If Warp Drive were Possible...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ZapBrannigan, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. yenny

    yenny Captain Captain

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    We don't know if warp travel is possible? But someone will figure it out, and when he does we will be exploring the universe.

    Are there other civilizations beside those that live on the Earth? Yes. Everything that you say, do and think is being recorded by those that y'all don't believe in.
     
  2. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hmm, I'm not sure what would be more entertaining 'reality TV' or plain 'reality'
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    To go all vulcan on you, I find your logic flawed.

    1.>The universe is not limited to our Galaxy.
    2.>Our solar system might not have even formed if some ancient civilisation discovered warp drive.
    3.>Any FTL drive system might be limited to only a few hundred times the speed of light.
    4.>They might have some sort of directive to stay away from less technoligcal advanced planets.
    5.>Who knows if some alien civilisation didn't kickstart the creation of life on Earth (improbable yes.)
    6.>Perhaps this alien civilisation destroyed itself before they reached Earth.
    7.>Earth might not suit their biological requirments.



    I could go.
     
  4. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stephen Hawking did famously say "If aliens were to come to Earth, it'd be like Europeans landing in America, and that didn't work out very well for the Native Americans did it?"

    Not necessarily. Maybe it takes too much energy to get here for it to be worth coming here for the sake of conquering. Why come halfway across the galaxy to blow us up? You gain nothing, you would have to colonize and control us. And even with superior technology, how do you colonize and control seven billion people? You'd have to bring an army, and that'd have even higher energy demands.

    Also, these aliens would have had to pass pretty damn close to us, in the last few decades, to even know we'd developed.

    I don't believe we're the only intelligent life in the universe, but it's probably sparse enough that it's incredibly hard to find us and incredibly expensive to reach us, even if warp drive exists.
     
  5. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm curious as to why it always comes down to 'warp drive' or 'robotic' visitors -
    It seems limiting
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Having watched both Jersey Shore and The West Wing, as an alien I'd much rather meet Snookie than Jeb Bartlett.


    :)
     
  7. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Without warp drive or some kind of FTL, it would take thousands of years just to reach the nearest star. So you send out robots in a thankless gesture to alien posterity, or you build huge "generation ships" with large populations aboard whose descendants will one day reach the nearest star.

    One of the many troubles with such generation ships is that by the time your people get anywhere, they won't be your people anymore. Their culture would be entirely different after millenia in space.
     
  8. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Wormholes? Folding space?
     
  9. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    IMO, scientists conveniently preclude one possibility.

    Maybe Earth is the only planet in the Milky Way to support sapient life. Somebody will respond that this is improbable, but there is no reason to categorically dismiss it, is there?

    Also, a scientist should be open to all eventualities, and not rule things out based on his or her own subjective bias. ;) As an example, if a geologist devises a theory to say that giant burrowing snakes in the mantle causes earthquakes, then of course the geological community will literally laugh out loud at that suggestion. However, this is only based on the evidence at hand and inductive logic, not personal feeling. ;)
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the novel Voyage to Yesterday (James Hogan), instead of having a generation ship, or freezing people for protracted time periods, what you do is send genetic material only.

    After arrival, the ship "makes people" who are raised and educated by robots until they are adults, at which time they descend to the surface and establish a colony.

    :)
     
  11. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral


    Not only that, but we're located on the periphery of the Milky Way Galaxy... If the navigation of advanced space vessels uses linear movement, then we're just WAY too far away to even bother exploring. There's just far too many habitable planets within closer reach to existing sentient life to even trouble with sending a probe all the way out to our location.

    Even still... there are some people who wholeheartedly believe we've been visited by extra terrestrial crafts. Maybe we have. But by the time any useful information will have made it back to their place of origin, we'll have long been extinct (sadly, the odds are very much against us).

    The ONLY way we could be on ANY alien life's radar scope of interest, is if they can fold space and travel to almost anywhere in the universe at will in reasonably short time periods (relative to their lifespans). Based on how physics works, I see that as a 0.01% chance of being true.

    It's easy to fall back on "well, 100 years ago people thought [X] was impossible and today we have [X], so there." Well sure, when looking at the pragmatic progression of technology. We have made enormous strides in a very short period of time. But, there isn't even the slightest indication that the laws of astrophysics can be stretched or significantly altered. Those laws limit speed, even with engines far more powerful than we've even imagined as yet. Distance is our key obstacle. We're too far away from any sentient life.

    Our imaginations are TERRIFIC at surpassing those laws in fantasy scenarios, and when people who enjoy sci-fi become so FAMILIAR with these imagined capabilities, it's easy to believe we can do anything. We can do a lot... but we CANNOT change the fundamental laws of physics. We're stuck out here on the periphery of it all. Sad, but miserably true.
     
  12. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why is it that alien life has to be more advanced than us? If there are alien civilisations out there they could be centuries or millenia behind us in development, making us the most advanced species (scary thought when you take time to consider it).

    Even if there are species out there who have developed warp drive, it isn't a means of instantaneous travel and still takes time to get from A to B. They could be far enough away from Earth that getting here to colonise our world would be impractical. That is even accepting that they breathe an oxygen-nitrogen mix, require Earth gravity (their homeworld could have a third of ours or six times as much), or can survive within our climate.

    As for building an empire, why? Not every species would have our bloody (as in actual blood) history. Seizing new territory and conquest may not hold any interest for them. They may have gone to the stars millions of years ago, seen no other intelligent life around and returned hom to focus on their own development and evolution. Or maybe they're sitting up in orbit watching us after seeding our world billions of years ago, there is after all no way of knowing that didn't happen.

    I like to believe that we are not alone in this universe, that other life does exist and that it isn't merely out to screw us. Look at how many types of life forms evolved under a huge array of conditions and locations across our own little planet, then just think of all the others out there. What life there is here can't be all there is.

    Plus they could use some kind of starburst, or hyperspace, or probability drive to travel through space, it doesn't have to be warp :)
     
  13. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [Dwight]False.[/Dwight]

    It'd be thousands of years for Earth, but maybe only a few years for the travelers themselves. That's special relativity.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Plus, achieving an individual lifespan of thousands of years might be a trivial feat for a civilized species, something we humans will do before the next century rolls.

    To ensure that we don't come and blow them up! Sterilizing the galaxy of competition is a valid strategy of survival. Although one might invent more altruist motivations for berserkers, too - say, they might want to stop civilizations from becoming so advanced that they quicken the heat death of the universe by their technologies (Alastair Reynolds toyed with this). Or they might be on a terraforming spree, but over the aeons, something goes wrong and terraforming becomes extermination - a very realistic prospect considering the basic nature of terraforming.

    Naah. Just enter orbit, spray everybody with an agent that will kill them (or worse) unless they behave and queue up for their antidote, and the biggest expense in all of this will be hiring the clerks who dish out the antidote pills. Then, at your liberty, introduce other useful chemicals into the daily antidote dose...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And in the case of VOYAGE TO YESTERDAY an entirely new culture was the intention. While I love much of Hogan's work, this novel was not one of his best.
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I do think the Prime Directive is one of Star Trek's most foresighted inventions and probably universally applicable.

    And one of the best episodes ever is still TNG's "First Contact" that says it all, IMHO.

    What would happen, if there actually was a global close encounter of the third kind in our lifetime?

    Maybe half the people of our planet would adopt their ethics and guiding principles while the other half would simply reject it. Since we are right now plunging back into the Dark Ages with religious fanatism and murder becoming ever increasing, that's just what we can use right now to insure the demise of the human race.

    In simpler language: Benevolent aliens would cherish the Prime Directive on our behalf, evil ones would come and say "hello"...

    Bob
     
  17. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The so-called "evil" aliens might be making a first contact, too. There's a first time for everything, including mistakes. (And as the old adage goes, "Experience is what many people call their mistakes.") They may have a race history with no precedents of disaster between tribes, nations, etc.

    And why must the Prime Directive be altruistic? Suppose the more technically advanced race has learned not to reap first contacts until a new race is ready to contribute in some way. In human dealings, I'd more readily trust mutual interest than alleged altruism. ("The road to Hell is paved with Prime Directives.")
     
  18. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  19. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Are you sure?
     
  20. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Apr 6, 2013
    Violence is on the decline.