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Old September 25 2013, 08:34 AM   #68
Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
My problem is that you seem to be of the opinion that everything that Humanity has made will be destroyed. All traces of human civilisation - every single thing we've ever accomplished - will be lost to the depths of time.
Everything? No. The vast majority? Yes. Furthermore, what survives will probably be the least advanced and the most common, not the most advanced and most rare.
In that we are agreed.

I'm asking you how you can say this when we know for a fact that something as delicate as an eggshell, or footprints in wet mud can last for millions of years.
Pure, unadulterated, completely blind, luck. Nothing else but that is responsible for preservation of eggshells and footprints. Whatever we leave behind will be a matter of luck, too.
Again, we are agreed. However, I must point out that this same luck which allows an eggshell to survive for 70 million years could also let a metal watch band survive for 70 million years.

Yes, I am fully aware that the vast majority of eggshells, footprints not to mention bones, teeth, etc from back then have been lost. But the fact that these delicate things survive for millions of years is proof that things that would appear to have no chance can actually survive through deep time. So if the idea presented in the episode is true, that dinosaurs had a culture, then we would see some of that today.
Where would we see it, and how would we recognize it? Besides, how can you safely assume that an alien culture (and a dinosauroid culture would be just as alien as anything from another planet) would have the exact same technologies we have?
It wouldn't be exactly the same. But we would expect to have some things in common, such as the wheel.

What if intelligent saurians mainly used wood and clay to construct their cities, rather than steel and glass?
Possible, but such a civilisation would not be the one suggested in Distant Origin. Any culture that is able to develop spaceflight to the degree that they can travel across the galaxy is unlikely to be one using primarily wood and clay. The need to develop sophisticated and precision objects would require them to move beyond wood and clay tools.

What if the dinosauroids had advanced computer technology like silicon chips, but preferred (culturally) to live in hobbit-holes?
Technology does not exist in a vacuum. Technology developed for one thing will find its way into other areas of life.

What can we safely assume about an alien culture? Nothing, I say. Nothing is necessarily the same between radically different cultures - not the same technology, or the same pace of development or the distribution of technology.
Then how can you know they even had a culture? I know, I'm being difficult, but the point is that just the act of you assuming they have a culture is you assuming something about their culture - an act you said was impossible.

And after 65 million years, what would their remains look like? Almost nothing would remain, and anything that did would be unlikely to be stumbled over, and anything that did survive and was found might not be recognized as an artifact from an advanced alien culture.
One would think that we would at least have something like, "Our analysis of this bone shows it was broken in five places and then healed. The animal could not have survived by itself while it healed, therefore it had other individuals helping it." And that's even if we can't get the, "This break was healed by some kind of advanced technology."

I'm not saying there was some kind of alien dinosaurian culture that lived and died over 65 million years ago. I'm saying that if something like that had happened, it would be incredibly unlikely to be recognized and/or found. The odds are against it.
And this is where I disagree with you. Culture is something that pervades all areas of life, and it is almost impossible for evidence of a culture to vanish like that. For example, in 50 million years, when future scientists find evidence of Humans, how likely is it that they'll also find evidence of dental work? Or people who have metal plates attached to their bones? Even if the metal has gone, the bones will still show some evidence. yes, I know that only a small percentage of the population will fossilise, but we have several factors working in our favour. First, the sheer number of us. Secondly, the fact we tend to bury our dead rather than leave them on exposed riverbanks like dinosaurs. Thirsdly, the fact that lots of people have evidence on their skeletons which could conceivably last for millions of years.

In any case, we see things that could NOT be if the episode's idea was true - namely dinosaur nests. I doubt that a species that is advanced enough to develop spaceflight is going to think that the best place to raise children is from piles of dirt in an open field. And yet we've found plenty of dinosaur nests.
OK, now you're just being obtuse. I don't think the implication was that all dinosaurs were members of an intelligent, tool-using, highly-advanced culture that happened to lay eggs in the dirt. That's not even implied in the episode. What Chakotay was (wildly) speculating on was the greatest of a society that lived and managed to survive among some rather terrifying creatures, some of whom deposited eggs in dirt mounds. Not that the intelligent ones did that. Of course, they could have done that...they would be alien after all, and aliens do weird things....
No, I'm not being obtuse. The episode stated that the Voth were descended from hadrosaurs (not a suggestion, it states it outright), and we have found hadrosaur nests. How is this being obtuse?
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