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Subject: StarGate - Possible or impossible?
fall out    10/7/2004 9:31:41 AM
Im sure most of you are well aware of the tv show Star Gate; i was just wondering what your thoughts are on the actual possibility of traveling through space like that?? Cheers, Fall Out :)
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doggtag    StarGate - Now we're talkin'!   10/7/2004 11:30:39 AM
Certainly, if a race's scientific knowledge progressed to that point, it will have developed far greater technologies and capabilities that even what we can imagine now. Just look at what people 75-100 years ago "predicted" the world today would look like, and how different it really is. Some suggest that our current understanding of physics prevents such techologies (wormholes, faster than light travel, etc.) But we need to realize: this is all based on our current measures and methods. Even a few centuries ago, blood-letting was supposed to cure disease, printed text was the work of the devil, and superstitious and religious beliefs were what shaped our understandings (or lack thereof) of the world. And considering the scientific advances mankind has made in the last 200 years alone (how many modern 20th-21st century technologies would look almost magical to someone from the Middle Ages? Or ancient Rome? Or to "cave men"?) We need not accept that our current measures of gauging the universe are the final method of science we will achieve. Just look at the advances in quantum studies (subatomic) understanding we have achieved in the last 30 years alone (with the advent of faster and more powerful particle accelerators, and the computers to process such vast amounts of data.) Look at the expanse we have now measured the cosmos to be with tools like the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes and Chandra X-ray observatory. Currently, we choose to gauge all our observations through "human eyes", only measuring the universe by how things appear to our standards. Certainly, in all the vastness of the cosmos, we have not been the only "fluke" of life. And certainly, considering the vastness of the cosmos (which we still can't effectively measure the "edge" of), I think it both foolish and selfish to assume we are the only world with life on it. It's perfectly fair to assume that the Universe evolved other life before us, and will continue to do so long after us. And it's perfectly fair to assume that, certainly, someone of the past races have evolved to points farther than us. Several thousand years from now, the descendants of mankind may have scientifically progressed to a point we could develop something similar to a Stargate network (try explaining routine trans-continental airline service and satellites to someone only 200 years ago). Or, we could evolve beyond our corporeal existance and see no need for physical constructs. Trying to get modern scientific understanding to explain everything about the Universe might be comparable to getting a 2-3 year old infant to explain quantum theory to one of the world's foremost authorities on the subject (meaning, for the sheer vastness of knowledge hidden in the dicoveries of the Universe, humanity is still in its infancy.) Point to consider: is it possible that the beings our ancestors described as "angels" were "merely" extra-terrestrial beings checking up on our evolution as a species? Think of the level of technological and scientific understanding of mankind a few thousand years ago, and then try to explain such things (aliens and their technological capabilities and psychological ideals) by the level of understanding of that day. Would gods, angels, and devils be the words of choice to describe such "magnificent" beings? One needs to realize that, as mankind's scientific knowledge increases, so does his psychological understanding change to accept new mentalities offered by this scientific understanding (for example, we no longer generally believe the world is flat.) Just as today there are certainly many scientists, engineers, and researchers who would suggest, "we will never exceed the speed of light", so too were there "educated" men a thousand years ago who never would have accepted theories of television, computers, space programs, etc. Don't discount the possibilities that there are millions of secrets of the cosmos we've yet to discover that will dramatcially change our lives and mentalities over the next millennium also. And for all we know, if we go prospecting and digging around the Moon, Mars, or any number of the asteroids and comets in our solar system, it's possible we could discover the remains of and ancient civilization perfectly preserved in the vaccum of space, just as we even today discover the remains of ancient, once unknown but often speculated, cities of our ancestors scattered around the globe. You want to strecth your brain? Get the November 2004 issue of Discover magazine (Vol 25, #11, in stores now @ $4.99 US) There is considerable debate on the topic now that "our solar system" doesn't end at Pluto (anyone ever heard of Sedna and a hundred + other "miniplanets", comets and asteroids, which would be perfectly ideal chunks of resources to mine...or for any ancient race to leave a sign of its existence?) The future definitely ain't gonna be what we thought it was. I'm cur
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fall out    RE:StarGate - Now we're talkin'! - wow   10/8/2004 9:27:07 AM
thanks mate, not a bad response! ;) do you think it would be possible that there would be one or perhaps two stargate's here now on earth (either already in govt's hands or buried) that had been planted there by a superior race (im not german ;)) which was to be used when the local race, us humans, not just found it, but had the technology to use it??
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doggtag    RE:StarGate - Now we're talkin'! - wow   10/8/2004 7:49:33 PM
I think anybody who DOESN'T think that governments are suppressing/hiding certain knowledge needs to get out of their fantasy world. Anyone doubting conspiracies and scientific cover-up needs a wake-up call. But the magnitude of a Stargate? Plausible deniability. Wasn't that what the episode about the "Wormhole X-treme" TV show speculated? Certainly, the government can use such "fantasy shows" to their advantage in keeping classified "stuff" out of the public eye: by feeding people's fantastic sense of wonder, they can trick us into believing such fanciful technologies only exist in our imaginations (like "UFOs" over secret government bases as a cover up for testing top secret aircraft.) But look where our general scientific prowess and knowledge has progressed in the last century alone. Certainly, there are discoveries the governments of the world feel would cause mass panic if societies knew the real truth: there could be discoveries that could literally rewrite history and destroy religious faiths overnight. I certainly am willing to bet that governments are hiding considerable evidence that there is something more to the universe than just life on planet Earth. And certainly, there could well be past races who left evidence of their existence. And certainly, in an effort to maintain control over its population, a government will suppress information it deems the public need not know. There is the possibility that TV show ideas like stargates and spaceships are providing the plausible deniability the government uses to keep their truly wondrous cosmic discoveries still classified. My question would be: with our current technical prowess and understanding of physics, why have we yet to provide a fair explanation of the Bermuda Triangle's missing victims? And more to the point, if there isare no military test ranges in certain areas of the open ocean, why (look at a USGS world map) why are certain areas of the globe off-limits to "common citizens" Certainly things are being covered up and hidden. But an actual Stargate-type device? Wishful thinking, but it's possible, seeing as we don't know every secret the Universe still has to offer..
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TriggaFingaz    Cool first contact response   10/9/2004 12:41:43 PM
I thought it pretty cool that in the movie 'Contact' starring Jodie Foster, the aliens acknowledge Earth's outbound messages by playing Hitler's speech at the 1936 Olympics- "And now a new age has begun". Which brings on the grumble from a female government advisor, "Millions died defeating that bastard and he becomes our ambassador!"
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TriggaFingaz    By the way   10/9/2004 12:43:23 PM
Stargate SG-1 is my favorite sci fi series. What do people here think of First Wave and Earth Final Conflict? Dark Angel? In UK only saw one series of EFC. But SG-1 is into the 7th series here. Pity Dark Angel only lasted 2 series- so much going for it!!
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doggtag    RE:By the way   10/9/2004 5:18:42 PM
It will be interesting to see if the Atlantis spin-off from Stargate is as "successful" as Deep Space 9 and Voyager was from ST: Next Generation. Although certainly these latest shows (First Wave, Stargate, everything other than Star Trek) do pose interesting what-if first contact scenarios with what/whoever we do meet out there (or coming here), there is still the fact to be considered how much of our own history and folklore depicts obviously non-human beings. Back in the days when science was misunderstood, these beings and entities were called angels, demons, and spirits. And certainly, the scifi show makers have capitalized on the ideas as well: making aliens look humanoid (1 head, 2 arms, 2 legs), but with different facial/head features mostly (like out of ancient Egypt or the Central American temples.) TV shows and movies like The Arrival, They Live, and First Wave, even Independence Day and "V", bring up interesting what-ifs: what if the first large extra-terrestrial race we meet is NOT interested in peaceful coexistence? Considering the way humans have treated our own, back in the days of early exploration of the globe (slavery throughout history, colonialism, genocide of "lesser" peoples by those of greater technological prowess, etc), the possibility exists that any species we meet may not be as benevolent as we hope (they could appear as allies or friends, but have a hidden, more sinister agenda like in Earth; Final Conflict.) There is no telling how their society and mentality are structured, if they have the same values as we. There is no guarantee we can appeal to their "humanity" to be merciful to our species. Would we be seen as a future threat because we have a differing societal structure and incompatable ideologies? Or would we been seen as food? Or would we truly be seen as an ally against an enemy we have yet to meet (or could the alien race be involved in its little interstellar war, and they are actually the bad guys, and they get here first and make us enemies against the "good guy" race we haven't met yet?) There are so many variables to this first contact scenario, many we would prefer to choose over others. But again, there's no telling that said alien race will grant us that opportunity to have everything in our favor (very doubtful, I think.) And of course, there is the possibility they have been here, coexisting beside us, for centuries, even millennia. Perhaps such beings invoked our ideas of vampires, werewolves, dragons, elves, trolls, faeries, and other fantasy creatures? (and perhaps, over the years, our human ignorance erased them from the face of this world, leaving only legends and fables of their existence?) It's fair enough to believe we are not alone in the cosmos. And also fair enough that some of those others even now watch over us, and one day in the distant future, we will stand guardian over the next infant race (like the cycle in Babylon 5?) They could even be here now, beings of consciousness that can migrate from body to body, subtley, to manipulate society at key points through history... like spirits (ghosts?) temporarily possessing people to carry out certain deeds and activities (some more sinister than others.) You know those days when you wake up feeling not quite yourself? Or have days in your past your can barely recall significant events from, yet a day of seemingly little significance sticks out like a sore thumb? We cannot fully comprehend and imagine just what all secrets the Cosmos contains. Some of us just would rather live a life of ignorance, ignoring such possibilities and going through our day-to-lives like nothing bigger goes on than what we can observe with our own human senses. And often, when confronted by others who may have a little more understanding of such fanciful things that we ourselves cannot comprehend, we tend to label those individuals as kooks and nutcases... without even realize it is quite possible they DO speak some truth, DO know things others do not or would not believe, or they could even very well themselves be one of those other entities, hidden covertly in human form, perhaps in your presence at that very point to open your mind up to a few more what-if possibilities and encourage you to open your mind to the possibilities that being part of the cosmos truly has to offer. But then again, how exactly do you separate the legitimate beings from the true nutcases? Certainly, such "higher" beings have an agenda/master plan of some sort that must be adhered to, so the wrong information is not revealed at the wrong time. And of course, there are plenty of nutcases in the world to acts as decoys should their "cover" be blown! .
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Ehran    RE:By the way   10/10/2004 2:18:44 AM
certainly, the scifi show makers have capitalized on the ideas as well: making aliens look humanoid (1 head, 2 arms, 2 legs), but with different facial/head features mostly (like out of ancient Egypt or the Central American temples.) this probably has more to do with budgetary constraints than desire. i also think we are safe from being considered food as the biochemistries aren't at all likely to be compatible.
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doggtag    compatible biochemistry   10/10/2004 6:35:09 AM
A-ha! Therein lies the greatest question we face when considering alien life: will it be carbon-based, DNA-guided life forms; or will it be based off another element entirely (like silicon)? The possibility exists that, if we ARE all (mostly) composed of carbon-based structures shaped by some type of DNA/RNA genetic material, and exist about the same temperate conditions (temperature wise), they certainly could see us as a potential food source, as certainly as our germs and bacteria could have a feast on their bodies as well. In human immune systems, it is not always the fact that our bodies can't detect and heal us from sickness, but often it's the fact that certain harmful microbes can disguise themselves from our bodies detection systems long enough to go unnoticed (incubation period) before the real harm begins to us. If an alien's biological physiology is similiar to ours, the possibility exists that common flu viruses could be catastrophically fatal to them (just as small pox and bubonic plague was instrumental in wiping out so many people back in the Middle Ages.) Certainly though, they could also have some kind of enhanced immunity, whether from improved genetics or some king of nano-technology assistance, which can detect all foreign material entering their bodies, and rapidly construct a defense against it. Could it be that the Earth's biosphere in itself (through airborne allergens and microbes) represent some sort of planetary immune system to prevent non-terrestrial "infections" from taking over? Like we all do agree on one point: until we actually meet a proof-positive non-Earth life form, we can only speculate what they look like and what constitutes their physical make-up. But basing generalizations off human form DOES carry certain credibility to it: in order to achieve higher technologies through its evolution, a race must be able to manipulate tools (some form of fairly accurate and dextrous appendages): they might have tentacle-like protrusions instead of fingers, but some form of body extension would need to be developed to manipulate physical objects (it is doubtful telekinesis would develop naturally.) Also, the "brain" or whatever comparable guiding command mechanism of the body would need to be fairly well protected from the elements (like in some form of skull.) And the body, if a physical form which must consume sustinence, will need some form of respiration, digestion, and waste-removal mechanisms. Also, some form of adequate yet not overly complicated locomotion is necessary: it is doubtful we would meet a race of highly advanced giant intelligent centipedes. It is also fair assumption they would have some form of developed society and thus would have needed to pursue higher education, medicine, agriculture, science, and certainly even philosophy and art. The benefit of the human form is in that it allows us, through constructs of complex tools and machinery, to explore and recreate in mediums that our bodies cannot endure otherwise (air travel, space travel, ocean exploration, etc), so it is also fair assumption that any other evolved and sentient species also pursues the expansion of envelopes in which they can exist, and is also fair enough assumption that they would recreate in some form also (sports? music? entertainment?) such as we do. But it still all comes down to: how generally similar, if at all, will their bodies compare to ours? Such an occurence would be key in having any fairly balanced negotiations, as (unless they are only half a meter tall, or 4 meters tall, as our infrastructures would basically accomodate them. In a predominantly ocean-type world, certain marine evolution would have dominated. And perhaps then we could use dolphins or whales to communicate with them (seeing as we still cannot fully comprehend the societal structures of dolphins and whales here, and what specifically they communicate with each other.) The key before we go out trying to master (understand without undo bias) the universe: we must first learn to master both ourselves and our own world first. And we hope, for humanity's sake, that any future contacts have done so as well: otherwise, we could well face off against some war-mongering race that has little regard for races it cannot subjugate. Perhaps such a highly advanced race capable of interstellar (routine) travel and exploration may have even engineered bodies suitable to the rigors of long-endurance space operations: the "Roswell Greys", as some of those aliens were referred to, could be little more than constructs another race has built to explore beyond their boundaries, much like human expirements with AI-controlled robots, Mars rovers, and even animal-mimicking drones (robo-tunas?) The possibility exists that a highly-advanced race needs no physical entity at all, but they have developed through some advanced forms of technology the ability to construct differing physical bodies for
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TriggaFingaz    The Other Side   10/10/2004 8:10:29 AM
Hey, I loved Babylon 5 too! Too bad Crusade only lasted 13 episodes. And I still haven't seen 'A Call to Arms'! Interesting point you make about the 'bad guys' convincing us that we must help them against their enemies who turn out to be the right side. In the series 3 SG-1 episode 'The Other Side', SG-1 meets a people who are being bombarded from the air. The people say that war was declared against them, and require help from Earth to survive. O'Neill and Teal'C even help pilot their remote fighters to shoot down the oppsing bombers. But then SG-1 finds out that these people are being bombed becoz they were planning to poison their whole planet to destroy those who want to give birth naturally instead of participating to eugenic creation of a master race! So SG-1 abandons the civilisation and leaves them to be destroyed. Now, what if this happened on Earth in reverse? Here's an interesting what if. Aliens visit Afghanistan while the US is blasting Al Qaeda. The aliens meet Osama and friends in the middle of an air raid and are regaled with tales of 'infidel aggression' etc and are nearly convinced into helping the terrorists who at this point look like victims. Will they be able to react differently if they find out WHY their potential friends are being bombed?
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fall out    RE:The Other Side   10/10/2004 9:07:24 AM
"Now, what if this happened on Earth in reverse? Here's an interesting what if. Aliens visit Afghanistan while the US is blasting Al Qaeda. The aliens meet Osama and friends in the middle of an air raid and are regaled with tales of 'infidel aggression' etc and are nearly convinced into helping the terrorists who at this point look like victims. Will they be able to react differently if they find out WHY their potential friends are being bombed " - not really, interesting, but if they were indeed as advanced as they would need to be to at least travel in a short time over massive distances, they would at least send in various probes, etc to find out what we do, what we look like, how we react with each other, our environment, etc, etc, etc, so in other words, all an alien could do is to obtain some documents detailing human history, current and in the past (not as silly as it sounds) and read up and would then realise how and why our world is shaping and see that the bad guys are osama and that the west are the good guys. i saw that episode of SG1, definatley worth some thought.
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