JBElliott said:It's true that methods aren't completely discarded. But how many methods and materials used to build castles in the middle ages are used to build modern sky scrapers? Not many.
Not true. The same basic principles apply. You see structures in even the most modern skyscraper that are, in every meaningful mechanical way, "keystones"... which have been used in arch construction for THOUSANDS of years.
Skyscrapers are built as compression structures. The basic principles of how much incompressible "footing" is required for how much mass carried has remained totally unchanged since the middle ages, and is still done in very much the same way... ie, it's based upon an experience base, at least as much if not moreso than upon any hard-scientific analysis.
Towers were built in the middle ages. Construction today isn't nearly as far advanced from that as you may think. We've just refined the processes (considerably, mind you!)
The same would be true for building space craft. Espcially if one extrapolates from other things about space craft in today's world and the space craft of TOS era. For instance the means of propulsion is completely different.
It's true that there's an FTL "field drive" system on the ship... aka "warp drive." But sublight drive is defined using a standard scientific term... "impulse"... that applies to conventional rockets every bit as much as any esoteric ion system or so forth. It accelerates a bit of mass out of a nozzle at a high velocity, and the "equal and opposite reaction" gives the ship an acceleration in the opposite direction. Fundamental science... and not something that they've tossed out in Star Trek.
They've got a few new toys... things we can only dream about... but it's still in the same general universe we live in, and we can imagine our own world becoming like theirs (if we're LUCKY).
Why then would one expect the means of construction not also to be completely different?
This is an argument that, you may notice, all the guys who have backgrounds in science and technology are rejecting... but those who are mainly in it for the "entertainment" but don't really get into the science seem to like.
Is there anyone who has a real grounding in materials science, construction technologies, physics, chemistry, etc, who thinks that we're likely to stop using the stuff we KNOW to be reality and come up with something "totally new?"
The more you understand what we DO know (and thus, how little we really know about even the stuff we currently use), the more you understand that we have a loooonnnnng way to go just to get a grip on what we're supposely "expert" with today.
The changes that are likely to occur are vast... but they will be REFINEMENT of our ability to manipulate and control the universe we already live in. They won't... at least not for a VERY long time... involve inventing our own altered reality.