So I started this on another forum and thought people here might be interested in it as well. Seems like it could provide some nice details to spice-up a fanfic with.
Oftentimes on shows like Stargate gloss-over the events on Earth and focus on what`s going on elsewhere in the universe. And that is fine but it is also curious to look into just how the Earth in Stargate differs from its real life counterpart. And when one stops and thinks about it, one can discover some very interesting details. In this thread, we can discuss the big and small ways SG Earth is different from what we all are familiar with.
Note: this is not a thread for discussions like “if SGC was run by the military and not Hollywoood they would have sent tanks through the gate” or pointing out things like “in real life no one would be able to cover-up spaceship battles in low Earth orbit since millions of people with telescopes would see it”. Rather this thread is for technological, (recent) historic and geographic differences. Here are some factoids and speculations I and others have noticed &/or deduced:
1) In later seasons, some alien tech and scientific theories are implied to have left the classified field and became known by the wider scientific community (e.g.: judging by Stargate: Atlantis episode “Brain Storm”, the multiverse theory was proven, a scientist is not laughed out of a room when he says he can “shaft excess heat into a different dimension” and the scientific community is not baffled by working energy shields)
2) Even without factoring in alien-derived technologies Stargate Earth seems to be more advanced than the real world (at least in the fields of physics/chemistry):
The disaster-solving tech-of-the-week in season 5 episode "Red Sky" is the HU-2340/Maclarium, a super-heavy element synthesized by an Earth scientist (who is not in the know about the SGC) over the period of 5 years. If the "2340" is the mass number of the element and it is stable enough not to decay in second than that's crazy impressive!
For comparison, the heaviest element real-life scientists were able to create were a few atoms of Ununoctium-294 and it's half-life is measured in microseconds!
This would mean that SG-verse Earth discovered the atomic "Island of Stability" sometime between 1996 and 2001. I guess it's possible that the discovery of Naquida off-world could have pushed US government to fund research into exotic transuranium elements on Earth.
3) Another technology-related difference (also from the episode "Brain Storm"):
Courtesy of stargatewiki: http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/Brain_Storm#NotesTunney mentions CERN's LHC Particle accelerator to prove that in the same way nothing went wrong with it on its activation despite the fear of micro black holes and instantaneous destruction of the Earth, nothing will go wrong when he activates the device. The real-world LHC had not actually been activated yet at the time of filming, but was expected to have been by the time the episode was to be aired. However, mechanical problems caused the shutdown of the device before the stage of the activation that had many worried about doomsday scenarios, making Tunney's statement (partially) inaccurate at time of first airing. The collider was finally activated on November 20, 2009 - oddly enough one day off of exactly one year after the episode's airdate (November 21, 2008).
4) Dialog from the Stargate SG-1 episode “The Tomb” indicates at least some Russian special forces use the Zastava M85 (Yugoslav-built assault rifle based on the Kalashnikov design). Additionally, the episode “Full Alert” showed the Russian military using the German-built Volkswagen Iltis 4x4 (although maybe the show`s makers didn`t have access to a Russian 4x4 and the Iltis was simply meant to represent the Russian UAZ-469/UAZ-31512)
5) Carson Beckett is constantly seen with a Scottish flag on his Atlantis uniform unlike other members from U.K. that have the Union Jack on their sleeves. Could Stargate-verse Scotland have gained independence from U.K. sometime prior to the departure of the Atlantis Expedition?
6) In the opening episode of Stargate: Atlantis preparing for the expedition to Atlantis can be seen expedition members from the nations of the U.N. Security Council & their important allies: U.S., Canada, Russia… and Zimbabwe? (Don’t believe me? Just look at this clip at 1:15). Could Zimbabwe of Stargate-verse have avoided the disastrous regime of Robert Mugabe in 1990s, and by 2004 becoming an important regional power with rising global influence much like real-life South Africa?
7) Invasion of Iraq never took place. Although we know from flashback’s to Col. Sheppard’s past that U.S. got involved with Afghanistan, there is no hints of 9/11 or invasion of Iraq. Certainly with a president other than Bush an invasion of Iraq may not have taken place even if 9/11 occurred (and U.S. may have invaded Taliban controlled Afghanistan without 9/11 too – see this BBC article for example, or this collection of articles (the latter are from what seems to be a conspiracy theory website, but the articles on it do not look like tinfoil-hat material)). Now absence of proof is not proof of absence – but consider this: according to Stargate: Atlantis episode “The Real World” Dr. Elizabeth Weir at one point mediated a U.N. Accord on “non-nuclear proliferation in North Africa”. The only country in North Africa that had a nuclear program was Col. Gaddafi’s Libya & he let U.N. inspectors dismantle the program & mended relations with the west following the American invasion of Iraq because he did not want to be next on the U.S. hit list. So in a world where there was no invasion of Iraq Gaddafi may not feel need to buddy up with the west & the Libyan weapons program would continue, eventually leading to U.N. Accords. Unless, of course, “non-nuclear proliferation” is referring to something other than “nuclear non-proliferation”… so who knows.
It was pointed out to me later that on the show Stargate: Universe Lt. James was mentioned as having served in Iraq. However, this could mean she was participating in enforcing the No Fly Zone or perhaps she did something in Kurdistan.
8) SG-1 season 10 episode "The Road Not Taken" had the following conversation:
So at least one Stargate-verse (since the events of the episode took place in a parallel reality) has Irish-based al-Qaeda stand-ins. A result of much worst Irish "Troubles" perhaps?CARTER
(gesturing to the television)
Have you seen this? It was an Irish village. It was just bombed by American F-302s.
[Hammond glances at the television, but does not seem concerned.]
At the request of the Irish Prime Minister. That "village" as you call it was in fact a training camp for terrorists bent on overthrowing several European governments.
That’s all I have for now. Anyone have anything else to add or speculate on?