How likely are silicon-based life forms such as the Horta? Can the Holodoc really wield a laser scalpel? Is a universal translator possible?For thirty years, the Star Trek series, movies, and books have speculated as much about the nature and meaning of life as they have about inorganic concepts such as warp speed, time travel, and black holes. In fact, the original missiHow likely are silicon-based life forms such as the Horta? Can the Holodoc really wield a laser scalpel? Is a universal translator possible?For thirty years, the Star Trek series, movies, and books have speculated as much about the nature and meaning of life as they have about inorganic concepts such as warp speed, time travel, and black holes. In fact, the original mission of the starship Enterprise was to seek out new life and new civilizations in its quest to answer the most tantalizing question of all time: Are we alone in the universe?If Star Trek has been about the search for life, To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek is about understanding these discoveries as we encounter them with the crews of the Enterprise, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine. In this book, Harvard biologist Athena Andreadis takes a lively, thought-provoking look at Star Trek's approach to the science of human, humanoid, and other life forms, exploring what biological principles are probable or possible on the original show and the three series and nine movies that have followed.This engaging, deeply informative book makes everyone an armchair expert on the difference between science and science fiction on Star Trek, with keen observations into the series' complex worlds of physiology, psychology, and sociology. For example, the free interbreeding of humanoids makes for great plots, but a host of biological problems: Vulcans bleed green, Klingons purple, and humans red, which means none of them share the same oxygen carrier in the bloodstream (which means no hybrid, and thus no Spock). A shape-shifter with a liquid base, like Security Chief Odo, could never fall in love with a "solid" like Major Kira Nerys--it is the equivalent to a human loving a turnip. Androids like Data are possible in our future, though the creation of substitute bodies in the holodeck is pure fantasy. The joined Trills are a curious blend of symbiosis and parasitism, raising interesting questions as to how the two beings share consciousness.This absorbing, illuminating book, rich in scientific detail and full of fascinating references to literature, film, and television, pays tribute to a show that has profoundly shaped the way we understand and view science....
|Title||:||To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek|
|Number of Pages||:||273 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek Reviews
To seek out new life: the biology of Star Trek DB 48584 Andreadis, Athena. Reading time 10 hours, 37 minutes. Read by Kristin Allison. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress. Subjects: Stage and Screen ; Science and TechnologyDescription: Uses the original Star Trek television series, spinoffs, and movies to explain concepts in bioscience. Investigates the probability of other life-forms in the universe. Discusses human immortality, the transporter, and the universal translator as well as cloning, robots, and virtual reality. This book is an intelligent, informative romp through biological and other sciences, examined as they apply to the Star Trek universe. The author examines the “science” of Star Trek and makes much of that science perfectly comprehensible to non-scientists. I especially enjoyed her dry sense of humor. Even more, I enjoyed her explanations of why certain “scientific” assumptions in the Trek Universe couldn’t work, dramatically interesting as they may be.But, in the long run, Star Trek is not a science course …and, whether the science is sound or not, I have, from Season 1 (which I enjoyed when it was first presented) all the way through its last movie, thoroughly enjoyed it, and will always remain a Trekker.Christen Allison did a marvelous job of narrating. Her expression was appropriate and lively, and she made some fairly dry material interesting an approachable, using expressiveness to its best advantage.Can one enjoy Star Trek without reading this book? Of course, but reading it will deepen your understanding of this universe, even when the science is, at best, dubious.
Having recently torn through all the various Star Trek series' (besides Enterprise), this book was a cool find and an interesting read. There are a lot of geeky references (which makes the cold-shower reality that most of the science of show couldn't happen bearable) to keep the hardcore fans placated. But most importantly, it does describe in detail a lot of the real science that was or is inspired by the ideas put forth in the episodes. The commentary on the various social aspects of the races, conflicts, and character development was also a nice touch. However, it was written prior to the end of DS9 and Voyager, and it would have been nice to have seen some acknowledgement of that - not to mention an update on what's changed in science since then, but that might be asking too much. There is an addendum that includes a wrap-up of ST: Insurrection but it doesn't add a lot to the book's argument as a whole.
There're two books with this subtitle, but this is the one I had the liveliest arguments with. I have to say that in both cases the authors were (perhaps unavoidably) geocentric, but there's still tolerable variety of life on Earth, and not enough appreciation of that fact in either book. For example, why would you assume that the tribbles are mammals just because they have fur? True, all furred creatures on Earth (currently, at least)are mammals. But this represents a contingent fact of evolution, and needn't've been so. Still, it's always easier to argue technical issues with someone you feel would understand your arguments, and I think this is the better of the two sources, for that reason if for no other.
I made it only to page 26 or so, and then it has sat around for weeks without being opened again. It's actually a very good book in terms of science. The author writes well. The problem is twofold:1. my flaky brain right now2. the necessity of knowing every episode of all the incarnations of Star Trek (TV and movies) by title--no can do from this distanceBut, if anyone reading this is a Science Nerd as well as a Trekker this is a good book to sort out the possible from the truly story-driven scientific principles. Read it in good health, and then tell me about it, ok?
A good book for Trekkies and those who like science fiction, as well as for those interested in science, evolution and the future of humanity. Many Esperantists and UFO aficionados might disagree with the author's conclusions on language, ETs and panspermia, but it's an interesting point of view. I think that her overall message is appealing to most:"What promotes or suppresses scientific discoveries and their applications is the worldview of the society in which they are embedded. The character of the society will determine whether its members will turn a piece of Earth into a garden or a waste, if they’ll go to the stars as explorers, as conquerors—or not at all." P. 238
I AM NOT A TREKKIE, I repeat and reiterate, but I am fond of the series, all of them and the movies except the first one. True Trekkies will likely be offended, because Andreadis discusses the scientific improbabilities of quite a few of the franchise's favorite devices. I however consider it a clever ploy to examine topics and issues in biology. She does make a few mistakes -- she quotes Data as using a contraction and intimates at one point that the transporter is the way into the holodeck, and she gets a bit preachy toward the end of the book. I would also judge that for a reader to appreciate the work s/he should have at least a nodding acquaintance with the Star Trek universe.
good star trek book about biology in my opinion!