Dale Sams wrote:
Yet, are we supposed to believe that Riker and LaForge were predestined to be one of the top five most famous astronauts in history?
I agree, it does seem a bit weird. But we have very little to suggest otherwise. Picard and crew returned to the same timeline they left; therefore, it's safe to assume that there was indeed predestination going on here.
Otherwise, the butterfly effect would result in a completely different future - even if La Forge and Riker performed exactly the same actions, spoke the same words, etc. that any "original" astronauts might have done, that's still a change. Even the smallest, most insignificant change will ripple through the centuries and cause massive alterations in time. Ever read "A Sound of Thunder"?