The episode "Distant Origin"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by oddsigve, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Well, there are fourteen billion femurs in the world, and, what, two hundred billion femurs that have ever existed. Contrast those numbers with the number of things produced in our high-tech society so far. What's a future (or alien) civilization more likely to stumble over - fossilized femurs or a titanium bike frame?
     
  2. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Are you missing my point intentionally? The Human civilisation has produced things that are going to last a lot longer than a bone. Bones is not the most durable substance we have. Therefore any future civilisation that is able to discover human bones is also going to discover lots of other traces of our civilisation as well.

    And if you don't understand that, I don't know what else to say.
     
  3. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I can show you "bone" (fossils aren't bones - the tissues and cells have been replaced with minerals) that has lasted dozens of millions of years. Can you show me one thing from our current civilization that will definitely last that long? The pyramids of Giza have lasted about 5000 years, but will be ground to dust over millions of years. Their location isn't going to remain desert indefinitely, and the preservation effects of desert will be quickly undone by different kinds of weather. The roads we built will be buried under sediment and compressed to a thin black line in the stratigraphic record. Our worked metal structures will rust and decay to nothing. We've built nothing that can withstand truly deep time.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Obviously we need to donate our bones to the construction industry after we die.
     
  5. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Chernobyl.

    In 50 million years, some alien is going to investigate it and know something involving happened there.
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not to mention all the nuclear waste we've buried in lead lined containers.
     
  7. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Voth descending from dinosaurs makes as much sense as humans evolving into lizards! That's just Voyager's garbage science! :lol:
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  8. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Chernobyl! See, now that's a good example. And yet, even Chernobyl won't leave a scar that lasts 50 million years. Sure, the half-life of uranium-238 is 4.5 billion years, but uranium does react with the environment, too, and will eventually be diluted in the environment across thousands of years. Chernobyl won't be severely radioactive 50 million years from now.
     
  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    The episode never said that Humans evolved from dinosaurs. It said the Voth evolved from dinosaurs.
     
  10. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    And what about the big ass concrete casket they have used to seal the thing off?

    Are you REALLY telling me that NOTHING humans can produce is going to last as long as a plain old BONE? REALLY? All the advanced materials we can develop today, none of it will last as long as a bone?

    You're just being difficult. Have you got some source to support your claim that nothing Humanity can build will last longer than a bone? because I think you're just being deliberately stubborn.
     
  11. KaraBear

    KaraBear Captain Captain

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    that's because generaly fossils aren't bones, they're minerals that have collected in the depression left by a bone that had decayed away
     
  12. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    It'll erode away, like any rocks would over such spans. What makes you think it would be more durable than anything in the natural world? Entire mountains and whole oceans can change their shapes in 50 million years so why should a relatively tiny lump of concrete survive longer?

    I'm saying that fossilized human bones are more likely to survive across deep time than anything else we've made so far. You're just not grasping how long geological time spans are. We've been on Earth an eyeblink, and our remains would be erased in another eyeblink.

    I'm a geophysicist. My education and training are my sources. I understand geology and physics, and I know that everything we've built so far is ephemeral. Geological processes are relentless and thorough, and will eventually erase almost everything we've created.

    I'm sorry if that upsets you, but perhaps you should consider asking yourself why it upsets you.
     
  13. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Just wondering... how long do you think the stuff that was left on the Moon will last? There's no erosion, wind, volcanoes, continental drift, etc. going on there. Assuming (hypothetically) that we never go back there to pick up after ourselves, how long would the artifacts (and the astronauts' footprints) last?
     
  14. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know, but 65 million years is a LONG TIME. Don't know that we can really comprehend it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  15. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Well, there is erosion on the Moon, but it's just due to micrometeoroids. The footprints particularly, but even the equipment left on the Moon, will be pummeled by impacts of various sizes over the eons. But it'll definitely be slower than any process on Earth. Everything may be intact and recognizable until the Sun becomes a red giant, 5 billion years from now. So you may have hit on the only truly durable evidence that will last across deep time.
     
  16. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, come on. So you think we have no rocks more than a few million years old?

    I fully comprehend deep time. All I am saying is that if a dinosaur's broken eggshell can last 70 million years, then a LOT of what Humans have done will last just as long.

    So perhaps you can tell me why all these huge structure we have built will all be vanished without a trace in a million years while dinosaur eggshells have lasted much much longer. I suspect that things are tougher than you imagine.
     
  17. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    What? Of course we have rocks that are millions of years old. I'm saying the concrete of the Chernobyl sarcophagus would get eroded away - you have seen that concrete breaks down over relatively short times, right? - and the remains would be caught up in the rock cycle. The broken concrete would become coarse sediment and get mixed into the soil of the region.

    Sedimentary rocks are made out of eroded igneous and metamorphic rocks, and metamorphic rocks are made out of metamorphosed igneous and sedimentary rocks, and igneous rocks are cooled and crystallized magma, which may have had sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in it at some point. There are specimens of all these types that are millions of years old, but particularly for the sedimentary rocks, the rocks are from HUGE deposits that took a long time to accumulate anyway. The tiny bit of concrete in the sarcophagus isn't going to remain intact for millions of years. It may end up in a sedimentary layer, though. Would that count as "intact" for you?

    Like what? You have to admit, you've not thought of anything that will remain intact on Earth for millions of years. Metals oxidize and concrete breaks down. You can see these things happen on the timescale of your own life. What makes you think anything we've built is that durable when we can watch things break down in our own lifetimes?

    Consider how many dinosaur eggs must have existed across the entire Mesozoic era. And then think about how many dinosaur eggs we've actually recovered. All the dinosaur eggs in the entire world's museums are a tiny fraction of all the dinosaur eggs that ever existed. Some things don't survive because they're really durable, they just survive because they're merely lucky. Even something as fragile as an egg will sometimes get preserved by pure chance.

    I've already explained that to you. Metals oxidize and concrete breaks down. Everything we've built needs maintenance. Or do you think all those huge structures we've built are just left to fend for themselves after construction is over? If we left everything alone, the environment would break things down over merely hundreds of years. Asphalt roads may leave a thin but recognizable layer in the rocks, though, if that makes you feel better. Dinosaur eggs just had sheer numbers and pure chance on their side to preserve a tiny fraction of them.

    Who knows, maybe some freak conditions will preserve a cell phone intact across millions of years. Would you feel better if that were the case?
     
  18. Vendikarr

    Vendikarr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Who's to say the traces aren't there, but hadn't been discovered. We just discovered a canyon in northern Greenland on the scale of the Grand Canyon, covered by ice. Perhaps the remnants of the proto-Voth civilization is buried on the Antarctic continent, or deep beneath the Earth's oceans?

    I believe that even in the 24th century, the Earth still hides many secrets.
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    20 million years of written history since leaving Earth.

    10 million years ago, a clean up crew cruised by Earth and cleaned up any obvious evidence that they were ever there so that Origin could never be contradicted.
     
  20. Captain_Amasov

    Captain_Amasov Captain Captain

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    Or maybe they actually originated from Miri's homeworld, was it ever stated how close genetically the inhabitants of that world were with ours?