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To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek

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Paperback cover

Paperback cover
Author(s): Athena Andreadis
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (hardback)
Three Rivers Press (paperback)
Published: 31 March 1998 (hardback)
12 July 1999 (paperback)
Pages: 273 (hardback)
288 (paperback)
Reference(s): ISBN 0609603299 (hardback)
ISBN 0609804219 (paperback)

To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek is a scientific reference work in the vein of The Physics of Star Trek.

Summary Edit

From the hardcover release
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 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.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

From the paperback release
Is the Vulcan suppression of emotion biologically viable?
What terrestrial life-form does the Borg most closely resemble?
Where does consciousness go when a crew member of the Enterprise enters the transporter?
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. 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 absorbing, illuminating 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. Its wealth of scientific detail and cultural insight pays tribute to a show that has profoundly shaped the way we understand and view science.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

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