Stare Gate vs Star Trek

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Dinosaur, May 17, 2017.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I enjoyed both SciFi series & accept that the both stories require such mechanisms to avoid some problems related to traveling between solar systems and interacting with cultures in other solar systems.

    Star Gate is SciFi: There is equipment at the destination.

    Star Trek is fantasy due to lack of receiving equipment.​

    I do not expect either technology to be a future development. The Star Gate seems vaguely possible, although I wonder about the time required.

    My wonder concerns the implications of instantaneous communication of information, especially over large distances.​

    There is an implied (or perhaps explicit) use of worm holes in the Star Gate technology. It boggles my mind to think about the topology/geometry of the universe if worm holes are essential to the transport.
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  3. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Mea Culpa: I should not have posted in this forum.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That is a ridiculously arbitrary dividing line.

    It'a like saying the Nauvoo ship from The Expanse is sci-fi because it's a colossal highly-advanced generation ship that's a mere 2km long,
    whereas the Rama gen-ship Rendevous with Rama is fantasy because it's a colossal colossal highly-advanced generation ship that's 50km long.

    You grant the plausibility of colossal highly-advanced generation ships without batting an eye - but you set a plausibility limit on one incremental aspect of such technology.

    Both Stargate and Star Trek transportation devices are pure fantasy, minor details notwithstanding.
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Just intuitively, I suspect that the idea of superluminal speed is more plausible than the idea of eliminating the distance between point a and point b through use of wormholes.

    A speculation that I haven't seen used in science fiction is some kind quantum transport. It might hypothetically turn out that a particle's spatial-temporal position can be undefined in some conditions (just consisting of the superimposed probabilities of finding the particle at various places) unless particles are forced by physical circumstances to display a position (measurement, the 'observer').

    So... if an extended bit of condensed matter such as a spaceship and its occupants can somehow be induced by some science-fictionish 'quantum field' to behave in that manner, where the whole thing's location is undefined, putting it everywhere and nowhere, and then caused to rematerialize at a distant point, you would have instantaneous transport. Not only through space, but conceivably through time as well.

    So we have a vehicle with capabilities like Dr. Who's tardis.

    Of course this is just science-fiction speculation. That freedom it give the imagination is why I love science-fiction. In real life, certainly at the present time and humanity's present level of knowledge, I agree with Dave. Pure fantasy.
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    This is the same as the assertion that there is a small but non-zero chance that I suddenly quantum tunnel through a wall - but writ cosmic in scale.

    Let's ignore the fact that the universe would age and die before more than a few of my molecules would simultaneously quantum tunnel the diameter of an atom...
  9. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From DaveC426913 Post #3
    The above relates to my following remark
    If you were told that one of the above technologies was implemented by an advanced culture, which would you expect it to be?

    I am amazed that anyone would consider the difference between Star Gate & Star Trek transportation to be analogous to a difference in size of two SciFi space ships.
  10. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    The stargate devices were originally dependent on FTL starships to distribute them to their locations around the Milky Way and other galaxies. Contemporary humans and ET species had such as well (not just the Ancients).

    The ability of the spaceships in the Stargate franchise to even cross the gulf between galaxies far exceeded the conservative limitations of any craft that the Federation, Klingon Empire, Romulan Empire, etc possessed in the Star Trek franchise. In "Star Trek: Voyager", it would have taken that vessel over seven decades to cross 70,000 light-years to reach Earth, if the crew remained dependent upon its warp-drive alone.

    List of Starships in Stargate

    - - - - - -
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Either one. The difference is negligible.

    If a Neanderthal were told we'd be flying heavier than air craft, which would he expect it to be? Propellors or turboprops?
    To a Neanderthal, the relative implausibility is vanishingly small compared to the absolute implausibility.
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Alas, I think your intuition lets you down in this instance.

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    Wormholes are recognised solutions to einstein's field equations. They are entirely consistent with GR, although much like black holes were for a while, completely lacking anything beyond equations as support for their existence. It might be that if they do exist naturally that they are microscopic, or even quantum level only, and that wormholes traversable by sizeable objects require more exotic matter than is feasible.
    But they are at least theoretically possible.

    FTL travel, though, does not seem to be, at least not at a local level. Wormholes might give a perceived speed faster than light, but you're actually only crossing a far shorter distance than it appears. Likewise "Warp" speed is the warping of space time rather than actual travel. Surprisingly scientists do think that this is not impossible, a real-life concept first being proposed by Miguel Alcubierre back in 1994, but I believe the energy requirements are currently considered prohibitive.
    But standard local FTL travel is not plausible, afaik. And hyperspace is in that same bracket.
    Quite bizarrely, this is exactly the method that a group of friends and I proposed as the backdrop for an anthology of short stories we are in the process of writing. Slightly more convoluted than you put forward here, but ultimately the same basic principle. Weird.

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  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Really weird. Or not weird at all!

    A friend of mine came up with the similar idea.

    Every point in spacetime has a series of fundamental values. Your spaceship engine has knobs that can set these values. Twist the knobs, and your spaceship becomes in compatible with that point in spacetime, and disappears, reappearing somewhere more compatible.

    Of course, like the other ideas, it's naive gobbledygook.
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Could be, wouldn't be the first time.

    Right. They are exceedingly theoretical and their plausibility is entirely dependent on our understanding of the theoretical physics involved. I'm slightly skeptical about theoretical physics. It seems to work well enough now, experimentally and observationally, but I'm not sure how likely that is to continue indefinitely into the future. Put a different way, I'm happy to give relativity theory provisional acceptance for the time being, but I'm less comfortable giving any of the pronouncements of theoretical physics absolute acceptance. I don't perceive the heiroglyphs of theoretical physics as eternal and necessary truths, the Word of God.

    The problem that I have with wormholes is more practical, I guess. I don't see how a traveler could steer them so as to end up where desired. And opening one would probably require such violent physical conditions that it wouldn't be anything like a Stargate. (More like a black hole.) You wouldn't want to be standing near one.

    The first paragraph in the reply above applies here too. It's true that there are seemingly impossible mathematical consequences to violating the speed of light in Einstein's scheme. But Einstein's scheme seems to me to just be a working out of the consequences of the speed of light being the same in all frames. When Einstein assumed that, he had to do all kinds of counter-intuitive things to space-time metrics so that everything remained consistent. My point is that Einstein's theories are the logical result of the assumptions that he made. It's true that predictions made on that basis have been verified many times, but there isn't any metaphysical necessity that this model has to be an absolutely correct depiction of reality, any more than Newton's mechanics was. That was exceedingly well verified too.

    (Wherever he is, Paddoboy is probably seething right now. Maybe I'll lure him back to flame me. Come back, Paddoboy!)

    For the purposes of science fiction, I can imagine that the seeming cosmic speed limit might not be inviolate. I don't think that achieving superluminal velocities necessarily implies physical conditions that would kill everyone nearby. And a spaceship traveling at "warp velocity" could still be steered to a desired destination.

    Regarding the hypothetical science fiction quantum drive, one problem I see is that while a particle might theoretically be anywhere in the universe, it would presumably have an exceedingly low probability of being most of those places. So if we reduce a starship to a wave function spread out over the entire universe, causing it to manifest itself in another star system would mean causing it to assume a low probability state. For the purposes of science fiction, I can imagine that requiring energy (like raising a mass to a higher potential energy position), so that longer jumps would require more powerful engines or something.

    (More power Scotty! I'm giving you all she's got, Captain!)
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  15. river

    Humanities understanding of the Universe is so 101.
  16. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From DaveC426913 Post #3
    If some organization had enough funds & the desire to do it, a generation star ship might be possible with today’s technology.

    It need not travel at a an incredible speed, but would very likely require some restrictions & concepts not discussed so far.

    Strict regulation of reproduction is one likely requirement.

    Some method of turning CO2 into carbon & oxygen is another likely requirement. Perhaps including some form of plant life would be a plausible method.

    It might require assembly at a base on one of he outer planets to minimize the fuel requirements for escape from the solar system. ​
  17. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Also from DaveC426913 Post #3
    The above refers to my remark in Post #1
    The lack of receiving equipment at the destination makes the difference between Star Gate & Star Trek transportation ScFi (Star Gate) & fantasy (Star Trek). The lack of equipment at the receiving location makes the Star Trek transporter an impossible technology, while the Star Gate technology is a conceivably possible technology, which I do not expect to ever be implemented.

    BTW: While worm holes have some validity, the topology of the universe would have to be very weird to allow them to be usable for transport between any two arbitrarily chosen locations in the universe.

    I would expect there to be serious restrictions on their usability. ​
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    babylon 5
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You are bifurcating bunnies. They are both science fantasy. Both are equally impossible; both are equally conceivable.
  20. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From DaveC426913 Post #16
    The lack of receiving equipment for the Star Trek Transporter puts it into a different category. Hence I claim the following
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You keep saying that. I think it is a detail compared to the complexity of teleportation in the first place.

    Like a Neanderthal on turboprops:
    "Oh, I can totally see internal combustion motors propelling giant aircraft at hundreds of miles per hour across thousands of miles of ocean. That's really just a carefully - applied extension of modern fljnt-on-rock technology, and thus totally plausible. But adding a turbine?? No. I can't even imagine how that might work. Turbines are fantasy."

    Or Alexander Graham Bell on phones:
    "Some day I envision everyone will have a phone. It will be so small and so self-contained that is can be installed in your automobile, and can go with you anywhere you can drive. The battery to transmit a radio signal of, say 2 or 3 minutes, over a mile distance could easily be installed in the trunk with proper insulation and suspension."

    "Mr. Bell, what if I told you I see phones in everyone's breast pocket?"

    "Don't be ridiculous, my boy. It is a gigantic engineering feat to make towers 200 feet tall spanning the country, so they can broadcast just a weak signal to every car on the continent, but it can be done using existing technology. Receiving a signal is easy, it's sending that is a leap to fantasy. Simply put, there's absolutely no way you can carry an electric pile that could transmit a 2 minute radio signal over a mile!! They're huge! Gods man! The energy use alone would set your clothes on fire.

    "Cellular technology all over the country, with data speeds in the megabits, is a vast undertaking, bigger than anything we've ever attempted - plausible, sure. But an entire radio transmitting station in your breast pocket? That crosses the line from sci-fi into fantasy, my boy."
  22. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Describing erroneous statements by historical people as supporting/proving a statement/conclusion is some type of fallacious argument.
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Turboprops are propeller planes.

    But I agree with your original point - it's pretty silly to draw a line and say "this currently impossible technology is just extrapolating science - but THAT currently impossible technology is pure fantasy!"

    Imagine going back in time to the 1960's and asking someone if, in the year 2017, we would have:

    -colonies on the Moon
    -a tiny handheld device that could access almost every bit of information on the planet in seconds (and talk to you, and listen to you, and play every movie and song in the world, and . . . .)
    -rockets landing tail-first on barges hundreds of miles at sea

    and they would probably put the latter two in the pure-fantasy category.

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