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Snydley
2003-Sep-22, 09:04 PM
Just thought that you might want to clarify some of your statements regarding space travel. You mention that it's every astronomer's dream to travel to a distant star and observe spectacular events, but then mention its impossibility because of the extreme distances involved.

Well, yes and no. Other solar systems, etc, are indeed very far, but that doesn't mean you can't reach them during your lifetime. In fact, it's theoretically possible that you could go anywhere in the universe during your lifetime. That's because relativity also says that the faster you move, the slower time moves relative to things outside of your moving frame of reference.

However, making that journey to a star system that's 100 light years away would be a lonely jouney--even though you can make it during your lifetime, more than 100 years would pass on earth before you made it there.

Taylor and Wheeler do an excellent job of explaining this in "Spacetime Physics: Introduction to Special Relativity"

Of course, just because it's theoretically possible doesn't mean that it will be feasable any time soon since we don't have any technology that can even come close to bringing us to the necessary speeds. I just think that it's important to point out that the limitations are technological and have nothing to do with the fact that physics says it can't be done.

-Snydley.

BTW, here's one for the conspiracy buffs (along the lines of Planet of the Apes): The Roswell crash DID happen and it was an "alien" spaceship with real "aliens". You see, the dinosaurs were around for millions of years--enough time for an intelligent species to evolve and even become more technologically capable than we are now. Some adventurous astronomers of this species actually did fly to a far-off star system, and the Roswell crash was actually just them returning to their home planet. Of course, time dilation caused millions of years to pass on earth, even though it was only a few years as they experienced it. They assumed a hero's welcome, returning to a superior technologically advanced dinosaur-dominated planet. Imagine their horror when they discovered what had really happened... :wink:

Pinemarten
2003-Sep-23, 08:09 AM
Welcome to the board Snydley.

I will not answer for the BA, but I will put in my $.02 worth.

Our technology is limited at this point. I feel we should increase research on different drive systems and interplanetary communication. The latter I find more important.
Suppose we started transmitting our discoveries since elementary radio. It could easily help other species accelerate their knowledge.
If we continue to listen for the same type of information, we may save ourselves many decades, or even centuries of repeated research.
I would rather 'download' a 'cookbook' than try and work out all the recipes from trial and error.
Imagine if our ancestors never recorded all their knowledge and we had to start from scratch each generation?

Joe87
2004-May-30, 12:26 AM
BTW, here's one for the conspiracy buffs (along the lines of Planet of the Apes): The Roswell crash DID happen and it was an "alien" spaceship with real "aliens". You see, the dinosaurs were around for millions of years--enough time for an intelligent species to evolve and even become more technologically capable than we are now. Some adventurous astronomers of this species actually did fly to a far-off star system, and the Roswell crash was actually just them returning to their home planet. Of course, time dilation caused millions of years to pass on earth, even though it was only a few years as they experienced it. They assumed a hero's welcome, returning to a superior technologically advanced dinosaur-dominated planet. Imagine their horror when they discovered what had really happened...

That fits right in with the theory that these intelligent dinosaurs weren't rendered extinct by an asteroid hitting the earth, but rather, they obliterated themselves while testing the irridium bomb, a technological feat we haven't yet achieved. That's why there is an irridium layer at the K-T boundary. They must have been considerably more technologically advanced than we are. :lol:

Brady Yoon
2004-May-30, 01:10 AM
lol that qualifies as an astronomy joke... :lol: Hmm, they did live 140 million years, who knows what they might have discovered? :o

xgwpc
2004-Sep-22, 04:57 AM
Their irridium bomb project would have succeded only their control stations were running "MicroSaur Vents" and they didn't download the patch for the Y100,000,000 bug in time.

Chip
2004-Sep-25, 10:47 PM
...You see, the dinosaurs were around for millions of years--enough time for an intelligent species to evolve and even become more technologically capable than we are now. Some adventurous astronomers of this species actually did fly to a far-off star system, and the Roswell crash was actually just them returning to their home planet...
...That fits right in with the theory that these intelligent dinosaurs weren't rendered extinct by an asteroid hitting the earth, but rather, they obliterated themselves while testing the irridium bomb... :lol:

Makes a cool Sci-Fi story idea, but the only hitch is that even for an advanced reptilian species to accomplish these things million of years ago would require an industrial support base and a civilization not unlike our own industrial complex. Yet today there are not even scant remnants, (i.e. a single ball bearing or an impression of an ancient lock-washer.) Some manufactered stuff would be found today along with the fossils, so your story would have to come up with a clever explanation for lack of evidence. :wink:

xgwpc
2004-Sep-27, 05:50 AM
The reptilians, being a truly advanced group of species, would have decided that leaving the planet as close to natural as possible was best for them. They therefore centralized all manufacturing and production into a single, though somewhat large, area. They lived as their ancestors lived, on the plains and in the marshes. When the irridium bomb went off, it disintegrated the entire area in its prelude to global climatological destruction.

They had also, in their wisdom, stopped using metals for their technology. Instead, they used organic components. Great idea, if a construct broke, they could just eat it and get another one.

It is actually this organic material that formed the basis for the crude oil we now have, not the dinosaurs themselves.

Maksutov
2004-Oct-13, 07:06 AM
Those Earth dynasaurs were definitely advanced. What with all their technology being biodegradable, and their commitment to progress guaranteeing that nothing would ever become fossilized!

When they perfected their star drive, I wonder where they went? Beta Lacertae, perhaps? :)

A Thousand Pardons
2004-Oct-13, 09:27 AM
I would rather 'download' a 'cookbook' than try and work out all the recipes from trial and error.
"How To Serve Man", I bet. :)

Yet today there are not even scant remnants, (i.e. a single ball bearing or an impression of an ancient lock-washer.) Some manufactered stuff would be found today along with the fossils, so your story would have to come up with a clever explanation for lack of evidence. :wink:
Although we have a great deal of fossil evidence, we have only a few examples of some particular species--even though there were probably millions of them that lived. So, it's possible we just haven't unearthed the laboratories of Wernher von Brauntosaurus or Enrico Fermiraptor yet.

xgwpc
2004-Oct-13, 10:00 PM
Wernher Von Brontosaurus never existed. We may, however, find the lab of Robert Goddapatosaurus.

Tensor
2004-Oct-14, 04:17 PM
Wernher Von Brontosaurus never existed. We may, however, find the lab of Robert Goddapatosaurus.

Did he live In-A-Gaddadavilla? #-o (ducks and runs)

A Thousand Pardons
2004-Oct-14, 04:45 PM
Wernher Von Brontosaurus never existed.
Brauntosaurus. No wonder you couldn't find him in the directory

Ithildin
2004-Dec-24, 01:27 AM
Suppose we started transmitting our discoveries since elementary radio. It could easily help other species accelerate their knowledge.


by the time it reached anyone, we would probably will have developed the technology to find and travel to those species ourselves, making the development of trasmitters before the development of propulsion systems unnessisary...

assuming that there is other intelligent life out there and that discoveries resulting from developing better transmission systems arnt what lead to advances in propulsion systems.

or maybe im thinking incorrectly over too little sleep and too much coffee :D

Humots
2005-Jan-02, 08:07 PM
The Science Fiction writer Barry Longyear wrote a short novel, "The Homecoming" about dinosaurs returning to reclaim the Earth. They had left, IIRC, because of solar instability and had wiped out all traces of their civilization to avoid leaving clues of their existence to any hostile aliens.

Upon returning, they found we had evolved in their absence, and were debating whether to wipe us out. They were perfectly willing to sterilize the planet and start over.

!SPOILER ALERT!

After observing us in detail, they decided to simply wait another hundred years and we would wipe ourselves out. No genocide necessary.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Jan-03, 12:27 AM
Sounds like Longyear has been talking to Stuart.

That is his Long Term Prognosis, at any Rate.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-29, 06:13 AM
If there was a Roswell crash and it was an advanced space craft of some kind, could it not be possible that aliens, the real thing, knew about our planet 50,000years ago and took off a sample of humans, from each continent to include in their own society. That is to be given the highest access to their knowledge(after a few generations anyway) and that they would be given the task of watching over Earth, in the UFOs.
That is, if there were anyone on board of the "Roswell craft" then the chances are that they would be human, and perhaps walling around in Newyork. Maybe these "guardians" would only be educated up to earth standard so that they couldn't give anything away, they just knew how to operate the spaceship which would have so many password systems and self destruct mechanisms built into it, that the ships are just mothballed and the human UFO operators just allowed to live on Earth as scientists?

Abraxas365
2005-Jun-30, 02:40 AM
Hi All

In his "Engines of Light" trilogy Ken Macleod has covered almost all the ideas covered in these posts - with a twist. You see the Oort Cloud comets are actually hyper-intelligent microbial communities who have been studying Earth for billennia. There have been three terrestrial intelligent species sampled by the comet-gods - giant squid, bipedal saurians and ourselves.

*spoiler alert*

Read the rest of the books for more, but in his end-notes Ken makes it pretty clear he was just having fun with the whole Roswell/Area 51 mythology in the books. He paints an interesting interstellar civilisation off across the Galaxy based on the stardrive used by the super-squid - basically a teleport drive that converts the ship to photons and reconverts it at destination. Thus the startravel has a zero time duration for the passengers and the ships are so big that they don't need complicated life-support before the air goes bad. Thus star-travelling medieval civilisation amongst the humans who depend on the saurians and squid for any high-tech.

Now the way Poul Anderson did that originally was...

Abraxas

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Jun-30, 11:19 AM
Hi All

In his "Engines of Light" trilogy Ken Macleod has covered almost all the ideas covered in these posts - with a twist. You see the Oort Cloud comets are actually hyper-intelligent microbial communities who have been studying Earth for billennia. There have been three terrestrial intelligent species sampled by the comet-gods - giant squid, bipedal saurians and ourselves.

*spoiler alert*

Read the rest of the books for more, but in his end-notes Ken makes it pretty clear he was just having fun with the whole Roswell/Area 51 mythology in the books. He paints an interesting interstellar civilisation off across the Galaxy based on the stardrive used by the super-squid - basically a teleport drive that converts the ship to photons and reconverts it at destination. Thus the startravel has a zero time duration for the passengers and the ships are so big that they don't need complicated life-support before the air goes bad. Thus star-travelling medieval civilisation amongst the humans who depend on the saurians and squid for any high-tech.

Now the way Poul Anderson did that originally was...

Abraxas

Kinda Reminds me of Harry Turtledove's Short Story, "The Road Not Taken."

In it The Earth, is Invaded by Aliens, Whose Highest Technological Achievment, Is, Wait for It, The FLINTLOCK!

It Turns Out, that The Twin Technologies, of Contra-Gravity and Hyperdrive, Are Very Easy to Make, While at The Same Time, Having No Further Applications, as Does Electro-Magnetism.

Thus, A Group of Primative Space Invaders, Who Can, Just Barely, Smelt Iron!

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Jun-30, 07:17 PM
I've always loved that story, if only for the fact that the cliché of alien invasions is turned around so well. We're invaded and we mop the floor with the aliens!