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Syrin "Lucky" Zendu - Pilot/Engineer
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
It didn't start with Rebels. There is a Season 2 episode of The Clone Wars where Rex encountered a clone deserter who started a family with a Twi'lek woman and they had two kids. See here. Granted, the two kids are too old to be the deserter's biological kids (the deserter is their adopted father), but they are Twi'lek-human hybrids.

...


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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we're talking fictional science...

Curtis Saxton said Twi'leks and humans couldn't have evolved from a common ancestor which means Twi'leks wouldn't be near-humans and they shouldn't be able to interbreed with humans. He said that Twi'lek (and Falleen) are pseudo-humans, meaning since they began interacting with humans, they have evolved to become more humanlike as an evolutionary advantage. It is worth pointing out that male Twi'leks are more alien and female Twi'leks are more human-looking.

Just like a lot of things Legends and Canon, having them interbreed in TCW was stupid. Another reason that particular interspecies pairing is stupid, why would clones even be fertile? Having millions of twin brothers in the galaxy could lead to a big inbreeding problem rising in human populations. Since clones are genetically altered from the host and not absolute copies, it would seem easy and desirable to make them infertile while they're at it.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
...



That's an epic pic. And CRM, it even looked like your Besalisk avatar was grimacing in disgust in that post, too.

If it helps any, I sympathize with your feelings about interspecies breeding is a stupid thing.

And Whill, that Curtis Saxon thing about Twi'leks and Falleen evolving to become more humanlike just from interacting with humans? Yeah, I'm a lawyer, not a biologist, but I don't think evolution works that way. Curtis Saxon should probably stick to astrophysics because his apparent knowledge of biology seems...off.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
That's an epic pic. And CRM, it even looked like your Besalisk avatar was grimacing in disgust in that post, too.

Thanks. He's been doing that a lot recently.

I had an even better one picked out, but the BBCodes don't appear to allow posting gifs.

Quote:
If it helps any, I sympathize with your feelings about interspecies breeding is a stupid thing.

And Whill, that Curtis Saxon thing about Twi'leks and Falleen evolving to become more humanlike just from interacting with humans? Yeah, I'm a lawyer, not a biologist, but I don't think evolution works that way. Curtis Saxon should probably stick to astrophysics because his apparent knowledge of biology seems...off.

This. And it's been a problem with Star Wars overall, not just since Disney took over. I recall some facepalm moments reading some of the species background from the prequels. Like the Gungans being two different species... Don't get me started.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I had an even better one picked out, but the BBCodes don't appear to allow posting gifs.

You can post gifs here. At least some gifs. There are some annoying quirks, like you cannot post a URL or IMG that has a parenthesis in the URL. I see a lot more trouble posting pngs. They almost never work.

CRMcNeill wrote:
Like the Gungans being two different species... Don't get me started.

According to publishing, Gungans are two different races of one species. You said they should be one species and they turn from Jar Jar into Boss Nass as they age. I am the one that said they are too different to be same species, so I made them two separate species. Not to get you started, but it seems like you should be grimacing in disgust at me for that one.

Sutehp wrote:
And Whill, that Curtis Saxon thing about Twi'leks and Falleen evolving to become more humanlike just from interacting with humans? Yeah, I'm a lawyer, not a biologist, but I don't think evolution works that way. Curtis Saxon should probably stick to astrophysics because his apparent knowledge of biology seems...off.

I have studied advanced biology, and that is exactly the way evolution works.

Let's say that way back, Twi'leks were enslaved by humans to do hard labor. Many of them died before ever bearing children. With general genetic variety caused by random mutations, one day a few of the females were more human-looking Twi'leks. They were "rescued" from hard labor slavery and became "male companionship slaves" for humans. Once they got to a certain age (but not too old to bare children) they were returned to the main population in favor of younger replacements. However the former male companionship slaves got cushy slave jobs and never had to return to hard labor. These are more likely to reproduce and pass on their genes to their offspring, and thus new generations of more humanlike females are born and eventually have a greater chance of reproducing. This is natural selection. And humans could have even seen the outcome of this natural selection and intentionally "bred" humanlike female Twi'leks while not allowing the more alien-looking Twi'lek females to reproduce. That's artificial selection, or low-grade genetic engineering. That's how we have this vast multitude of dog breeds on Earth, by mating individuals with specific characteristics.

Anyway, eventually the advantageous trait of female Twi'leks being more humanlike spreads throughout the entire gene pool and becomes the norm for the species. Thus their interaction with humans over time directly affected the appearance of the species, at least the females of the species. Plenty of genes are passed on though the mother's genes to daughters, and males could even be carriers of certain genes (like the X chromosome we all inherit from our mothers). Evolution occurs because a random genetic mutation ends up being an advantageous to survival and reproduction odds, passing on the traits to descendants. Species change over time.

Darwin believed evolution generally occurred slowly over extremely long time periods, but since then we discovered that it generally happens very fast in sudden spurts. Rapidly changing environments and changes to food cycle can make even rare recessive traits suddenly advantageous, and entire species can change quickly. There are this species of white moths that were in England that spent part of their days in these trees that had white flowers. The moths were food for birds in the area, but enough of them blended in with the tree's flowers to not get wiped out. There was a very rare mutation that caused a minority of these moths to be grey in color, and the grey moths stayed rare because they were easier for the birds to see. In the last century, a factory moved into the area that left a grey soot residue on the trees and flowers, and suddenly the white months stuck out while the grey months were camouflaged. In one season the birds decimated the moth population, and the entire surviving population was grey. They reproduced and brought the moth species back, but now the entire species was grey. In one single year, the entire species evolved from white to grey.

Anyway, you should know by now I don't post hokey science. At least regarding real world science. Star Wars has a lot of hokey fictional science but it should usually be obvious from context if we are talking about fictional Star Wars science. I only cited Curtis Saxton because he is the one that came up with the idea. I just understood it because it made sense. Well, with a lot of presumptions going into it. Star Wars really strains credulity with divergent evolution - Species not genetically related sharing similar characteristics with other species due to evolving in similar environments. Divergent evolution is a real thing we have observed on Earth, but it is amazing how species from different worlds are so similar. Star Trek* even had an episode explaining that there was this ancient species that planted genetic material on many worlds so that they would eventually all evolve into humanoids with different foreheads. In Star Wars it could be because m-words are guiding evolution, but I won't go there. 8)


* EDIT: Trek, not Wars.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember Niel deGrasse Tyson talking about exactly this (natural and artificial selection) in one of the new Cosmos (2014) episodes. I think the reason none of that occurred to me when I talked about Curtis Saxon in my previous post was probably because I thought of Twi'lek-human "interactions" only in the personal-conversational sense, rather than doing the "horizontal mambo" deal. Then again, breeding Twi'lek slaves to enhance their more attractive traits over successive generations DOES make sense since that's exactly the way that we have gotten a variety of dog breeds, as both Tyson in Cosmos and Whill here have both pointed out.

I suppose my bias in thinking of Twi'leks and humans as non-related separate species without a common ancestor (which we all know is not canon, for better or worse) kept me from thinking of artificial selection since artificial selection can't work with two species that can't interbreed.

One thing I really appreciate about this forum is that posters here have called me out multiple times on my unconscious biases, forcing me to reevaluate ideas I thought were right but turned out to be wrong with evidence I hadn't considered. It helps keep me humble (or as humble as an Argentine-American attorney with added alliterative appeal can be, at any rate).

Whill wrote:
Star Wars even had an episode explaining that there was this ancient species that planted genetic material on many worlds so that they would eventually all evolve into humanoids with different foreheads. In Star Wars it could be because m-words are guiding evolution, but I won't go there. 8)


FWIW, Star Trek: TNG had a similar episode. It's actually one of my more favorite episodes. But then again, I got a thing for the Precursors tropes.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Cosmos and Neil deGrasse Tyson!

Another possibility that helps canon make more sense is that Twi'lek were made by a powerful ancient precursor race genetically engineering humans, so the two species are still genetically compatible to create offspring in ways that evolution wouldn't normally allow (as Curtis Saxton brought up). I have some of that in my universe. In my SWU, Verpine are genetically engineered offspring of a 4-armed insect species, and Svivreni are genetically engineered offspring of a more centaur-like species. The base species are from the same planet (where even mammals have six limbs). They found ancient technology from long gone precursors and used it in an attempt to create soldiers for their war with each other. Both offspring soldier species rebelled against their masters and eventually left them using precursor starships they found, settling their modern homeworlds before the Republic even began and later forgetting or denying that they had any relation to the base species. But those offspring species cannot breed with their base species.

Sutehp wrote:
Whill wrote:
Star Wars even had an episode explaining that there was this ancient species that planted genetic material on many worlds so that they would eventually all evolve into humanoids with different foreheads.


FWIW, Star Trek: TNG had a similar episode. It's actually one of my more favorite episodes. But then again, I got a thing for the Precursors tropes.

Oops, that's what I meant. Star Trek not Star Wars. And yes, that very Trek episode. It was a pretty good episode, and it went a long way to improving my disbelief suspension for the entire Trek franchise. Without those precursors, we just have an extreme case of convergent evolution.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, there is also the question of whether the offspring are fertile or biologically "stable." Just because interbreeding is possible does not mean that biology will not impose limits on how far it can be taken. Mules are a commmon example, as well as ligers and tigons, the latter two of which are infertle, just like a mule, but are also prone to a shorter lifespan than either parent species.

So, the species/interbreeding thing does have some gray area to explore.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I love Cosmos and Neil deGrasse Tyson!


Yeah, you just have to respect The Most Powerful Nerd In The Universe, especially when is likely the only person in the world to pull off wearing this kind of vest.

Hell, speaking of Star Trek (and I think I may have mentioned this in a previous post somewhere), a MAJOR reason I disliked the 2009 Star Trek movie was because of its Unrealistic Black Holes, but after watching Cosmos, Dr. Tyson actually helped (slightly) redeem Star Trek 2009 when he explained that black holes actually might function as gateways to other universes (if we could find a way to survive the crushing gravitic forces that would spaghettify us once we crossed the event horizon).

But even The Most Powerful Nerd In The Universe can't redeem all the other stuff ST 2009 gets wrong about black holes, so it's still my least favorite Star Trek movie (except for Star Trek V).
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder: how do we judge what is "realistic" about a black hole if there is no way to get information from a black hole (since nothing, not even light [waves] can escape it).
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hawking radiation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawking_radiation

Anyways, it's a singularity. And singularities are singularly ... fun. Well, or at least the "gateway" idea is; that space-time is so tortured in a black hole that it might be used as a means of travel.

Provided, of course, that you guard against spaghettification, as Sutehp pointed out. (And spaghettification is, along with thagomizer, my two favorite "yup it's real science jargon but it shouldn't be" words.)
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
I wonder: how do we judge what is "realistic" about a black hole if there is no way to get information from a black hole (since nothing, not even light [waves] can escape it).

Sure, there are definitely limits to what can be known. But black holes and some of their properties were predicted with mathematics before any direct observation. Since then observations have confirmed the mathematical predictions which means the math of the physics provides some information. We have detected other objects being pulled into black holes which gives us information, and the accretion disc material "circling the drain" can result in powerful gamma radiation blasts that we have observed (obviously what gets shot away without being sucked to the point of no return). We are still learning more about black holes without light ever escaping them. So let's not dismiss what can be known just because it is true that everything cannot be known.

Sutehp wrote:
Hell, speaking of Star Trek (and I think I may have mentioned this in a previous post somewhere), a MAJOR reason I disliked the 2009 Star Trek movie was because of its Unrealistic Black Holes, but after watching Cosmos, Dr. Tyson actually helped (slightly) redeem Star Trek 2009 when he explained that black holes actually might function as gateways to other universes (if we could find a way to survive the crushing gravitic forces that would spaghettify us once we crossed the event horizon).

But even The Most Powerful Nerd In The Universe can't redeem all the other stuff ST 2009 gets wrong about black holes, so it's still my least favorite Star Trek movie (except for Star Trek V).

So all the other impossibilities in Star Trek are no problem for you, but this one thing is? The Genesis Device? Warp drive? Transporters?! To each fan his own, but that is some extremely selective disbelief suspension, man!

The 2009 film also refers to the "black hole" as a "singularity", which is a real world term that applies to black holes but in the entire ST franchise has also referred to a number of different things. "A singularity, or quantum singularity, is an extremely dense region of the spacetime continuum which produces extremely powerful gravitational forces. Singularities can be produced both naturally, as in black holes, or artificially." There it refers to black holes as natural singularities, but accounts for artificial ones. In the 2009 film, the so-called "black holes" are artificially created which would mean that they are not technically black holes per se. They are "red-matter-created black holes". They are not permanent, which does conform with our current models which indicate that black holes could never form in nature with the small mass of the film singularities, and it they ever did somehow form at that mass, they would eventually evaporate, in which case they would no longer be black holes.

The Star Trek franchise is literally chock full of "spatial anomalies" that have weird effects, many of them warping time in some way. The "red matter black holes" in the 2009 film were no issue for me because they were not actually black holes in the real world sense. In the ST franchise, black hole is just a general term that refers to different types of phenomena. I thought red matter black holes were much more realistic than an imperfect human clone of Picard taking control of the Romulan Empire.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
So all the other impossibilities in Star Trek are no problem for you, but this one thing is? The Genesis Device? Warp drive? Transporters?! To each fan his own, but that is some extremely selective disbelief suspension, man!


I never said I had no problem with the other scientific inconsistencies in Star Trek. Hell, the whole thing with transporters blatantly violating the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle has been a running joke for decades. It's just that the whole thing with the ST 2009 unrealistic black holes struck me as blatantly more of a problem than the rest, enough to sour my opinion of this particular movie for years. My opinion on ST 2009 has recovered, though. And ST 2009 and V might be my least favorite ST movies, but there's a qualification (see below).

Whill wrote:
I thought red matter black holes were much more realistic than an imperfect human clone of Picard taking control of the Romulan Empire.


Touche, Whill. I actually never saw Insurrection and I saw Nemesis precisely once and then tried (only partially successfully) to suppress that 2 hour long ordeal from my mind. My comment about the 2009 Star Trek movie (and Star trek V) could have been more accurate. I certainly didn't mean to imply that ST 2009 and V were the worst of all the Star Trek movies (objectively speaking), only that they were my least favorite Star trek movies. I think it behooves me to say that Nemesis is decidedly NOT EVEN ON my list of favorite Star Trek movies; that one is in a class all by itself. (Although I DO feel bad about all that undeserved flak that Tom Hardy got for playing Shinzon and being blamed for almost killing the franchise. I'm glad to see his career has recovered.)
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Touche, Whill. I actually never saw Insurrection and I saw Nemesis precisely once and then tried (only partially successfully) to suppress that 2 hour long ordeal from my mind. My comment about the 2009 Star Trek movie (and Star trek V) could have been more accurate. I certainly didn't mean to imply that ST 2009 and V were the worst of all the Star Trek movies (objectively speaking), only that they were my least favorite Star trek movies. I think it behooves me to say that Nemesis is decidedly NOT EVEN ON my list of favorite Star Trek movies; that one is in a class all by itself. (Although I DO feel bad about all that undeserved flak that Tom Hardy got for playing Shinzon and being blamed for almost killing the franchise. I'm glad to see his career has recovered.)

I like Insurrection. Most people don't like it as much as First Contact, but for me, the three TNG movies (the only ones that count) are all pretty equal. Insurrection would have been a good way to end the TGN movies (and should have been the end). I think Tom Hardy was a horrible clone of Picard, but I do not at all blame the actor - I blame whomever cast him for that. Of course it was a dumb concept in the first place so it probably wouldn't have worked with any actor, and I can't blame the actor for the story.

For some reason I can't compare the TNG movies with the original crew movies, but I can rank the original crew movies. (1) TVH, (2) TWoK, (3) TSfS, (4) TUC. So the three Trek movies I pretend don't exist are TMP, TFF and Nemesis. IMO, TFF is the worst Trek film of the entire Trek franchise.

ST09 and ID are my top two Trek movies and two of my favorite movies period. I like Beyond less but still like it a lot - I'm just not sure how it ranks to the other two Trek film series.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill, I am happy to entertain a discussion on black holes as a sort of intellectual growth exercise, however, before I do, I'll defer to your authority over the site once you understand where I'm coming from, so I'll offer full disclosure:

I have researched independently many questions on astronomy and have taken a 100-level college elective in astronomy. After the class, I became very skeptical that astronomy is real science since many of my basic questions were left unanswered, or else were amswered by credentialed PhDs with what felt like cop outs.

So, taking what I know and combining that with what I have been taught (I consider the two things as distinct when having a discussion that centers on critical thinking), the best I can come up with is that things like black holes, dark matter, etc, are astronomy's version of gap theory.

So, I am happy to be shown that I'm missing something, but in my experience, discussions that challenge established status quo often fail to bear fruit.

In any case, I will say that the colective level of intelligence and learnedness around here is quite high, and if anyone has any level of respect for a critically thought out point of view that challenges the teachings of Neil de Grasse Tyson and his ilk, then I'm happy to engage, but only if Whill approves first.
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