Watched Star Trek into Darkness with the wife recently and while we both enjoyed the film for what it was we both reject it as science fiction as the rules of science are completely and utterly mutable and subject to whimsy of plot and story. Star Trek just isn't science fiction folks, It's science fantasy and always has been. The greatest and best evidence as to how Star Trek and it's ilk are science fantasy and not science fiction is the transporter. (SPOILER ALERT)
Here's the transporter functions:
Objects and beings are scanned and are broken down into a stream of subatomic particles. The particle stream is briefly stored in a pattern buffer while the transoorter system compensates for doppler shift to the destination. The matter stream is then transmitted to its destination through subspace. The transporter system maintains the integrity of the information contained in the particle stream. The initial process is reversed and the object or beings is reassembled at the destination.
Oh really? That's the explanation is it? Utter bullshit I'm afraid. How is the object or being reassembled at the destination, remotely by the transporter system? Wouldn't the data have to be manipulated remotely somehow, how's that done again, magic?
There's some implication, when convenient for plot, that successful trasmatter teleportation the distances have to be short and the location being trasmatted from and to are observable. Unless the story needs it to be otherwise. In the latest film the inability of Star Trek writers and filmmakers to understand such a simple concept as "the universe is big, really big" has them violate the pseduo-physics and "reality" of the trek universe yet again by having a man successfully teleported from earth to the Klingon home world seemingly by a man portable transmatter device. All of a sudden the Earth and Kronos are within transmat distance. The disruption this inflicts on any premise of science in the fiction of trek is severe indeed (ignoring the fact that "the universe is big, really big" is a frequent and unending issue with Star Trek over the decades).
Let's look at this again: A transporter records and destroys the item being transported by annihilating matter and changing energy into a form that may be transmitted through a subspace medium across a distance and at distance (separated by physical space and subspace) remotely reassemble anything into a lossless or virtually lossless facsimile. Somehow this data while beign temporarily stored can not be reliably recorded yet the system is reliable enough in it's data manipulation to resaemble an item remotely from a stream of energy. It's simply B.S. .
Data can be recorded. Data can of course be stored once recorded. If transporters are shuffling data there's no reason for the destruction of the original. Sure there are limits in data storage capacity but would anyone ever step on a transporter pad for an away mission knowing they are goign to be killed and recreated at the destination and have data that would allow them to be recreated if killed on the away mission be used to recreate them?
Let's not forget however that distance doesn't matter in the trek universe, distance can always be ignored in favor of the story. The storage capacity can be built to record every piece of equipment and every member of a starship crew assuming anyone would bother with starships at all if transporters could work across interstellar distances.
Effective and reliable long distance transporters undoes the Star Trek universe. Looking at the most cursory explanations for how transporters do and don't work undoes the Star Trek universe.
If you can scan matter, change it to energy, and remotely reassemble matter... all you need is energy and data after the initial scanning.
Why do photon torpedos travel through physical space? Why not transport them to the target? The answer is you can't transport through shielding and that's acceptable but why not simply transport them to just in front of the shields instead of giving away the location and improving targeting on your ship by launching a photo torpedo, every bit of data you send an opponent is a but of data they can use to destroy you. The explanation can't be the data can't be manipulated quickly enough as transporting already works on people and all the equipment they carry in a timely and effective fashion. It can't be the danger, phasers and photon grenades teleported with away teams don't explode. Transporters are B.S. .
Why can't transport technology be used to provide close tactical support in combat? An ever moving minefield that screens an assault team would be insanely useful.
Why not just send in the clones? People and equipment can be changed from data to matter, why not make duplicates with that data. Need 7 experts in warp field theory but only have one... transporters solve that for you. Only enough room on your ship for 30 redshirts but you need 40...transporters solve that for you. Sure lot's of other interesting questions are raised when you have to figure out what to do with surviving copies but that makes stories harder to tell.
The only reason transporter cloning wouldn't be effective would be that transporters don't work like they are supposed to work in the Star Trek universe. As presented transporters in Star Trek aren't science they are plot and story devices, they are science fantasy not science fiction.
Transporters are B.S., don't even get me started on starship combat and communicators.