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  • In this episode, Special Agent Dana Scully is assigned to work with Special Agent Fox Mulder who works in the basement of the FBI building, investigating unexplained, unsolved cases. Scully is tasked to test the validity of Mulder's farfetched theories. To support their claims and solve the first case placed before them, both agents do their best to follow the scientific method: they make hypotheses, bolster these hypotheses with observations and experiments (and hard evidence), and then draw their conclusions. Even when all of their evidence is consumed by arson, Mulder encourages Scully to gather soil samples a second time just to make the support for their theories concrete. Sort of fitting, I think, that the first entry in the files of the science behind the X-Files is... the scientific method.

    For a nice interactive introduction to the scientific method, check out a clever primer from the biology department of Clermont College, University of Cincinnati, located at http://BugLady.clc.uc.edu/biology/bio104/sci_meth.htm.

  • The two agents are driving down a woodside road in the curious town of Miller's Grove when their car loses power and their eyes are assaulted by a blinding light. Looking at his watch, Mulder finds that they have "lost time"--nine minutes seem to have just...disappeared. Scully contests Mulder's observations, saying that time is a "universal invariant." WRONG!!!! For someone who wrote a thesis on Einstein's twin paradox, Scully should know that the laws of physics are against her. The speed of light is agreed upon as a universal invariant, but following Einstein's rules of relativity, time and space can dilate and contract respectively from the perspectives of certain inertial reference points. What does this mean? Maybe Scully should read up on the following links....

    For a treatise on the nature of time itself, read an article by "Matty" Nematollahi of the University of California, Santa Cruz, at http://natsci.ucsc.edu/scicom/SciNotes/9402/Time.html.
    For an interesting introduction to Einstein's theories, as provided by the PBS television show NOVA, look at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/nova/einstein/.

  • After many freakish experiences on her first case with Mulder in Miller's Grove, Scully thinks that she too may be exhibiting the strange swollen red markings that have distinguished all of the victims in the town thus far. Mulder inspects the bumps on Scully's back, only to find that they are actually mosquito bites. Mosquitos bites redden and swell up due to the body's allergic reaction to the saliva that mosquitos use to make the blood they drink flow more freely into their stomachs.

    For a cool resource on the amazing mosquito, see what The Why Files discovered in their research at http://whyfiles.news.wisc.edu/016skeeter/.

 File #:

Basic Plot:
Special Agent Dana Scully is assigned to work with Agent Fox Mulder on an investigation of the mysterious deaths of high school graduates in a small town.

Synopsis URLs:
Synopsis @ Official X-Files Site
Synopsis @ Deep Background

Title means:
As the pilot episode of the series, this episode introduces the "X-Files" themselves as the FBI's most inexplicable and unsolvable cases.

End of science file.
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