General Species' Planet Names Inquiry

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by PaulMarshall, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ENT: "Demons"/"Terra Prime" did confirm that a human-Vulcan hybrid child would require medical and genetic intervention to achieve. And DS9 said it "wouldn't be easy" for a Trill and a Klingon to have a child, implying the same. On the other hand, there have been cases of hybrids apparently being conceived "by accident," like Alexander and Ziyal.


    I wouldn't call that "compelling," I'd call it misogynistic. A desirable woman as an animalistic beast? Female allure as a lethal temptation for men? That's steeped in Roddenberry's generation's sexual hangups and centuries of cultural demonization of female sexuality. Considering that Roddenberry's own treatment of the women who worked on his shows would be unlikely to pass muster in the MeToo era, the recurring tendency in his work to blame women for being irresistible creatures luring good men astray (see also Nona, Ilia, and the opening narration of his 333 Montgomery Street pilot with DeForest Kelley) comes off as making excuses for his own sexual excesses.


    That doesn't add up, since Sargon's people were colonizing the galaxy well before Homo sapiens evolved. 600,000 years ago, our ancestors would've still been H. heidelbergensis, capable of controlling fire and using primitive tools, but not yet capable of humanlike speech and not yet creating art or abstract symbols.

    Of course evolution in real life doesn't work the way Star Trek portrays, but neither does relativity, quantum physics, temporal physics, force field dynamics, linguistics, etc. Humanoid aliens, like warp drive and universal translators, are a deliberate break with reality for the sake of the narrative. It works that way in the story, regardless of how it works in reality.
     
  2. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    And in TNG's The Emissary, K'ehleyr said that "a fair amount of help" was needed for Klingon and human DNA to successfully mix together. Apparently it was still rather uncommon at that point in galactic history, as shown by Troi's comment that "I didn't know it was possible for a human and a Klingon to produce a child."

    (dialog quoted from chakoteya.net)

    It depends on whether Tellar has jus soli or not. Many countries today don't; children born within their borders have to take the citizenship/nationality of (one of) their parents. And in some parts of the world, the notion of "melting pot" is nonexistent, and the concept of the "nation" is quite intertwined with the concept of race/ethnicity. It may be the same for various planets in Trek.

    Kor
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  3. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Whether or not that helps my point, I ignore anything from Enterprise.

    What interesting about Alexander is that he's 3/4 Klingon. K'Ehleyr is half human isn't she? So maybe it's easier for a human/klingon to accidentally breed with a full Klingon, than it is for a human and Klingon. Hmm. Interesting stuff.

    I'm not going to debate with you the long history of the treatment of female sexuality. I'm talking about an alien species in a fictional universe. And so I find the Animal Woman concept much more compelling as an alien species, instead of the green dancing girl concept, because it's actually something that is alien. You can call it what you want. But I find that having a universe with broad diverse ideas is more interesting than one in which everything conforms to early 21st century ideas of morality.

    I did mention homosapiens and their ancestors. Plus we're also talking about genetic manipulation so I think it's fair to say that any limitations of humanlike speech, art, and abstract symbols could be overcome.

    Certainly true. It's fiction and liberties can be taken. But as I prefer more hardish scifi, anything we can do to bring Star Trek closer to reality is a gain in my book.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's a huge stretch. Even if some alien engineers did take H. heidelbergensis and manipulate its genes to produce all the humanoid races, it seems unlikely that they'd all just coincidentally happen to end up being given the same final body plan, mouth shape, vocal tract structure, etc. that H. sapiens evolved by natural means. Your proposal would make more sense if it had happened within the past 40,000 years, and that wouldn't explain more ancient species like the Arretians, the Tkon, and the Sky Spirits.

    I like hard science fiction too, but an important principle of science is the principle of elegance -- the more convoluted a hypothesis is, the more arbitrary ad hoc assumptions you need to pile onto it to force the desired answer, the less credible it becomes. Personally I would prefer it if a universe of humanoids were explained through the seeding of human populations, but that just doesn't fit the available evidence, and the last thing any scientifically minded person should EVER do is place one's preferences above the evidence.
     
  5. Henoch

    Henoch Commander Red Shirt

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    The fossil record shows a fairly good connected evolution for hominids on Earth with maybe some starts and stops due to large natural disasters. Now, if external alien intervention occurred once or periodic over centuries, it might be obscured in the dust of time. One theory is that alien's changed the human geno about 70,000 years ago to make a slave race (modern humans) that could mine gold in south Africa, then left after the mines played out. :mad: Thanks to them there's us. :)
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "One theory?" What are you talking about? Was that from District 9 or something?
     
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  7. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    And it doesn't quite fit, because the Voth apparently evolved on Earth before by millions of years. They're very humanoid looking themselves.
     
  8. Henoch

    Henoch Commander Red Shirt

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    Well its not my theory, but I did get it off one of TV alien shows someplace. :alienblush: I should have said "southern" Africa, not to confuse it with South Africa. They said 70,000 years ago, not 1982. I only saw District 9 once when it first came out, but all I remember is that I sort of liked it and that it had bug-like aliens in an internment camp or something and a human was morphing into one on them.

    So, were all the new born bug-aliens now called "Earthlings", or would they still be bug-alien.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, you shouldn't watch fraudulent crap like that. It'll rot your brain. And a lot of those "ancient-astronaut" shows are covers for white-supremacist propaganda. The ideas originally popularized by Erich von Daniken were borrowed from the writings of Nazi sympathizers and are fundamentally rooted in the assumption that no non-white culture could create anything of its own without alien help. (Indeed, the suggestion that humans in Africa were bred to be slaves is deeply disturbing.)
     
  10. Henoch

    Henoch Commander Red Shirt

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    Didn't see until you pointed it out. I humbly apology to you and the readers.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    For that matter, Federation Membership is a complicating factor.

    For instance, a Human born on Tellar whose parents immigrated from, say, Luna, is almost certainly a Federation citizen. After all, the Tellarite state (referred to as the United Planets of Tellar in the Star Trek: Enterprise - Rise of the Federation novels by @Christopher) is a Federation Member State, United Earth is a Federation Member State, Luna is part of United Earth; so, presumably, this is a family of Federation citizens, moving from one Federation Member State to another Federation Member State, maintaining Federation citizenship the whole way through.

    But how does Member State citizenship work in the UFP? Does one acquire United Planets of Tellar citizenship just by residing on UPT territory? Does one acquire United Earth citizenship just by residing on U.E. territory? In real life, I acquired Maryland residency after being born and growing up in Ohio merely by moving to the State of Maryland; does it work the same way if you want to move from Luna to Tellar?

    (For whatever it's worth, another of Christopher's novels, Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations - Forgotten History, establishes that a biological Tellarite who grew up on Mars named Chab jav Lorg was the Federation Councillor for the Confederated Martian Colonies and, later, Federation President, in the TMP and post-TMP/pre-TWOK era. One of then-Councillor Lorg's key interests was in making sure that the role of Mars's Tellarite community in Martian history was respected.)

    You can find the concept as compelling as you want, but it is a misogynistic concept with no place in a work of fiction that supposedly advocates for equality and freedom.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "Equality and freedom" is defined by "having no place"? Whatever. Mock rage is still rage - it's the human penchant for hatred that drives all its "movements", in good or bad or ugly.

    The vanity project of filling the galaxy with humanoids that get along may have been a failure or a fraud, but it's impressive nevertheless: if nothing else, it did succeed in implanting that wonderful message-relaying machine into the galactic genome. Perhaps there were sinister goals behind the project, as might befit the idea that one of its major products was a powerful piece of propaganda. Perhaps it was altruist, or then selfish with obvious benefits to all those folks who were the direct result. It seems to be something that's very real in the Trek universe - but also simultaneously massively irrelevant to anything much.

    ...Unless our secret genetic programming somehow makes us homebodies, or at least unlikely to mingle, which would affect the topic at hand.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I recall an old 80's Trek novel (probably by Diane Duane) suggesting the planets and species were all named by their human discoverer. Vulcan, Romulus etc were human names, since their native words all translated to "earth" and "human"
     
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  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Alternately, Vulcan is Vulcanese for dirt, Romulus is Romulanish for dirt, Kronos is Klingonaase for dirt, and so forth. Little is lost in transliteration!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Granted.

    That's true and the really ancient species are the biggest problem with the theory. Though, I don't think the seeding needed to be one event. There could have been multiple extractions over time.

    That's true. And in reality, it's never aliens, until it's aliens. But operating from the standpoint of a universe in which sentient, non-malevolent, spacefaring aliens exist. Having a seeding event is not an unreasonable conclusion. So lets presume that a seeding event(s) is the cause of all "aliens" with a modern human human body type. That is a reasonable assumption. The problem is aliens with a modern human body type that predate modern humans.

    These are presumably (in no particular order) the Tkon, Sky Spirits, Sargon's Species, the "The Chase" aliens, the Bajorans, the Organians, and possibly the Cheronians (Bele and Loki).

    I think the easiest ones to dismiss would be Sargon's species as we never actually see them nor is it confirmed that they are ancestors of Vulcanians.

    SPOCK: That would tend, however, to explain certain elements of Vulcan prehistory.

    That's about all the confirmation we get. Perhaps there is something more complex going on, but there is little evidence that they actually are ancestors to the Vulcanians.

    Next would be the Organians. They evolved into energy beings millions of years ago. So the big question is did they look like modern humans BEFORE that evolution. We know that they were "humanoid." To what extent did they look like humans? Two arms two legs and a head. While rare, it is not out of the realm of possibility that they had a general body plan similar to ours. Perhaps the reason they appear as modern humans is because they took that form when humans are involved.

    The are interesting because there were hundreds of millions of the people right before Bele started perusing Lokai for 50 thousand earth years. So unless we're willing to do a little rearranging with human evolution then we can put these guys in with the unexplained category.

    That leaves us we might be able to explain away the Bajorans IF we allow for them to have evolved over their long history. Maybe the ancient Bajorans were different, but came to look how they do now as part of the genetic tampering. This one is pushing it a bit, but could be.

    That leaves us with the Cheronians, Tkon, Sky Spirits, and the "The Chase" aliens. So what hypothesis do we have that could explain these?


    I just said it was more compelling than the green skinned belly dancer concept. Several years ago while I was reading the Star Wars Republic Commando series, the author Karen Traviss, included the Star Wars universe's first gay couple. When she was asked why she did that, this was part of her response:

    Because whatever your personal prejudices, we live in a diverse world, and people you don't happen to like because of colour or orientation or age or gender are not going to vanish because you don't accept them. I don't like slave-owners and people who think decapitating another being is casual work, but I still write about them, because they're there in the SW universe.

    The Star Trek universe is a diverse place. There's going to be misogyny there's going to be hatred, there's going to be racism. In a diverse fictional universe there are going to be things you don't like. Because how the characters deal with conflict is what makes stories interesting. If everything in the Star Trek universe reflected our modern notions of what is good then it would be bland an uninteresting.
     
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  16. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sand?
     
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  17. Henoch

    Henoch Commander Red Shirt

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    True, but Spock fit like a glove.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commodore Commodore

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    What about the people who created the library in "Masks"? They existed millions of years ago and clearly had very advanced technology. We never really know what they looked like.
     
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  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    If you honestly can't understand how a narrative that depicts female sexuality as destructive and deadly and women as mindless sirens, is fundamentally different from a narrative that depicts bad people doing bad things but contextualizes them as bad things, then I really don't know what to say. Except that you shouldn't be using the rhetoric of diversity and inclusion to justify misogyny.
     
  20. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, I'm in the camp that humans named Vulcanians and Romulans. If I was to write about it I would say that the native word for Vulcanians would translate in to "Children of Surak" or something like that.