's likely that with sufficient training a hybrid could achieve a similar level of impassivity

Strength :

Although there's no canon explanation for it, Spock (who is half-human) is described as being "much stronger than a human" and potentially as strong as a full-blooded Vulcan (e.g. "three times the strength of a human").

A quarter-Vulcan hybrid might have the same physical prowess or they might not.

Nerve Pinch:

It's pretty clear that it's possible for a non-Vulcan to learn the Nerve Pinch. It's been performed by Data, Odo, the EMH, Jean-Luc Picard, Seven-of-Nine and Jonathan Archer.

Examples.

Moving waaaaaaay down the canon scale, Spock had a quarter-Vulcan son (named Zar) in the EU trek book "Yesterday's Son". The boy demonstrates a woeful lack of emotional clarity, has no knowledge of pon farr, cannot do the nerve pinch but does indicate a strong telepathic ability and an ability to project his emotions as a weapon.

  • Romulans are not comparable to Vulcans save a common genetic ancestor. Romulans have no telepathic abilities to speak of; they do not exercise emotional control as the Vulcans do; their physical endurance is not comparable as their home planet is not as harsh as Vulcan; Romulans are not a fair comparison for Vulcans by most metrics. The 'injections' you speak of are not sedatives, they are to treat the Klingon's illness - the act is not a stand-in for a Vulcan nerve pinch, it is strictly medicinal. As for books/novels/written works, they are not part of TOS/TNG canon. – Stick Apr 1 '14 at 18:42
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    @stick - All excellent points. Major edit has been made. – Valorum Apr 1 '14 at 19:10
  • I've upvoted it, but as a minor point of contention I believe the canonical explanation for Vulcan strength has always been the harshness of their planet's living conditions relative to Earth's (briefly alluded to during the infamous TOS episode Amok Time. High gravity + thin atmosphere; Vulcans are the uber-Kenyans of the Federation – Stick Apr 1 '14 at 19:28
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    There isn't really an official 'EU' for Star Trek, in particular when it comes to anything during a Roddenberry-overseen series. While JJ-Trek uses comics to roll things into his alt-universe, the older guard of "no screen-time = no canon" is a pretty hard rule for Trek. See en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Canon and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_canon for reference on this. Anything that is not a Star Trek show or movie has been maintained as non-canon for a long long time. Even the old Pocket books are subject to this. – Stick Apr 1 '14 at 19:49
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    @Stick - canonicity seems to be one of those things that's become far more of an issue in the last 5-10 years. 20 years ago studios were quite happy to license any old crap and call it "official" if it made them a few bucks. – Valorum Apr 1 '14 at 19:59
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Probably depends on the "power" and the child's genetics

The main character in the Star Trek game Hidden Evil was called Sovok and was a human raised on Vulcan. He learned the nerve pinch and "other disciplines".

Fortunately, a close friend of Ba'dos, a Vulcan scientist and Vulcan master named Si'tann, took Jaden as his ward, and acted as his patron. Naming the boy "Sovok", Si'tann raised him as his own son and taught him Vulcan philosophies. Finally Si'tann encouraged him to enroll in the Vulcan Science Academy, in 2368. Having inherited his parent's scientific talents, Sovok excelled, surpassing many Vulcan peers and becoming one of the highest-ranking students. He famously learned the Vulcan nerve pinch and other disciplines before graduating in 2371.

While that is fairly low canon, remember that Spock himself is half-human. The "power" that probably gets contentious for a non-Vulcan is the mind meld, which is telepathic in nature. A human can learn it, if they are a telepath:

Later in 2268, Spock was driven mad by the sight of Ambassador Kollos. Miranda Jones, a Human telepath trained on Vulcan, used a meld to restore his sanity by making him forget what he'd seen.

So if Spock's child was telepathic, which is plausible given his Vulcan heritage - although questionable given his human genes - then it would seem the answer is yes.

  • Aren't Vulcan's stronger, and heal faster than humans though? – Monty129 Apr 1 '14 at 16:30
  • Yes, so it is probably safe to assume that some of the disciplines might be harder for a human. If asking if those are "powers" the child would have, the answer is more or less the same - genetics. So maybe. – joshbirk Apr 1 '14 at 16:40
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Unfortunately this isn't really a very well fleshed-out subject in Star Trek. Given the limited data - Spock really is the quintessential half-Vulcan, half-human given an appreciable amount of screen time - half-Vulcans may well assert their 'Vulcan-ness' more than other hybrid individuals.

Consider these characters:

  • Spock is half-human, half Vulcan. His approach to life has been so inured in the Vulcan ways that there are few moments where he is actually hampered by his Human aspects, but there are moments - such as the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture where he cannot attain Kohlinar - that preclude him from reaching certain social Vulcan 'pinnacles'. Still he demonstrates all the classic Vulcan traits; mental control, strength, telepathic abilities, and so on.
  • Counselor Troi is half-human, half-Betazoid. Her empathic abilities are not as intense as others; she gets a surface-level evaluation of feelings from the target of her attention, yet can sometimes be overwhelmed by 'psychic interference' whether they be strong emotions or the odd one-dimensional beings from The Loss, which temporarily suppress her empathic powers.
  • Alexander Rozhenko, son of Worf is three-quarters Klingon, one-quarter human. He spends his youth expressing a severe disinterest in Klingon heritage; even after being inspired by the events of the festival in the TNG episode Firstborn he still buckles under the pressure from K'mtar and Worf to assert his Klingon nature. While he never really matures on-screen to the point where we can catch him outside his awkward youth (..except perhaps as K'mtar, but he still self-admonishes for his perceived failure until his death) so it is yet-to-be-determined whether or not he really grows into his Klingon heritage and therefore, not clear whether he will ever tune his Klingon physiology in the way of average Klingon warriors.

There are other examples of quarter-races such as Simon Tarses and Devonani Ral who vary in range from "slightly barely empathic" to "pointy ears and nervous as hell".

At the end of the day there is a dearth of information on a per-species basis; the sample sizes aren't really all that big. We tend to zoom in on one or two hybrids and not too many others pop up in a meaningful way to evaluate them next to either of their parent races.

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Spock was the only Human-Vulcan half breed because he was genetically created, not born. In an interview between Gene Roddenberry and Sarek (played by Mark Lenard, of course) on the album Inside Star Trek, Sarek reveals the origins of Spock through casual conversation. He was a test-tube child, incubated outside of his mother because humans and Vulcans are naturally incompatible.

That said, it might not be possible for Spock to even have children. He might be sterile.

  • You raise some interesting points but perhaps it would be better to submit a new question asking if Spock was able to have children. – Null Oct 29 '14 at 20:41
  • Good point. I shall do that! – Mighty Ferengi Oct 29 '14 at 20:42

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