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  1. #1
    Chief Master Sergeant
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    Default Stargate Science and Lingo

    Who came up with all the Stargate science that most viewers like myself cannot possibly understand? I am watching McKay and Mrs. Miller and I realized that all these episodes SGA and SG1 involve discussion about either actual, potential or mythical science, and some science advisors to the producers had to have provided enough ideas and lingo to make it all sound real and appear real on the computer lap top and dashboard screens.
    It all sounds so real, and the actors are so good at making it seem and sound real.
    Has anyone ever written anything specifically about Stargate science language for viewers? Even the science of Wraith feeding and Goa'uld possession etc. must have some kind of scientific basis.

  2. #2
    Captain Xaeden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Here in an article from science consultant Mika McKinnon about her time on Atlantis and SGU: https://physicstoday.scitation.org/d...T.4.0656/full/

    Here is a Q&A that she did for Joe Mallozzi on his blog while Atlantis was still on the air: https://josephmallozzi.com/2008/09/1...tage-3-part-1/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    In general Stargate uses so much fancy scientific-sounding language that is impossible for the non-nerd expert to distinguish fact from fiction.
    Beyond that are subject areas that could be discussed as separate chapters of a book. For example:

    1) How does the Stargate work? How much is fact, how much fiction and how much real in theory but impossible to accomplish?
    2) Is a Goa'uld symbiote idea possible?
    3) How can an entire intergalactic city be operated by one or two lap top computers by one or two people who operate them?
    4) Is the science behind the idea of the Iratus bug absorbing human DNA to develop the Wraith possible, with the feeding concept that keeps its energy for several months or years?
    5) Is teleportation through the devices and rings possible?
    6) What is a time space wormhole used widely in science fiction and in Stargate Atlantis?
    7) Is it possible to develop a method to allow people of different planets to communicate with one another and make it seem that they are speaking English?

  4. #4
    Second Lieutenant nivao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    In general Stargate uses so much fancy scientific-sounding language that is impossible for the non-nerd expert to distinguish fact from fiction.
    Beyond that are subject areas that could be discussed as separate chapters of a book. For example:

    1) How does the Stargate work? How much is fact, how much fiction and how much real in theory but impossible to accomplish?
    2) Is a Goa'uld symbiote idea possible?
    3) How can an entire intergalactic city be operated by one or two lap top computers by one or two people who operate them?
    4) Is the science behind the idea of the Iratus bug absorbing human DNA to develop the Wraith possible, with the feeding concept that keeps its energy for several months or years?
    5) Is teleportation through the devices and rings possible?
    6) What is a time space wormhole used widely in science fiction and in Stargate Atlantis?
    7) Is it possible to develop a method to allow people of different planets to communicate with one another and make it seem that they are speaking English?
    Most of those questions I have pondered about over the past few years, coincidentally. And yes, I could write a book about it, especially concerning everything surrounding the stargate, and have been thinking about it.

    1) Too long to explain, but it's 90% fictional. Only wormholes are theoretically possible, as posited by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen (see the answer to 6).
    2) Not really. While parasites really exist and symbiotic relationships can happen, a Goa'uld is physically impossible. Since a symbiote wraps itself around a host's brain stem, there is simply not enough space to do so; it would most likely be quite noticeable that there's something wrapped around your neck vertebrae (since you can easily feel them). Then there's the whole "taking over" thing.
    3) It's not controlled by two laptops. The laptops merely tap into the systems to monitor it on a more human-friendly control system (since not everyone has the ATA gene to actually use the Ancient computers). And the city is very user-friendly to operate from the control room, especially if it's not flying or under threat. It's almost entirely controlled using the large computer consoles with the large transparent screen in the back. The rest, such as flying and using its weapons, is mostly done from the control chair, though it can be done from the control room.
    4) I'm not a biologist, but no, I don't think that's possible. It already false apart at the feeding part, let alone the mutating DNA.
    5) If you mean whether the technology or science is theoretically possible? Then no. If you mean beaming someone and sending that matter stream through the stargate, then yes that's possible. Merlin programmed such a mechanic to beam everyone and everything "up" using an obelisk transporter, then send the beam through the gate to another obelisk on another planet and beam everything "down" again. Seen in "The Quest".
    6) A "wormhole", or Einstein-Rosen Bridge (see answer 1), is a hypothetical "bridge" or tunnel through spacetime that connects two separate points in space and/or time together. The term "wormhole" comes from the metaphor about a worm burrowing through an apple to reach the other side faster than by going around the outer surface. A much better analogy is a sheet of paper; instead of traveling from one end of the paper to the other, you pull both ends together, making it seem like both ends are in the same position, a shortcut if you will.
    7) Again, in real-life there are people attempting to create a "universal translator" but it's still a fictional thing. Google Translate is probably the closest thing. In-universe it's possible the stargates themselves somehow allow its users to be able to understand other languages (it's explained in an Expanded Universe novel, which isn't entirely considered canon), but that opens up a whole other can of plot holes and issues.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Perhaps the symbiote is not limited in time and space and can wrap around the spine at the neck in its own time and space. And what exactly makes the Wraith notion unworkable either as a bug or a humanoid? I assume the idea of absorbing nutrients from an intangible life force is rather limiting since it cannot be done with any other creature or even another Wraith as a wraith.

  6. #6
    Second Lieutenant StargateMillennium's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    In general Stargate uses so much fancy scientific-sounding language that is impossible for the non-nerd expert to distinguish fact from fiction.
    Beyond that are subject areas that could be discussed as separate chapters of a book. For example:

    1) How does the Stargate work? How much is fact, how much fiction and how much real in theory but impossible to accomplish?
    2) Is a Goa'uld symbiote idea possible?
    3) How can an entire intergalactic city be operated by one or two lap top computers by one or two people who operate them?
    4) Is the science behind the idea of the Iratus bug absorbing human DNA to develop the Wraith possible, with the feeding concept that keeps its energy for several months or years?
    5) Is teleportation through the devices and rings possible?
    6) What is a time space wormhole used widely in science fiction and in Stargate Atlantis?
    7) Is it possible to develop a method to allow people of different planets to communicate with one another and make it seem that they are speaking English?
    1)Wormholes are a scientific thing. At the moment, it's nothing but theory. That being said, I recommend you look into the 'magnetic wormhole'. I never got around to looking at it in depth (so it could be a load of nothing) but scientists reportedly created a "wormhole" of sorts that connects a magnetic field between two points.

    2) Yes and no. We have mind controlling parasites on Earth. But those parasites are limited to bugs (whose physiology is much more simplistic compared to humans) and even then its control is limited. The ones that can control mammals can only do small rodents and by that point, their control is mostly messing with the brain's functions rather than true control. So I guess it is possible, but it would have to be absurdly complex.

    3) I don't think the city is all operated by two laptops but it's not outside the realm of possibility. If I were to base it on how things work today, I would say a vast majority of the city's systems are automated the the laptops are to control the ones that are not automated as well as keep track of the city's systems to make sure everything is ok.

    4) That's a lot of genetic know-how. Let me put it this way. We do have things capable of putting DNA into other things. But we have never seen it done on accident. Genetics isn't my field but at the very least it would need genetic material to the nucleus of its own cell (and the genetic semantics after that are beyond me). So I guess it's within possibility, but with a stretch.

    5) Not that I know of. All theory once again, and this time it's a theory that sucks. I have heard of a concept on how to make one but it's all concept with no basis on how to execute it (and even if they found away, it still sucks. Make copy in new location then delete original. I'm not using that murder machine).

    7) Uh...sorta? Kinda complicated. Let's put it this way. A peeve of mine when it comes to scifi is that the alien languages all have the same structure as English and all you need to do is learn each word. On earth, a language not only has a different structure but often words that simply don't exist in the other language. There are phrases in English that are single words in other languages. Then there are words in other languages that are full blown descriptions. In order to create that universal translator, it would need to take in the language, translate it, then expel it. So far, our translation abilities only go so far. Look up Team fortress 2 "Meet the Translated ______" to understand.


    Stargate spin off series: Stargate Millennium
    https://www.fanfiction.net/u/5580179/StargateMillennium


  7. #7
    Second Lieutenant nivao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    Perhaps the symbiote is not limited in time and space and can wrap around the spine at the neck in its own time and space. And what exactly makes the Wraith notion unworkable either as a bug or a humanoid? I assume the idea of absorbing nutrients from an intangible life force is rather limiting since it cannot be done with any other creature or even another Wraith as a wraith.
    The symbiote definitely doesn't work that way, and it would make it even weirder. In all cases when using an MRI or other scan of a person, the symbiote is nicely wrapped around the neck vertebrae with nothing else going on. There may be some other method the Goa'uld use. The size of a symbiote also changes throughout the show. The CGI Goa'uld held by Hathor in "Out of Mind" and "Into The Fire" is much longer than any shown before, and would have to wrap around a large part of the spinal column, which should be noticeable since the vertebrae are very close to the surface of the skin. In "Enemy Within" you do see the symbiote within Kawalsky crawling up the vertebrae to exact control.

    As for the Wraith, well they're like vampires, which also aren't real (as in their nature of sucking up blood to nourish themselves). "Life force" is some new age type thing, like "chi", but there might be something logical below it. My theory is that the Wraith actually absorb the healing abilities of the cells of a body. The cells within our body can regenerate, that's how injuries are healed. Over time these cells deteriorate, that's how we age. When a person dies, their cells may continue to work for a little while (I believe) but then break down, that's how decomposition works. What a Wraith does is he absorbs that cell energy into himself, thus rapidly aging the victim up to the point their cells break down. The Wraith's cells then take that energy as a reserve of some kind to be able to heal itself and keep cell regeneration going, making the Wraith almost immortal and harder to kill (this part is actually explained by Beckett in "Rising").

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Strange though that the Wraith, who have had the experience of eating food until their teenage years don't long for the variety of foods available and therefore don't have scientists working 24/7 to find an alternative to feeding on the life force of a single being - the human. Either they should have looked for alternative beings or a way to restore normal eating. After all, any entity that can engage in interplanetary travel surely should be able to come up with a way that improves themselves either medically or in this case nutritionally. Plus when they feed they emit the grunting of regular animals. After seeing humans for so long, one would think that a Wraith would by this time seek alternatives for his species.

  9. #9
    Chief Master Sergeant Chaka-Z0's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    7) Is it possible to develop a method to allow people of different planets to communicate with one another and make it seem that they are speaking English?
    Great discussion guys, love it. I'll only respond to this particular point since I'm not well versed in all the others, and most have been answered already.

    Lasers man lasers. Nasa already have this technology: we are able to send data bursts at incredible speed and size using a laser from let's say a base on Earth to a Satellite in space. This technology also permits sending data and receiving data to a probe far far away in the void of space. All you need is the right coordinates.

    Lasers can also be used for a propulsion system, which is one of the only system that *Cheats* physics, since you can project a laser onto a giant sail to push the ship forward and there's no opposing force to slow down the craft. This is the most viable future technology in regards to propulsion and could achieve much higher top speeds than our current ion drives. The main issue right now is successfully launching a spacecraft with a deployable sail in space. If you're interested, I'd suggest reading this wiki page which summarizes the photonic drive technology.

  10. #10
    Second Lieutenant nivao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    Strange though that the Wraith, who have had the experience of eating food until their teenage years don't long for the variety of foods available and therefore don't have scientists working 24/7 to find an alternative to feeding on the life force of a single being - the human. Either they should have looked for alternative beings or a way to restore normal eating. After all, any entity that can engage in interplanetary travel surely should be able to come up with a way that improves themselves either medically or in this case nutritionally. Plus when they feed they emit the grunting of regular animals. After seeing humans for so long, one would think that a Wraith would by this time seek alternatives for his species.
    Why would they? It's their nature, they want to keep feeding on humans. Only a very small minority sought to change things because, careful:

    Spoiler:

    The believed their race could not survive as they could simply not sustain such large numbers. But this problem was caused by the sudden and premature awakening by the Atlantis Expedition's arrival. Prior to that they were able to carefully manage things by periodic culling without endangering the stability of the human population, over hundreds of years. And they probably also wanted to change things so they wouldn't have to go to sleep every time and repeat all that dreary stuff every few thousand years.

    With his frienemey relationship with Shepard, Todd had this vision to improve live for the Wraith and humans alike, to live at least moderately side-by-side.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    Strange though that the Wraith, who have had the experience of eating food until their teenage years don't long for the variety of foods available and therefore don't have scientists working 24/7 to find an alternative to feeding on the life force of a single being - the human. Either they should have looked for alternative beings or a way to restore normal eating. After all, any entity that can engage in interplanetary travel surely should be able to come up with a way that improves themselves either medically or in this case nutritionally. Plus when they feed they emit the grunting of regular animals. After seeing humans for so long, one would think that a Wraith would by this time seek alternatives for his species.
    WHOOPS.....I meant this reply on the Wraith thread...……..

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaka-Z0 View Post

    Lasers can also be used for a propulsion system, which is one of the only system that *Cheats* physics, since you can project a laser onto a giant sail to push the ship forward and there's no opposing force to slow down the craft.
    It does not, in any way, cheat physics. Light has momentum, even though it's only a tiny amount. A solar sail simply uses this fact to propel things. It's incredibly weak and ****ty propulsion, but in space there's little resistance, and a weak propulsion over a long time adds considerable speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by StargateMillennium View Post
    5) Not that I know of. All theory once again, and this time it's a theory that sucks. I have heard of a concept on how to make one but it's all concept with no basis on how to execute it (and even if they found away, it still sucks. Make copy in new location then delete original. I'm not using that murder machine).
    Quantum Mechanics allows teleportation. This is not theory, actual particles have been actually teleported in a repeatable, measurable way. The problem is that complicated QM states (like superposition) are incredibly fragile, and so very difficult to maintain for even small structures. In addition, information isn't allowed to travel faster than light. You'd have to entangle a bunch of particles, ship out a bunch to the teleport position, do the teleport. point-to-point teleport like in Stargate is not possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by StargateMillennium View Post
    7) Uh...sorta? Kinda complicated. Let's put it this way. A peeve of mine when it comes to scifi is that the alien languages all have the same structure as English and all you need to do is learn each word. On earth, a language not only has a different structure but often words that simply don't exist in the other language. There are phrases in English that are single words in other languages. Then there are words in other languages that are full blown descriptions. In order to create that universal translator, it would need to take in the language, translate it, then expel it. So far, our translation abilities only go so far. Look up Team fortress 2 "Meet the Translated ______" to understand.
    It's one of those things that sound really cool and interesting at first, but in reality is quite boring unless you're a language nut. A show like Stargate would not be possible if they had to learn the local language all the time, and the gimmick of figuring out the local language would become boring incredibly fast.
    Last edited by thekillman; September 8th, 2018 at 01:31 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    One can only imagine why they used non-English language with subtitles in Origins.....

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    One can only imagine why they used non-English language with subtitles in Origins.....
    Most likely: Different creative team --> Different stylistic choice.

    The decision to ignore most language issues was made under Brad Wright and Jonathan Galssner. On the other hand, they specifically decided to ignore it unless important to an individual plot, so I do believe there have been a few instances of subtitling in Sg-1. If that's correct, it's consistent in its inconsistency if nothing else.

  15. #15
    Second Lieutenant nivao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stargate Science and Lingo

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    One can only imagine why they used non-English language with subtitles in Origins.....
    Because it was done in the 1994 film as well. The same linguist who worked on the Ancient Egyptian dialogue for the original film returned to work on Origins. They wanted a similar style to the film, hence why the Stargate too follows the film design instead of the series design.

    And the series was not shy with non-English language. In the pilot, the Abydonians spoke broken English to indicate they had learned English from Daniel. The Chulakians also spoke in a different language and Daniel had to translate it. Throughout the show, the Goa'uld language was frequently spoken, though at some point it was reduced to nothing more than "kree". Ancient was also spoken quite a few times. In "Small Victories" we also hear the Asgard language.

    This was as much they really could do practically. Unlike Klingon, which was eventually designed as a complete language, it would not be doable to create complex languages. More so because Klingon is a completely fictional language, yet Goa'uld, Ancient, and Asgard languages are all based on real, dead, languages; Ancient Egyptian, Latin, and Runic respectively; which meant, according to the mythology they created for the franchise, they would have to study those dead languages, adapt it where it would miss words and pronunciations, and teach everyone. That would probably take about half the budget of a season plus twice as much effort, if not more, to write and direct even a single episode. This would be really, really cool, but understandably impractical for such a series.

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