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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 01 November 2007 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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I just bought the first season of Star Trek (with Capitan Kirk) and have a question: How can Spock be a half human and a half Vulcan? Wouldn’t he be genetically closer to, say, a cauliflower than to a being from a distant planet? Do they ever explain this? Do you think it would be possible to find two species from two different planets so close to each other that they would be able to produce offspring? I mean, if both lives were based on the same chemical elements and by luck both produced the same DNA replicator, and with even more luck both evolved into very (!) similar genetically structured beings, I guess they would have to be able to mate. Wouldn’t hey?

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Posted: 01 November 2007 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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George - 01 November 2007 02:35 PM

I just bought the first season of Star Trek (with Capitan Kirk) and have a question: How can Spock be a half human and a half Vulcan? Wouldn’t he be genetically closer to, say, a cauliflower than to a being from a distant planet? Do they ever explain this? Do you think it would be possible to find two species from two different planets so close to each other that they would be able to produce offspring? I mean, if both lives were based on the same chemical elements and by luck both produced the same DNA replicator, and with even more luck both evolved into very (!) similar genetically structured beings, I guess they would have to be able to mate. Wouldn’t hey?

LOL

You aren’t the first person to note the absurdity ... I don’t think that Roddenberry thought this stuff through very carefully when he wrote his “wagon train to the stars” ...

And the answer, of course, is that there is no way that humans would be able to mate with any extraterrestrial organisms. Yes, we would be more similar to cauliflower, fungi or the common cold than we would be to alien lifeforms.

But do remember that in Trek’s universe, aliens are humans with fake ears. Incidentally, it makes special effects costs relatively reasonable for a weekly series ...

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Posted: 01 November 2007 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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dougsmith - 01 November 2007 02:44 PM

there is no way that humans would be able to mate with any extraterrestrial organisms.

Even in theory? DNA is, after all, a mere code. I understand the chances of that happening are very minimal, but if both codes (from Earth and from Vulcan) were the same, they would have to be able to mate. No?

In Sumerian mythology the planet Kingu is our moon. My brother when he was a baby used to point at the moon and say, wait for it, Kingu. It was the first word he ever said. It was obviously a coincidence. Nevertheless, to both, the Sumerians and my brother, by a sheer luck, Kingu meant the moon. So again, couldn’t, by a sheer luck, both planets produce the same genetically built beings?

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Posted: 01 November 2007 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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George - 01 November 2007 03:08 PM

Even in theory? DNA is, after all, a mere code. I understand the chances of that happening are very minimal, but if both codes (from Earth and from Vulcan) were the same, they would have to be able to mate. No?

In Sumerian mythology the planet Kingu is our moon. My brother when he was a baby used to point at the moon and say, wait for it, Kingu. It was the first word he ever said. It was obviously a coincidence. Nevertheless, to both, the Sumerians and my brother, by a sheer luck, Kingu meant the moon. So again, couldn’t, by a sheer luck, both planets produce the same genetically built beings?

Sure, in theory. Just like—in theory—all the oxygen in the room you’re in could end up in one corner and you’d suffocate. Or—in theory—the Eiffel Tower could dematerialize due to a massive quantum fluctuation. Or—in theory—the moon could be made of green cheese.

But these are vanishingly improbable. Just to start with, you need more than (nearly) identical DNA to produce viable offspring. You also need all the intercellular and intracellular stuff to be the same.

Now, it could be that some sort of pan-spermian theory is true, and DNA was somehow seeded throughout the universe on frozen asteroids. (Of course, it still would have had to start somewhere) ... but even so the chances of viable mating would be even less likely than us mating with a cauliflower, as you noted before.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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OK who’s dissing my beloved Roddenberrys?  mad  Now you all know better than that.

Startrek TNG had an episode that responded to the similarity of beings on different alien worlds - a much earlier race that found the universe vacant of intelligent life seeded millions of worlds with their genetic core.  This led evolution on many of the worlds to move toward their physical makeup, including their brain structure, etc.

I believe that episode was “All Good Things…”  Q took Picard back in time.  Gene was gone by the time that episode was made, so he didn’t have a hand in that one.

Spock was genetically engineered- so to speak.  He was a test tube baby.  Now, Deanna, K’Ehylar, and B’Elanna were not test tube babies.  Betazoids carry their babies for about 10 months.  Since Betazoids are much similar to humans, except for having varying degrees of telepathy, they can mate with humans and very compatibly.  Ral (his last name since I can’t spell his first name) was 1/4 Betazoid and the one of four children who was empathic.  K’Ehylar’s mother was human and B’Elanna’s father was human.  Although Klingon foreplay is very rough, and dare I call it S&M, it is possible for a human to mate with a Klingon.  Although I think making love with a Betazoid would be very mentally stimulating and a whole lot more fun.  LOL

Anything else you want to know about mixed offspring in TNG?  :D

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 01 November 2007 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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How did the order change on our posts?  My last post should have been after Occams?  :(  as Riker once said, “What happened?”

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 01 November 2007 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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OK something is wrong with the board.  :?

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 01 November 2007 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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dougsmith - 01 November 2007 04:53 PM

in theory—all the oxygen in the room you’re in could end up in one corner and you’d suffocate.

LOL  LOL

Now you’re freaking me out. (I forgot to mention I suffer from a superabundant imagination and a severe hypochondria.)

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Posted: 01 November 2007 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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RE: Spock.  I referred to this in a thread about the universe and the Borg.

Startrek TNG had an episode that responded to the similarity of beings on different alien worlds - a much earlier race that found the universe vacant of intelligent life seeded millions of worlds with their genetic core.  This led evolution on many of the worlds to move toward their physical makeup, including their brain structure, etc.

There were a number of bi-species characters in the series.  Deana Troi was half betazed, Worf’s mate was half Klingon.

So, don’t be so quick to denegrate Roddenberry, George and Doug.  Or else, Mriana and I will have to sic the Borg on you.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 02 November 2007 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Mriana - 01 November 2007 06:08 PM

Startrek TNG had an episode that responded to the similarity of beings on different alien worlds - a much earlier race that found the universe vacant of intelligent life seeded millions of worlds with their genetic core.  This led evolution on many of the worlds to move toward their physical makeup, including their brain structure, etc.

I believe that episode was “All Good Things…”

It sounds to me like he’s describing “The Chase”.  Be that as it may, I agree that there would probably have to be some radical genetic engineering done to make a race with iron-based blood compatable with a race with copper-based blood!

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Posted: 02 November 2007 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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advocatus - 02 November 2007 02:36 AM
Mriana - 01 November 2007 06:08 PM

Startrek TNG had an episode that responded to the similarity of beings on different alien worlds - a much earlier race that found the universe vacant of intelligent life seeded millions of worlds with their genetic core.  This led evolution on many of the worlds to move toward their physical makeup, including their brain structure, etc.

I believe that episode was “All Good Things…”

It sounds to me like he’s describing “The Chase”.  Be that as it may, I agree that there would probably have to be some radical genetic engineering done to make a race with iron-based blood compatable with a race with copper-based blood!

Well, advocatus, I did say Spock was a test tube baby.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 02 November 2007 03:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Now, Mriana, you know I love Gene Roddenberry as much as anybody here ...

wink

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Posted: 02 November 2007 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Also, re. Spock, aren’t people who use reason without emotion called psychopaths?

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Posted: 02 November 2007 03:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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George - 02 November 2007 03:36 AM

Also, re. Spock, aren’t people who use reason without emotion called psychopaths?

gulp

I wouldn’t describe the actions of psychopaths as “reasoned” or “reasonable” ...

Their actions are characterized by a lack of empathy or moral compass.

Of course, Spock’s being “emotionless” isn’t really true. It’s more of a convenient fiction. If you actually look at how he behaves on the show, he clearly does have emotions, they’re just held in check.

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Posted: 02 November 2007 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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dougsmith - 02 November 2007 03:17 AM

Now, Mriana, you know I love Gene Roddenberry as much as anybody here ...

wink

Yeah?  I love him more!  LOL  OK not as much as Majel did and does.  She first lady and I’d never dream of stepping on her toes.  Now, Rod…  I don’t care if I stepped on his toes by way of potential father figures.  wink  If only I had gotten the chance to meet Gene.  I’m sure he was a very wonderful in person too.

Yes, Spock is a very passionate man and loves women- ie I, Mudd.  Watch Spock’s reaction to the women in that episode, and then try to say Spocky has no emotions.  LOL

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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