It's Earth, and it's ancient

Well, not much is revealed in the recap episode of BSG that aired this evening, but two interesting impressions are confirmed:

  • They have landed on Earth, not a fake decoy planet
  • The ruins are supposed to be thousands of years old.

At first, I and many others were confused because the ruins of Earth look younger than those of Kobol, and that didn’t jibe well with other impressions and theories. Word did get out that the first images from the art department were sent back by Moore, who declared they looked too fresh, and too much like New York. The second set were better, but presumably still not what he wanted (which was thousands of years old) but got used anyway.

I was also recently pointed to some more info relating to the claim of this being in the far future. On Ron Moore’s blog, after Season one, he was asked what he was going to do about the way original BSG had contradicted the facts of evolution.

He wrote:

I don’t have a direct answer for this question yet. There are a couple of notions rolling around in my head as to how we reconcile the very real fact of evolution with the Galactica mythos, but I haven’t decided which approach to take. However, it was a fundamental element of the orginal Galactica mythos that “Life here began out there…” and I decided early on that it was crucial to maintain it.

Knowing that he did intend to recognize evolution as a fact and fit that into BSG mythos should leave no doubt (if any still doubt) that Earth will be the homeworld. And he already did find a way of fitting in that “Life here began out there” line. Adama declares it is the first line of the Sacred Scrolls. In 1978, the line was delivered from an Earth perspective. In this show, it’s from a Kobolian perspective, or perhaps a colonial one that life did begin out there — and it’s true, from their perspective. After all, the first line of the sacred scrolls was probably written on Kobol (though this can also be explained with it written on the colonies.)

Another scene we were re-shown had Elosha speaking to Roslin:

“Pythia wrote, 3,600 years ago, of the exile and rebirth of the Human Race”

Now Pythia is also the one who wrote the scrolls about the 13th tribe and the lost planet of Earth. But our characters don’t seem to notice the contradiction. 3,600 years ago wasn’t when a tribe went off to Earth as they thought. 3,600 years ago was the time of another cycle of war, exile and recolonization. And that makes more sense as the time of exodus from Earth, the homeworld, to Kobol. It is Pythia’s scroll that has the dying leader given the vision of serpents who led the people to the promised land. (Moses like story.)

Now the phrase “rebirth of the human race” fits strikingly well with my suggestion that it was at this time that humanity was reformed by its god-like AI creations. This rebirth of the race could be the creation of artificial humans, Cylon and thinking-they-are-human alike.

Genesis Reloaded

I've just read some more spoilers and speculation and wanted somewhere to dumpit so this topic is good timing, brad.

There's reports of pictures of V6 walking around Times Square, and speculation what we'll get to know her true nature later in the series. My guess is that BSG isn't set in the present, like the original series was, but in the distant future. So, how to resolve V6 appearing in the present? My guess is that if v6 does appear in the present it will be a deep flashback to the genesis of AI in the modern world.

This is just wild speculation on my part but V6 could be an emergent property of the world in the sense that conciousness is emergent. I like this idea as it's as scientifically sound as it's symbolic, leaves the question of God and man's 'improvement' open, and completes the circle. Ron's also a Buddhist and seems to have widely in these subjects, and a lot of that influence seems to have found its way into BSG.

It's a bit hazy and off the wall but fits with pretty much everything in your essay.

Six in New York

The main thing that confuses me about Six in New York is I was actually expecting we might see scenes of the final Five on 21st century Earth, because if you read my backstory you will see that I posit that the final five were once humans who became uploaded beings, and could well have lived today, and even been fans of Bob Dylan.

However, that doesn’t explain Six in New York. Six is one of the 7, not of the final 5. I think Head Six could be the final Cylon, but if so, it’s a being that appears in many forms, a Six being just one of them, and it seems unlikely — though not impossible — that the Six form could be her original body.

Dream or reality?

I've read your backstory, brad, but other folk smight follow up your plug. It's worth reading.

Yeah, I see how it's possible the FF could have lived today, and the Bob Dylan thing is possible. The way I see V6 in New York is that it's like a signing off, the sort of signature or false ending you get at the end of movies or TV series that set up the sequel. In this case, I speculate, that while Ron may break the cycle in the end V6 is a tool that joins the beginning and end. It's a compelling image and seems like a cool thing to do.

It's getting close to BSG returning and there's some way to go before it ends, but if this topic has reverse engineered a big chunk of Ron's intent,it's still possible to get the pay-off because, as he may have commented on, the experience is in the execution. Actually, that's another strand of Buddhist reasoning, that thoughtsand feelings are one thing, and experiencing reality is something else. So, yeah. I understand your confusion but looking at V6 in New York as a dramatic element might help square that one. It's a technical point about Zen Buddhist but a key idea is that something may not make logical sense but works or, as Christians might say, God confounds the wise.

Reflecting on narrative, music, and mind, a Zen view is that they're indistinguishable. They're just variants of one underlying form, and visualising and experiencing things is all part of the same loop. To some degree that helps unpick Ron's mind and some of his intents. The closing part of the recap wrapped on this. It means something or nothing but, I think, it helps flesh out what we've experienced and where we're going. It's been great.I hope the rest is great. But, we'll just have to see. We can nitpick or fanwank things into the ground. A lot of your comment has been fantastic but we've also got to allow space for the creative and merely cool. They're not mutually exlusive and, maybe, V6 in New York helps illuminate that.

It might still be the past. A little bit more SPOILERage on NYC6

Supposedly, the scene of Number Six in NYC is the FINAL scene of the series. I Wasn't going to mention this scene here, but now the cat's out of the bag, I may as well elaborate 6 in New York is shown on the very top of the page- you can ignore the rest of the article.

http://io9.com/5091330/battlestar-spoiler-roundup-what-happens-now

There's really no way to tell what this means.

Brad, your ideas are thoughtful and intelligent, but I can't see them as close to the real backstory or history. RDM wants the show to relate to our time, and thematically, I think the idea that the cycle of time depicted in the series did not start with an AI war in our future but rather is starting again today, thousands of years after the show makes more sense. I emphasize the word "thematically." I loathe all ancient astronaut theories, but I think RDM could make it work if it depicts it as:

...the return of humanity to ancient Earth, their homeworld, though this is long forgotten. Humankind has been around for roughly 200,000 years. It's entirely possible that an ancient lost civilization left Earth, settled on Kobol and started the whole thing.

More than once on the RDM podcast he has said something to the effect of "It's best not to think about it." And remember, the algae planet should not have existed, as stars that go supernova have extremely short lives and thus any planet around them does not have time to become habitable. One strong example of artistic license for the story's sake. Even "All Along the WAtchtower" is described by the composer as a Colonial version that the artist tapped from the same cosmic stream Dylan did in another time and place. Also of note: "The Cycle of Time" can refer to names, phrases, even clothes, according to RDM on a podcast. This was not a deflection- this seemed a very sincere attempt to offer a little bit of insight into the show before it ends, and if true, effectively nullifies any attempt to pinpoint a timeframe for this series by examining names, places, and deities that are worshipped.

In this same podcast, RDM also said he started to get an idea for what Earth would be during the episode "Flesh and Bone," which contained the first mention of the Cycle. I don't have dates, but this might have been not long after RDM's answer to the question about evolution that you mentioned.

The fact is is that BSG is not a hard science show, and they never claimed to be, though they get many things right, more than most SF shows. I want your backstory to be close to the truth, but RDM might not adhere strictly to science in explaining the truth.

I am curious- if the Earth history I described comes to pass, how will you react? I will be somewhat disappointed, and will temper it by watching the reacions of others who feel the same way. I feel you, Brad, are too measured and reserved to get really angry, so your reaction probably won't be as funny, though I am sure it would be interesting.

It's Entertainment

One could say that V6 and the Dylan song are just expressions of something in the same way, say, Jesus or John the Baptist were expressions of Elijah, or whatever. Stories, jokes, paintings, histories, and people are never wholly unique or new. It's all happened before. It will all happen again. Past, present, future. Here, there. All is one.

I think, Brad is correct to place BSG in the far future but, also, you're correct to highlight the timeless quality Ron's managed to focus on. The point is that if you step beyond the mere literal or logical, and see things in a more poetic sense you can square the circle. BSG can bee set in the future but V6 in New York can root the experience in the present as she may be symbolic of an essence to the reality Ron is trying to paint.

I'm not big onthe science of supernova but the explosion and timing may be a plan in a deliberate and mechanical sense, or it could runfrom an outline andthe supernova could be artificially triggered. Remember, the Kobolians or whatever hidden hand is behind this seems to have abilities like wormholes, resurection, and possibly terraforming at its fingertips. Ruining a food supply and triggering a supernova may be small beer to them.

I'm not goingto defend Brad's position. I've got burned with stuff like that before. But, Brad's collated some facts and advocated some sharp positions that have been interesting and I've enjoyed. They're several orders of magnitude better reasoned and informed than some of the speculation and fanwank I've seen around, and go some way to justifying the money I'm paying for an internet connection. It's entertainment. It fills a void. Enjoy it.

Oh, it's not the past

No, if you read other related posts on the subject here you will see it can’t be in our past. It could be in the past of some planet totally unlike our Earth except in geography, but it can’t be in our past. It’s a universe where man evolved on Earth. But they don’t just look like us, they have our culture, our names of the Zodiac, our star patterns.

It is possible that there have been many cycles of destruction and rebirth on Earth in this show — but in the future. If there had been a long series of devastations and high-tech regrowths on this planet, we would have seen evidence for it, if not on the Earth, then on the moon and other places, short of them being deliberately wiped. And nuclear residues from nuclear wars, even long ago.

The composer did say he was told it’s not the real song. I believed that for a while, until hints came from Moore that it was the real song. There was no reason to tell the musicians that, so they didn’t. However, I agree it does not have to be the real song, it’s just amusing.

I always took the mistake on the algae planet to be the word supernova. They really must meant nova, but supernova sounds cooler. The algae are not native of course, they were planted on prior human settlements of that world. In a real supernova, the neutrino burst would have killed them all right away.

Six in New York is consistent with the Six body type coming from a modern day human. Robot six in New York would be consistent only with a plot where this is in the past.

No, if you read other

No, if you read other related posts on the subject here you will see it can’t be in our past. "

Heh-heh-heh.

The statements remain correct

The clues in the show all pointed to it being in the future, only a few scraps could be interpreted as being in the past, and show staff have admitted they made some major mistakes on the key clues which solidly placed the show in our future. So it was correct to say the show can’t be in our past, based on what the show provided until the last episode. The ending was inconsistent with the clues.

Ahhh, but it wasn't a robot

Ahhh, but it wasn't a robot 6 in NYC, was it? See, that was YOUR assumption.

Get over it, the show is in our past.

No idea what you mean

about it being a robot 6 in NYC. Never heard any suggestion of that from anybody. The show, as written, put itself in a fictional past of this Earth, nobody disputes that, but as such it was inconsistent with its own earlier material, which the science advisor admits and apologizes for.

Robot six

He said that because you said this just a few posts above:
"Six in New York is consistent with the Six body type coming from a modern day human. Robot six in New York would be consistent only with a plot where this is in the past."

Ah, sorry.

Yes, that’s true. I did not include it being head six for a variety of reasons, mostly not expecting or desiring a religious ending. And of course it still does not make sense to have it be head six in the religious ending, as that’s just a form that would be shown to Baltar. In this case it was shown just to have the audience see figures they were used to.

But by that same reasoning,

But by that same reasoning, saying it only appeared to Baltar in that form, so that it didn't make sense for her to appear that way at the end, you want events that the characters couldn't explain to be somehow be explained to the audience?

Which is why I was able to

Which is why I was able to figure it out after "Sometimes a Great Notion?" You actually asked me to go on record beforehand as to why I thought the show was in the past before the finale. I do wonder how the Tomb of Athena got through, since RDM admitted that in season 1 he decided for certain that the show would be set in the past (in the bonus frak party podcast, he gives the season 1 episode "Flesh and Bone" as what helped him decide, and in the one for the finale. Can you give an example of clues that place the show in the future besides the Tomb and the culture of the Colonials? The clothing and everything else were always nothing more than a device to evoke familiarity with our world- also, not everyone is a Frank Herbert or a JRR Tolkien. They can't completely create a whole new society from the ground up and make it believable. I never thought of the culture similarities as nothing more than a device.

I go to a lot of boards where the posters are very educated- no one made a commitment to deciding when the show took place. No one decided that all the clues pointed to one thing or another. I think it's because these same people know you can't trust Hollywood writers

I think we can chalk up the Tomb of Athena to the fact that RDM had not yet decided that there would be two Earths. Meaning that since he knew the show was in the past, that he was keeping the "Earth was settled by the 13th Tribe" element from the original show. He did say that (in a post you often quoted) that "'Life here began out there' is an essential element of the original show and I decided it was crucial to maintain it." Well, our culture began out there, and the lives of our ancestors

I realized that you can't trust Hollywood writers to adhere to science years ago. Remember, Armageddon had science advisors, as well. I divorced myself from science and looked at it from a story sense, and I figured it out after the 1-16-09 episode.

I've always felt it just as unlikely that a society could closely resemble ours in thousands of years, with all of that time for culture and everything to diverge.

Let's be honest- you wanted it to be in the future, and it would have taken a lot to dissuade you, short of a clue that would tell the entire audience, even those who knew dick about science. I wanted that too, and I felt taht way because I IGNORED clues from the show. I just automatically applied all of the named Exoduses in reverse and ignored the history in the show. I should have been thinking "Well, RDM probably is ignorant to science, but he places the Thirteenth Tribes arrival to Earth(4,000-3,600 years ago) at a time when human civilization was already well established on Earth. He's not THAT ignorant. Does this mean the show doesn't even take place in our present, let alone the future?"

I was getting very aggravated with fans of the show, because so many of them refused to take every single revelation at face value after a certain point. Yes, the Four really are Cylons. Yes, it really is Earth they found (the one they're looking for, at least). Yes, Ellen is the last Cylon. It reached a certain point where you'd listen to podcasts by fans and after every single revelation they'd be dubious about its veracity- mainly because RDM said Starbuck was dead. You'd throw out a RDM quote at them and you'd get a "Dur-hur, RDM said Starbuck was dead." And it turns out she really was. I was guilty of it too. When RDM explains in the frak party podcast that things repeat in the Cycle of Time- names, culture, songs, etc, I started to realize that perhaps the only true clue to the timeframe of the show would be a location on Earth being named, or better yet, an actual person.

Anyway, I always said not to trust the writers' knowledge of science, and I was proven right when RDM said in the finale podcast that we got our culture from them, and what wasn't literally passed down was passed down through the collective unconscious (or race memory, as I prefer, or inherited Cylon projection). You could give the reasons you've given before why that doesn't work, how we can trace the evolution of the Greeks' religious beliefs- I was on here trying to convince you of the futility of this a long time ago. And frankly, I always had a feeling RDM might simply prefer to set it in the past after doing Trek for years. Go ahead and shoot holes in the science all you want- I've said for a long time most Hollywood writers don't think that way. If they learned science in college, they'd be scientists, not writers.

I figured out it was in the past after episode 4x11 (or 4x13, if you use their numbering system), and that was only because I was so reluctant to let go of the idea it was in the future.

And one odd thing I should mention- I never was bothered by the ending, because I interpreted the show as being like a sci-fi Bible story where the supernatural stuff was way subtler (in the 1st and 2nd seasons, I might add). "This is a time in human history when God is making Himself more directly involved in our affairs in a way He did in the Bible but does not in real life."

And let's be honest- I also realized that RDM was never going to give a clue via the science that answered so many of the show's questions early in its run. The clues in a murder mystery can lead to many different conclusions depending on how you interpret them. Science can lead to far fewer.

When the show was a mystery story

It made sense to be hiding the truth. As he moved to making it more, in his view, a character story, and a religious story, it became less useful — and in fact negative — to be hiding the “secrets” of the ending.

Indeed, I wanted it to be in the future. And still felt it could be until Daybreak. As out-of-show comments came from Moore and Espenson, I did start worrying that it would be a religious ending and even in the past, and those fears were indeed realized. I never decided that the evidence pointed more to the past as you did, and I still don’t see that even today, so if you would like to lay out the clues that would have led to it, I would be interested. As a mystery, I feel this is a failure because in a proper mystery, when the secrets are revealed, you go, “Ah, of course, now I see the clues” and people are not doing that.

The most significant clue to the past is pretty poor — Hera’s blood type. And that really can be explained either way. The other such clue (that BSG 1978 was sort of in the past) I don’t think is a valid clue, this was supposed to be a reimagining, fixing what was wrong.

Clues for the (near) future included:

  • Tomb of Athena
  • Use of name “Lagoon Nebula” and even more strongly “M8” in Tomb of Athena
  • Use of many cultural elements of modern society, including songs, turns of phrase, Shakespeare etc.
  • The fact that we aren’t descended from Cylons or any other alien, our Mitchondrial DNA matches that of apes and all other Earth life forms
  • The Crossroads Earth which was a modern day or near future Earth
  • The star patterns, which were modern day or near future or near past.
  • The name Earth, which is an Old English word
  • The Greek Gods, in their Greek and Roman forms rather than their proto forms from India
  • The various holes in the timelines and prophecies that did not make sense without a secret history
  • The godlike beings on Kobol in a universe without aliens — you needed some earlier, advanced civilization

Some things were indeed false conclusions. For example, the lack of any evidence of an ancient advanced civilization in our solar system suggests it is not in the past, but they did come up with (ridiculous) explanation for that. I do claim it is not a fair game if you are supposed to guess “it’s in the past because the people of the fleet will decide to send all their ships into the sun.” Nothing in the show led up to that event. They really should have put in some sub-plots about a large anti-technology movement, how many people were planning to live primitive if they got to a planet again, etc. Nobody on New Caprica was shown doing that.

Some of these had to be low confidence because it was possible (and was the case) that the graphics crew were just not paying attention to detail.

And of course, some things only make sense because God willed it, and frankly how a viewer is supposed to guess that in a mystery I don’t know.

I agree with you that many refused to accept what they saw confirmed in the show. I hope I was not one of them. However, I did hold out in accepting things which were suggested but not confirmed. I gave up on the star patterns after they were found in places they just could not be, many episodes before the end. I did not put much weight on the Crossroads Earth either.

However the fact remains the show is inconsistent as it was written — short of the fact you can declare anything consistent via divine intervention, and could have been written to be far more consistent in the future. Let me know what clues solidly placed the show not in the future. There were many that placed the show solidly not in the past, but they were production mistakes, and in some cases writing mistakes.

What part of this do you

What part of this do you just not get? According to the series, we are NOT purely human, not like the humans from Kobol or the colonies, we are part Cylon! That opens the door to many possibilities regarding our history between then and now, and our development as a society. We are all the children of an animal/computer hybrid... This is where all your logic hits a brick wall. It is absolutely plausible that if such a being existed, stuff like music and literature could somehow be passed on through the ages.

Your assessment of mitochondrial dna is false. If every species on Earth shared the same mitochondrial dna there wouldn't be a REAL mitochondrial Eve. In addition, the colonials determined that the humans living here had virtually identical dna to theirs, this is something that you are flat out told, and choose to ignore in your complaint.

Your last 2 complaints can very well be explained in Caprica, if you'd shut the hell up for 2 seconds and wait for the show to air. They never explained who the Lords of Kobol were, it's your ASSUMPTION that they were some advanced people or whatever. Roman emperors, Egyptian Pharaohs, Mayan kings, they were all believed to be gods by their cultures. More importantly, the gods worshiped here weren't based on aliens, so why exactly would you think they had to be some physical beings on Kobol?

Your assessment of the star patterns is once again based on assumption... You are assuming to know the location of both Kobol and the Cylon Earth in relationship to the bodies that make up the constellations in the zodiac. You don't. Mars isn't in the same exact spot as Earth, but Orion is perfectly visible in the Martian sky.

I have had no problem making sense of it all...

Then again I'm not full of myself.

According to the series

Yes, the series says that. However, that is not our world. It is a fictional, alternate history. Which of course people write all the time, but it silly to have done since Moore’s stated goal was to connect this story to us. In fact, he mucked that up, he made it less connected to us.

No, my statement about mitochondrial DNA is correct. Mitchondrial DNA, present in all almost all eukaryotes, is stored outside the nucleus and only inherited from mothers. As such, it stays almost the same, but is subject to occasional mild mutations. The rate of these mutations is used as a genetic clock to determine how closely related two organisms are. The more drift in their MTDNA, the less related they are.

However, make no mistake about it, in our reality, they are all related and all have a common ancestor. Our MTDNA is very much like that of our ape cousins, just a bit less like that of our lemur cousins, just a bit less like that of our other mammal cousins and so on down the line. However, it is the same, with minor differences. On the real Earth, we have common ancestors (through female descent) with all the complex life on Earth.

In the BSG Earth, humanity’s female ancestry lines all go to Hera and #8. We don’t know where #8’s DNA came from, presumably some Cylon DNA sources on 13th colony Earth, and those in turn were created by genetic engineers on Kobol.

So you get a conundrum. We get our MTDNA from #8 and Hera, yet we have the same MTDNA as the apes who got it via natural evolution on our planet. This of course makes no sense, and can only be explained by divine miracle (or the abduction plot which they did not do.)

But if it is a divine miracle then what is the point? It’s a miracle that makes no sense. We’re descended from the Cylon, who was arranged by Gog to be identical to the humans that evolved on Earth. In order for this inheritance to have meaning, the DNA should be different.

Now, in BSG universe, perhaps the DNA is different. But that would be a very different universe, with a different history. Because there, when DNA sequencing came about, scientists would have announced something quite shocking — that humans were not related to apes. That would have turned that Earth’s scientific world upside down. Creationists would have had a field day. It is not our Earth.

I doubt Caprica will say much about who the Lords of Kobol were, as the colonials don’t seem to know much about it.

Mars is in the same spot as Earth, on an interstellar scale. But that was not my point. The presence of the star patterns meant one of two things. The show was not in the distant past (or distant future), or the star patterns were a production mistake. It turned out to be the latter, but certainly at first the viewer is more reasonable to make the former conclusion.

And of course Dustin saw the

And of course Dustin saw the show taking place in the past... He watched the same show you did.

I guess he's an idiot, right.

Not at all

He read Ron Moore’s intentions better than I did, and did so by being less charitable to the scientific quality of the writing. This was a better intuition, and he deserves all credit for it.

However, I looked over what he wrote and I still think there were very few, if any, solid clues in the show for it being set in the past. The clues, such as they were, came from out-of-show comments and leaks, all of which are interesting and should be considered, but are also not to be treated as canon initially. The main change in the trend of the clues in season 4 was a growing number of clues that the supernatural might be real in the show. I, and many others, hoped it would not. Some are pleased it did. I still believe non-supernatural would be better fiction.

Don't know if this goes anywhere else

But I thiought you'd be interested, Brad: long story short, there's a Final Five comic out now that details a lot of show's official history as sanctioned by the creators. The 5 page preview starts on Kobol 4,000 years ago with crowds of protestors wanting Pythia (who looks a lot like Starbuck) put to death for "offending the Gods." A Mr. Tigh is trying to help her, and he does look a little like Saul. He says he doesn't believe in the Gods. She is brought up to a tribuanl of the Twelve Tribes ("Thirteen Tribes," corrects another council member, and the preview ends there. So in short:

-the Gods were not around on Kobol in the 400 years before the Exodus.
-Tigh was around back then, or at least an ancestor.

Origin of Saul

The tradition with comic books, even canonical comic books, is to not care nearly so much about tight continuity and to be happy to retcon. It seems pretty clear the 13th tribe had centuries of sexual reproduction, so there should not be a Tigh who looks just like Saul, but comics tend to like such things.

Actually I Started with the

Actually I Started with the fact that they weren't likely to do a destroyed Earth story twice, which a show set in the future would have to be(RDM was certainly not going to give them technologically advanced allies in the tfinal episode). It seemed too convoluted to introduce a twist in the last episode about the TRUE homeworld of humanity. In fact, I honestly assumed they were going to go the way of the original and have Colonials be the entire human race on Earth once they settled in the past. I became confident enough to proclaim this when reading non-show material.

As for the science- congratulating BSG on its mostly good science is like congratulating someone who's only ever driven five miles a day on an accident free driving record.

I see

I agree, that is a valid argument. I did not view it as conclusive, I don’t have as much problem with Earth being shown as yet another fallen planet (and of course would much rather have seen it as a fallen planet than a virgin planet) but I do see your point about the dramatic problem with that. And yes, it was a correct assessment that it would not be a high-tech Earth to save them from the Cylons. I didn’t reach the conclusion that it would have to be in the past because I think that doing a double-fallen planet is much less of sin than what we did see, but for those of different tastes, I see what led you down the path.

Though I also have to say that assuming that Moore would follow the rules of good drama was not a safe bet over the course of the series. I don’t think Starbuck’s story made much sense by any standard. Baltar’s story also left a lot to be desired.

Since there is no time

Since there is no time travel in BSG according to RDM the show is in the future. I say this because in Cain’s cabin on Pegasus she had a gun collection that included what looked to me like 20th century hand guns and definitely a Thomson Machine gun. Also at Lee’s mustering out of the service to join the Quorum off the twelve there was a picture frame with rank insignia tacked in it. Among them were a couple I recognize as being the same chevrons on US Air Force dress uniforms when I was in the USAF in the early 1980’s. RDM was asked in an interview around the time Razor came out if the guns were a technical error and he said they were there for a reason. If these things are in the show and its not an error and there is no time travel then BSG take place in the future. If six is in fact walking the streets of New York in the last scenes of the series then I would say she’s a real human and prototype for the six line that is reproduced over the centuries through the Artificial Intelligence war cycles. Oh, and I think the Cinder planet is Earth in our future and the ruins we see are the result of one of the cycles, not sure which.

LOL... Do you know how many

LOL... Do you know how many times versions of the steam engine was invented in our past? Do you realize that people in Asia, the middle east, and North/South America built various versions of the pyramid without having any contact with each other? Native Americans were using the bow and arrow at the same time as Europeans, and they didn't know the other existed. Inventions, sometimes virtually identical versions, have been repeated in real life. RDM said they were there for a reason? He didn't say what reason... Just another one of the million assumptions people made.

Ancient Inventions, Ancient structures, and Ancient Earth

1 ) Steam Engines
The knowledge of Steam Engine technology only goes back a mere two thousand years, to the Aeolipile - which was first recorded by Hero of Alexandria. Yes, there were simple Steam Engine machines independently created through out history in several parts of the Old World since then, but they were only *very simple* machines, created to simply demonstrate the nature of steam – and not for any use for any practical power application. It was only within the last 300 years that the technology and knowledge base in Europe after the Renaissance was at the level where the creation of steam machine production could be practically applied to industrial use.

Machines like the steam Engine, and the “Baghdad Battery” (aka the Parthian Battery - an artifact created in the early centuries AD in Mesopotamia, possibly during the Parthian or Sassanid period ) and even the common wheel where more or less created using knowledge of other similar technologies spread or diffused from other nearby societies. And not independently, "out of the blue" multiple times.

So one did not have to invent the wheel day after day. If one was between or near major locations of civilizations, the knowledge would be there.
Speaking of which, due to technological and knowledge diffusion throughout Eurasian continent, it was only needed to be invented once - the cultures that could make use of it did, and those that did not, sometimes used a simple variant of it ( i.e. a log )in it's place.

Now concerning the wheel, there is somewhat a case of independent invention creation - now most scholars are sure the Meso-americans independently discovered the wheel, but put it to limited use, because their terrain was not suitable for wheeled vehicles. There may have been some knowledge transfer from the old world, as will be soon discussed here. But for the most part, the invention of the wheel in Pre-Columbian Americas pretty much has to do with simple “mother of invention” practicality, not some shared and ancient racial consciousness

Few complex inventions are truly created exactly and identically in the absence or knowledge of similar types of devices.

2) Pyramids
As for pyramidal structures many other cultures which engaged in monumental building projects used pyramidical forms, This is because Architectural Archeology and logic suggests that it is arguably the simplest, easiest and most natural form for such a large structure to take. Pyramids structures, for the most part, are just advanced forms of simple common ceremonial burial mounds found the world over. When a society or culture reached a certain level, they created larger and ceremonial burial mounds. And to make large, stable mounds without internal beams structures would require a Pyramid shape – A large broad stable foundation base, tapering up to a smaller lighter top. So yes, it is generally accepted and plausible that their development was entirely separate and independent. It is the natural shape of a pile of earth, after all.
Now as for the assumption that people in ancient Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas independently created advanced pyramidal structures without *any* contact with or knowledge of other civilization or societies using that same design and shape, that can be disputed, especially concerning the pyramids located in the Old World.
For example, The Luganshchina pyramids that were recently unearthed in the territory of modern Ukraine, in the Luganskaya region, a where a highly developed civilization existed – And those stone and earthen pyramids are Five thousand years old.
The earliest Egyptian Pyramid was built in 2700 BC.
Think about that.
Now the recently excavated Greek Pyramids at Hellenikon and Ligourio west of Athens in the Argolid region are two limestone pyramids that are stylistically very much like those at Gaza near Cairo. The Greek pyramids at Hellenikon dates to 2730 B.C.; the one at Ligourio, to 2260 B.C and it was presumed that the pyramids were also constructed then; that is, about the time of Alexander the Great. This also means that the Greek pyramids were built in roughly the same time frame period as the Egyptian pyramids. So it would be pretty hard to argue that the Greeks independently came up with the knowledge of these types of pyramids.
(BTW, This discovery is gives much weight to the “Black Athena Controversy” - which pretty much disputes the theory that Greek civilization was founded only by Aryan settlers from Central Europe. The theory uses the fact that Greeks of the time of / including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, believed that Phoenician civilization originally colonized Greece. So in other words, "Black Athena" is a new/old theory of Greek origins, namely, that northern invaders mixing with an existing colony established by Phoenicia created the ancient classical Greek culture . )

So the transfer of knowledge regarding pyramids construction would be diffused between ancient societies and shared along common trade routes though out the ancient Old World.

But what about the pyramids in the New World, you say?
Despite being disputed by many Archeologists and Anthropologists,there is also substantial evidence that ancient civilizations actually made contact, accidental or deliberate, with the Native Americans cultures of South and Central America (this is, by the way, related to the many disputed Pre-Columbian Africa-Americas contact theories as well). Now it would not be unreasonable to think that Early Native Americans were able, for the most part, to adapt to other cultures from far across the world and to fuse them into their own, if they happen to come into contact with individuals or small groups of people from Old World civilizations.

Technology and Knowledge transfer between the Old world and the pre-Columbian New World is thought to be commonly thought, with a few minor exceptions, to be very minor, if not non - existent.

Now back In the 18th century and early 19th century many writers and antiquitarians believed that various Old World cultures were responsible for the ancient monuments found in the New World. Part of this was due to the prevailing Euro - ethnocentrism of the period, because many European and European-Americans did not believe that Native Americans were capable the degree of civilization required to build the ancient monuments of the Americas.
But this view changed in the mid 19th century, after which most mainstream historians and anthropologist usually dismissed this theory - and for a century after, the possibility of Pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic contacts. So far as Westerners were concerned, the Americas had been "discovered" by Christopher Columbus in 1492, and no previous voyages were likely: trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific voyages were thought unlikely before the age of European exploration starting in the late 15th century, and most historians considered that there was no reliable evidence that any such contacts had taken place.

But starting in the 1950's there was a renewed interest in the apparent similarity between the Egyptian pyramids and the temples of some New World civilizations – such as the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas and has fueled speculations that either the Egyptians had traveled to the Americas, or that civilizations on both sides of the ocean had sprung from a common source (such as the mythical lost continent of Atlantis..)

There is some evidence to this, which of course, as stated above,is disputed by mainstream archeologist and anthropologists
For example, Professor Romeo H. Hristov of University of New Mexico claims that the possibility of such an event has been made more likely by the discovery of evidences of travels from Romans, Phoenicians and Berbers in the 5th or 6th century B.C. to Tenerife and Lanzarote in the Canaries, and of a Roman settlement (from the 1st century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.) on Lanzarote island.

(I recommend reading " GATEWAY TO ATLANTIS " by Andrew Collins, which discusses these theories, in addition to evidence such as the discovery of North African amphorae that may have been disgorged from possible Roman wrecks in the Bay of Jars outside of Rio de Janeiro during the 1980's).

3) Bow and Arrow
As for the Bow and Arrow example, that weapon - which was a common and wide spread invention of the Upper Paleolithic
( during the period known as " The Great Leap Forward ", where the speed-up of cultural change seems connected with the "sudden" arrival of behaviorally modern humans, in addition to the sharp increase in the diversity of artifacts - not during the middle Paleolithic, the period that the Galacticans have arrived on Earth in the Series Finale ), was well in use though out Africa and Eurasia even before the Paleo-Indian, the ancient ancestors of the American Amerindian Aborigines ( Native American / "Indians" ) crossed the Bering Strait just 12 thousand years ago. The Bow and arrow was *The* projectile weapon of choice for the major civilizations of Eurasia, and only supplanted with the invention of and widespread use firearms in the mid to late middle ages.

Now the ancient Australian aborigines, Polynesians and Eskimos actually used the bow and arrow extensively before they reached Australia ,Polynesia, and Antarctic North America. There is some debate why they decided to totally abandon their highly technological (at the time) weapons in favor of simpler ones (in the case of Australian aborigines, they went from Bows and arrows to simple throwing sticks
(Some of which some developed into the highly advanced boomerang). Most anthropologists say that it was because these ancient societies and cultures were located far from the center of any continental locus of technology diffusion. In these isolated regions, there would be a lack of constant diffusion of technology and knowledge, with the result that the existing technology of that culture is gradually lost over a period of time.
Most ancient cultures received technological diffusion from other societies because they were located in central geographic locations (middle East, Mediterranean, East coast of Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Meso-america, etc).

Now Japan's total abandonment of guns around the 1600's, and China’s abandonment of oceangoing ships are also good examples of examples of societies in isolated or semi- isolated regions giving up important technologies resulting in technological reversals, but note, that they only abandoned a few *certain* technologies in order to preserve the nature of their societies at the time – not *all* technologies.
( I would not have to tell you what would have happened to a Chinese version of Lee Adama if he suggested a *total* abandonment of all technology (that would include agriculture and weapon making )decree to an ancient Chinese Emperor.
Let's just say that being a Eunuch would be preferable to that fate that would await him. )

Now going back to the show, regarding the sudden and abrupt abandonment of all technology by the 38,000 high – technology cultured Galactian colonists on a Paleolithic Earth would not be feasible in reality (even on "TV" reality), and would pretty much result in a great majority, if not all of that new population’s die off in a matter of years, if not months. For example, We American today have a very romanticized view of American 19th century Homesteaders ala "Little house on the prairie " traveling out west, forgetting that literally many *thousands* died on the way, from various illnesses, starvation, Native American attacks, Bandits, Natural disasters, etc. And they were using the technology at the time.Imagine if only 38 thousand people in the 19th century tried to settle the west. It would be pretty hard. Now imagine if they had to suddenly do the same thing, but subsisting at the same level of the North American Natives of the time. In addition to that, imagine that there were no other settlers from the East coming to replace the ones that had died.
Think about that.
There is a very good reason why the Native American population in Pre - Columbian North America was never that large.
So I'm sure that anyone who knows even a tiny bit of Archeology and anthropology knowledge would consider the ending of Battlestar Galactica taking place on the Earth in Our Past highly implausible. And even something as simple as a bow and arrow at the time of the Mitochondrial Eve would be a HUGE technological artifact and advance for the time. One would then have to contend with how to explain away any Out-of-place artifacts in the historical record, and human history. "Benevolent Knowledge Contamination" with the pre-verbal ancient African natives ( In the rare instances that they were not hostile to the BSG colonists )would have impacted human history *immensely*, even if all the colonist died out shortly after. The "Great Leap" forward would have happened 150 thousand years ago, instead of only 50.
Just throwing all your high tech spaceships into the sun would not solve that little problem.

So The idea that "US Air force Uniforms", "Thompson Machine guns", "Bottles of Jack Daniels", not to mention "terrestrial" Animals ( dogs, cats, rats, foxes, humans, etc ) were also existant on Caprica and the other 12/13 colonies 150 thousand years ago not only is very implausible, but highly illogical. Even with the Omnipotent Divine Hand in the mix.
Then again, those viewers who prefer and love the Revisioned Battlestar Galactica Series Finale ending would most likely say that( in addition to The usual “ it’s just a “TV Show ” deflection excuse ) in the end, the show is not really made for "Science Fiction" fans, but for the “average” mainstream TV audience, who would not care for “silly” little plot details like scientific reality,etc. as long as the characters live happy ever after, and are provided with an ending on a happy, enjoyable, if not very logical note.
In their eyes, RDM can do no wrong, and to them, he delivered.

Yeah, cause FTL drives are a

Yeah, cause FTL drives are a scientific reality. Yeah, cause killer robots really did or will chase humans across the galaxy.

Your credibility is seriously laughable when you are willing to accept plot devices that are scientific realities, and not others... All it does is expose the fact that you will accept unrealistic things as long as it tells the story you WANT... You know what's unrealistic? Cain having all those guns from our Earth, which would have been around 5000 to 8000 years old, based on the ideas of the people who thought the show was happening in our future, and have those weapons all be in pristine condition... Yeah, they would have all these ancient Earth guns, but not know that they really came from Earth, and yeah because in the space age here on Earth, Tommy Guns are found in everyone's possession, it would definitely be one of the things we take up to a knew planet with us. There are flaws in the story you wanted told as well. It goes both ways.

And as for your little history lesson, I don't need one, thank you very much. The fact of the matter is that 2000 years in the history of human civilization is a big chunk of time. The inventors who created and modified the steam engine over the last 300 years had no knowledge of the technology existing 16 centuries earlier. The Wright Brothers had no knowledge of the Egyptians having an understanding of aerodynamics 22 centuries earlier. The Maya had no idea that the Egyptians built step pyramids nearly 3000 years earlier on the other side of the world. Volta had no prior knowledge of the Baghdad Battery when he invented his electrical cell. These things were all invented and reinvented independently of one another.

And then there is the popular, but hotly debated theory that life on Earth was possibly brought here by meteorites from Mars or elsewhere... If this was a scientific possibility, then lifeforms on 2 different planets light years apart could possess the same DNA.

Oh whatever. I have better things to do on my day off from work than argue about fictitious tv shows with internet science geeks.

Ciao

At the start and at the end

While your particular tone is going to make me stop responding soon, I do want to point out a few things.

A lot of SF does indeed violate the rules with things like FTL drives. However, there is an unwritten rule that you can do that at the start of a story, but should avoid it at the end. If your story begins with FTL drives, the reader knows right away what the background is. If they can’t stand to read stories with FTL drives they can stop right there. If it’s fantasy, you know that early on.

On the other hand, if you write a long story with no signs of FTL (or other impossible things) and then suddenly you resolve all your plot mysteries with FTL on the last page, the reader has good reason to feel cheated. Not to say that writers don’t do this; rather that it is bad when they do.

So one can be much more critical of how realistic an ending is than one can be of how realistic a beginning is. In addition, at the beginning, you give the author the benefit of the doubt, and perform a “suspension of disbelief” — it’s part of the deal on this sort of fiction. You do not ask the reader to suspend disbelief about the ending, though, at least I think it’s poor.

I would have presumed any guns Cain had would have been replicas. If I see a shiny Civil war gun on your rack even 150 years later my first guess is it’s a replica. But not that it is a gun from the future whose design was in the collective unconscious.

And no, panspermia (cells on meteorites) does not mean lifeforms on two planets would have the same genome. It just means their basic building blocks would be the same, not what was built with the blocks. For example, while most Eurasian languages arose from proto-indo-european, this does not mean that War and Peace and the Kama Sutra are the same book. Though they are a lot more similar than two species with a common ancestor a billion years ago would be. A lot, lot, lot more similar except I don’t have enough “lots” in this phrase.

Bye bye JrzRob

Bye bye,then,JrzRob.
Don't let the door hit your ass on your way out.

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