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Old September 24 2013, 09:47 PM   #61
Guy Gardener
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Some of Christopher's novels claim that time is folding-over spitting out duplicate Earths all over the galaxy (a gross oversimplification), mean while the preservers have no faith in Earthlings and keep transplanting them to safe havens galaxy wide expecting the core bunch to die out but they never do.

Is it possible that the preservers still "steal" a few thousand people every time Earh is confronted with an extinction level invent, even the most recent and modern extinction level events, like the Dominion War, for just in case?

This sounds like somehting the Magestic 12 or Section 31 would be charged with glossing over to avoid mass hysteria.
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Old September 24 2013, 10:14 PM   #62
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
20 million years of written history since leaving Earth.

10 million years ago, a clean up crew cruised by Earth and cleaned up any obvious evidence that they were ever there so that Origin could never be contradicted.
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Old September 25 2013, 12:40 AM   #63
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Captain_Amasov wrote: View Post
Or maybe they actually originated from Miri's homeworld, was it ever stated how close genetically the inhabitants of that world were with ours?
Hodgkins Law of Parallel Planetary Development.. covers physical similarities but I don't think this includes actual DNA.
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Old September 25 2013, 04:18 AM   #64
Tiberius
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post

It'll erode away, like any rocks would over such spans. What makes you think it would be more durable than anything in the natural world? Entire mountains and whole oceans can change their shapes in 50 million years so why should a relatively tiny lump of concrete survive longer?
Oh, come on. So you think we have no rocks more than a few million years old?
What? Of course we have rocks that are millions of years old. I'm saying the concrete of the Chernobyl sarcophagus would get eroded away - you have seen that concrete breaks down over relatively short times, right? - and the remains would be caught up in the rock cycle. The broken concrete would become coarse sediment and get mixed into the soil of the region.

Sedimentary rocks are made out of eroded igneous and metamorphic rocks, and metamorphic rocks are made out of metamorphosed igneous and sedimentary rocks, and igneous rocks are cooled and crystallized magma, which may have had sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in it at some point. There are specimens of all these types that are millions of years old, but particularly for the sedimentary rocks, the rocks are from HUGE deposits that took a long time to accumulate anyway. The tiny bit of concrete in the sarcophagus isn't going to remain intact for millions of years. It may end up in a sedimentary layer, though. Would that count as "intact" for you?

I fully comprehend deep time. All I am saying is that if a dinosaur's broken eggshell can last 70 million years, then a LOT of what Humans have done will last just as long.
Like what? You have to admit, you've not thought of anything that will remain intact on Earth for millions of years. Metals oxidize and concrete breaks down. You can see these things happen on the timescale of your own life. What makes you think anything we've built is that durable when we can watch things break down in our own lifetimes?

Consider how many dinosaur eggs must have existed across the entire Mesozoic era. And then think about how many dinosaur eggs we've actually recovered. All the dinosaur eggs in the entire world's museums are a tiny fraction of all the dinosaur eggs that ever existed. Some things don't survive because they're really durable, they just survive because they're merely lucky. Even something as fragile as an egg will sometimes get preserved by pure chance.

So perhaps you can tell me why all these huge structure we have built will all be vanished without a trace in a million years while dinosaur eggshells have lasted much much longer. I suspect that things are tougher than you imagine.
I've already explained that to you. Metals oxidize and concrete breaks down. Everything we've built needs maintenance. Or do you think all those huge structures we've built are just left to fend for themselves after construction is over? If we left everything alone, the environment would break things down over merely hundreds of years. Asphalt roads may leave a thin but recognizable layer in the rocks, though, if that makes you feel better. Dinosaur eggs just had sheer numbers and pure chance on their side to preserve a tiny fraction of them.

Who knows, maybe some freak conditions will preserve a cell phone intact across millions of years. Would you feel better if that were the case?
So, let me get this straight...

You think that NOTHING Humans have ever built or ever will build can rival the staying power of bones, eggshells and shit (that's right, we have fossilized dinosaur shit). You are telling me that a piece of dinosaur shit is able to last for millions of years, a feat which nothing ever produced by Humanity will ever be able to do? For all our technological advances, if we want to send a message to the scientists of 50 mikllion years from now, we'd better write it on a leg bone, or an eggshell, or mould it into shit, because that's the only way it will last?
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Old September 25 2013, 05:11 AM   #65
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Boy, you're awfully testy about this subject. Any clue why you're so upset?

Think about it this way. We have tax records and receipts from ancient Sumeria, written in cuneiform on clay tablets. They're still readable today after 5000 years.

We have printed books that are over 500 years old and still readable now.

The computer punch cards from 50 years ago are worthless pieces of junk now.

The "floppy" disks from 20 years ago are just pieces of worthless plastic now.

The zip drives and VHS tapes from 10 years ago aren't useful anymore; you can't even give them away!

The fact is, the more advanced the technology, the less likely it is to last across the ages. If anything of our civilization survives across millions of years, it'll be the least advanced pieces of technology, not the most. Sure, the Moon landing equipment will be there for a long time, but even it may break down faster than I thought. I didn't account for the endless thermal cycling it will experience which should eventually break them down, too.

But everything on Earth is going to be fighting the elements, and the Earth always wins in the long run.
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Old September 25 2013, 06:26 AM   #66
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

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.

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.

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.

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.
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Old September 25 2013, 07:52 AM   #67
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

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.

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.

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? What if intelligent saurians mainly used wood and clay to construct their cities, rather than steel and glass? What if the dinosauroids had advanced computer technology like silicon chips, but preferred (culturally) to live in hobbit-holes? 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. 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.

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.

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....

Last edited by Pavonis; September 25 2013 at 08:10 AM.
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Old September 25 2013, 08:34 AM   #68
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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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Old September 25 2013, 08:47 AM   #69
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Did it occur that both of you guys aren't too far apart from each other? You both concede that bones survive over 65 million years, you both concede that some of our materials will survive over 65 million years. You both concede it'll be the vast minority of those things.

The only difference is of opinion is would we connect the dots if we did find something created by the Voth. Being how different they are and all they may well have a different set of tools with those three fingered hands of theirs and all. I'm inclined to think at the very least any artifacts we found from the Voth would raise red flags, even if we couldn't figure them out today. Though it might give the alien intervention folks something new to rail on.
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Old September 25 2013, 09:35 AM   #70
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

R. Star wrote: View Post
you both concede that some of our materials will survive over 65 million years.
But he only conceded that recently!

*Has temper tanty*
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Old September 25 2013, 03:32 PM   #71
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

R. Star wrote: View Post
Did it occur that both of you guys aren't too far apart from each other? You both concede that bones survive over 65 million years, you both concede that some of our materials will survive over 65 million years. You both concede it'll be the vast minority of those things.
There's no "concession" that bones will survive over 65 million years. For one thing, fossils aren't bones. I've already explained that. For another thing, Tiberius seems to be under the impression that our civilization will leave huge buildings and other impressive artifacts intact across millions of years, so that non-human intelligences would be able to recognize our existence. That's just not going to happen. I would recommend he watch a show called Life After People to get a sense of how fast human-made structures decay without maintenance.

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.
A metal watch band? No. Didn't I point out that metal oxidizes?


It wouldn't be exactly the same. But we would expect to have some things in common, such as the wheel.
What would those wheels be made out of, though? Wood? Metals and rubbers? Neither material would survive. Maybe if a wooden wagon wheel off a Voth wagon were petrified somehow... but what would the odds of that be?

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? We possess a high-tech society, yet some of the most coveted homes are built of wood. The rich and famous of today love their rustic log cabins. And you can make incredible structures out of wood and clay. People in the southwest United States still build adobe homes now. I'd say that having an advanced technology in one area doesn't mean they have to be advanced in all areas, certainly not all the same areas we are "advanced" in.

Technology does not exist in a vacuum. Technology developed for one thing will find its way into other areas of life.
Yeah, so? How does that impact the survival of technology across deep time? I love my iPad, but it's not going to be around in 65 million years.

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.
What?

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."
Animals help each other all the time. What makes you think we could distinguish animal from intelligent being based on a bone that healed?

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.
I'm unconvinced. Yes, we bury our dead, but in vaults that keep the elements out. I have no idea what will be preserved in these modern (Western) burial chambers that we use, but I'd not be surprised if people from "less advanced" (non-Western) cultures were the dominant ones that become fossilized, while our advanced attempts to preserve the body after death just end up back-firing. (Say, why do we go to so much trouble to preserve bodies that we seal up in the ground and never look at again?)

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?
It's obtuse because "hadrosaur" is a family of dinosaurs, not a particular species. And those "hadrosaur" nests could be from the pre-intelligent Voth ancestors, or from contemporary cousins.

Hell, the whole discussion of the episode wasn't what interested me. I was interested in discussing the real potential of artifacts from our time surviving millions of years. It's clear to me that some people have no clue how fragile our modern structures and materials are, and how fast they'll decay away. It's also clear that some people have no clue how long a million years is, much less 65 million years.
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Old September 25 2013, 04:25 PM   #72
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Pavonis wrote: View Post
65 million years is an incredibly long time. I don't think any of you are grasping the scale of time here. What would rebar-reinforced concrete look like after deep burial and metamorphosis at high temperature and pressure for that long? Assuming it would be recognizable and easily stumbled upon by archeologists or paleontologists is naive.
I agree with this. (as I posted earlier)

I also like the idea someone else posted.

We know the Voth do NOT under ANY circumstance want to acknowledge that they were a race that fled a planet, didn't have a home, etc...

ODALA: When I open my eyes to this theory, what I see appalls me. I see my race fleeing your wretched planet, a group of pathetic refugees crawling and scratching their way across the galaxy, stumbling into this domain. I see a race with no birthright, no legacy. That is unacceptable!
So to me it's very plausable they returned to Earth and removed any and all physical evidence.
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Old September 27 2013, 11:25 AM   #73
Tiberius
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Pavonis wrote: View Post
There's no "concession" that bones will survive over 65 million years. For one thing, fossils aren't bones. I've already explained that. For another thing, Tiberius seems to be under the impression that our civilization will leave huge buildings and other impressive artifacts intact across millions of years, so that non-human intelligences would be able to recognize our existence. That's just not going to happen. I would recommend he watch a show called Life After People to get a sense of how fast human-made structures decay without maintenance.
That's not what I am saying. I am saying that traces of human civilisation will last. I've never been under the impression that buildings will survive much as they are today.

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.
A metal watch band? No. Didn't I point out that metal oxidizes?
There are plenty of environments that could protect it. We've seen these sort of environments protect human remains. My point was that the same luck that protected dinosaur eggshells for millions of years could also protect traces of our civilisation.

What would those wheels be made out of, though? Wood? Metals and rubbers? Neither material would survive. Maybe if a wooden wagon wheel off a Voth wagon were petrified somehow... but what would the odds of that be?
Probably about the same that we'd have fossilized dinosaur shit.

What? We possess a high-tech society, yet some of the most coveted homes are built of wood. The rich and famous of today love their rustic log cabins. And you can make incredible structures out of wood and clay. People in the southwest United States still build adobe homes now. I'd say that having an advanced technology in one area doesn't mean they have to be advanced in all areas, certainly not all the same areas we are "advanced" in.
And yet we don't see wood and clay being used for skyscrapers, nor for the buildings that are used to develop our high technology. If the Voth (or their ancestors) developed a spacefaring civilisation on Earth, then they didn't do it with wood and clay huts.

Yeah, so? How does that impact the survival of technology across deep time? I love my iPad, but it's not going to be around in 65 million years.
What I just said.

What?
You said that we cannot assume ANYTHING about an alien culture, yet you are assuming that aliens even HAVE a culture. You are making an assumption yourself!

Animals help each other all the time. What makes you think we could distinguish animal from intelligent being based on a bone that healed?
Are you even reading what I write?

I was very clear that we could use the broken bone to determine that the animal was aided by others. You agree with me here. If we see an animal with an injury that renders it incapable of finding food and yet the animal survives, then we know it must be getting food some other way. Other individuals helping it is the most likely reason.

However, I NEVER said that this would allow us to determine that the animals were intelligent. I said that if we examine the healed injury we might be able to determine if it healed naturally or not. And if we find that the bone healed in a way that would not have happened without advanced medical aide, then we can determine that the animal was intelligent (or at the least was operated on by an intelligent veterinarian).

Please read what I actually write, not what you think I write.

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.
I'm unconvinced. Yes, we bury our dead, but in vaults that keep the elements out. I have no idea what will be preserved in these modern (Western) burial chambers that we use, but I'd not be surprised if people from "less advanced" (non-Western) cultures were the dominant ones that become fossilized, while our advanced attempts to preserve the body after death just end up back-firing. (Say, why do we go to so much trouble to preserve bodies that we seal up in the ground and never look at again?)
Well, it seems to me that at the worst, the modern, sealed crypts would just fail and then any bodies within them would decay just like bodies exposed to the elements like those in non-sealed crypts. And if the vaults DON'T fail, then what would happen to the bodies? Would they be MORE likely to decay to nothing?

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?
It's obtuse because "hadrosaur" is a family of dinosaurs, not a particular species. And those "hadrosaur" nests could be from the pre-intelligent Voth ancestors, or from contemporary cousins.

Hell, the whole discussion of the episode wasn't what interested me. I was interested in discussing the real potential of artifacts from our time surviving millions of years. It's clear to me that some people have no clue how fragile our modern structures and materials are, and how fast they'll decay away. It's also clear that some people have no clue how long a million years is, much less 65 million years.
And two things are clear to me.

Firstly, that you have not provided a single shred of evidence to support your position that all modern indications of Human civilization will decay to nothing despite the fact that we know for a fact that eggshells can survive for millions of years.

Secondly, that you do not read what I say, because i never once claimed that buildings will survive intact. My claim has always been that some trace of modern civilisation will survive. You are the one that leaped to the conclusion that I meant a rusty car being dug up in 60 million years or something.
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Old September 27 2013, 04:05 PM   #74
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Tiberius wrote: View Post
That's not what I am saying. I am saying that traces of human civilisation will last. I've never been under the impression that buildings will survive much as they are today.
You thought the Chernobyl sarcophagus would be intact in 50 million years. You've never made it clear to me what you think you mean by "traces of human civilizations". I'm thinking maybe a trace element enrichment in some rocks; are you thinking an entire concrete sarcophagus or a stump of the pyramids will be around in 50 million years? Our definitions of "trace" may be very different.

There are plenty of environments that could protect it. We've seen these sort of environments protect human remains. My point was that the same luck that protected dinosaur eggshells for millions of years could also protect traces of our civilisation.
Human remains and metals don't react to the same environment in the same way.

Probably about the same that we'd have fossilized dinosaur shit.
Wrong. You're off by orders-of-magnitude.

And yet we don't see wood and clay being used for skyscrapers, nor for the buildings that are used to develop our high technology. If the Voth (or their ancestors) developed a spacefaring civilisation on Earth, then they didn't do it with wood and clay huts.
Why would Voth necessarily build skyscrapers? You don't need a skyscraper to launch rockets into orbit.

You said that we cannot assume ANYTHING about an alien culture, yet you are assuming that aliens even HAVE a culture. You are making an assumption yourself!
Of course I'm making assumptions. Are assumptions bad? No, as long as they're clearly laid out. So, I apologize for not clearly stating that I assume an intelligent, tool-using civilization would have culture.


Are you even reading what I write?
Yes, I am. If I weren't, I wouldn't do you the courtesy of responding. Are you making yourself clear? I'm very intelligent. If you're not making yourself clear, the failure of communication is on you, not me.

I said that if we examine the healed injury we might be able to determine if it healed naturally or not. And if we find that the bone healed in a way that would not have happened without advanced medical aide, then we can determine that the animal was intelligent (or at the least was operated on by an intelligent veterinarian).
Arm-waving. Nothing to see here but pointless arm-waving.

Please read what I actually write, not what you think I write.
I do read what you write. Are you writing what you think?

And two things are clear to me.
That many? I'm impressed! But you shouldn't brag - it's not polite.

Firstly, that you have not provided a single shred of evidence to support your position that all modern indications of Human civilization will decay to nothing despite the fact that we know for a fact that eggshells can survive for millions of years.
What evidence would you like? I'm not interested in digging through the relevant scientific research literature to post research articles that would be above your head anyway, particularly since I doubt you'd read them. Even if you would read them and understand them, it's far more work than I have time to do. You've not made clear to me what you would consider "evidence" anyway, and I did implicitly ask earlier in the thread. Let me know what you think would constitute evidence and I'll maybe see what I can do. No promises.

Secondly, that you do not read what I say, because i never once claimed that buildings will survive intact. My claim has always been that some trace of modern civilisation will survive. You are the one that leaped to the conclusion that I meant a rusty car being dug up in 60 million years or something.
Don't accuse me of not reading. If I didn't read your posts, I'd not bother responding to them. If you're not making yourself clear to me, then perhaps you need to communicate better. Your "Chernobyl sarcophagus" question, and subsequent incredulity that it would not be intact in the far future, made it seem to me that you thought it would last 50 million years. It won't.

Besides, you've posted earlier

Tiberius wrote: View Post
If you'd read the meaning of my post, you will discover that I meant that it is almost impossible that there will come a day when human bones are the only evidence left of human civilisation. We have created structures designed to last for a very long time. The pyramids, the Great Wall of China. they may not survive in a form we can recognise, but an investigation will reveal non-natural origins. Other examples could include the vast road networks across many countires, or the foundations built to support the many absolutely huge buildings that we have constructed. Also dams. Even if they are reduced to apparent rocks, an investigation will show that they are very unusual rocks.

The fact is that any space faring culture will leave behind evidence of that culture in some form.
Have we really designed anything to last a "really long time"? What structures would those be? And what is a "really long time" to you?

The pyramids, the Great Wall, dams, building foundations, none will survive intact or even recognizable over millions and millions of years. How could they? What would make them special enough to last? The pyramids and the Great Wall are just rocks, and if whole mountains can erode over millions of years, what's going to leave those intact? And what would be a recognizable trace of them? How would someone tell a rock from the eroded pyramids from a rock that was never part of the pyramids? Why should building foundations be preserved when even things underground are subject to geological processes that will destroy them?

Ponder those questions, and consider what assumptions you're making.
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Old September 27 2013, 05:08 PM   #75
Timewalker
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Re: The episode "Distant Origin"

Pavonis wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
Did it occur that both of you guys aren't too far apart from each other? You both concede that bones survive over 65 million years, you both concede that some of our materials will survive over 65 million years. You both concede it'll be the vast minority of those things.
There's no "concession" that bones will survive over 65 million years. For one thing, fossils aren't bones. I've already explained that. For another thing, Tiberius seems to be under the impression that our civilization will leave huge buildings and other impressive artifacts intact across millions of years, so that non-human intelligences would be able to recognize our existence. That's just not going to happen. I would recommend he watch a show called Life After People to get a sense of how fast human-made structures decay without maintenance.
I saw Life After People, and it was one of the most depressing things I've ever seen. I hadn't realized what would happen if all humans suddenly disappeared and there was nobody around to maintain the nuclear reactors, etc. Never mind the skyscrapers rusting and falling apart - the lack of any way to make sure that radiation wouldn't cause widespread death to the remaining life is what got me.

There is quite a difference in how organic and inorganic (ie. metal and plastic) react chemically and how relatively strong they are.

Maybe in time we will discover a way to preserve Our Stuff in such a way that it would last longer than the oldest known human artifacts, but we don't know how to do that yet. As the documentary said: if we humans disappeared tomorrow, it wouldn't take long for there to be very little, if any, trace of our civilization.

Chemistry and geophysics would do the rest.
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