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Old July 26 2008, 10:56 PM   #1
lostinexistence
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star trek- immortality?

Hi, I'm doing a Senior Independent Project on immortality, and I was advised to check out a certain star trek episode w. Captain Kirk and a girl who comes from a planet where no one dies. My advisor did not have the name of the exact episode, however. I was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction?


(Mod note: The original question has been answered (and really, I should have moved this to TOS when I first read it, but somehow forgot), but Timo's reply brings up the topic of immortality in TNG too.

I think the topic of Immortality in Star Trek is a very good topic for broader discussion, and of course all the Trek series have contributed different perspectives. Let's see if this topic can find fresh expression in Gen Trek Discussion.

- Holdfast)

Last edited by Holdfast; September 10 2008 at 09:00 PM.
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Old July 26 2008, 11:39 PM   #2
Sheliak
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Re: star trek- immortality?

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Immortality
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Old July 27 2008, 01:32 AM   #3
The Illusive Man
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Re: star trek- immortality?

The Specific episode you're referring to is "The Mark of Gideon"
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Old July 27 2008, 02:22 PM   #4
Forbin
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Re: star trek- immortality?

See also "Metamorphosis" where Zephram Cochrane laments that immortaltiy consists largely of boredom. And "Requiem for Methusalah" where an immortal man has been trying to create the perfect mate for centuries.

And don't forget Highlander!
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Old September 6 2008, 01:40 AM   #5
lostinexistence
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Re: star trek- immortality?

wow, thank you guys so much!! I have never seen star trek before, so it would have taken me a long time to go through all the episodes in search of the ones I was looking for.
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Old September 6 2008, 03:24 PM   #6
Forbin
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Re: star trek- immortality?

Of course, a point about Cochrane complaining of boredom: he was marooned on a desert planet with nothing to do but commune with a gasseous cloud-being. I imagine immortality would be far less boring with freedom, your own ship, all of known space to play in, and, ya know, hobbies.
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Old September 7 2008, 02:25 AM   #7
DGCatAniSiri
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Re: star trek- immortality?

Forbin wrote: View Post
Of course, a point about Cochrane complaining of boredom: he was marooned on a desert planet with nothing to do but commune with a gasseous cloud-being. I imagine immortality would be far less boring with freedom, your own ship, all of known space to play in, and, ya know, hobbies.
Or at least it would not have become boring after just a couple of centuries. Personally, I've always thought immortality is overrated.
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Old September 10 2008, 03:49 PM   #8
Timo
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Re: star trek- immortality?

One might argue that the enlightened folks of Star Trek also view immortality with some disdain. For one thing, they don't make full use of those technologies that would grant them this. For another, in the Next Generation first-season episode "The Neutral Zone", they argue that people of their time and age are no longer afraid of death in the same manner that made a bunch of people from the 1990s attempt cryogenic preservation of their dying or dead bodies.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old September 10 2008, 08:59 PM   #9
Holdfast
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Re: star trek- immortality?

The original question has been answered (and really, I should have moved this to TOS when I first read it, but somehow forgot), but Timo's reply brings up the topic of immortality in TNG too.

I think the topic of Immortality in Star Trek is a very good topic for broader discussion, and of course all the Trek series have contributed different perspectives. Let's see if this topic can find fresh expression in Gen Trek Discussion.
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Old September 10 2008, 09:28 PM   #10
USS Kongo
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Re: star trek- immortality?

Timo wrote: View Post
One might argue that the enlightened folks of Star Trek also view immortality with some disdain. For one thing, they don't make full use of those technologies that would grant them this. For another, in the Next Generation first-season episode "The Neutral Zone", they argue that people of their time and age are no longer afraid of death in the same manner that made a bunch of people from the 1990s attempt cryogenic preservation of their dying or dead bodies.

Timo Saloniemi
That was one thing that always annoyed me about Trek. They kept running into alien species (Vulcans, Romulans, even Klingons) that were long-lived to the point where they lived for well over a century, or more (mainly to allow actors who played aliens on the original series to come back on TNG and DS9)--yet the humans considered themselves lucky if they made it to their eighties.

Wouldn't you think the human lifespan would naturally be longer, thanks to the mere presence of advanced technology of the 23th and 24th centuries? At least McCoy had the right idea: any day you're not in the ground is a good day.

Sean
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Old September 10 2008, 10:15 PM   #11
Masquerade
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Re: star trek- immortality?

USS Kongo wrote: View Post

Wouldn't you think the human lifespan would naturally be longer, thanks to the mere presence of advanced technology of the 23th and 24th centuries? At least McCoy had the right idea: any day you're not in the ground is a good day.

Sean
I certainly would think so. Isn't the projected lifespan of someone born today in the industrialized western world believed to be well past a hundred?

As far as in show examples go, Picard was supposed to be in his sixties at TNG's start, yet Stewart was in his forties, I believe. Picard looked pretty good for his age. We also see that Dr. McCoy lives into his 130s. With their almost magical medical technology, it wouldn't surprise me if humans living in the 24th century were expected to pass 150.

Picard, however, as of twenty five years after "All Good Things..." was succumbing to a neurological disorder which basicly makes him senile. A previous episode (I forget which) has Picard referencing his father's or grandfather's decent into senility. Something similar happened to Sarek after his 200th as we see from his two appearnces in TNG. One wonders if the writers wanted to put a cap on TNG medical technology, or perhaps somone on staff just had a real fear of aging.
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Old September 11 2008, 06:46 AM   #12
prometheuspan
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Re: star trek- immortality?

DGCatAniSiri wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post
Of course, a point about Cochrane complaining of boredom: he was marooned on a desert planet with nothing to do but commune with a gasseous cloud-being. I imagine immortality would be far less boring with freedom, your own ship, all of known space to play in, and, ya know, hobbies.
Or at least it would not have become boring after just a couple of centuries. Personally, I've always thought immortality is overrated.

and? you speak? from personal experience?
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Old September 11 2008, 06:54 AM   #13
prometheuspan
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Re: star trek- immortality?

HTML Code:
Wouldn't you think the human lifespan would naturally be longer, thanks to the mere presence of advanced technology of the 23th and 24th centuries? At least McCoy had the right idea: any day you're not in the ground is a good day.
No, i wouldn't think that.

Why? Human lifespan is set at about 100 years- 120 max. Their bioclocks
wind down after that as a matter of evolutionary survival. Remember its
the genes that make it, and having 150+ 200 year old infants walking around a tribe with 500 members just isn't in natures design.

The question of life extension is already upon us. The technology we have now if applied to its fullest billion dollar level could keep most people alive
well into the 100s. BUT. Quality of life ? Genetically, the idea is to reproduce and die. Period. And if you assume as most people in our culture do that death is THE END... well, i can see why you'd want to avoid it.
However, Death is a lot more like spiritual puberty- at least if you have the maturity to work the situation to your favor rather than drown in entropy.

Avoiding death to live a feeble life seems a bit silly, given the alternative of
just letting nature take its course and having all the fun in the universe once you are free of a body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iwUZOnB9J4

"And if I die today Ill be the happy phantom
And Ill go chasin the nuns out in the yard
And Ill run naked through the streets without my mask on
And I will never need umbrellas in the rain
Ill wake up in strawberry fields everday
And the atrocities of school I can forgive
The happy phantom has no right to bitch

Oo who- the time is getting closer
Oo who- time to be a ghost
Oo who- everyday were getting closer
The sun is getting dim
Will we pay for who we been

So if I die today Ill be the happy phantom
And Ill go wearin my naughties like a jew
Theyll be my ticket to the universal opera
Theres judy garland taking buddha by the hand
And then these seven little men get up to dance
They say confucius does his crossword with a pen
Im still the angle to the girl who hates to sin

Oo whoo- the time is gettin closer
Oo who- the time to be a ghost
Oo who- everyday were getting closer
The sun is getting dim
Will I pay for who I been

Or will I see you dear and wish I could come back
You found a girl that you could truly love again
Will you still call for me when she falls asleep
Or do we soon forget the things we cannot see

Oo who- the time is getting closer
Oo who- the time to be a ghost
Oo who- everyday were getting closer
The sun is getting dim
Will I pay for who I been

And if I die today
And if I die today
And if I die today
Chasin nuns out in the yard"
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Old September 11 2008, 07:59 AM   #14
Timo
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Re: star trek- immortality?

..yet the humans considered themselves lucky if they made it to their eighties.
Did this happen? I thought modern Trek was pretty clever about this: the characters were indicated to be older than the actors (Picard vs. Stewart), they grumbled and complained when their bodies, due to some rare and exotic disease, did not allow for physically active careers at eighty (Mark Jameison, future Picard), and when they spoke about their preferred death, they said "in bed surrounded by loved ones, at 140", in the same way somebody today would use the realistic-optimistic figure 110, or 100, or even 90 (O'Brien).

Given all this, we might well assume that any or all of the graying admirals in TNG and DS9 were in their eighties or nineties rather than their sixties, and that some were significantly past that. And McCoy's hobbled walk at 137 might reflect his strenuous lifestyle and wild youth rather than his physical age.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old September 11 2008, 09:30 AM   #15
prometheuspan
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Re: star trek- immortality?



yes, which is very realistic all things considered.

Although, in general, trek medical science is obviously way behind everything else. They also seem to have an aversion to robots and bionics, maybe there
was some sort of "i robot" episode that happened in 2006 of the trek universe or some such. ??

I'm sorry, but if you have the technology for FTL, you have the technology
to be immortal should you make (the unfortunate choice in my opinion) the decision to stay alive forever.

A lot like with communicators- we already have cell phones that apparently
out perform those.

Add some transhumanism, maybe some wetware, an nice neural upload-
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