2006-12-03

Fingerprinting for Methuselah

Here's a little something I found unexpected. As it turns out, Leonardo da Vinci's fingerprints can be reconstructed now. All we have at the moment is his left index finger, though since he was left-handed this is more useful than it might otherwise seem.

Not only will this be a boon for historical research . . . if an interesting document's authenticity or authorship is in doubt or uncertain you can check for prints in some cases . . . but there's also something far, far less important to consider:

After reading the story, I recalled Janeway, in "Concerning Flight"[VOY4], deriding Kirk's claim to have met da Vinci (in the guise of Flint in "Requiem for Methuselah"[TOS2]), saying the evidence was less than conclusive. This implies that at some point, presumably after Flint's death, Kirk and company spilled the beans about him, but either refused to specify his location or else Flint had M-6 destroy his body and all traces of him. Or, a third possibility is that, still not trusting Kirk, Flint packed up and moved as soon as the Enterprise left, so that no matter when Kirk spilled the beans there wouldn't be anything left to find.

In any case, though, one wonders what happened to the tricorder scans. I find it hard to believe that they could've parted with the treasures they'd scanned . . . new da Vinci pieces and new Brahms works come to mind, not to mention the genetic code of an immortal human.

And if the tricorder had his fingerprints, so much the better.

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