Question about the Voth?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Gingerbread Demon, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    These guys were the dinosaur people weren't they?

    Did they evolve from Earth Dinos and ended up in the Delta quadrant but then why was there no record at all, no buried remnants of them on Earth, something even a small thing to show they evolved? I just find the whole story a bit silly that there was absolutely zero evidence of this anywhere. Were they ashamed of coming from Earth?
     
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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There's been a fair amount of fiction about dinosaur civilizations, and it's more credible than you'd think. The fossil record we have captures only a few isolated fragments of the history of life, getting sparser the farther back you go. It only preserves things that happened to get buried in the right way at the right time, aren't too far buried to be found, haven't been exposed to the elements long enough to erode to dust, and haven't been destroyed by the subduction of the Earth's crust dragging it down into the magma. And most of the products of technology wouldn't be preserved long on a geological scale. I recall reading that maybe the only things that would survive are glass and ceramics, which are chemically similar to fossils. But they'd have to be in the right places to be preserved and uncovered, and the odds of that are low; permanent human habitations occupy only 1% of the Earth's surface. Other than that, the main evidence would be chemical signatures in sediment layers suggesting a sudden sharp increase in industrial pollutants in the atmosphere, say. Microplastics are ubiquitous and might survive millions of years, but it's unclear. And those both assume a civilization as reckless about its environment as we are.

    Here's an article addressing some recent scientific thinking on the topic:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/are-we-earths-only-civilization/557180/


    It was so far in their past they wouldn't remember it. The Voth's rejection of the Distant Origin theory was based on their ideology asserting that they were the rightful rulers of their region of space because they were native to it. But even their knowledge of their past only went back 20 million years, so there's still at least 45 million years unaccounted for.
     
  3. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    That is fascinating. Wouldn't it rock people's foundations if we found fossils of a reptile civilization?
     
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  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Dunno how many were rocked when it turned out that there used to be dinosaurs in the first place, that is, that the world had previously been different. Generally, the globe just seems to shrug at stuff like that. (And most would probably shrug if aliens looking like Kang and Kodos landed and took over the whole show.)

    Evidence is only relevant insofar as it is examined in light of a hypothesis, which in turn is formulated according to a paradigm. If nobody expects Geological Formation X to be of reptosapient origin, the hypothesis will go that it's a natural formation - and with enough such previous hypotheses all decided in favor of "natural", the most recent one will also be decided as such, even if an impartial examination of all the evidence without the ballast of previous examinations might, subtly or grossly, favor "artificial" after all.

    Say, tectonics: saying that continents move is fairly intuitive when one looks at a map or reads reports on the distribution of flora and fauna on the globe, even if one doesn't yet have a machine-that-goes-beep that could actually measure the slow movement or reveal the subterranean processes that drive the movement. But it's not intuitive to expect that the world changes. A cold AI program going through the records available since the Age of Sail might blurt out that the records prove that continents move. A human would not come to that conclusion quite so easily.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    If I were Christopher Bennett and trying to reconcile hard science and Trek, I'd say that they were evolved from hadrosaurs taken by an alien race to the Delta Quadrant that evolved into a humanoid species. Which means that they are simultaneously from Earth and the Quadrant they think they evolved in.

    Just because a species is transplanted from Earth doesn't mean that they had to have built a vast civilization.

    OR

    If you want to be pulpy, there's a massive Antarctic civilization buried underground that they find in an episode of Strange New Worlds.

    :)
     
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  6. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    I like the 2nd option then we can name them Silurians and Tie Dr Who and Star Trek as canon :D
     
  7. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Giving more credence to El-Aurians being Time Lords :lol:
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Stewardship of the younger races is easier if you claim to be nieghbours, rather than distantly foreign.

    The Voth have 30 million years of recorded history.

    There are species now following them into transwarp space that once upon a time used to follow the Voth around and eat their poop (literally).

    Please no one give credence to Super Mario Brothers.
     
  9. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    Hey great idea.... Or maybe they were renegades that ran away to live their own lives.
     
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  10. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I know I'm like 1 of 10 people who played it but the Star Trek Kelvinverse game makes a lot more sense if Kirk is fighting the Voth rather than the Gorn.
     
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  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That actually is my preferred interpretation. "Distant Origin" wasn't Trek's first visit to this well; that was the TOS novel First Frontier by Diane Carey and paleontologist Dr. James I. Kirkland, which posited that a species of raptor dinosaur was transplanted Preserver-style and gradually evolved sentience on another planet. Since I count that book as part of my personal continuity (and have alluded to it in my professional Trek Lit), I assume that the Voth's hadrosaur ancestors were transplanted in the same way.

    Still, as I said, it would be a mistake to assume it's impossible for an advanced civilization to have existed in Earth's ancient past. The popular conception is that we have a pretty full record of Earth's prehistory, but we only have isolated fragments; most of what we conclude about the past is extrapolated and deduced from those bits of evidence and from basic scientific principles, and we're always discovering new data that compel us to reconsider some of our assumptions.

    Of course, they could both be true. A single species would be unlikely to survive 65 million years unchanged. That's long enough for a taxonomic line to produce dozens of "generations" of descendant species, the old ones dying out and being survived by the newer ones. It could be that a technological hadrosaur civilization evolved on Earth and traveled into space, left colonies, lost their civilization, evolved into new species, invented spaceflight all over again, migrated still farther across the galaxy, etc. until the Voth's ancestors finally settled in the DQ 20 million years ago. There could easily be more offshoots out there.
     
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  12. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    I like this and it makes a ton of sense.
     
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  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    Cool. *puts that on his TBR list*

    I admit, part of why I like the hadrosaur transplant origin is it also kind of plays into the idea that "Doctrine" is throwing a fit over something relatively innocuous. It speaks to my academic history and the politicization of minor historical points to massive importance. The Voth DID evolve in their portion of the Delta Quadrant and don't necessarily have a massive history, colonies and countless relatives across the Battlestar Galactica-esque journey to their current place. However, because it effects a FEW things it's treated as a repudiation of everything.

    Going with the Galileo trial parallels that the show seems to have been derived from, whether the Sun or the Earth is the center of things doesn't really mean anything but the Pope has established that it is the Sun moving so the questioning of that undermines his authority. Mind you, Gegen is a lot more respectful and not attempting to undermine Doctrine, than Galileo.
     
  14. Finn

    Finn Admiral Admiral

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    First of all, we’ve found evidence of remnants of a continent that had long ago subducted under Europe and the Middle East. There may be a couple others.


    However, it irks me more that they made a Hadrosaur the ancestor of the Voth. They should have gone with a small theropod.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hadrosaurs were pretty large-brained as dinosaurs go.

    http://naturalselectionsblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/inside-mind-of-hadrosaur.html

    Maybe they weren't as large as theropod brains, but that's only the types of hadrosaur we've discovered so far. There could be other, smarter genera that aren't preserved in the fossil record.

    Also, I quibble with this quote from the above link: "This latter discovery is not surprising, as the instincts and brainpower needed to hunt are far greater than those needed to graze or browse." That's a deeply outdated myth. The most intelligent vertebrate species on Earth, such as apes/humans, cetaceans, elephants, and corvids, are all highly social, and they cover the gamut from predator to omnivore to herbivore. Social complexity is a far stronger driver for big brains than the comparatively simple task of killing things. And hadrosaurs, as that article acknowledges, were quite social.
     
  16. Finn

    Finn Admiral Admiral

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    You are using a blog as a reference? Dude, you are slipping
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    This is a casual conversation, not a scholarly forum.
     
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  18. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    But look at it this way in 2000 years there will be new cities built on top of the ones that exist now. So the Earth will get bigger :) OK I know that's now how that works but I was having fun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  19. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    As for traces on earth, 65 million years is a hell of a long time. We probably can recover only a tiny, tiny amount of what our ancestors did and that's after only 10.000 years or so. If you get into geologic timescales, the amount of what happens to accidentally remain intact as a fossil or an artefact in some protective layer of mud or so must be utterly microscopic. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that we only know about 10% of the species that lived back then. Any cities or other signs of civilizations would probably have long been turned to dust, barring some extraordinarily lucky circumstances.

    Perhaps we should turn the question around. What trace of civilization do you think would survive 65 million years on earth? The only things I can think of at the moment is perhaps radioactive pollution of some extremely slowly decaying radio isotopes, or perhaps a diamond with an inscription on it or some such thing ...
     
  20. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

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    That much is evident.