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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old November 8 2013, 06:21 PM   #16
QCzar
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

This is why I've always regarded Star Trek as Science Fantasy:
Distinguishing between science fiction and fantasy, Rod Serling claimed that the former was "the improbable made possible" while the latter was "the impossible made probable".[2] As a combination of the two, science fantasy gives a scientific veneer of realism to things that simply could not happen in the real world under any circumstances - where science fiction does not permit the existence of fantasy or supernatural elements; science fantasy explicitly relies upon them.
Veneer is a perfect way of describing Trek "science". It's at least internally consistent, as all fantasy should be, but it's by no means scientifically consistent.
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Old November 8 2013, 07:49 PM   #17
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

Most SF in TV and film is science fantasy. Star Trek actually has a higher ratio of science than most of it.
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Old November 8 2013, 08:01 PM   #18
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

Perhaps by the 24th century "race" as a social construct is so thoroughly outdated that it's become synonymous with species in Federation usage. That seems to be about right, since we never hear it being used to refer to ethnicity.
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Old November 8 2013, 08:16 PM   #19
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Most SF in TV and film is science fantasy. Star Trek actually has a higher ratio of science than most of it.
Fair point.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Perhaps by the 24th century "race" as a social construct is so thoroughly outdated that it's become synonymous with species in Federation usage. That seems to be about right, since we never hear it being used to refer to ethnicity.
You know you're right. I can only think of a few instances where ethnicity was referenced at all. That said, we don't know if any non-humans, who also frequently use this term, have had racial (or even ethnic) classification within their civilizations.

I still think the likely (admittedly boring) explanation is a literary one rather than an in-universe one.
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Old November 8 2013, 09:09 PM   #20
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Perhaps by the 24th century "race" as a social construct is so thoroughly outdated that it's become synonymous with species in Federation usage.

That seems to be about right, since we never hear it being used to refer to ethnicity.
I'll be sure to bring that up at the next La Raza meeting.


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Old November 8 2013, 09:13 PM   #21
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

The obvious qualifier here is "in Star Trek".
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Old November 10 2013, 05:33 PM   #22
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

Christopher wrote: View Post
cyclonus11 wrote: View Post
Another beef I had: The Voth. Dinosaurs were well established to be warm blooded long before VOY aired, yet they had to make them cold blooded. Why? That one point nearly ruined the entire series for me.
Well, they had 65 million years of evolution on an alien world to change them. Maybe their ancestors were warm-blooded but the environment they were transplanted to gave them an incentive to evolve into ectotherms once again. After all, there's no "upward" direction in evolution, just adaptation to new environments. Perhaps their new environment had such a uniform, warm temperature that it was a waste of metabolic energy to generate internal heat, so they lost the ability.
I will have to rewatch the episode, but I thought they made a reference to the cold-bloodedness as a trait shared with dinosaurs (specifically Parasaurolophus).
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Old November 10 2013, 06:20 PM   #23
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

^Maybe they did. In which case it's a mistake and there's no reason not to ignore it. These aren't documentaries.
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Old November 10 2013, 07:27 PM   #24
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

As someone studying biology, these things are hard to ignore.

But I do my best.
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Old November 14 2013, 08:07 AM   #25
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

They do make a distinction between robot and android...

So why don't they bother to employ the proper biology definitions? Especially when a lot of people watch the series and are probably learning science through what they see on the screen.
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Old November 14 2013, 11:53 AM   #26
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

picardo wrote: View Post
They do make a distinction between robot and android...

So why don't they bother to employ the proper biology definitions? Especially when a lot of people watch the series and are probably learning science through what they see on the screen.
Really? I can understand how someone can become interested in science from watching Trek (as many real scientists have), but learning it? It's not a lecture series. It's not even 'hard' science fiction.

And your premise is flawed anyway. The question has already been answered. It all boils down to creative license in a fictional work, not a deliberate attempt at sophistry. I honestly don't see where all this confusion some are suggesting the terms cause is actually being manifested. This strikes me as a solution looking for a problem.
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Old November 15 2013, 12:53 AM   #27
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

QCzar wrote: View Post
Really? I can understand how someone can become interested in science from watching Trek (as many real scientists have), but learning it? It's not a lecture series. It's not even 'hard' science fiction.
Well, considering that many (if not most) people think evolution happens like in Pokemon, I wouldn't put it past them...
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Old November 15 2013, 03:09 AM   #28
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

QCzar wrote: View Post
picardo wrote: View Post
They do make a distinction between robot and android...

So why don't they bother to employ the proper biology definitions? Especially when a lot of people watch the series and are probably learning science through what they see on the screen.
Really? I can understand how someone can become interested in science from watching Trek (as many real scientists have), but learning it? It's not a lecture series. It's not even 'hard' science fiction.

And your premise is flawed anyway. The question has already been answered. It all boils down to creative license in a fictional work, not a deliberate attempt at sophistry. I honestly don't see where all this confusion some are suggesting the terms cause is actually being manifested. This strikes me as a solution looking for a problem.
I Just think they're misinforming the people who watch the show, but then again, I understand that the writers aren't much informed themselves, and they just extrapolate concepts from one field of science to another, in an effort to make plain, simple and convincing dialogue.

Actually, my question remains unanswered: how do you call inhabitants of other planets? My personal opinion is that they're not to be called species or races, there must be some other, more accurate term, but I ignore it since I've never pursued any studies of biology and that's the reason I posted the thread in the hopes someone could elucidate.

It's all fiction I know, and this should not be taken too seriously, perhaps, but this forum was created to ask these questions and debate them, since we are so passionate of the series and identify or sympathise with our favourite characters.
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Old November 15 2013, 03:18 AM   #29
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

picardo wrote: View Post
Actually, my question remains unanswered: how do you call inhabitants of other planets?
With your subspace radio, of course.
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Old November 15 2013, 04:48 AM   #30
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Re: Alien "species" or alien "race"?

picardo wrote: View Post
Actually, my question remains unanswered: how do you call inhabitants of other planets? My personal opinion is that they're not to be called species or races, there must be some other, more accurate term, but I ignore it since I've never pursued any studies of biology and that's the reason I posted the thread in the hopes someone could elucidate.
Why shouldn't they be called "race" or "species"? If we are the human race or the human species why can't we call them the Vulcan race or the Klingon species?

If we do find life forms on other planets we will most likely use the taxonomical systems we use for terrestrial lifeforms with a planetary designation above "Domain".
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