RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 138,887
Posts: 5,386,590
Members: 24,713
Currently online: 501
Newest member: colton123412345

TrekToday headlines

Gold Key Archives Volume 2
By: T'Bonz on Aug 19

Takei Documentary Wins Award
By: T'Bonz on Aug 19

Cumberbatch To Voice Khan
By: T'Bonz on Aug 19

Shaun And Ed On Phineas and Ferb
By: T'Bonz on Aug 18

New Ships Coming From Official Starships Collection
By: T'Bonz on Aug 18

Trek Stars Take On Ice Bucket Challenge
By: T'Bonz on Aug 18

Retro Review: Profit and Lace
By: Michelle on Aug 16

Eve Engaged
By: T'Bonz on Aug 15

Shatner’s Get A Life DVD Debuts
By: T'Bonz on Aug 14

TV Alert: Takei Oprah Appearance
By: T'Bonz on Aug 14


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 26 2008, 10:27 PM   #1
Slappy The Vulcan
Lieutenant Commander
 
Slappy The Vulcan's Avatar
 
Location: V'Ger
Cetacian Ops?

I seem to remember a post on here about an area on a galaxy class starship (and the refit 1701 also, but Im not sure) where whales who were crew members resided, (Were they crew?) I cant find anything searching and I seem to remember seeing a couple of concept drawings, (I'm thinking they were done by Andy Probert, but I may be wrong as well.) I guess I'm just curious as to what benefits having whales or dolphins on board a spacefaring vessel would have, esp. scince some scientists now believe that whales and dolphins may not be as intelligent as once spectulated. how would these creatures be fed? I know starships are big but, a whale would hardly have room to move around unless they hollowed out the secondary hull and filled it with water. what happens to the whales should the crew have to abandon ship? also, I doubt whales could go on away missions because the salinity (if it even has salt in it) or PH of the water on an alien world would probibly kill them or at the very least cause them so much discomfort they would not be able to complete there mission.anyway, I guess I was wondering what original purpose the concept of a "Cetation Ops" area of a starship would fill, and if any thought was given to the logistics of such a faculity.
__________________
"FIRE!!!" -Kahn, STII
Slappy The Vulcan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26 2008, 11:04 PM   #2
RobertVA
Fleet Captain
 
RobertVA's Avatar
 
Location: Virginia USA
Re: Cetacian Ops?

The licensed deck plans for the 1701-D show tanks in the forward area of the saucer in locations that don't conflict with either Ten Forward or the captain's quarters (two decks above Ten Forward). While not big enough for larger species, they look big enough for species the size of dolphins or orcas. While not like swimming in an ocean, they're probably comparable to late 20th century tanks used to overnight the performers for trained dolphin/orca shows (I believe some of the performance tanks are only used for shows and training). The deck plans also showed special aquatic lifeboats.

Presumably any use of cetaceans as crew members would require the establishment of some way of communicating with them well enough for them to agree to the relatively confined area.

With all the technology available in the federation I don't see why the cetatian crew members couldn't be equiped with anti-gravity "air/space suits". Voice recognition technology could be used to operate anchors and manipulators.

Aquatic alien species might be more receptive towards first contact with aquatic crew members, although it might be difficult for the aquatic aliens to build the warp capable spacecraft that would qualify them for open communications. There might be other cases with non-technological aquatics and technological dry land aliens though.
RobertVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26 2008, 11:23 PM   #3
Mysterion
Rear Admiral
 
Mysterion's Avatar
 
Location: SB-31, Daran V
Re: Cetacian Ops?

RobertVA wrote: View Post
The licensed deck plans for the 1701-D show tanks in the forward area of the saucer in locations that don't conflict with either Ten Forward or the captain's quarters (two decks above Ten Forward). While not big enough for larger species, they look big enough for species the size of dolphins or orcas. While not like swimming in an ocean, they're probably comparable to late 20th century tanks used to overnight the performers for trained dolphin/orca shows (I believe some of the performance tanks are only used for shows and training). The deck plans also showed special aquatic lifeboats.
Indeed, the TNG Technical Manual says there is a mixed group of dolphins and ocrca onboard doing navigation research or some such. (Interesting side-note, the FASA published "TNG OFficer's Manual" suggested a similar arrangement, but with Medusans involved.)

Presumably any use of cetaceans as crew members would require the establishment of some way of communicating with them well enough for them to agree to the relatively confined area.
As far as communications, I would think the universal translators could handle this. And as to intereacting, there is a drawing by Andrew Probert showing an area where the human and aquatic crewfolk could interact. Looks to me like a sort of cross between a lounge and the Seatle Aquarium viewing area.

With all the technology available in the federation I don't see why the cetatian crew members couldn't be equiped with anti-gravity "air/space suits". Voice recognition technology could be used to operate anchors and manipulators.
In Diane Duane's novel Dark Mirror, she suggests a kind of mobile anti-grav platform equipped with a force-field to hold a shell of water around the dolphin crew member in the story.

Aquatic alien species might be more receptive towards first contact with aquatic crew members,
Perhaps.

although it might be difficult for the aquatic aliens to build the warp capable spacecraft that would qualify them for open communications.
Why so?
__________________
USS Galileo Galilei, NCC-8888
Prima Inter Pares
Mysterion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26 2008, 11:56 PM   #4
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Cetacean Ops?

Slappy The Vulcan wrote: View Post
I seem to remember a post on here about an area on a galaxy class starship (and the refit 1701 also, but Im not sure) where whales who were crew members resided, (Were they crew?)
The dolphins and orcas were civilian navigation specialists, according to the TNG Tech Manual. Remember that the Galaxy-class ships had civilian scientists and families on board as well as officers, though this is something that was neglected in later seasons of TNG.

I'm unaware of any claims of cetacean personnel aboard the refit 1701.

I guess I'm just curious as to what benefits having whales or dolphins on board a spacefaring vessel would have, esp. scince some scientists now believe that whales and dolphins may not be as intelligent as once spectulated.
Within the Trek universe, humpback whales are canonically known to be sentient, so it's logical to conclude that other cetaceans could be sentient in-universe as well.

how would these creatures be fed?
Same way anyone else is -- via the replicators.

I know starships are big but, a whale would hardly have room to move around unless they hollowed out the secondary hull and filled it with water.
Bottlenose dolphins average 3 meters long, and orcas (which are actually the largest dolphin species) average about 7 meters. We're not talking about humpbacks or blue whales here.

also, I doubt whales could go on away missions because the salinity (if it even has salt in it) or PH of the water on an alien world would probibly kill them or at the very least cause them so much discomfort they would not be able to complete there mission.
Why? First of all, any ocean on a class-M planet is going to have salinity, because that comes from the dissolved minerals in runoff from land masses. Second, although oceanic dolphin species can't survive long in freshwater environments like rivers (although their are river dolphin species), they can no doubt handle a fairly wide range of salinities and presumably pH levels in the oceans of Earth, given that they have fairly wide ranges in the ocean.

Besides, realistically, humans would have to worry about different chemistry and metallicity on alien planets as well, but Trek routinely assumes that humans can thrive on any M-class world. Presumably the same conceit would apply to oceans as well.

anyway, I guess I was wondering what original purpose the concept of a "Cetation Ops" area of a starship would fill, and if any thought was given to the logistics of such a faculity.
The concept probably came from Rick Sternbach, who IIRC has worked with dolphins in the past and has a longstanding interest in their intelligence. (Sternbach has done various SF book covers and other paintings featuring technology-using dolphins, including the cover to Larry Niven's World of Ptavvs.) The purpose was presumably to live up to ST's principles of diversity and inclusion and to bring a little more exotica to the mix of the E-D crew, and probably to build on ST IV's establishment of cetacean sentience as a reality within the Trekverse. As stated above, the in-universe purpose according to the TNGTM was that the dolphins served as navigational analysts, applying their own distinctive way of thinking about 3-dimensional navigation. There's logic to the idea that beings accustomed to moving through the ocean in three dimensions might have better insights about movement in space than we humans with our tendency to move and think in two dimensions. It's a concept that's been used in SF before.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27 2008, 02:11 AM   #5
SonicRanger
Rear Admiral
 
SonicRanger's Avatar
 
Location: Sheffield, England
Re: Cetacian Ops?

In The Perfect Mate, Geordi asks the Ferengi, "Have you had a chance to see the dolphins yet?"
__________________
"STAR TREK is... Action - Adventure - Science Fiction."
-- Gene Roddenberry, 1964, top of the first page of his original pitch and outline for Star Trek
SonicRanger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27 2008, 03:02 AM   #6
Unicron
Continuity Spackle
 
Unicron's Avatar
 
Location: With the Dead Poets
Send a message via ICQ to Unicron
Re: Cetacian Ops?

Interestingly enough, the Galaxy deck plans in FASA's TNG Officers Manual had several decks where there were interfaces for the Medusan race, serving in a similar capacity. Kind of a nice nod to TOS.
__________________

"My dream is to eat candy and poop emeralds. I'm halfway successful."


Catbert, Evil Director of Human Resources
Unicron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27 2008, 09:21 PM   #7
Tigger
Fleet Captain
 
Tigger's Avatar
 
Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Cetacian Ops?

SonicRanger wrote: View Post
In The Perfect Mate, Geordi asks the Ferengi, "Have you had a chance to see the dolphins yet?"
Also, in "Yesterday's Enterprise" a crewmember is paged to "Cetacean Ops" over the PA system. So if the battleship Enterprise had them...
__________________
Chris "Tigger" Wallace
Tigger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2008, 03:34 PM   #8
FalTorPan
Vice Admiral
 
FalTorPan's Avatar
 
Location: Out there... thataway.
Re: Cetacian Ops?

Tigger wrote: View Post
SonicRanger wrote: View Post
In The Perfect Mate, Geordi asks the Ferengi, "Have you had a chance to see the dolphins yet?"
Also, in "Yesterday's Enterprise" a crewmember is paged to "Cetacean Ops" over the PA system. So if the battleship Enterprise had them...
I have it on good authority that the head cetacean trooper aboard the YE 1701-D is named Dolphin Lundgren.
__________________
Watch ASTRONUTS! Visit Trekplace! Check out my personal website!
FalTorPan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2008, 06:49 PM   #9
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Cetacian Ops?

The dolphins and orcas were civilian navigation specialists, according to the TNG Tech Manual.
One might consider that 24th century folks could grant this status to individuals of much lower sentience levels than that of an average healthy human. You don't have to be able to do calculus, write prose or paint in oils in order to be a "navigation specialist". You don't necessarily even have to speak English. I'm sure some sort of a communications system could be rigged to make use of the natural skills of a dolphin even without its active cooperation - or even consent.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28 2008, 07:51 PM   #10
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Cetacian Ops?

Timo wrote: View Post
One might consider that 24th century folks could grant this status to individuals of much lower sentience levels than that of an average healthy human. You don't have to be able to do calculus, write prose or paint in oils in order to be a "navigation specialist". You don't necessarily even have to speak English. I'm sure some sort of a communications system could be rigged to make use of the natural skills of a dolphin even without its active cooperation - or even consent.
What a disturbing notion. Do you really think the Federation would do anything so exploitative? That they would force dolphins to do their bidding? Maybe in the Mirror Universe.

Besides, it contradicts what the TNGTM actually says. On pp. 44-5, it refers to the dolphins as a "consultation crew" that is "overseen" by the two orcas. It goes on:
All theoretical topics in navigation are studied by these elite specialists, and their recommendations for system upgrades are implemented by Starfleet.
So we're clearly not talking about sled dogs in harness here.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29 2008, 12:44 AM   #11
Slappy The Vulcan
Lieutenant Commander
 
Slappy The Vulcan's Avatar
 
Location: V'Ger
Re: Cetacian Ops?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
One might consider that 24th century folks could grant this status to individuals of much lower sentience levels than that of an average healthy human. You don't have to be able to do calculus, write prose or paint in oils in order to be a "navigation specialist". You don't necessarily even have to speak English. I'm sure some sort of a communications system could be rigged to make use of the natural skills of a dolphin even without its active cooperation - or even consent.
What a disturbing notion. Do you really think the Federation would do anything so exploitative? That they would force dolphins to do their bidding? Maybe in the Mirror Universe.

Besides, it contradicts what the TNGTM actually says. On pp. 44-5, it refers to the dolphins as a "consultation crew" that is "overseen" by the two orcas. It goes on:
All theoretical topics in navigation are studied by these elite specialists, and their recommendations for system upgrades are implemented by Starfleet.
So we're clearly not talking about sled dogs in harness here.


Okay but are dolphins THAT smart? the ocean enviroment and lack of opposable thumbs make for some pretty benign brain challenges. I know dolphins are highly intelligent as far as vs other animals. but would a dolphin even know what a nav. computer was much less how to navigate in space? sure they can navigate in the ocean because there is gravity to tell them which way is down. in space the only gravity point of reference would be the gravity generated by the starship they were on, so I would guess with out anyway to tell which way was up and down in space, theyd be pretty useless. I would also take a leap here and say that you cant teach a dolphin the complex math required for the position you describe them having aboard the ship. and BTW, I'm not dissing dolphins or whales either, I happen to think they are wonderful animals and yes they seem very smart, but not THAT smart.
__________________
"FIRE!!!" -Kahn, STII
Slappy The Vulcan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29 2008, 01:46 AM   #12
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Cetacian Ops?

Slappy The Vulcan wrote: View Post
Okay but are dolphins THAT smart?
Within the Trek universe, it is a canonical fact that cetaceans (in the person of humpback whales) are sapient beings. We're talking about a work of fiction. Dolphins can be as smart as the story needs them to be.

the ocean enviroment and lack of opposable thumbs make for some pretty benign brain challenges.
Hardly. The ocean is a much harsher and more challenging environment for an air-breathing mammal than the land is. If anything, there's a strong incentive to evolve intelligence as a means of dealing with those challenges, which is why dolphins are so smart and so social (since cooperation helps).

Even for animals that evolved there, there's nothing benign about the ocean. It's a complex, dangerous, often forbidding environment. If it were easier to live in the ocean than on land, life never would've had an incentive to evolve to live on land in the first place.

And lack of opposable thumbs is only relevant to technology, not intelligence. We conflate the two because we're a tool-using species, but that's just egocentrism. And in fact dolphins are tool-users insofar as they're able to be.

I know dolphins are highly intelligent as far as vs other animals. but would a dolphin even know what a nav. computer was
Would Isaac Newton have even known what a nav computer was? No. But that doesn't mean he lacked intelligence, only a cultural context. Don't confuse knowledge with intelligence.

much less how to navigate in space? sure they can navigate in the ocean because there is gravity to tell them which way is down.
Uhh, are you forgetting that humans live in gravity too? We have to adjust our way of thinking to navigate in space. Dolphins would have less of an adjustment to make, because they're used to moving -- and thinking -- in three dimensions.

And gravity is of limited relevance in the ocean, since buoyancy largely cancels it out.

I would also take a leap here and say that you cant teach a dolphin the complex math required for the position you describe them having aboard the ship. and BTW, I'm not dissing dolphins or whales either, I happen to think they are wonderful animals and yes they seem very smart, but not THAT smart.
In some respects, dolphins are probably smarter than we are, although that's a crude way of putting it. We're different species with different evolutionary needs, so our intelligence has specialized in different directions.


http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neur...er3/Ball3.html
By many of the physical methods of comparing intelligence, such as measuring the brain size to body size ratio, cetacean surpass non-human primates and even rival human beings. For example dolphins have a cerebral cortex which is about 40% larger a human being's. Their cortex is also stratified in much the same way as a humans(1). The frontal lobe of dolphins is also developed to a level comparable to humans. In addition the parietal lobe of dolphins which "makes sense of the senses" is larger than the human parietal and frontal lobes combined (1). The similarities do not end there, most cetaceans have large and well developed temporal lobes which contain sections equivalent to Broca's and Wernicke's areas in humans (1).

Another major difference between primate and cetacean brains is that the primate brain favors the motor cortex, while "the cetaceans greatly favor the sensory region (and are not very balanced at all between the two)" (1). In the final measure of brain complexity, neural density dolphins also measure up quite favorable to humans. In certain areas of the brain concerned with "emotional control, objectivity, reality orientation, humor, logically consistent abstract thought and higher creativity" dolphins have an higher ratio of neural density(1). This seems to be correlated with dolphins ability to maintain a healthy emotional state while in captivity; humans in analogous situations often don't fair as well emotionally.
To clarify, the frontal lobe is responsible for foresight, planning, decision-making, and social skills, and Broca's and Wernicke's areas are responsible for language.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29 2008, 01:54 AM   #13
TIN_MAN
Fleet Captain
 
TIN_MAN's Avatar
 
Re: Cetacian Ops?

I think 'Otten's Forgotten Trek" site has some pics of concept drawings of both the TNG and TMP refit cetacean areas? If anyone is interested?
TIN_MAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29 2008, 06:49 AM   #14
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Cetacian Ops?

What a disturbing notion. Do you really think the Federation would do anything so exploitative?
Use dolphins against their consent? Probably not.

Use dolphins with what is generously interpreted as their consent? Absolutely. They do far worse things to human(oid)s with their often ill-informed consent, such as sending them to die in the sort of fights they obviously cannot cope with.

"Consulting" need not imply suits, ties and small cups of strong coffee. It may imply harnesses conceptually not unlike those of a sled dog. It would IMHO be far more distasteful if Starfleet measured all its employees on the "healthy average human" yardstick; sled dogs might quite well serve on Starfleet surface exploration teams in areas suited for sleds, for example.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29 2008, 07:29 AM   #15
Mr. Laser Beam
Fleet Admiral
 
Mr. Laser Beam's Avatar
 
Location: The visitor's bullpen
View Mr. Laser Beam's Twitter Profile
Re: Cetacian Ops?

I think Cetacean Ops was originally called Dolphin Stadium.
__________________
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
Mr. Laser Beam is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.