extent of humanity?

Trek Books, Games and General chat

extent of humanity?

Postby sunnyside » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:47 am

This is inspired by a thread in the Enterprise board by Teaos where he wonders why they didn't run into more human colonies and ships.

However I've been thinking about it, and a lot of the "human" civilizations that came to mind from TOS etc weren't, on a second thought, actually human, they just looked like human.

Actual human colonies tended to be small and often were either from a stranded ship or were a small offshoot that at some point wanted to be seperate from Starfleet or the rest of humanity.

Of course humans at least seem to be the majority of personell on Starfleet ships, outposts, bases, starbases, etc. But browsing around the DITL fleet pages it seems that starfleet may not have many more than ten million souls deployed off of their homeworlds. Barely a dent in current human populations. We could easily be vastly over represented in Starfleet due to the acadamy being on earth, tradition, and humans being the right sort of crazy where instead of chilling out on the supposedly utopian earth they'd rather spend their days as even a lowly crewman cleaning out impulse manifolds while your superiors fly the ship into any deadly anomoly they can find.

Anyway, is there any indication from any of the series to indicate how many humans there are out there and if there are any substantial (multi million) human colonies out there?
User avatar
sunnyside
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 2432
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby Mikey » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:46 am

I don't recall any specific mention of the number of extant colonies, but it stands to reason that the figure would roughly be around "a lot." I wouldn't expect to see them in the show much, because general checking-up on normally-functioning colonies wouldn't be what I'd expect of the regular operations of a hero ship on an exploration mission.

There certainly has been mention of colonies, though - needing medical supplies, overrun by warring gangs and supplying chiefs of security, etc., etc.
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33174
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:20 pm

One that stands out is the Human colony on Deneva, which Kirk says was colonised a century ago - in 2167. That had a population of more than a million inhabitants, which implies some combination of a pretty big initial colony effort, a lot of immigration over time, or colonists that bred like rabbits!
Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...
User avatar
Graham Kennedy
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8280
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Banbury, UK

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby mwhittington » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:29 pm

And in First Contact, Riker says there are 50 million people living on the moon. Granted, it's really close to home, but it is a colony, nonetheless. Plus, I'm sure Mars has a rather substantial population, although it's never stated how many people live there. Or did you mean extrasolar colonies?
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin-
mwhittington
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
 
Posts: 1165
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:49 pm
Location: Paradise, CA

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby sunnyside » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:59 pm

With space travel being so easy and artifical gravity readily availible, the Moon really feels more like another continent of Earth. Especially since any earth killing superweapon is probalby going to hose over the moon as well.


....actually, that could make for an interesting episode. One where some culture had their home planent smoked by a superweapon while the hero's are on the cultures moon colony.

Mars a bit the same. Maybe a bit more impressive.

I find GrahamKennedy post interesting. On the one hand, a million people seems like a lot. On the other hand we're talking about just the population of Montana spready across a whole planet, or a single years worth of legal immegration into the US.

So it also seems like very little.
User avatar
sunnyside
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 2432
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby Mikey » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:05 am

One million is quite a lot for a colony, considering the general population growth rate being smaller than average due to what we can presume is a higher mortality rate than, say, Earth.
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33174
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby McAvoy » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:06 pm

The other big question is we know that we will reach 9 billion by 2050. I am wondering since we did not hear anything about overpopulation and WW3 didn't really kill too many people effectively reduce the population level, how big is human population 100 years later or even by the 23rd century. That would dictate Earth colony populations at leats early on.
"Don't underestimate the power of technobabble: the Federation can win anything with the sheer force of bullshit"
User avatar
McAvoy
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
 
Posts: 4005
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:39 am
Location: East Windsor, NJ

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby sunnyside » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:16 pm

McAvoy wrote:The other big question is we know that we will reach 9 billion by 2050. I am wondering since we did not hear anything about overpopulation and WW3 didn't really kill too many people effectively reduce the population level, how big is human population 100 years later or even by the 23rd century. That would dictate Earth colony populations at leats early on.


Overpopulation is only an issue because of "put seeds in the ground to grow food" limitations, and a little bit of suburban sprawl clearing out nature. With fusion powered food replicators and homes in super skyscrapers, trillions of people could comfortably live on earth.
User avatar
sunnyside
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 2432
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:34 pm

There's a rule of thumb that says the number of kids people have drops quite rapidly as those people become more materially wealthy. With Earth's citizens enjoying a universal comfortable lifestyle by 2150, there's really not a whole lot of impetus to push population high.

So what I see in TOS is not colonies not founded out of population pressure - colonisation couldn't relieve that anyway realistically, they would have to be shipping hundreds of millions of people a year off Earth to dent the population in any meaningful way. Rather, most colonies seem to either grow up around trade or mining centres, like Deneva, or start as small groups who are seeking an alternate lifestyle. Wanting to become farmers or whatever, like in This Side of Paradise.

Even in TNG it wouldn't surprise me if there are very few human colonies with more than, say, ten million people. Wouldn't surprise me at all if Earth has more people than all other human worlds combined, by a long way.
Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...
User avatar
Graham Kennedy
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8280
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Banbury, UK

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby McAvoy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:55 pm

Problem would also be you need a vast amount of ships for people to colonize and then immigrate there as well.
"Don't underestimate the power of technobabble: the Federation can win anything with the sheer force of bullshit"
User avatar
McAvoy
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
 
Posts: 4005
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:39 am
Location: East Windsor, NJ

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby sunnyside » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:44 am

GrahamKennedy wrote: Rather, most colonies seem to either grow up around trade or mining centres, like Deneva, or start as small groups who are seeking an alternate lifestyle. Wanting to become farmers or whatever, like in This Side of Paradise.


I hadn't exactly thought about it in these terms, but earth is depicted as a paradise. And the Federation doesn't seem like the sort of entity that would force people to get off planet to mine some asteroids.

Maybe there is very little pressure to colonize, and for most people very little reason to want to do so. Just those with a bit of wanderlust or a desire for a different culture.


McAvoy wrote:Problem would also be you need a vast amount of ships for people to colonize and then immigrate there as well.


Hmmm I suppose cargo ships and personal civilian shuttlecraft make appearences, but I guess I don't have much of a feeling for how many ships of what type humanity has access to outside of starfleet.

Today civilian shipping and aircraft far surpass their nation's militaries in terms of transport capability. But maybe dilithium is so in demand in the Federation for starfleet ships there isn't much left. Or traveling the stars is simply to dangerous outside of well traveled corridors to attempt without some solid armaments.
User avatar
sunnyside
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 2432
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby McAvoy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:59 am

I think the lure of colonizing a new planet is exactly that: new. Changing that planet to human needs, creating awhole new culture in itself. Possibly even just colonizing just to be a 'backup' in case Earth is destroyed. Amount of colonists and how far and frequent support from Earth or other major planets would probably dictate the birth rate itself. No matter what they may have brought with them. They can bring all the technology of the 24th century with them, but if it is years between each supply run, then spare parts would run very thin and would have rely greatly on their own ingenuity. Though it would be far, far easier than for them then let's say be dropped off with nothing but clothes on their backs for example.

Also colonizing planets would greatly rely on the ships to carry them and how many there are and how big the ships are. Especially for the ships designed to be dismantled to create the colony.
"Don't underestimate the power of technobabble: the Federation can win anything with the sheer force of bullshit"
User avatar
McAvoy
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
 
Posts: 4005
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:39 am
Location: East Windsor, NJ

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby Mikey » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:20 am

sunnyside wrote:the Federation doesn't seem like the sort of entity that would force people to get off planet to mine some asteroids.


Except for all the canonical evidence to the contrary, that is. "Force" may not be the right word, but have you seen Star Trek? There's a plethora of mining situations... and in TOS: "Devil in the Dark," we are given the clear impression that conditions for the miners is not par for the rest of the UFP, so there must be some other gain realized by the miners.
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33174
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby McAvoy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:17 pm

Mikey wrote:
sunnyside wrote:the Federation doesn't seem like the sort of entity that would force people to get off planet to mine some asteroids.


Except for all the canonical evidence to the contrary, that is. "Force" may not be the right word, but have you seen Star Trek? There's a plethora of mining situations... and in TOS: "Devil in the Dark," we are given the clear impression that conditions for the miners is not par for the rest of the UFP, so there must be some other gain realized by the miners.


Money? Fame? Women? Bottomless bottle of whiskey?
"Don't underestimate the power of technobabble: the Federation can win anything with the sheer force of bullshit"
User avatar
McAvoy
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
 
Posts: 4005
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:39 am
Location: East Windsor, NJ

Re: extent of humanity?

Postby Mikey » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:41 pm

Or any or all of the above. Whatever the reason, the point is that people regularly can - and do - leave Earth to go colonize for mining and other concerns.
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33174
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Next

Return to Books / Games / General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest