DS9 Millennium

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Smellincoffee, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You're defining your terms incorrectly. "Alternate" does not mean "altered." They're related words, but not synonymous. In this context, "alternate" simply means "constituting an alternative." For instance, if your GPS tells you that there's a traffic jam on the interstate and offers you an alternate route. Or when they empanel a jury, they pick twelve jurors and several alternate jurors in case one of the originals has to drop out. An alternate X isn't an altered (changed) form of the original X, it's simply a different X that coexists with the original and provides you with an alternative (different) choice. If you choose the alternate, the original is still there; you're just not using it.

    Besides, you're taking this whole thing too literally. Star Trek is a work of fiction. It's something that people make up for entertainment purposes. And that means it follows whatever rules its creators want it to follow. Nobody -- not the creators, not the fans -- has any desire to "erase" the original Trek continuity from existence in-universe. And no matter what might happen in a new story, the original TV episodes and movies and books and comics will still be available in the real world for people to watch or read. Nothing's going to be "erased," so there's no sense in worrying about it.
     
  2. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Am I the only one who finds it amusing when new posters come on here and try to argue science with Christopher?:guffaw:
     
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Always reminds me of the "Happy Days" episode where Mrs C tells Fonzie to "Sit on it!"

    {Joanie}Everybody duck!{/Joanie}
     
  4. MattWallace

    MattWallace Lieutenant

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    I'm simply pointing out that the evidence allows either explanation without relying on having to read all the inerviews and chats done by the writers. The term timeline doesn't appear in the movie, just the term alternate reality as in "a reality that has been altered from what it was previously" although it could also be taken as suggesting a new branch off of an existing reality.

    And Christopher is simply wrong when he says that science does not require a theory to be testable. It's the very foundation of science. If it's not testable then it's outside the perview of science, much like creationism. Christopher's definition was correct as far as it went, however, he left off testing and jumped straight to draw a conclusion. If you cannot test it, it's not science, simple as that. We can't test for alternate timelines at this point so they are outside the perview of science. As soon as we can determine if they even exist then we can consider it as a scientific endeavor. Until then it's simply speculation. Perhaps informed speculation but speculation nonetheless.

    Steps of the Scientific Method

    1. Ask a Question: The scientific method starts when you ask a question about something that you observe: How, What, When, Who, Which, Why, or Where? And, in order for the scientific method to answer the question it must be about something that you can measure, preferably with a number.

    2. Do Background Research:Rather than starting from scratch in putting together a plan for answering your question, you want to be a savvy scientist using library and Internet research to help you find the best way to do things and insure that you don’t repeat mistakes from the past

    3. Construct a Hypothesis:A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work: “If_____[I do this] _____, then _____[this]_____ will happen.” You must state your hypothesis in a way that you can easily measure, and of course, your hypothesis should be constructed in a way to help you answer your original question.

    4.Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment: Your experiment tests whether your hypothesis is true or false. It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you change only one factor at a time whilekeeping all other conditions the same. You should also repeat your experiments several times to make sure that the first results weren’t just an accident.

    5.Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion: Once your experiment is complete, you collect your measurements and analyze them to see if your hypothesis is true or false. Scientists often find that their hypothesis was false, and in such cases they will construct a new hypothesis starting the entire process of the scientific method over again. Even if they find that their hypothesis was true, they may want to test it again in a new way

    6. Communicate Your Results:To complete your science fair project you will communicate your results to others in a final report and/or a display board. Professional scientists do almost exactly the same thing by publishing their final report in a scientific journal or by presenting their results on a poster at a scientific meeting.

    Taken from:
    A Teacher’s Guide to BAD ASTRONOMY:MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS
    www.badastronomy.com
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    You don't need to read extraneous interviews and chats. The movie itself is deliberately vague because, if movie scripts spoonfeed us with explanations for everything, they stop being entertaining and there's nothing left for us to dicuss afterwards.
     
  6. MattWallace

    MattWallace Lieutenant

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    And I'm saying that you cannot say someone is wrong if they interpert it to mean that the future has been overwritten as happened in City of the Edge of Forever. Nothing clearly states one way or the other unless you take the chats and interviews into account, neither of which should have any bearing on the movie after the fact.
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    You are welcome to believe that if it gives you some comfort, but you have to come up with some convincing evidence if you can expect people to agree with you. We already have the episode "Parallels" (TNG) which is the retro template that fits most interpretations, and JJ's writers took that as their springboard. It had bearing before the fact, not just after.

    Have you read "Crucible: McCoy"? In that novel, we track the life and death of the McCoy that wasn't rescued. In "Crucible: Spock" we learn more about the "Yesteryear" timeline, in which Thelin of Andor, not Spock of Vulcan, is the ongoing first officer of the Enterprise.
     
  8. MattWallace

    MattWallace Lieutenant

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    Yes, I've read Cruicible. The McCoy story was great. The other two were OK but nowhere near the quality of McCoy.

    Are you saying that Parallels overrules City of the Edge of Forever? If so, sorry, can't agree with you there. Trek has given us various different ways that time travel works and without relying on after the fact info from the writers ST09 can go one way or the other (or the other...). Since the movie didn't show us the Prime universe after Spock left it we don't know if it's still there (Parallels) Or was overwritten (COTEOF or First Contact). We don't have the information to say one way or the other. If the writes bring it up in the next move, and there's no reason for them to, then they can adress it there. Until it's laid down one way or the other you can go either way. For all we know, this could be a universe that works totally differently than we've seen before when it comes to time travel.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But why would they want to in this case?


    We also have actual physics and common sense supporting the parallel-timelines model. That's the only interpretation that's actually physically meaningful or has any probability of being true. While it is not technically forbidden for two parallel timelines to reconverge so that the information from one is erased, it would be so improbable as to be effectively impossible, and it would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics by decreasing the overall entropy of the universe. Heck, in Watching the Clock I had to invent (or repurpose) some imaginary handwave physics to justify the conceit that it could happen at all.

    Actually that was in The Chimes at Midnight in Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions. And as I may have mentioned, "Yesteryear" itself set the precedent by treating Thelin's timeline as one that Spock expected to continue after he returned to his own.
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Sure, but DRG3 also extended Thelin's scenes in "Crucible: Spock", beyond what we were shown in "Yesteryear".

    I would not presume to pre-empt you on that one.

    "Parallels" doesn't "overrule" CotEoF, just enhances it. Due to McCoy's interference, there's a timeline where Edith lives, another where she dies. They can co-exist. "Crucible: McCoy" shows us a McCoy that gets home safely, and another stuck in the past. "Yesteryear" shows us a timeline where Spock dies as a child, another where he lives - and another where his pet sehlat died prematurely.
     
  11. MattWallace

    MattWallace Lieutenant

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    Why wouldn't they? I'm saying we don't have any information from the movie to say one way or the other. They shouldn't have to hand out errata sheets at the theater. Got something to say? Put it on the screen.

    So, in COTEOF the Enterprise didn't disapper from orbit? The only reason Kirk & Spock went back was to bring back McCoy? If McCoy caused the timeline to split then wouldn't he be trapped in the new one, just like Spock is in ST09?
     
  12. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Spoon feeding. So ST:TMP should have added a line about Klingons with bony crests? Andorians with forehead tendrils?

    We saw that happen. Being on the planet, Kirk and the landing party were suddenly in a new timeline.

    No, they wanted to try to rectify things. The Guardian indicated that they could, but maybe it would just sweep them into a more bearable timeline?

    Yep. "Crucible: McCoy" shows us two possible futures.

    Spock Prime's time traveling seemingly wasn't repeatable in reverse. He no longer had custody of the red matter, nor the ship he used, nor access to the black hole event that brought him there.

    The Guardian seemingly has more control of things than the random chance of red matter, or even a slingshot round the sun.
     
  13. MattWallace

    MattWallace Lieutenant

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    So Spock gets a ship, computes the time travel back to San Francisco in 1986, stows away on the BOP that takes him back to the 23rd century. He then has a century to stop the Hobus star and prevent the destruction of Romulus and his trip to the past. Easy Peasy. Sounds like something Spock could do, it's not like they'd notice his mass considering they didn't have exact mass figures for the whales and water.

    How can't he go back to the future now? Who needs red matter? There's the sun, slingshot around it. He's calculated the formula for time travel before.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^You know, I feel obliged to point out that I've already addressed all these questions about temporal physics in DTI: Watching the Clock, and what I don't cover there is covered in the upcoming Forgotten History. Since ST has always included both the "overwriting" model and the coexisting-parallels model, I found a set of principles that accommodated them both. Which outcome happens depends on the particular circumstances.
     
  15. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Whatever. I've been around here long enough, that when a science debate comes up, I just go with what Christopher says, unless I know for a fact he's wrong. And in the 5-10 years I've been hanging out here that hasn't happened yet.
    And where does you're, alternate timeline means an altered timeline, in the almost 20 years I've been watching Sci-Fi TV and movies I have never once heard it defined that way. Every single time I have ever heard that term used, it has meant that it was a parallel reality, not one that had been over written. I've watch Doctor Who, Star Trek, Farscape, Babylon 5, Lost, Fringe, and every time they've used the term alternate reality, they've been using the above definition.
     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    kkozoriz1, is that you?

    Spock's indirectly responsible for the destruction of Vulcan. While you may be happy to go "Not my problem!" and warp away to play Sliders until you find a timeline that you prefer, he won't. He's going to help the surviving Vulcans.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, because you're simply wrong to think that's what I meant. What I meant is that a hypothetical that is derived from existing theory is more plausible than one that contradicts existing theory. Saying that we can't know anything without hard data is a common misconception about science. Yes, theories need to make testable predictions, but their whole power as a scientific tool is that they do make predictions beyond existing evidence. It takes both evidence and theory to do science. So to treat an idea grounded solidly in the verified theories of general relativity and quantum physics and to say it's no more worth taking seriously than a totally random handwave is naive. No, it's not absolutely certain to be true, but it's vastly more probable than the alternative. Science is about probability. It makes no pretense of absolute certainty, but is based on finding the most likely, reasonable, consistent interpretation of the evidence. A premise that is consistent with all available evidence is accepted while a premise that is inconsistent with the evidence is not -- unless new evidence comes along that says otherwise. You go with the theory that's consistent with the evidence you have, and you don't reject it or embrace a different theory unless you have tangible reasons to do so. The burden of proof lies with the premise that contradicts existing theory. As Carl Sagan put it, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

    Existing theory tells us that the universe might actually be able of branching into parallel quantum histories, aka "timelines." It also tells us that with each passing moment, those parallel branches become more and more different from each other as their particles move in different ways, and so the probability of those particles coming back into perfect alignment and merging the two timelines back into one grows increasingly closer to zero with each passing instant. It's like the probability of the shards of a broken glass spontaneously reassembling into an intact glass, only immeasurably more so because we're talking about all the particles in the universe (or at least the part of it that's diverged). We have a sufficiently detailed understanding of the physics involved that we can say with confidence that once parallel timelines come into being, the odds against them ever spontaneously reconverging are astronomical. (Here's a FAQ that explains the physics in reasonably clear terms.)

    So if you want to argue that it is possible for a timeline to reconverge and have its unique history erased, you have to postulate a new physical principle that could explain how it can happen. And that's what I did in Watching the Clock. I didn't just ignore what existing physics tells us; I acknowledged that the law of entropy would work against timelines reconverging, and I made up a workaround for that. Given that recombining timelines would decrease entropy, that means that something would have to do work in order to make that happen. That's high-school physics. So there'd have to be some kind of force acting on the timelines to push their particles back into alignment. So I repurposed the "anti-time" technobabble from "All Good Things..." and postulated that it was a force of negative entropy responsible for "pushing" diverged timelines back together. After all, if entropy increase is the arrow of time, then a reasonable interpretation of "anti-time" is that it's negative entropy.
     
  18. Stoek

    Stoek Commander Red Shirt

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    Okay, now I'm a serious laybeing but is COTEOF really in conflict with paralells? I mean do we have any proof that the timeline is over written? Or do we simply see that Kirk and those on the planet with him no longer have access to their original timeline at the moment?
     
  19. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    To roughly quote the work from which this thread gets its title:
    I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself... Carry on. :) This actually really is an interesting discussion, if a bit confusing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Even if it was overwritten, that doesn't mean there's a conflict. There's no reason the laws of time can't allow both coexisting parallels and overwritten timelines. Physics is like that -- the same principle operating under different conditions and circumstances can produce different results. For instance, if you fire a projectile in deep space, it'll go in a straight line indefinitely, but if you fire it on a planet surface, its path will curve down toward the ground. The context affects the outcome.