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Old May 1 2013, 08:46 AM   #16
Lee Enfield
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Re: George and Gracie

Timo wrote: View Post
A big problem with that is where to find whale-sized equivalents of uteruses to gestate the clones.
Not a problem. As seen in "A Man Alone", they can do it from start to finish in simple vats, at least in the 24th century.

They did have the genetic material/means to clones whales. However, since no living humpback existed there would be no adults to raise the young clones.
We don't even need that much rationalization here. Suffice to assume they have the material, but they just plain don't have any motivation to make use of it - not until it turns out that Earth needs whales in the next fifteen minutes or everybody will die, which isn't exactly the best motivation for starting cloning.

Why return whales to the oceans? Just to prove that mankind has cleaned up its act (and said oceans)? The whales themselves won't care. The oceans won't care. Heck, all sorts of krill and shrimp will be elated with the whales gone. AFAWK, they haven't restored the buffalo, either, and those never really went totally extinct.

Besides, Earth fears new Khans so intensely that it has banned many sorts of helpful gene therapies. Hobby cloning is probably an offense punishable by six months in therapy.

Timo Saloniemi
There is somewhere the idea that dolphins and whales help with communication problems along with starfleet officers in the 24th century. The Whitfire and the Sternbach Blueprints of the Enterprise-D suggest this as well.
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Old May 1 2013, 10:25 AM   #17
Merry Christmas
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Re: George and Gracie

^ One of Diane Duane's novel had a "dolphin" (non-terrestrial?) whose people were unusually good navigators.

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Old May 2 2013, 12:33 PM   #18
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Re: George and Gracie

Whether dolphins or the fictional Takaya's whales mentioned in the TNG Tech Manual in the navigation context ever went extinct is not established. All we know is that humpback whales died out.

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Old May 3 2013, 11:15 PM   #19
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Re: George and Gracie

xvicente wrote: View Post
clone
clone
clone
clone
A big problem with that is where to find whale-sized equivalents of uteruses to gestate the clones.

I think Kirk probably never really intended to "repopulate the species". He needed the whales only tell the probe to go f itself.
23rd century genetics has to be way more advanced than 21st century so Timo is right. Once they got a hold of G & G's DNA they probably could have easily cloned a whole herd of them in a lab if they wanted to.

Now, whether or not they would choose to do that is certainly up for debate. I agree that in the post-Khan world they would certainly be hesitant about playing God with genes but at the same time, they might assume if the 2 humpbacks died out again that the Probe would come right back and they'd be back in the same situation.
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Old May 4 2013, 02:35 AM   #20
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Re: George and Gracie

Timo wrote: View Post
Whether dolphins or the fictional Takaya's whales mentioned in the TNG Tech Manual in the navigation context ever went extinct is not established. All we know is that humpback whales died out.

Timo Saloniemi
I agree. But then, your shrimp argument is invalid.
Another thing: if we assume humpback whales are the only ones who can talk to deadly-alien-probe, the motivation for starfleet to have more of the whales seems obvious. ...already writing a novel : The Return of the Deadly Alien Probe.
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Old May 5 2013, 03:57 PM   #21
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Re: George and Gracie

That'd depend on what the whales said to the Probe. If it became obvious that the whales were transplants, and the Probe was happy with it, then the Probe might not really care about whether there were whales there on its putative next circuit. Extinction would be all right, as long as somebody explained it to the Probe. If the Probe just chatted with two very confused whales who had no idea of what was going on (the likeliest scenario) and perhaps were incapable of reasonable dialogue anyway (a possible scenario, even if Spock's intuition on the subject would then be proven wrong), it could easily figure out on its own that the two were transplants. And if the Probe realized that whales were gone save for these two, and wasn't happy with that state of affairs, it might have left a message to the parties responsible to do something about it.

If there was actual communication going on there, rather than just the Probe verifying that mindless beasts were making the expected mindless noises, Universal Translator analysis should tell Federation science what was being said, and the above possibilities could be verified or discounted.

Also, as far as "circuits" go, there should be about 300 years to figure out what to do about the next visit, as obviously the Probe hadn't been anywhere near Earth between the late 23rd century and the late 20th or it would have been observed. We can probably extend the circuit length beyond that by remembering that Vulcans and other aliens had been around and watching long before Earth got its first proper radars...

But then, your shrimp argument is invalid.
I'm curious - what about it is invalid? (Not that it was ever meant to be taken particularly seriously.)

If humpbacks stop contributing to the carnage of krill, the oceans will adapt to this new state of affairs and find a new equilibrium or steady state. If the humpbacks are reintroduced, the shrimp population will face a second ecological imbalance and thus "the oceans will be unhappy" about it. Reintroduction thus poses risks that might not be worth taking.

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Old May 5 2013, 05:49 PM   #22
Lee Enfield
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Re: George and Gracie

Timo wrote: View Post
That'd depend on what the whales said to the Probe. If it became obvious that the whales were transplants, and the Probe was happy with it, then the Probe might not really care about whether there were whales there on its putative next circuit. Extinction would be all right, as long as somebody explained it to the Probe.
As long as there is somebody who knows the code/language! It's unclear wether the Probe knows they're transplants (and accepts that) or if it doesn't care. But I don't think that's important. Important is, that the probe accepted just one singular code, and that the humpback whales seemed to be the only ones who could speak it.

Timo wrote: View Post
If the Probe just chatted with two very confused whales who had no idea of what was going on (the likeliest scenario) and perhaps were incapable of reasonable dialogue anyway (a possible scenario, even if Spock's intuition on the subject would then be proven wrong),...
On the contrary. Spock would have informed them! I always was under the impression, that the whales and Spock had an elaborated talk about the situation in the whale tank - through mind melting.

Timo wrote: View Post
...it could easily figure out on its own that the two were transplants. And if the Probe realized that whales were gone save for these two, and wasn't happy with that state of affairs, it might have left a message to the parties responsible to do something about it.
I very doubt this. The Probe showd that it was rather incapable of reacting flexible to the situation. It didn't change the language it spoke. And it was either incapable of seeing that it hurted every other lifeform on earth (and elsewhere) with its action, or it didn't care.
Therefore I dont' think the probe is as diplomatic as you make it out - at least to Beings who don't speak its language.

Timo wrote: View Post
If there was actual communication going on there, rather than just the Probe verifying that mindless beasts were making the expected mindless noises, Universal Translator analysis should tell Federation science what was being said, and the above possibilities could be verified or discounted.
I agree that there was talking, not just verifying, going on. I disagree that the Federation was capable of translating what was being discussed at that time in the 23rd century between the whales and the Probe. And probably the Federation can't pull it off in the 24th century either. Remember: Spock said, that they could emulate the noises, but not the language.

So, ... Communication with the Probe isn't possible without the assistance of the whales. This all boils down to the language, which cannot be emulated by Federation. Some communication patterns obviously seem to be so complex that (at least) Starfleet makes use of the -unique- abilities of whales and dolphins to encode comm.problems.

Perhaps a never extinct dolphin species is capable of emulating the same code the humpback whales would in 'Voyage Home'.
But till I(the Federation/Starfleet) got my technical act together I would keep enough specimens alive to execute the stipulated examinations that are needed to replicate the code.
Since Starfleet uses dolphins for those kind of problems in the 24th century -even on starships- I speculate they haven't solved those problems till then.

On a side note: We don't know if this probe is the only one of its kind. From the perspective of the 23rd century there could've been an Armada out there. I would've prepared for that .... with at least keeping the whales alive and care for their reproduction, once a whale-lifetime of testing adverts to be not sufficient for the development of the technique/device/code.




Timo wrote: View Post
But then, your shrimp argument is invalid.
I'm curious - what about it is invalid? (Not that it was ever meant to be taken particularly seriously.)

If humpbacks stop contributing to the carnage of krill, the oceans will adapt to this new state of affairs and find a new equilibrium or steady state. If the humpbacks are reintroduced, the shrimp population will face a second ecological imbalance and thus "the oceans will be unhappy" about it. Reintroduction thus poses risks that might not be worth taking.

Timo Saloniemi
Yes, ^^ I didn't take it that much seriously, either. But the point was:
If we assume, there are whales/dolphins in the 24th century, that were never extinct (because we just know of the humpback whales that would be), how it is implied by your objection, then the KRILL STILL HAS TO FEAR THE TERROR OF SEA MAMMALS. *monstrous reverb through the ocean*
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Old May 5 2013, 08:11 PM   #23
Timo
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Re: George and Gracie

As long as there is somebody who knows the code/language!
If any code exists to begin with, knowledge of it would depend basically on one thing only: whether the transmissions between the Probe and the whales were audible to the Federation listeners. If they were, they would have been recorded and UT-analyzed for further use. And the UT would be giving an exceptionally sorry performance if it couldn't decipher the conversation, in comparison with its other known feats.

Since Spock had no difficulty listening to the original transmissions of the Probe, it would seem inevitable that the conversation was successfully recorded.

I always was under the impression, that the whales and Spock had an elaborated talk about the situation in the whale tank - through mind melting.
Probably less a talk and more an uncontrolled mind-dump, if Spock's previous melds with nonhumanoids are anything to go by - but if the two minds were compatible enough, the whales might have grasped their current situation and the designs on their future well enough.

OTOH, if Spock was able to tell the whales what they in turn should tell the Probe, then Spock would essentially possess the communications ability as well, and could forgo the step of using the whales. Mind meld ought to be a great way of learning languages! If in turn only vague general impressions were transmitted, and it was up to whales to figure out what should be said, we can't really tell whether they properly relayed to the Probe their current predicament.

It didn't change the language it spoke. And it was either incapable of seeing that it hurted every other lifeform on earth (and elsewhere) with its action, or it didn't care. Therefore I dont' think the probe is as diplomatic as you make it out - at least to Beings who don't speak its language.
I don't see the role of this putative message as "diplomacy". It would be a simple imperative to get things sorted out to the Probe's liking, or else.

The Probe might be totally unconcerned about the humanoid life on and around Earth, even though it probably understood its existence and presence and even its actions. But if the whales successfully relayed information about the current status of whalekind on Earth (through conversation, or through merely existing and making noises), it should become obvious to the Probe that the humanoids were responsible and would have to be affected in any future affairs concerning the whalekind. The Probe should then have done one of three things:

1) If humans needed to be removed, it would have taken care of that there and then. It didn't.
2) If humans needed to be prompted to act in a specific way, it would have told them to, in words or in actions. It didn't.
3) If nothing was expected of humans, it would simply depart. It did.

The choosing of the latter option sort of suggests that the Probe didn't really care about what would happen to the whales, since their continuing survival would indeed be dependent on humans doing certain things.

Remember: Spock said, that they could emulate the noises, but not the language.
This is at odds with how the UT normally behaves, and we could blame it on them having way too little material to work with until the Probe got a conversation partner.

Then again, it's a bit odd that the UT would not have been applied on all sorts of "lower lifeforms" already, making it possible for e.g. Data to perfectly understand what Spot wanted without having to rely solely on subjective interpretations of body language (as the UT would be good at adding data from the verbal language of the feline, even if body language forms a major part of feline communications). Earth did appear to have records of humpback whale speech. Why weren't those properly analyzed?

Communication with the Probe isn't possible without the assistance of the whales.
And even then, you need a Vulcan to meld with the whales to get into the communications loop. Why not meld directly with the Probe instead? The whales appear to be more a hindrance than a help here, especially after it has been proven that the Probe doesn't particularly care for them.

the KRILL STILL HAS TO FEAR THE TERROR OF SEA MAMMALS
Oh, right, point granted. Although we have to ask the politically incorrect question here: do all whales look the same to them?

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Old May 5 2013, 08:25 PM   #24
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Re: George and Gracie

You don't even need to clone them. Just use their transporter patterns to make infinite duplicates.
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Old May 5 2013, 08:31 PM   #25
Timo
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Re: George and Gracie

That never worked in TOS... At the very best, you might get two, but one could never decide whether to suck or blow and the other would try and rape your yeoman.

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Old May 6 2013, 11:03 PM   #26
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Re: George and Gracie

If a beat-up old Klingon bird-of-prey, modified using 1986-era materials, was able to collect two adult humpbacks and bring them back to the 23rd century, if there is concern about the whales' long-term prospects, why not just send a couple of Excelsior-class ships back to about 1600 using the slingshot maneuver and collect some more whales until enough were present to successfully re-establish them for the long term? Not exactly standard Starfleet procedure, granted, but if it means risking a return visit from the Probe it might be worth it.

I did a little checking and prior to the beginning of commercial hunting in the 18th century, whale populations reached around 125,000 or so, although there's no way to know for sure. It seems to me that with proper communication, Starfleet could round up enough aquatic volunteers to bring Back To The Future without disturbing the whale population too much overall, and going that far back in time means that the risk of detection by the human population of the time would be negligible.
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Old May 6 2013, 11:14 PM   #27
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Re: George and Gracie

I always assumed the whales explained to the Probe exactly what had happened and how it might take awhile to rebuild their population. The Probe left Earth right after talking to them, so I guess it was satisfied for the moment. If it hadn't been, it would have proceeded with its plan to destroy the planet.
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Old May 7 2013, 12:28 AM   #28
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Re: George and Gracie

Imagine the whale conversation to the probe.

George: You won't believe this, but 300 years ago we were minding our own business at this human facility--
Gracie (interrupting): They fed us all the shrimp we could eat!
George: --and this guy gets into the water--
Gracie: He had such cute little ears.
George: --and tells us they're bringing us to the future--
Gracie: And I told him I was pregnant.
George: --because you were tearing up the planet and they needed someone to talk to you. So they teleported us into the water tanks--
Gracie: It was a little cramped, so sex was out of the question.
George: --on their ship and brought us into the future. Which is here.
Gracie: I'd never been on a spaceship before, have you, George?
George: No, Gracie. (to Probe) So we're asking you stop and not destroy the planet.
Probe: You're right, I don't believe it. But you're here, so that's good enough. See you again in a few centuries.
George: Say goodnight, Gracie.
Gracie: Goodnight, Gracie!
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Old May 7 2013, 12:40 AM   #29
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: George and Gracie

^
Wasn't the original version of ST IV supposed to actually put English subtitles to the whales' conversation with the Probe?
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Last edited by Rķu rķu, chķu; May 7 2013 at 10:27 PM.
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Old May 7 2013, 12:44 AM   #30
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Re: George and Gracie

I think so. But thankfully they realized it would be more mysterious without subtitles. So maybe the Probe was just lost and looking for directions and had a bad temper.
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