The Best Star Trek Episodes for Science Fans and Skeptics
There's no mistaking it, Star Trek: The Next Generation was a show of science fiction, but often it was directly inspired by science fact. More than that, the show frequently operated on Carl Sagan's definition of science, as "a way of thinking much more than... a body of knowledge." This means that the show's characters solved problems by formulating hypotheses, testing those hypotheses, drawing conclusions from the results, and then acting accordingly. Essentially, they used the scientific method. While characters in most television shows shoot first and ask questions later, the thoughtful characters of Star Trek asked questions before resorting to violence.
This formulation drew a surprisingly large number of loyal fans, including myself. I recently finished watching all 176 episodes of Star Trek, and here present what I believe to be the very best episodes for science fans and skeptics. (Spoilers ahead.)