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lpetrich
2002-Mar-12, 10:25 AM
There are lots of things I've found illogical in the Star Trek series; I've followed all of it except "Enterprise". In my later years of following it, however, having to make an appointment with The Tube became a big hassle, so the only CRT's I now watch are computer-controlled ones.

That aside, some of the less-logical parts are halfway-reasonable concessions to Earthbound audiences. These include noisy explosions, stars racing past while traveling through interstellar space, and spaceships never being seen upside-down. One can certainly snicker at a noisy explosion in outer space, but a silent one might have a lot of viewers wondering what happened to the sound.

Some of it was just plain melodramatic, such as consoles spewing sparks and ships being shaken around; however, a crew seemingly unaffected while worriedly contemplating a shield-strength strip-chart display may seem rather dull.

There were some illogical features, like there seemingly being only one Transporter in all of the TOS Enterprise -- one would naturally expect more than one, especially in a spaceship whose habitable parts can split in two.

There was a lot of absurd verbiage that's been aptly named "Treknobabble"; one might expect much shorter and more generic words in many cases.

And the biology -- the idea of a human-alien cross is just absurd. Different biological histories would make a true crossing impossible. Horses and donkeys had diverged about 3 million years ago, and are still very much alike, but crosses between them are sterile. And those are very *close* species.

I can understand using human actors, but making the aliens behave too humanlike is IMO illogical. Though some episodes did make some stabs at showing exotic-behaving ones.

Martian Jim
2002-Mar-12, 10:52 AM
if anyone watched voyager, one thing, why is it that all the alien races happen to speak good english?

lpetrich
2002-Mar-12, 11:02 AM
There's an old cinematic convention that everybody in a movie speaks the language of those who made it; the original languages are assumed to be translated for the benefit of the audience.

In the series, that is justified with the Universal Translator device; however, such a device would not be able to work unless it knows something about the language that it is supposed to translate, which is why such instant comprehension is implausible.

lpetrich
2002-Mar-12, 11:17 AM
Another illogical feature: ST:TOS had rather silly and implausible women's uniforms -- those minidresses. Fortunately, women typically wear pants in the later ST productions, starting with ST:TMP ("The Motion Picture", "The Slow-Motion Picture", "The Motionless Picture", "Where Nomad Has Gone Before", "Spockalypse Now").

But women wore pants in the first two pilots, "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" -- all the way back in 1964 and 1965!

Many present-day women undoubtedly take wearing pants for granted; even female sex symbols often wear pants. I wonder if anyone has tried to chronicle this changeover to wearing pants, to find out which women were typically the first to wear pants and so forth; it might be interesting to find out what has triggered this change.

This question is a strange personal obsession of mine; I'm not objecting, I just want to know why large numbers of women have been willing to do what some traditionalists would call cross-dressing.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Mar-12, 11:56 AM
On 2002-03-12 06:17, lpetrich wrote:
This question is a strange personal obsession of mine; I'm not objecting, I just want to know why large numbers of women have been willing to do what some traditionalists would call cross-dressing.
Maybe try alt.fashion.crossdressing (http://news:alt.fashion.crossdressing), alt.fan.stretchpants (http://news:alt.fan.stretchpants), or alt.guess-what's-in-my-pants (http://news:alt.guess-what's-in-my-pants).

Chuck
2002-Mar-12, 01:50 PM
Star Trek must be desperate for good writers. There's lots of stupidity in the plots.

In the original series, a former girl friend of Kirk's who washed out of the academy uses an alien device to switch minds with him so she can command The Enterprise. How long could she expect that to work? When they're questioning her to determine her true identity they ask questions about Kirk's former missions which are a matter of public record. If anyone had thought to ask "What did you have for breakfast this morning?" or "With whom did you play chess last night?" it would have easily settled the matter. The characters have to be stupid to fill an hour show.

In The Next Generation, Wesley Crushers tramples some plants when trying to catch a ball while visiting some nontechnological planet. The inhabitants want to inject him with a lethal poison for it. Picard asks them who's responsible for informing newcomers of this law, as if these people should have been expecting people from outer space to visit them. And the law itself is stupid. These were peaceful and enlightened people. Why don't their laws differentiate between vandalism and accident? Can't the writers come up with a more believable situation?

In another episode of The Next Generation, The Enterprise is stuck in a time loop that keeps repeating itself after they collide with another Starship. They start having feelings of déjà vu from previous loops and their equipment picks up fragments of conversations from them. The determine that there's a collision coming up and someone suggests changing course to avoid it. Picard suggests that changing course might be what causes the collision and they shouldn't second guess themselves. How stupid is that? During the first pass through the loop there would have been no knowledge of the collision so they wouldn't have changed course, so changing course could not have been the cause of the collision. Again, the crew has to be stupid to stay within the script.

Oops, too much raving. I'll be late for work.

informant
2002-Mar-12, 05:14 PM
How do you know? Have *you* ever been in a time loop? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Bob S.
2002-Mar-12, 06:46 PM
I have a regular job. Of course I'm stuck in a time loop. Monday is the same as Tuesday is the same as Wednesday is the same as Thursday. Thank goodness Friday I'm allowed to break out of the loop. But wait! This Friday seemed an awful lot like last Friday!

"3"... must remember the number "3"...

Donnie B.
2002-Mar-12, 08:30 PM
Of course, there are compromises in ST:Whatever. Some of them are for the sake of drama, some for the sake of cost savings (aliens and alien worlds are expensive, and were even more so in 1965), some are to meet the expectations of contemporary audiences (whooshing spaceships).

I'm convinced that if we ever do build starships, their viewscreens will have to synthesize whooshes when objects pass by, and maybe even a moving starfield; otherwise it will "seem funny" to their crews!

In ST:TOS, there were (supposedly) multiple transporter rooms. Apparently they all looked exactly alike... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

And it's hardly surprising that some of the episodes were/are better written than others. ST:TOS produced 26 episodes a year! That's a killer production schedule. It's amazing to me that they maintained as much continuity as they did.

The exploding control panels are an example of a concession to drama / action. But there's a limit to my tolerance, too. Remember this scene?

Spock: "This one is the key. Take it out and they'll all go."

Kirk: "Stand back." (Aims his phaser at the computer and fires.)

Computer explodes in flames, followed one by one by the rest of the consoles.

Or how about this one?

"The data's coming in too fast! The computer can't handle it!"

It is to laugh... but then, the writers were not all Nobel physicists or engineers. Which may very well be a good thing... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

SeanF
2002-Mar-12, 09:10 PM
On 2002-03-12 15:30, Donnie B. wrote:

And it's hardly surprising that some of the episodes were/are better written than others. ST:TOS produced 26 episodes a year! That's a killer production schedule. It's amazing to me that they maintained as much continuity as they did.



Actually, that's been maintained - all three of the completed "modern" Treks (TNG, DS9, and Voy) produced 26 episodes during six of the seven seasons they were on the air (the oddball season for each series varied from 16 to 22).

Plus, there was some overlap. The Star Trek producers cranked out 526 episodes during 14 TV seasons (fall '87 to spring '01), averaging out to over 37.5 episodes per season . . . Wow!

Chip
2002-Mar-13, 07:27 AM
Hi lpetrich,

Now see what you've done? (Fun thread.)

I offer just some quick impressions of good ol' "Star Trek". I criticize the show(s) too, but also have some positive feelings about it, especially the original series, 1st season, and the later episodes of "Next Generation". (Really had no interest in "Deep Space 9" or "Voyager", and "Enterprise" leaves me cold.) I'm touching on what you and some others have said regarding "Star Trek". (In no particular order.)

Explosions in space? Yes - it's not correct. But in just a few episodes, they did it right. In the 1st season of "Star Trek" (1966?) they used music to create the "rush" of the Enterprise as it slipped past you. In one episode of "Next Generation", there was a horrific moment where they witnessed another Star Ship destruct, with the outer shell blowing away exposing the crew to deadly space. It was all viewed on their main screen with dramatic music and (as I recall) no explosion sounds. Otherwise, of course you hear a boom - crash in such scenes. If a shockwave hits the ship, you hear creaking and crashing inside the ship.

I recall a charming moment in the pilot episode, "The Cage" We see the Captain walking through a busy corridor on the ship. People in various jumpsuits and uniforms are busy going about their duties. In the midst of this, a young woman in a very short skirt is passing him. Then we notice it's a tennis outfit, (i.e. she's off duty,) and she's carrying a tennis racket. Of course! If they've mastered artificial gravity, why not a gym and a tennis court? A large crew would have off duty personnel at any given moment except in an emergency. All this is conveyed in one simple shot. Very smart.

The aliens, though humanoid in the "Star Trek" pilot, were simply very cool looking as Gene Rodenberry was using the makeup people from the original Outer Limits show, (which always had cool aliens.) Later "Star Trek" programs ended up with aliens who looked like humans with bits of clay on their noses. Kind of silly. "Babylon 5" and "Farscape" have much more interesting looking aliens - though also often very humanlike. (The "Shadows" on "Babylon 5" are really "alien" with their multiple eyes and limbs - though a biologist might classify them as exoskeleton insect-like creatures, and that's in keeping with real Earth biology today!

There was a "Star Trek" where Picard and company met tiny crystalline energy beings that could finally communicate with humans awkwardly through the computer's "universal translator", and referred to us, mechanically translated into English as "ugly bags of water."

The most memorable alien language on film - ever - is in the incredibly eerie black & white episode from the original "Outer Limits" titled "The Zanti Misfits." A computer translates the Zanti language into English after a delay. But when you hear "Zanti" it isn't just some goofy backward tape. It sounds like a real language with repeated vowels and cadences and its very spooky.

On "Farscape", they solve the language problem with aliens very nicely. Everyone does not learn each other’s language. Instead, you get injected with a computer chip directly into the brain that translates most languages into your own.

As per "Treknobabble" on "Star Trek" there's one phrase I've always liked. A technical description without explanation of a component from the transporter - the "Hisenberg compensators." It implies that the technology somehow "compensates" for the uncertainty principle inherent in transporting someone. Namely - what happens to "personality" in the process? It could be called the "don't sweat the details" meter. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Chip

Simon
2002-Mar-13, 08:48 AM
On 2002-03-13 02:27, Chip wrote:
...It could be called the "don't sweat the details" meter. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Chip


Yeah, well, that's a pretty important device in almost ANY kind of sci-fi. I've tried to write a couple short stories, and it's not easy. Not do you have to know a lot of stuff about physics and technology to make it good, but that kind of stuff is hard to write about well. Sometimes "make it look believable" is a lot more important than "make it possible."

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Simon on 2002-03-13 03:49 ]</font>

Wally
2002-Mar-13, 11:17 AM
Then there was that one episode of Voyager where the Captain and her 1st officer (I think) begin to evolve at an incredible rate. Aside from the fact that evolution is the product of outside influences (i.e. survival of the fittest), by the end of the show they've "evolved" into these platypus type creatures w/ no ability to even defend themselves. Come on! What the heck was THAT all about!

ChallegedChimp
2002-Mar-13, 12:00 PM
Good topic Lpetrich,

Follow Enterprise, it is a good enough show that helps explain a few things about how humans first went into Trek space. The ship doesn't even have shields, but logically explained the Universal Translator. They have a superb human linguist, coupled with a bad mammajamma computer, plus many hours of hearing said new languages and eventually they can program the Translator to finding equivalent words. Though it does screw up a lot in the Enterprise episodes, it gives you an idea of how the Trek tech developed. The one transporter always threw me also, but I figured maybe the sucker ate up so much power (think about the power required to map an entire being) that having two platforms would drain the ole batteries.
Later versions of Trek, often showed scenes of spcae combat where ships were turned every which way, so that might account for the upside down. (and like the whoosh of speed, just keep viewers oriented...even Nasa shows the shuttle rightside up when it is upside down most of its voyage)
As for the crossbreeds, it is one of two things: never underestimate the power of human sperm (machoism effect ON /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif ) for the cross human hybrids, or how far has genetic engineering advaced at that time.

Good thread, something easy like Trek me monkey mind can keep up with.

Donnie B.
2002-Mar-13, 01:55 PM
On 2002-03-12 16:10, SeanF wrote:
[quote]
Actually, that's been maintained - all three of the completed "modern" Treks (TNG, DS9, and Voy) produced 26 episodes during six of the seven seasons they were on the air (the oddball season for each series varied from 16 to 22).


I didn't realize that! But even so, there's a difference: in 1965 they tried to produce those 26 episodes in 26 weeks. In the various syndicated series, they spread it out over much of the year, releasing three or four new episodes, then hitting us with early reruns. That's a much less stressful production schedule.

Daryl
2002-May-21, 02:42 AM
I watch Star Trek, and can usually suspend reality enough to enjoy it. But the one that had me howling at the ceiling was in the Next Generation show where all the crew members starting "de-evolving". Since Klingons had evolved from a reptilian ancestor, for example, Warf starting turning back into a reptile, etc.

This was so ludicrous! That all the intelligent life in the universe is "humanoid", but evolved from completely different ancestors is not even to the level of comic book material. And as mentioned above, these completely different life forms that just happen to all look the same can cross breed.

(OK, I know, I know, the show and all the settings and characters are really just images of current society slightly modified to force us to see ourselves objectively. But still...!)

Chuck
2002-May-21, 03:43 AM
I remember that episode. Reg Barclay devolves into some kind of spider. But he's human. How far back did we have spiders in our ancestry?

Matherly
2002-May-22, 04:37 PM
On 2002-05-20 22:42, Daryl wrote:
This was so ludicrous! That all the intelligent life in the universe is "humanoid", but evolved from completely different ancestors is not even to the level of comic book material.

One side note... I think there was an episode of the Next Generation that suggested that the sentient humanoid races had a common genetic link, and this common link had been seeded on to various worlds by a progenitor species (The ST universe has enough ancient races for this to track).

Now, that being said, the gawdawful "evolution" episodes are... well gawdawful. 'Nuff said.

lpetrich
2002-May-23, 09:11 PM
On 2002-05-20 23:43, Chuck wrote:
I remember that episode. Reg Barclay devolves into some kind of spider. But he's human. How far back did we have spiders in our ancestry?


The short answer: NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The family tree of life has largely been mapped; here are two nice sites:

UCBerkeley Museum of Paleontology (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu) (very accessible for non-biologists)

The Tree of Life (http://www.tolweb.org) (more technical)

And here is something on Early Animal Evolution (http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/Ecology/early_animal_evolution.htm) (somewhat technical; interesting discussion)

Basically, the most recent common human/spider ancestor had looked very little like either, most likely being some small ocean-floor worm in the late-Precambrian seas of 700-600 million years ago.

One can infer from shared development-control genes what this little worm had had:

Front-to-rear patterning with Hox genes
Belly-to-back patterning
A heart
A gut running the length of the body
A central nervous system
Eyespots
Some sort of limbs

Though not very well-developed ones -- and the specific limbs do not match. They have some similar genes in overall command of their growth, but they grow in different places.

And the details of the central nervous system are different; in arthropods, it is a ladder with a ganglion at each joint, while in vertebrates, it is a tube. So to go from human to spider means rebuilding the CNS from the bottom up.

The belly-to-back patterning is interpreted in reverse in arthropods and vertebrates:

V: belly heart gut CNS back

A: belly CNS gut heart back

This curiosity was first pointed out by a certain Geoffroy St. Hilaire in the early 19th. cy, and was often disregarded as an odd coincidence until recently, when some development-control genes were discovered to fit the pattern. Either some early descendant worm flipped over or different descendants made different choices of which side to rest on.

Which ought to be especially damning -- human and spider internal anatomy are upside down relative to each other!


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: lpetrich on 2002-05-23 17:13 ]</font>

lpetrich
2002-May-23, 09:22 PM
A widespread misconception about evolution is that it involves some ladder of species, an update of the old idea of the "Great Chain of Being".

However, evolution works like a tree and not a ladder, with different branches acquiring different features. Check the UCMP site and the TOL site I'd mentioned for more.

Geo3gh
2002-May-23, 09:37 PM
Not that it makes it any better, but the episode didn't have them so much "devolving" to a ancestor species, as it had them expressing bits of junk DNA. The phenomenon found a bit of DNA that is shared between humans and spiders, and therefore the special-effects makeup dept. got to make Reg look spider-like.

Which doesn't at all help my cringe factor whenever I see ST writers tackle evolution as a SF topic.

lpetrich
2002-May-24, 02:51 AM
On 2002-05-23 17:37, Geo3gh wrote:
Not that it makes it any better, but the episode didn't have them so much "devolving" to a ancestor species, as it had them expressing bits of junk DNA. The phenomenon found a bit of DNA that is shared between humans and spiders, and therefore the special-effects makeup dept. got to make Reg look spider-like.


"Junk DNA" is all the DNA that appears to lack any function, though it might have some function that allows it to be junky, such as being a sink for mutagens (my pet speculation).

DNA is the master-copy molecule, and its best-known function is coding for proteins, or more precisely amino-acid strands (many proteins have more than one of these, and/or some added molecules).

The rest of it has a whole variety of stuff in it. Some of it is RNA genes, as it were, that codes for RNA's that are used directly, such as transfer and ribosomal RNA's (protein-coding genes also go through RNA, in the form of messenger RNA). Some of it is involved in gene regulation -- controlling when to "express" a gene.

But much noncoding DNA can only be described as trash. There are several different kinds of this genetic trash. One is genes whose start sequences have become corrupted, becoming unexpressed "pseudogenes". Another is retroviruses that have copied themselves in. Still another is "parasitic DNA" sequences, which include short sequences that are repeated some enormous number of times -- for example, the human genome contains a 300-base-pair fragment called "Alu" that is repeated ~ 500,000 times.

I think that the premise of that ST:TNG episode is that some old pseudogenes had gotten expressed, but there are problems there also. Because they are not expressed, they are not subject to natural selection for "correct" functioning, and thus get corrupted by mutations. I suspect that any pseudogenes left over from the human/spider ancestor divergence would have become hopelessly corrupted by now.



Which doesn't at all help my cringe factor whenever I see ST writers tackle evolution as a SF topic.


I understand completely.

Chip
2002-May-25, 05:39 PM
What if they had written that episode so that every human on the ship "de-evolved" into CroMagnons alla Will Riker - (or was he supposed to be Neanderthal?) It might suspend the disbelief a bit better, but there are still problems.

And then there's another myth to contend with. In the episode, Riker was also getting more and more like a brute, as well as dumb and dumber, but who says CroMagnons and Neaderthals were any more simple minded than we are? If they were too dumb, we wouldn't be here. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

And then there was an episode where different parts of a shuttle craft were moving at different speeds of time, and the ship was in a very "slow" time relative to the crew members who had been away. It was interesting, but how is it explained?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2002-05-25 13:53 ]</font>

Chuck
2002-May-25, 07:05 PM
"Time Frame" plots are hard to explain. If someone walked past me at many times the speed of sound I think I'd notice something.

Chip
2002-May-26, 06:27 AM
Yes, I agree. (Talk about being "blown away.) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

In an episode from the original Star Trek, a naughty alien girl and Kirk were in accelerated time (whatever that means) and to illustrate how Kirk cannot harm her people, she asked him to deliberately aim and fire his phaser at her. He obliges and the beam moves very slowly as she simply steps out of the way. This flaw has been discussed on this board and elsewhere before, and some have stated that the main error is that the speed of light is constant, so even if time were somehow "slowed down" for the phaser, it would still fire at the speed of light.

But - there's more! That assumption is wrong. Overlooking the multiple time speed problems for the moment - these fictional phasers are high energy plasma weapons. They shoot a beam of coherent atomic matter out the lens. The beam moves very fast (but still much slower than the speed of light.) You can "see" the beam coming because it glows and gives off light, which in a vacuum naturally moves at "c" - light speed. (The light from the beam moves at light speed, but not the beam itself.)

So in the Star Trek universe, phasers are correctly shown as beams that you can "see" coming and going.

The real error is that if Kirk fired his weapon on the ship in so called "accelerated time", the "slower time framed" crew would still see a beam suddenly appear. But they didn't in the episode. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Silas
2002-May-26, 08:24 PM
On 2002-05-26 02:27, Chip wrote:
The real error is that if Kirk fired his weapon on the ship in so called "accelerated time", the "slower time framed" crew would still see a beam suddenly appear. But they didn't in the episode. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


Ah, but they just didn't have time to react.

I hate that episode, because it implies at least three different constants of acceleration -- and ignores such things as how thick the air must be to such super speedsters! Heck, even H.G. Wells knew about air friction!

Speed implication 1: the phaser. As you noted, phasers don't strike at the speed of light. On the other hand, they *do* move from orbit to planetside in about a second. Let's be really generous and say 1/100 c. For Kirk to perceive it as moving about 1 m/s means that the acceleration ratio is in the neighborhood of 3 million.

Speed implication 2: In several scenes, Kirk and the aliens move through areas where people are walking. It is difficult to measure "dramatic time," but we actually do see some change from scene to scene. The acceleration ratio appears to be about one thousand.

Speed implication 3: For human speech to sound like a mosquito's buzz, the acceleration ratio would be about 100.

Speed implication 4: In the finale of the drama, the non-accelerated Spock is able to perform calculations and devise instrumentation, all while Kirk and the aliens are having a glorious drunk on. The acceleration ratio cannot be higher than 20, or these scenes simply would not work; Spock wouldn't have the time.

Silas (trivially obsessed...)

lpetrich
2002-May-27, 07:47 AM
That was "Wink of an Eye", in the third season of ST:TOS

nebularain
2002-Jun-01, 12:04 AM
On 2002-03-12 06:17, lpetrich wrote:
Another illogical feature: ST:TOS had rather silly and implausible women's uniforms -- those minidresses....


Why did the Star Trek women in the original series wear the minis? Because the actresses playing Uhura and Janice Rand asked Gene Roddenburry if they could do so, and he said they could. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif (I heard this in interviews - keep in mind the series was produced in a time when women wanted to show off their legs like that.)

On another note, as to why all the aliens are so human-like: (1)human actors can only be made to look unhuman in so many ways, (2) the only other way to create aliens is through puppets and computer-generation, which are more complicated to produce and film; using humans in costumes and make-up is much easier to work with. Logical?

_________________
o/ Deanna

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nebularain on 2002-05-31 20:06 ]</font>

Silas
2002-Jun-01, 07:33 PM
On 2002-05-31 20:04, nebularain wrote:On another note, as to why all the aliens are so human-like: (1)human actors can only be made to look unhuman in so many ways, (2) the only other way to create aliens is through puppets and computer-generation, which are more complicated to produce and film; using humans in costumes and make-up is much easier to work with. Logical?


One of my favorite episodes of old original Trek (although also one of the stupidest) is "Catspaw," with the magic-using aliens in the "haunted palace" setting (and the giant kitty-cat: one TERRIFYING bit of imagery!)

At the end, the magic (high tech?) crystal is broken, and the two aliens are seen in their actual forms. (With baby alligator "chirps" for sfx.) Lovely. Eerie. Truly alien. One of the single most thoughtful moments on that old show.

(But, otherwise, wow, what a dumb episode...)

Silas

Chip
2002-Jun-01, 08:12 PM
On 2002-06-01 15:33, Silas wrote:
"At the end...two aliens are seen in their actual forms. (With baby alligator "chirps" for sfx.) Lovely. Eerie. Truly alien. One of the single most thoughtful moments on that old show."


That was cool. My sister's husband worked on that show. (He helped make "Tribbles" for another episode, and still has a few of those furry things!) The two aliens you wrote about were suspended from strings and allowed to "collapse" as they died, (without life support from the crystal?) They were made from various things, including pipe cleaners and tea bags.

Another spooky alien moment is found in a old episode of Star Trek's forerunner, The Outer Limits. (Gene Roddenberry hired a lot of his makeup people from that show. He would go see the daily pre-edit "rushes" from it while he was working on one of his earlier shows, The Lieutenant or Stoney Burke - I forget which.)

In The Zanti Misfits, the ant-like alien Zanti are first heard before being seen. A translating computer on delay, transforms their spoken language into simple English. The Zanti voice is eerie and the original Zanti "language" with repeated syllables, and distorted English translation that follows, is weird weird weird! Very memorable. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2002-06-01 16:18 ]</font>

Chuck
2002-Jun-01, 10:27 PM
(But, otherwise, wow, what a dumb episode...)

True, don't aliens believe in backup systems?

If I were depending on some device to keep me alive I wouldn't carry it around on the end of a stick.

Silas
2002-Jun-03, 03:05 PM
If I were depending on some device to keep me alive I wouldn't carry it around on the end of a stick.


Agreed: if we were really the product of "intelligent design" our brains would be in an armored pod in our chests, not out on the end of our spines for all the world to clobber!

("Objection; argumentative.")

Silas

SeanF
2002-Jun-03, 03:10 PM
On 2002-06-03 11:05, Silas wrote:

If I were depending on some device to keep me alive I wouldn't carry it around on the end of a stick.


Agreed: if we were really the product of "intelligent design" our brains would be in an armored pod in our chests, not out on the end of our spines for all the world to clobber!

("Objection; argumentative.")

Silas



Ah, but you're assuming the "intelligent designer" wanted to make life easy for us . . . /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

nebularain
2002-Jun-03, 10:49 PM
Agreed: if we were really the product of "intelligent design" our brains would be in an armored pod in our chests, not out on the end of our spines for all the world to clobber!

("Objection; argumentative.")



Not so! Aside from the spinal cord, there are 12 pairs of nerves that originate from the brain. All of them serve muscles, organs and what-not of the face and neck, and only one pair extends down to the thoracic and abdominal organs. If the brain were located in the chest, the nerves serving the eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, glands, facial muscles, etc., etc., would all have to extend through the neck to reach their targets! Then you have to deal with the question of where to put the heart and lungs now that the brain is there. Nope - the command center belongs in the skull.

(My apologies BA for bringing an anatomy lesson into an astronomy discussion board, but he started it!)

Silas
2002-Jun-04, 03:41 PM
On 2002-06-03 18:49, nebularain wrote:

Nope - the command center belongs in the skull.


Well, it seems to meet the requirements of some very competitive "fitness tryouts," so you're probably right... Much like putting the pilot of an airplane in the front, where he's in the greatest danger in a collision...but also in the best position to see the danger and avert the collision...

(Trying desperately to make this relevant to astronomy... And failing...)

Silas

Wiley
2002-Jun-04, 03:52 PM
On 2002-06-04 11:41, Silas wrote:

Well, it seems to meet the requirements of some very competitive "fitness tryouts," so you're probably right... Much like putting the pilot of an airplane in the front, where he's in the greatest danger in a collision...but also in the best position to see the danger and avert the collision...

(Trying desperately to make this relevant to astronomy... And failing...)

Silas


Of course it's relevant. Understanding how these "fitness tryouts" work may allow us make reasonable hypothesis about what life on other planets is like. If can't understand evolution/biology on Earth, what hope do have understanding extraterrestrial life?

(Trying to save Silas's butt from BA's thread locking fire... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif)

-Wiley