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Old September 14 2012, 03:17 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

Well, it's up to Star Trek to decide what is arcane and what is not in the 23rd century.

Personally, I hope they have gotten rid of most of that horrid NASAspeak and e.g. no longer go on EVAs. Although I think they still speak of "reaction control systems", which sounds like something the Security department would use when they want to go really draconian.

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Old September 14 2012, 09:48 PM   #32
Ronald Held
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

So according to this thread rhere is no canonical value for Vulcan's gravity relative to the Earth's.
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Old September 16 2012, 06:18 PM   #33
T'Girl
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

But by canon Spock is very strong.

Kirk:
Mister Spock is much stronger than the ordinary human being.
Aroused, his great physical strength could kill
.

Kirk didn't say Spock was stronger because he lived in the gym.

This would seem to say that it is Spock not being a ordinary Human being that makes him so strong. Leonard Nimoy had a good build, but he wasn't extremely muscular. So what gave Spock his great physical strength would be his half Vulcan heritage and up-bringing. Coming from a slightly higher gravity planet, growing up there, would give Spock increased bone density and increased childhood muscle fiber. Vulcan's low atmospheric pressure would also give Spock an advantage in Earth sea level pressure, his blood would be better able to supply oxygen to his muscles, I alway though that Spock would have had to be careful to constantly breath somewhat shallow. His heart, used to moving his blood in a high gravity environment, would be better at moving oxygenated blood to his muscles in a one gravity environment.

However, spending many years in a (presumably) one gravity environment, even if his quarters were higher, Spock would not possess the muscle tone he would have if he had continued to live on Vulcan full time. Think of the muscle tone of Stonn and the headsman in Amok Time. Sarek, although more fully dressed, also looked a bit "beefy" in Journey to Babel.

If Vulcan possessed a one gravity surface gravity, Spock would have the same strength as a Human of the same size and muscle tone.

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Old September 16 2012, 08:00 PM   #34
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

T'Girl wrote: View Post
If Vulcan possessed a one gravity surface gravity, Spock would have the same strength as a Human of the same size and muscle tone.
Not really. Chimpanzees evolved in the same gravity we did, and are generally no larger than us at most, yet they're typically somewhere from 2 to 4 times as strong as humans. Their muscle fibers are longer and more densely concentrated, so they can generate more force with the same amount of muscle. Muscles can have differences on the inside that aren't evident on the outside.

So yes, gravity is one factor that can influence a species' strength, but it's wrong to assume it's the only factor. Species here on Earth can have widely differing strength levels, so the same could be true of species that evolved on planets with gravities close to Earth's.

If anything, humans are toward the low end of the curve when it comes to physical strength. This is partly because our muscles have evolved to favor finer motor control and precision at the expense of raw power, while chimps' muscles tend toward the opposite trade-off. But it's possible that muscle tissues on some other planet, such as Vulcan, could've evolved yet another type of internal structure that allows both strength and fine motor control. We can't rule out the possibility that it would've been in response to higher gravity, but it didn't have to be.
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Old September 18 2012, 12:39 PM   #35
Timo
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

So what gave Spock his great physical strength would be his half Vulcan heritage and up-bringing.
...I wonder whether Spock had to develop exceptionally great strength in order to ward off all those bullies who felt it logical to try and unscrew his halfbreed head?

It might also be that half-humans are much stronger than either humans or Vulcans, thanks to some sort of "hybrid vigor". The fact that the T'Kumbra baseball/wrestling team was superior to the DS9 team could have been due to a single one of the Vulcans being stronger than Sisko, as quoted (for whatever reason), and the rest of the lot simply being much more accurate batters and pitchers than any of the Niners...

Of course, realistically, aliens wouldn't be humanoid at all. But it doesn't pay to approach these as black-and-white questions. Yes, it's a work of fiction, but it's one that's generally made at least something of an effort to justify its conceits.
Then again, Trek did justify the humanoid aliens by claiming they were all engineered to be that way. This sort of preempts all "realistic" concerns: if the environment in which the humanoids grew had an effect on how they grew, they would probably diverge from the great plan of the engineers. Unless the environments were also carefully engineered, so that all the life-bearing planets would have Earth-normal pull, and all planets with different pull would somehow be secured against bearing life.

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Old September 18 2012, 03:43 PM   #36
Jonas Grumby
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

Timo wrote: View Post
This sort of preempts all "realistic" concerns: if the environment in which the humanoids grew had an effect on how they grew, they would probably diverge from the great plan of the engineers.
Onscreen evidence suggests that in the Trek universe, environmentally-driven evolution of humanoids often effects only the forehead.
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Old September 18 2012, 09:04 PM   #37
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Kirk:
Mister Spock is much stronger than the ordinary human being.
Aroused, his great physical strength could kill
.
Pon Farr: Not for the weak!
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Old September 18 2012, 09:17 PM   #38
mythme
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

In "Learning Curve", Tuvok heighens the gravity on one of the decks during his training run with the 4 Maquis crewmembers. It certainly doesn't affect him, but the humans, the Bajoran and the Bolian all feel it. While it might just be a statement to Tuvok's exceptional physical training, it might mean that Vulcans are used to higher gravity.
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Old September 19 2012, 04:06 PM   #39
Timo
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Re: I thought Vulcan was supposed to be a high G planet

...Which is a neat scifi concept, but not particularly in agreement with current understanding of the physiology of exposure to varying levels of gravity. It would appear that length and timing of exposure is the relevant thing here, and negates the effects of inherited characteristics. If anything, Tuvok, accustomed to high gravity, would become feeble and infirm aboard a human starship due to the prolonged exposure to abnormally low gravity...

But as said, we today know nothing at all about the effects of prolonged high gravity on humans. Possibly our vulnerability to low gravity, too, is an anomaly that won't be repeated on other lifeforms even in the real world, let alone in the Trek universe? "Learning Curve" is indeed a good datapoint for further speculation.

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