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First Ones, Middle Races, Younger Races. Who is who?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Vir
    In a way, you argue my point. The point being that civilisation as we know it, did not evolve in a straight line, dispite what most scientist will have us believe.(this is Hancock's point as well)
    Please tell me what scientists belive that. The view that civilization progressed in a straight line wasn't big since the 19th century

    There is every reason to believe that we have had several periods of technological development, only to somehow loose what we know and start again.
    Yet there is no trace of advanced metallurgy, or any kind of advanced technology beyond their time

    You only have to look at the some of the artefacts dug up in the dessert like the ancient Egyptian electric batteries or the ancient Egyptian model aeroplane. On this point we seem to agree. The Egyptians were far more advanced than most people think. But somehow a lot of what they knew was lost.
    And pre-Aryan India had nuclear fusion.
    Yet they were conquered by a bunch of tribes whose great invention was the chariot. They conquered Egypt, too, btw.

    The legends of Atlantis are nothing more than other examples of another step in our evolution that we somehow lost and had to start again. Whether anything was passed down from one of these previous civilisations of course can only be speculation.
    There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the Atlantis myth is just that, a myth

    But what you call inplausible, I call logical. To use your Roman arch example, it's entirely plausible to think that the Romans might have kept records on how to build the arches. This information could easily be buried somewhere and found by a future civilisation.
    But it would require a level of deciphering similar to at least that of 19th Century Europe.

    To bring it back to B5, this is no different or inplausible than the younger races finding ancient jumpgate technology, left behind from some ancient civilsation.
    B5 Wars says that it were the Vorlons who create the jumpgates after the Kirshiac war, so that new races become capable of interstellar travel (and thus become noticeable to them) before they reach a level of technology that allows the invention of hyperspace tech (IIRC).

    Have a very nice day.
    Richard Biggs 1961-2004. May he rest in peace.


    • #32
      ancient technology in Earth and Fiction

      I also think the "scientists say civilization progressed in a straight line" idea is a straw man argument.

      The so-called Baghdad battery or Egyptian battery is real (sorry fgalkin, you can do a web search and find a few sites with an "orthodox" view and way too many with the "alternate" view). Whether it had any technological use is debatable.
      Maybe it was a novelty found by trial and error and used for magical purposes (imagine if you will an ancient Egyptian evangelic preacher saying "feel the power of Horus!" and giving you a light electric shock).

      After Volta discovered the battery as we know it it didn't take long for other metals to be tried and new discoveries of more effective batteries to be made (the voltage you get depends on the metals you use). This was also followed by Faraday really researching the phenomenon and laying the foundations for electrochemistry and electromagnetism.
      This is the fundamental difference between our current civilization and the ancient civilizations: the application of the scientific method.
      Without a systematic drive to explain and experiment the ancient civilizations did never get as far.

      The greeks had a primitive steam engine, yet they never used it for motor power (this is usually explained because they didn't have enough metallurgical knowledge to make strong enough steam engine chambers and no portable fuel beyond wood, since coal burns at higher temperatures). Some Mesoamerican civilizations had discovered the wheel, yet they never used it for transportation, only for children toys, all their travelling was on foot (the usual argument to explain this is that they didn't have any draft animals, and the jungle/rainforest conditions made road construction harder). There are many known examples of ancient civilizations having stumbled upon "advanced" technology, what is severely lacking is evidence of them using that technology in advanced ways (i.e. the way we use them now).

      Just because the Egyptians sketched a plane it doesn't mean they had flying machines. Leonardo Da Vinci drew way too many flying machines (a few of them might have worked) but never built them nor did he tell anyone of how to build them.

      There are also many examples of independent discovery: the Mesoamerican pyramids (steppped pyramids used as temples, decorated profusely with carved religious symbols) and the Egyptian pyramids (used as tombs, smooth faced for the most part, arguably decorated with paint over stucco) stand out. The explanation for the use of the same shape is simple: the only way to pile up that high, with the constructions techniques available to them, without having the structure collapse, is having a solid mound with a side base.
      Writing was also a independent discovery in several parts (Middle East/Mediterranean scripts share similar origins, Asian scripts stems from Chinese mostly, and the American cultures developing their own writing systems).

      They were all human, they could all discover or invent similar things given the right conditions, tools, and information.
      The way I see it there simply is no need to invoke any even-more-ancient civilization as source of inspiration and knowledge.

      To go with real science: Darwin and Wallace developed the idea of species evolution independently. More recently single-walled carbon nanotubes were discovered independently by Iijima et al. in Japan and by Bethune et al. in the USA. That's only two well documented examples.

      And the legend of Atlantis is indeed only that. A didactic legend with poltical overtones that made the Athenians look good, related by a Philosopher, more concerned with the lessons to impart, and not by a Historian who would be expected to be more concerned with the veracity of the account.
      There are historical examples that might have insipred the legend: the explosion of the island of Santorini obliterating the Minoan culture in Crete, for example. These do not mean that all of Plato's account is true, only that part of the legend is based on fact.

      I love to discuss these topics and forgive me if I become too pushy with my opinions. I am always amenable to agree to disagree...

      That was about science fact.
      Now about science fiction.

      Thanks for the info about the Vorlons creating the jumpgates fgalkin. Sounds plausible with their assumed "nurturing disciplining parent" role: leave the jumpgates close enough that once young races develop space flight they can get around the Galaxy. And it's likely the original jumpgates could be reverse engineered easily enough only if along with the space travel there was enough technological sofistication to understand or at least emulate effectively advanced technology.
      Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
      James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)


      • #33
        Or, to say nothing about the Vorlon's tinkering with thirdspace, nearly destroying the galaxy with their "Thirdspace-a-matic" jump gate of death, only to dump it later in hyperspace...

        Oh yeah. Really responsible parents.

        Just saying.

        *Incidentially, I just joined this forums after lurking for a very long time. I thought I oughta join up seeing how B5's coming back in vouge. So, if you wanna IM me, be my guest. Even if I don't know you.*