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Old July 4 2010, 02:06 AM   #91
StarryEyed
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Sal'ira wrote: View Post
I laughed ever time someone snidely or sarcastically told me "an Andorian/Vulcan hybrid can't happen" because if humans can make babies with Vulcans and Klingons, Andorian/Vulcan can happen. I mean, come on people, it's Star Trek.
That's right; it's Star Trek - not Masters of the Universe.

Science fiction is supposed to be believable. Some people will point out we already have warp drive or the transporter (though neither are as flat-out impossible as a non-engineered Vulcan-Andorian hybrid) but that is like saying, "You shouldn't have a problem with your dog shitting on your bed because he already pissed on the rug."
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Old July 4 2010, 02:16 AM   #92
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Hard science fiction I agree with you. However, I don't think Star Trek has ever pretended to be that even with the semi-scientific trappings it has at times.

Personally, though, I look at science fiction, along with a number of other genres, as merely a subgenre of speculative fiction. It comes in many different flavors according to taste, but I don't see any opposition amongst them. At least, I don't see the reason for any such opposition though some act as though it's there.
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Old July 4 2010, 03:16 AM   #93
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Hard science fiction I agree with you. However, I don't think Star Trek has ever pretended to be that even with the semi-scientific trappings it has at times.

Personally, though, I look at science fiction, along with a number of other genres, as merely a subgenre of speculative fiction. It comes in many different flavors according to taste, but I don't see any opposition amongst them. At least, I don't see the reason for any such opposition though some act as though it's there.
Star Trek is not 2001: A Space Odyssey but I think it works much better when it doesn't throw believability completely out the window. Every viewer is going to have a different tolerance level but the more the audience accepts, the further the writers will feel they can push it. Before you know it, you end up with magic spell books like in the latter half of the final season of DS9 and Janeway and Paris having baby lizards on Voyager.
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Old July 4 2010, 03:22 AM   #94
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Why are Human hybrids more acceptable than Andorians ones?
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Old July 4 2010, 03:48 AM   #95
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

StarryEyed wrote: View Post
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Hard science fiction I agree with you. However, I don't think Star Trek has ever pretended to be that even with the semi-scientific trappings it has at times.

Personally, though, I look at science fiction, along with a number of other genres, as merely a subgenre of speculative fiction. It comes in many different flavors according to taste, but I don't see any opposition amongst them. At least, I don't see the reason for any such opposition though some act as though it's there.
Star Trek is not 2001: A Space Odyssey but I think it works much better when it doesn't throw believability completely out the window. Every viewer is going to have a different tolerance level but the more the audience accepts, the further the writers will feel they can push it. Before you know it, you end up with magic spell books like in the latter half of the final season of DS9 and Janeway and Paris having baby lizards on Voyager.
The lizard bit was stupid because they tried to explain that one scientifically.

Mysticism, however, I have no problem with because they never tried to pretend it WAS science--it remained mysticism. Whether such things or not is a different matter, but it didn't pretend to be anything else. I actually happen to like those kinds of blended works myself...Star Wars is definitely one, as is the Mageworlds series. (Heck, my Catacombs of Oralius subseries is very much about mystics in a futuristic world.)
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Old July 4 2010, 04:48 AM   #96
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I actually happen to like those kinds of blended works myself...Star Wars is definitely one, as is the Mageworlds series. (Heck, my Catacombs of Oralius subseries is very much about mystics in a futuristic world.)
Oh, I do too. I love my own example: Masters of the Universe. I also like Star Wars (which I agree is a sci-fi/fantasy mix), The Transformers and The Fifth Element. I just don't like Star Trek to go in that direction. By its very concept, it can't be hard sci-fi but I think it works better as more serious sci-fi than pop sci-fi like Star Wars.
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Old July 5 2010, 01:38 AM   #97
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Nerys Myk wrote:
Why are Human hybrids more acceptable than Andorians ones?
They are emphatically not. I forget if I said this earlier, but if they want to make some metaphorical point about interracial relationships and such, best they had first tackled the concrete and show more diversity in the human relationships. (In the future, homosexuality has long since been cured by neural neutralizer, I suppose.)

And as someone upthread mentioned, the same effect of anomie can be attained by adoption or being raised by interspecies parents. Any actual genetic aspects, when played up, have always been stupid--"Faces" is the most obvious--and sometimes appear downright racist ("Faces" is again the most obvious).

Thus being pointless, the concept should not exist. The rest of the magic Trek indulges in--warp flight, universal translators, arguably transporters--do have a great need to be there, but hybrids don't.
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Old July 5 2010, 02:37 AM   #98
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Yet IN the Trekiverse--in that particular context--I think there's an argument to be made that the way the Progenitors programmed their children gave them a deep need FOR hybridization to be possible, and one that would be most pronounced in a civilization like the Federation, whose culture mirrors what the Progenitors had in mind and sees people past racial boundaries. These races are not only programmed to have similar basic builds...with few exceptions, humanoids seem to be programmed to have similar instinctive facial expressions and gestures, and even though there are certain modifications, similar motivations. They are expressly made by the Progenitors to have the potential to identify with, like, and even love each other. Given that, I think that they would feel deeply driven to find the means to be able to have children together when they feel drawn closely enough to each other.

If we took out the Progenitors, and had only convergent evolution without any guidance, than I strongly doubt such attraction would exist, or that ANY kind of interbreeding would be possible. But, when we consider that the Trekiverse species were programmed for it to be possible, and that in a number of cases they are biologically of the same genus, it makes sense from a storytelling perspective.
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Old July 5 2010, 03:43 AM   #99
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Yet IN the Trekiverse--in that particular context--I think there's an argument to be made that the way the Progenitors programmed their children gave them a deep need FOR hybridization to be possible, and one that would be most pronounced in a civilization like the Federation, whose culture mirrors what the Progenitors had in mind and sees people past racial boundaries. These races are not only programmed to have similar basic builds...with few exceptions, humanoids seem to be programmed to have similar instinctive facial expressions and gestures, and even though there are certain modifications, similar motivations. They are expressly made by the Progenitors to have the potential to identify with, like, and even love each other. Given that, I think that they would feel deeply driven to find the means to be able to have children together when they feel drawn closely enough to each other.

If we took out the Progenitors, and had only convergent evolution without any guidance, than I strongly doubt such attraction would exist, or that ANY kind of interbreeding would be possible. But, when we consider that the Trekiverse species were programmed for it to be possible, and that in a number of cases they are biologically of the same genus, it makes sense from a storytelling perspective.
Thank you for saying coherently what I somewhat tried to say earlier...and failed.

When you think about it, it all boils down to suspension of disbelief. There are people out there who say "Space travel? Bah! Ridiculous!" People who don't enjoy sci-fi because it's unrealistic. There are people who are fine with space travel, but don't believe FTL or time travel is sensible.
My point is, there are varying degrees of 'believable' depending on the story being told and the audience. The question is not "DO hybrids create interesting stories?" but "CAN hybrids create interesting stories?" The answer to the first is 'sometimes, but not always' and the second is 'yes.'
It depends what story you're trying to tell. Spock is interesting because he is half human, B'Elanna Torres is interesting because she's half Klingon...etcetera, etcetera. I'm not saying everyone found those stories interesting, but they were interesting to some. Have hybrids been overused in Trek? Maybe, but then again, so have Klingons. But one can't decide that Klingons have never existed and there must be another scientific reason as to why we thought they did.

By the way, if anyone happens to be looking for an example of a circular argument...not to point a finger at anyone in particular, but this thread is one:

"What would an Andorian-Vulcan hybrid look like?"
"That's impossible, two different humanoid species could never breed."
"But they have on Trek."
"But that doesn't make sense, they shouldn't have been able to."
"But they have...therefore, in the Star Trek universe, it's possible. So what would an Andorian-Vulcan hybrid look like?"
"That's impossible, two different species could never breed."
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Old July 5 2010, 04:44 AM   #100
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Yet IN the Trekiverse--in that particular context--I think there's an argument to be made that the way the Progenitors programmed their children gave them a deep need FOR hybridization to be possible, and one that would be most pronounced in a civilization like the Federation, whose culture mirrors what the Progenitors had in mind and sees people past racial boundaries. These races are not only programmed to have similar basic builds...with few exceptions, humanoids seem to be programmed to have similar instinctive facial expressions and gestures, and even though there are certain modifications, similar motivations. They are expressly made by the Progenitors to have the potential to identify with, like, and even love each other. Given that, I think that they would feel deeply driven to find the means to be able to have children together when they feel drawn closely enough to each other.

If we took out the Progenitors, and had only convergent evolution without any guidance, than I strongly doubt such attraction would exist, or that ANY kind of interbreeding would be possible. But, when we consider that the Trekiverse species were programmed for it to be possible, and that in a number of cases they are biologically of the same genus, it makes sense from a storytelling perspective.
The Chase was a nice effort to try to justify the mess but it fails miserably. All humanoids are NOT of the same genus; evolution does not work that way. Even if it did, creatures with dramatically different physiology like Andorians and Vulcans could still not produce natural offspring. How many times does it have to be pointed out that Humans and Gorillas are almost genetically identical and still can cannot breed?
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Old July 5 2010, 05:07 AM   #101
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Yet a cat and a serval can successfully interbreed...they're actually not of the same genus, but still the family. Let me introduce you to the adorable (but very pricey) result:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SZEPNYHMKQ

(If you're not familiar with the Savannah breed, F1 indicates that this cat is a first-generation mix, so 50% housecat, 50% serval.)

Now, IRL I totally agree that you would not see that kind of interbreeding with the kinds of species we see on Trek, excepting certain cases where the "same genus" thing is VERY obvious.

But, while the science is certainly not what would fly in the real world, what I'm trying to point out is that if you approach the problem through storytelling logic instead of through scientific logic, there is sense in the writers' decisions.
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Old July 5 2010, 05:08 AM   #102
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

TiberiusMaximus wrote: View Post

By the way, if anyone happens to be looking for an example of a circular argument...not to point a finger at anyone in particular, but this thread is one:

"What would an Andorian-Vulcan hybrid look like?"
"That's impossible, two different humanoid species could never breed."
"But they have on Trek."
"But that doesn't make sense, they shouldn't have been able to."
"But they have...therefore, in the Star Trek universe, it's possible. So what would an Andorian-Vulcan hybrid look like?"
"That's impossible, two different species could never breed."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

Click the link above to learn what a circular argument really is. The jist is that you start with an unsupported claim you present as a fact and use it justify another claim which in turn is supported by the original claim.

Example:

The Christian God is real because it says so in the Bible.

The Bible is true because it is the word of God.

TiberiusMaximus, did you miss all the explanations as to WHY it is not possible for two creatures with radically different physiologies to produce natural offspring?

You need to go back and reread the thread. There is no circular argument here. Biology is plenty well enough understood to know that hybrids are only possible among extremely close species - and that is between species with identical body chemistry. Imagine the absurdity of hybrids between species with different blood chemistry, different blood pressures, different body temperatures - on top of morphological differences and organs in different locations.
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Old July 5 2010, 05:27 AM   #103
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
So, while the science is certainly not what would fly in the real world, what I'm trying to point out is that if you approach the problem through storytelling logic instead of through scientific logic, there is sense in the writers' decisions.
Well what comprises "storytelling logic" is a subjective thing so it really isn't up for discussion. Not only is it going to differ between individuals but the same individual's acceptance will vary in different stories. I think light sabers are really cool and I have no problem accepting them in Star Wars because that is borderline swords and sorcery. But if there is a light saber duel between Picard and the Borg queen, I am going to cringe in horror. I have different standards for Star Trek and Star Wars.

I was the first negative responder in this thread and what did I say? I told the OP to use his imagination because that is the only place it will happen. That wasn't a put-down; it was a stating of fact that this thing is in fantasy land. No guidelines can be offered because it is flat-out impossible in the real world. If somebody wants to use it in a story anyway, that's fine but there is no point in trying to be scientific about it because science says no way.
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Old July 5 2010, 05:30 AM   #104
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

By nature the explanation is going to be pseudoscientific. I know full well that's what my "explanatory" essay on the subject that I did offsite is. Frankly, I do not expect accuracy in science from Star Trek--it exists on a pseudoscience level, whereas really hard sci-fi...at risk of losing my geek license, I don't like it because I think there's often focus lost on characters and interactions, and I don't like seeing mysticism shut out entirely.
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Old July 5 2010, 09:11 AM   #105
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Re: What would a half-Andorian, half-Vulcan child look like?

StarryEyed wrote: View Post
How many times does it have to be pointed out that Humans and Gorillas are almost genetically identical and still can cannot breed?
I knew a woman whose pet canary laid an egg after a sparrow got into the outdoor aviary to steal food. The baby hatched and was a mottled yellow and brown canary-looking sparrow.

Zebras and donkeys have bred successfully in zoos - and horses and donkeys usually produce strong but infertile mules and hinnies... but, every so often, IIRC, the resulting offspring is not infertile. (Wikipedia: Since 1527 there have been more than sixty documented cases of foals born to female mules around the world. In contrast, according to the ADMS, there is only one known case of a female hinny doing so.)

And check out this bizarre goat/sheep hybrid:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toast_of_Botswana

And a fertile hybrid:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wholphin
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