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Boci
2010-11-27, 08:46 AM
Iím thinking of writing up the back story of a sci-fi, and I was wondering what role humans would play in it. These are the 2 ideas Iím considering currently:

1. The first intelligent race, humans mastered space flight eons ago and explored other planets, helping developing species on some and mining resources on others. They have long since ascended, but the technology they left behind is valuable to every race. Earth's existence is far from certain, but if it was found it would contain technology centuries if not millennia beyond anything currently known.

2. The perfect soldier race created by the (insert advanced non-human race), humans serve as the army patrolling the controlled territories and leading invasions against the nationís enemies. As mercenaries humans are amongst the most sought.

Is either idea too clichť/lame? Which do you prefer? Do you have any alternative ideas?

Yora
2010-11-27, 08:51 AM
It really depends a lot on what else is going on in that galaxy. What other alien races are around, what technologies everyne has access to, what kind of themes should be part of the campaign, and so on.

Coidzor
2010-11-27, 09:09 AM
As said, it depends on what else in the setting has been decided upon. If the first thing you're deciding upon is what humans are/were.... Well, they can be anything but they're going to have fairly heavy expectations to conform to the realms of the explainable.

Tvtyrant
2010-11-27, 09:16 AM
Humans are pretty awful soldiers, so you might need to go inventor route. Or you could go with humans as the merchant race; we don't rule or fight, we trade due to our lack of mono-culture. If you go that way you should be setting up human colonies in trade ports where they work together to get the best prices (Armenian or Venetian style).

Greenish
2010-11-27, 09:18 AM
#1 is quite intriguing, though the "precursor" shtick has been played over quite a few times (but then again, what isn't?).

#2 has the dubious advantage of having humans as a playable race, I assume.


I should go with #1, if only because when I first saw the question in the title, my immediate answer was "extinct". :smallamused:

Oh, and humans are indexed (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumansAreIndexed).

[Edit]:
Humans are pretty awful soldiersSays who? (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumansAreWarriors)

Yora
2010-11-27, 09:28 AM
If there's one thing humanity has completely mastered, then it's destroying everything we ever wanted to. If humans decide it has to go, we make it go! :smallbiggrin:

Tvtyrant
2010-11-27, 09:40 AM
[Edit]:Says who? (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumansAreWarriors)

Reality. And I said soldiers, not warriors. If your looking for actually useful soldiers your better off with a hive mind or with mindless order following drones you can crank out in the trillions. Humans take 16 years to reach the size and stamina of a good fighter; 16 years of resource drain and no output. And their population keeps going up even out of war time.

If you wanted a true soldier race they would be insect or reptilian, with a 3 to 5 year maturity rate and neuter soldiers. The females lay thousands of eggs when needed, but only a few a year in peace time. The Neuter population is allowed/forced to die down in peace time to reduce costs, and a small group is maintained for the sole purpose of training the new recruits in case of a war (also another small group to react to unexpected threats). If you make it so the soldiers can learn but don't need to personally innovate, but the overlords/mating members are humanlike in innovation you get soldiers who don't need oversized brains and so are resistant to starvation (relatively).

For warriors (difference being individual versus soldiers who are cogs in a war machine) the perfect race would be the opposite; freakishly long life spans and low but constant birthrate. Each individual would be an Ayn Rand clone, with a self devotion to perfection.

Humans split the middle, and if the rest of the universe is extremely peace loving we might be seen as a warrior race, but we honestly suck at it. Our inventions outstripe our tactics by decades (American Civil War, WWI, etc) and as a planet we are famous for losing in the face of small groups that are even slightly more innovative in tactics, because in general armies cannot react in the face of new tactics. Case in point; Japan invaded the Soviet Union in the 1930's and was trounced by Soviet tank tactics. The Japanese withdrew and then made no effort at all in altering their ground tactics to match the improved technology. There were no major efforts in either inventing their own heavy tanks based on soviet ones, or in adapting to them. And this from a self-described warrior culture.

ninja_penguin
2010-11-27, 09:47 AM
Humans split the middle, and if the rest of the universe is extremely peace loving we might be seen as a warrior race, but we honestly suck at it. Our inventions outstripe our tactics by decades (American Civil War, WWI, etc) and as a planet we are famous for losing in the face of small groups that are even slightly more innovative in tactics, because in general armies cannot react in the face of new tactics.

While I'm not in complete agreement with you, I just realized that the way this is phrased means one things.

Humans will be like Space Pirates from Metroid. I don't know if this is awesome or not.

That said, it really depends on what you're shooting for. If the rest of the universe is packed with various tough guy warrior archetypes, humans probably should end up on the tech end of things for the sake of irrelevancy. If you're going the warrior end of things, just play up stuff like adrenaline or last stands as why humans are viable for use in fighting things. I remember reading some short story once where the chemical compounds for adrenaline were basically an illegal combat stimulant with a penchant for addiction and insanity. I loved one particular line when an alien technobabbles the long list of various side effects and adds in 'and now humans. They naturally produce a batch of it and shoot in through their systems when you spook them by walking around the corner too fast. Don't mess with them.'

Aux-Ash
2010-11-27, 09:56 AM
I'd say that having humans be the ascended ancient ones or The warrior-race are rather rare occurences in Sci-fi. Both could work, the only thing I suggest avoiding is using humanity as the jack-of-all-trades race. That's such a cliche by now.

Tvtyrant: Yes, you're right. There are certain things in nature that at a glance have better soldier/warrior capabilities than humans. But that doesn't mean humanity can't be the best warriors.
We could make up for it in sheer skill and ruthlessness. Being so unimaginably more effective at modern warfare and so cruel that the other species are just boggled. Massed artillery (or nukes) on the waves and waves of hive drones, causing millions of deaths in mere minutes. Using asteroids to render the proud warrior race's planets to molten slag, cutting that constant supply of new manpower short.

Also... we have one thing no other species on the planet have: Sweat glands. The most effective organic coolant system in the world. We don't outrun our prey... we catch up once it's too tired to move. It also lets us remain effective in any climate.

I'd also argue against super-hives on two points: Bio-matter and cellular growthrate. For a organism to be the same size as a human, it also needs the same amount of material. So a super-hive of trillions is actually demanding just as much resources as trillions of humans would.
Secondly, given that eukaryote cells are fairly complex, and sentient species especially so, chances are even hive-beings of comparative size and a semblance of intelligence would take a comparative similar amount of time to fully mature (physically).

Greenish
2010-11-27, 10:32 AM
Reality.Really? And to whom are you comparing humans? :smallcool:

Mark Hall
2010-11-27, 10:43 AM
Really? And to whom are you comparing humans? :smallcool:

I have to agree with Greenish, here. Humans may seem like a poor soldier race, but that's because we see things like the Krogan from Mass Effect. If one assumes that the dominant species are something long-lived with a similarly long development period (or even long-lived with a low birthrate; doesn't matter that you're mature in 10 years if you're only going to have 3 children over the course of the next thousand), then humans become a much more attractive option... again, depending on what you want us for.

Consider Ben Bova's Orion. Humans were created as soldiers because we were tough, but still sorta fragile... strip us of our technology, and we're meat popsicles. The idea in that one was that humans would be used to wipe out the Neanderthals, then die out ourselves... but we were too clever (and had a bit of help), and overcame the hindrances of our environment.

In that scenario, you have humans as the ideal soldier race... but the gene-engineers weren't perfect. We were the ideal soldier race because of our adeptness with technology, a high sustainable birthrate, and our susceptibility to a wide variety of environmental hazards once technological support was removed. Heck, that last feature may have been one of the things that worked on humans... stick them on a backwater planet, either to isolate them and keep them away from the rest of the galaxy, or let us grow our own genetic mutations and farm us at need.

It's not a tack often taken in sci-fi, but it can work.

Mastikator
2010-11-27, 11:35 AM
I'm assuming "hard science" sci-fi.
In a sci-fi setting it's unlikely that there'd be actual soldiers or small fighter vessels. Instead it'd be an arms race of whoever can build the biggest most powerful and advanced space ship.

Also, cybernetics should have advanced a fair bit. Most people would probably be cyborgs (by this point in time it'd be fairly cheap), and be able to directly interface with all of the ships components. A single super-pilot would drive the ship, no matter how large and advanced.

Ships would probably be nothing like the ones in Startrek or Starwars, cryogenic sleep would be used on passengers, and only the pilot would be awake. The pilot's mind would probably be more like a Battlestar Galactica Cylon pilot's mind, rather than a normal person, since its mind is expanded to encompass all of the ships functions.


Also, keep in mind that the law of accelerating returns combined with the fact that races don't develop simultaneously would dictate that all races would be on each level of the Kardashev scale. So if there is any race above humans they'd be so far above and beyond humans might not even know of their existence.

Psyren
2010-11-27, 11:37 AM
I really like Mass Effect's take on us - humans are Johnny-Come-Lately but highly adaptable - fits our portrayal in sources like Races of Destiny to a tee.

Stargate takes that to a bit of an extreme, where almost all of our technology is practically useless compared to that of the aliens (Asgard, Goa'uld.) Star Trek is too Planet of Hats-y for my personal taste.

Yora
2010-11-27, 11:46 AM
I'm assuming "hard science" sci-fi.
In a sci-fi setting it's unlikely that there'd be actual soldiers or small fighter vessels. Instead it'd be an arms race of whoever can build the biggest most powerful and advanced space ship.

Also, keep in mind that the law of accelerating returns combined with the fact that races don't develop simultaneously would dictate that all races would be on each level of the Kardashev scale. So if there is any race above humans they'd be so far above and beyond humans might not even know of their existence.
It really all stands and falls with faster than light travel and communication. Statistically there are probably hundreds or thousands of species at a similar technological level as humans, but finding and reaching them is the hard part.
Species without the technological ability to meking themselves "heard" would be almost undetectable, so it would make sense that almost all known species have advanced at least to a certain level of physics and technology.

LOTRfan
2010-11-27, 12:00 PM
I should go with #1, if only because when I first saw the question in the title, my immediate answer was "extinct". :smallamused:

Yes! My first thought, too.

If you are willing to have them ascended (and therefore probably out of the picture, except for their legacy), then why not kill them all off.

Think of your player's reaction when you are fighting the big bad race.

DM: "They slaughtered the [Insert Name here] from [Insert planet here], the Dorkulans from Alpha Beta Prime, the [...]"

Player: "Why is he telling us this?"

DM: "[...] and the Humans from Earth."

Player: :smalleek: .... :smallfurious: "THOSE ---"

Slightly exaggerated, but that gives them a reason to hate them (out of character, at least).

Even better, have them initiate first contact with renaissance-era Earth, get to know the people, and have a good time, then WHAM, the BBR wipes them out in a planetary bombardment.

Or even better, a race of robots did it. (http://themetapicture.com/media/what-it-means-to-be-alive-540x979.jpg)

awa
2010-11-27, 12:22 PM
humans actually reproduce very quickly for animals of are longevity and intelligence. Are females can produce multiple births before the first group has reached adult hood. Part of the reason humans take so long to develop is because were smart most any species would have the same problem. Humans also have excellent endurance. and the final most important factor is if the world is filled with clumsy 80 pound weaklings who are afraid of blood than humans start to look a lot more dangerous.

Abemad
2010-11-27, 12:36 PM
You could base them on one of the human factions in alastair reynolds revelation space seires :) (which by the way, is great).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factions_in_Revelation_Space

hiryuu
2010-11-27, 01:34 PM
Well, let's see. Our bones are made of metal, and not just any metal, either, metal that gets stronger each time you break small pieces of it (we can get tough enough this way to collide with a brick wall at 35 miles an hour and only sustain a light bruise); we see in color, and have among the best endurance of any land animal. One of our original hunting tactics was to simply start walking at our food and just keep going until it couldn't run away anymore (in fact, this is still done in some regions of Africa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting#Persistence_hunting_among_cult ural_groups)). It'd be funny if we got into space and everyone else is living on planets with less than 1G and humans are the toughest, most adaptable life form out there.

We also do a couple of things no other animal (on Earth) does: first, we emit pheromones and have body language that turns animals into our slaves, often without us trying to (see cats; all joking about "lol cats own yu" aside, we domesticated cats on accident). Second, our young learn to point without having to be taught. This ties into our last unique thing, which is culture. No other animal on Earth has culture (specifically, our capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols).

Humans are pretty awesome.

Ravens_cry
2010-11-27, 02:14 PM
Canadians, at least the ones from the Solar System. Fragmented culturally, resource rich, low population, and most of our tech comes from elsewhere.
That was the idea I had for what I called 'The United Solar Territories'. I even made a flag.

Frozen_Feet
2010-11-27, 02:32 PM
A curiosity, a sapient and highly civilized species that nonetheless is incapable of leaving the small sphere of its own solar system.

Yes, we humans are awesome in many ways, but we are very badly suited for life between the stars. I'd like to see earthbound life treated as a "tree" of interstellar culture for a chance - of great lifespan and history, capable of recovering from immense disturbances, yet still ultimately rooted in one place, and potentially felled by one swift strike or natural disaster. Inhuman aliens capable of flying through the void on their own would stop by to bask in our shade, admiring our daily life, before going their own way to places where we may never follow them...

Ravens_cry
2010-11-27, 02:43 PM
Criminals, omnicidal maniacs who must NOT be allowed to infect the rest of the Universe.
OR . . .
Good people who actually started taking caring about their environment before it started to affect them personally.
OR . ..
Weirdo's, but then, so are all intelligent life to any other intelligent life. They have some unique quirks, swimming, endurance running, a fascination with flight, but are fun to be around. Just don't start a war with them, they are good at that.

Tvtyrant
2010-11-27, 03:22 PM
You guys(and gals) are silly. The entire point of the discussion was in genetically creating a species of soldiers; my point is given that ability humans are a bad choice, and gave a list of better ones. Saying that I don't have a sentient species to use as comparison is silly since they are building one. Humans are bad at adapting to new tactics (see my second post for a modern example, I could add thousands to it) and they are physically weak.

Also, persistence hunting is an unsubstantiated myth; bidpedal apes have existed for more then 6 million years and the massive extinction events started only in the last million. Our early bone dumps in Olduvai Gorge show that the first human-like biped (homo ergaster) ate primarily baby animals and rodents. Spears altered things, but it was technology that won our conquests, not our bodies.

Mark Hall
2010-11-27, 03:23 PM
Part of the reason humans take so long to develop is because were smart most any species would have the same problem.

Not necessarily. You might have hive-minded races that only have a single individual "brain"; their brain-castes may have the long lead time, but the workers would not. You might have telepathic races that learn much of what they need through telepathic imprinting. The neanderthal in Jean Auel's "Clan of the Cave Bear" learned most everything they needed through racial memory, gaining skill with practice but initial technique through being shown once. I also recall a science fiction story where humans had mostly replaced schooling with implants that would let them access any information at a moment's notice.

EDIT to avoid Double Posting:

You guys(and gals) are silly. The entire point of the discussion was in genetically creating a species of soldiers; my point is given that ability humans are a bad choice, and gave a list of better ones. Saying that I don't have a sentient species to use as comparison is silly since they are building one. Humans are bad at adapting to new tactics (see my second post for a modern example, I could add thousands to it) and they are physically weak.

However, that assumes two things:
1) The gene-engineers were perfect. If the Creators are anything like their creations, they were under-budgeted and on a time limit, so they turned out their "best option".
2) That their goal was a super-race. Some of humanity's limitations could easily be advantages to a race of gene-engineers who didn't want to have to fight their creations when the war ended.


Also, persistence hunting is an unsubstantiated myth; bidpedal apes have existed for more then 6 million years and the massive extinction events started only in the last million. Our early bone dumps in Olduvai Gorge show that the first human-like biped (homo ergaster) ate primarily baby animals and rodents. Spears altered things, but it was technology that won our conquests, not our bodies.

Except that it's still used today. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting) Yes, spears changed a lot... but persistence hunting as a method of making an animal vulnerable to killing is not an unsubstantiated myth.

(Me, I can't persistence hunt anything other than an IHOP)

hiryuu
2010-11-27, 03:26 PM
Also, persistence hunting is an unsubstantiated myth

And yet, the part of the article I linked to has us actually practicing it. Now. As an observed hunting tactic.

Not to mention that fact that it was persistence hunting that was a contributing factor to us being nomadic. I won't downplay technology's part in it, but it wasn't the only factor.

Orzel
2010-11-27, 03:45 PM
My sci fi has humans as The Rich Race. Excellent traders, merchants, and survivors mixed with natural ambition has Humans with access to all the rarest materials. All new tech is funded by humans in some way and almost all small manufacturers all hae human start up money.

The human miltary is one of the strongest but it is factured for all the normal reasons why humans don't get things done fast.

Humans are the Dragons. Powerful, rich, and selfish.

awa
2010-11-27, 03:48 PM
racial memory is not particularly useful because of the rate technology advances a species that relied on that would soon be left in the dust.

hive minds and telepathy have no basis in real life so their is no reason to assume a species with those abilities exists in the first place.

Tiki Snakes
2010-11-27, 04:02 PM
The problem with humans as the warrior race is that, well, it casts all the aliens as a little bit pathetic, really.

Just compare us to other creatures on earth. You drop a baby on it's head, it's in trouble. You drop a baby gorrila on it's head, it'll bounce and crawl off somewhere.
You need to hunt something down? Prey, illegal substances, avalanche victims? Well, a team of humans with enough technology might manage, or you could, you know. Use a dog?

Ascended humans as the idea of choice throws up it's own problems. If they advanced to the point of being the generic projenitor race with their godlike technology and far reaching super-empires, you're not really talking about Humans anymore, but theoretical creatures descended from humans. The problem with that is that you lose any of the impact of it actually being humanity. The don't resemble us, really, so there's no identification with them.
It would give you ground to do some interesting stuff, though. Examining the direction we could take to get to that point, socially and evolutionarily, provides some really interesting ground for working with.

The Deej
2010-11-27, 04:23 PM
Here's a thought: humans make a great warrior race because we're always fighting ourselves.

If most (or all) other races in the galaxy developed their own mono-culture before becoming space-faring, then their need for weapons of war would be non-existent. Weapons development would all but cease, as there would no longer be adequate justification for the large cost. There would only be need of weapons once they encountered another race with which irreconcilable differences occur, but since development stopped decades to centuries ago, the war would be fought with essentially out-dated weapons. Also, they might be especially squeamish about using WMD's, if they ever had any to begin with.

Humans, on the other hand, have continued to devote massive portions of their economies to making better and better weapons technologies because of near-constant arms races between rivals. Who needs fear the soldier caste of the hive-minded insectoids when a single power-armored human wielding a minigun that fires plasma-explosive rounds can slaughter hundreds of them single handedly? And when it comes down to the wire, we will push the little red button, especially against non-human(oid)s.


Another potential novelty: what if humans are the only race that for what ever reason, invented the concept of mercenaries?

mabriss lethe
2010-11-27, 04:23 PM
There was an rpg supliment somewhere. ah, here's a review of it.

Rocketship Empires 1936 (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/13/13688.phtml)

Nutshell version: Humanity was the galactic boogeyman. All the other aliens ganged up on them eventually and exiled them to earth. Another galactic empire rose to take our place, then they declined and started looking for a weapon to hold the empire together. they were desperate enough to unleash humanity on the galaxy again.

In a funny twist, Humanity is the long-lived race out of legend. all the other sentients usually live about 30-40 years.

Greenish
2010-11-27, 04:43 PM
You guys(and gals) are silly. The entire point of the discussion was in genetically creating a species of soldiers;Oh, I thought it was on whether Boci should use humans as a soldier race or mystical precursor race.
my point is given that ability humans are a bad choice, and gave a list of better ones. Saying that I don't have a sentient species to use as comparison is silly since they are building one.You're the only one who brought up the whole "genetically tailored super soldier race".
Humans are bad at adapting to new tacticsAgain, bad compared to who? Your example has humans using new tactics and adapting to them. Humans don't have to be the best you can possible imagine. They only have to be better than the others, and there's no particular reason why they couldn't be, in a given work of fiction.
they are physically weak.So what? It's not like they're going to mix in melee when they have starships.

Besides, weak compared to who?


Not necessarily. You might have hive-minded races that only have a single individual "brain"; their brain-castes may have the long lead time, but the workers would not. You might have telepathic races that learn much of what they need through telepathic imprinting.Yeah, but when you go to the telepathy and so forth, you're dropping the "science" from "science fiction". :smallamused:

The problem with humans as the warrior race is that, well, it casts all the aliens as a little bit pathetic, really.

Just compare us to other creatures on earth. You drop a baby on it's head, it's in trouble. You drop a baby gorrila on it's head, it'll bounce and crawl off somewhere.
You need to hunt something down? Prey, illegal substances, avalanche victims? Well, a team of humans with enough technology might manage, or you could, you know. Use a dog?Want to wage a large scale war of annihilation or conquest. Use a human? :smalltongue:

Again, humans don't have to be best at every aspect of warfare ever to be comparatively better at it than other sentient races.

Ravens_cry
2010-11-27, 04:55 PM
On telepathy and the science in science fiction.
Depends, do you believe in radio?
To a species with no ears, our talking would seem like telepathy.

Rixx
2010-11-27, 05:09 PM
Humans are the water people, coming from a planet mostly covered in water. Their bodies are comprised mostly of it.

Tvtyrant
2010-11-27, 05:12 PM
You're the only one who brought up the whole "genetically tailored super soldier race".


Except the OP, who said soldier race created by the other one. If your creating races, you can do better then humans. And I have been arguing that humans do not a race of warriors make, which was one of the options placed by the OP.

And to your repetition of compared to whom, if your going to build a race for war it would behoove you to make the one that best fits the job. Humans take a lot of resources both in war and downtime, don't reproduce quickly, and don't adapt well to changes in strategy. Even if your argument is that all other races are worse in those regards you would still be trying to build the best ones you can. My point from the very beginning has been exactly that, humans are too costly, independent and inflexible to make a good warrior/soldier race.

I brought up the example of ants for a reason; they fit the bill as being faster to reproduce, tougher, and you can cut down on numbers during peace time (a problem humans tend to have in spades, case in point Janissarys).

Randel
2010-11-27, 05:17 PM
Maybe humans (as we know them) were extinct and have since evolved into other humanlike species?

In the September 2010 Discover Magazine there was an article about how the human brain has shrunk over the millenia, where our ancient ancestors (basically cavemen or the species that came before homo sapian) had larger brains than we do. That doesn't necessarily mean they were smarter than us, (one expert theorised that they had more intelectual potential than us with just having to survive but didn't have the educational infrastructure to become rocket scientists. Though another figured that the brain shrunk and became more effiient with no loss of intelligence).

However, after the development of society and civilization the human brain gradually shrank. It could be due to the fact that the brain uses up alot of energy to function or that in a society with lots of professionals then not every citizen needs to be a genius to survive. Another theorized that just like wolves were domesticated into dogs to reduce aggrasion (which also changed how they look) humans also 'domesticated' eachother by killing off people who are wild or murderous or uncivilized. Effectivly, our prehistoric ansestors were to us like what wolves are do dogs. Dogs are great at living in a civilized and modern environment and are less aggresive, but wolves are bigger and can survive in the wild.

The article also mentions that the human brain has been getting bigger again recently due to improved agriculture methods (more food means humans can support bigger brains... the information age hasn't been aroud long enough to have any effect on brain size yet).


I guess what I get from that is that humanity did evolve and change and likely will evolve further into whatever futuristic setting this takes place in. If this society heavily discourages violence then humanity could becoem further 'domesticated' and thus might not make a standard warrior race due to strength or aggresion. They might make great warriors in a cold calculating method or by having enough empathy to handle situations nonviolently (except where they bomb a place from orbit).

There could be a humanity offshoot that has adapted well to life in space and suffers no ill effects from zero gravity... they might have hands on their feet but are still human. Others might have very resilient nervous systems that are well suited to getting cybernetic enhancements (normally installing cybernetics would result in some damage to the body and a long period of adjustment but these guys might be resiliant to the negative effects). Plus others might be well adapted to living in cold, hot, or oxygen rare environments if they stay on the same planet for multiple generations. Gnetic engineering could do stuff as well.

Heck, there might even be an offshoot of humans who are complete idiots and require robots to feed and take care of them. Like the Eloi from The Time Machine or the humans from Wall-E (or it could be that they just haven't had an opportunity to excercist their skills and would jump at the chance to do something meaningful... could result in a race of halflings of elves or whatnot).

But modern day humans might appear as well, like if humanity has been traveling the galaxy for ages and evolved into numerous benevolent offshoots... until a threat appears that doesn't play nice. Thus the future humans find some DNA samples of modern day humans and clone a bunch of them to help with the problem. Modern human aggresion could prove to be the thing that the future humans need in this situation.

For kicks, they might even clone up a bunch of truly ancient versions of humanity like neandrethals or citizens of the roman empire or the like. These ones would have the genetics that are 'predisposed' towards aggresion more than the future humans and thus would make good soldiers.

The reason that future humans would have trouble fighitng wars is that they spent generations eliminating murder, aggresion, and conflict from their society and their minds. They are theoretically very close to acending or becoming beings of pure will, except that they lack the aggression to be effective at warfare. They don't have the heart to program robots to fight for them (because we all know having killer robots is bound to be trouble) so they revived modern humans to handle the war. They figure that they are very close to accession and just need a little more time to achieve it (close being maybe a few more generations). But until then they need humans to fight for and protect them.

Once the future humans accend... then who knows what will happen.

Mark Hall
2010-11-27, 05:27 PM
hive minds and telepathy have no basis in real life so their is no reason to assume a species with those abilities exists in the first place.

Neither do FTL travel, which is more or less necessary for a large-scale sci-fi setting. While there are good solar-system scale sci-fi settings (Eclipse Phase can be played entirely within our borders, though even it has FTL capability in the form of the Pandora gates), he's already talking about a galaxy-spanning empire, which either necessitates FTL or a state of mind so alien that you can deal with thousands of years between radio messages.


And to your repetition of compared to whom, if your going to build a race for war it would behoove you to make the one that best fits the job. Humans take a lot of resources both in war and downtime, don't reproduce quickly, and don't adapt well to changes in strategy.

Says who, and compared to what? Again, a lot depends on what your baseline is. While ants are great, they're also stupid and tiny... you can't get too big with ants before you run into the limitations of their architecture (much like humans, but our baseline is bigger).

Humans have a number of advantages... they're not sovereign advantages, certainly, and it's possible to imagine something better, but that doesn't mean that it was developed... or, indeed, that evolutionary pressure didn't develop us away from it. What if those aforementioned Homo ergaster were the perfect race, with their shorter lifespans and still manipulative hands, who were dumped on Earth after the Space War that necessitated their creation? Give them a few million years, you get modern humans... evolved from some race's ideal of a superior warrior (or at least, a superior biological component to a war machine), but in ways that would take us away from those ideals.

Tvtyrant
2010-11-27, 05:58 PM
I concur with you Mark. In such a setting people would develop to be different then their perfect warrior form.

Greenish
2010-11-27, 06:24 PM
On telepathy and the science in science fiction.
Depends, do you believe in radio?
To a species with no ears, our talking would seem like telepathy.And assuming their science hadn't yet realized that the tiny vibrations in conducting matter could be detectable by certain organs, the near-instantaneous communications between targets lacking the [whatever sense they'd use for communication] connection would be pure magic.

Although a species without ears could (and probably would, since I have hard time imagining a situation where such a sense couldn't evolve or wouldn't be useful) have something akin to lateral line (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_line) with which to sense such occurrences.

Ravens_cry
2010-11-27, 06:30 PM
And assuming their science hadn't yet realized that the tiny vibrations in conducting matter could be detectable by certain organs, the near-instantaneous communications between targets lacking the [whatever sense they'd use for communication] connection would be pure magic.

It was only within the last 122 years that radio waves were discovered on earth. If we encountered a creature that used them to communicate before then, it would be "pure magic" to us.

KillianHawkeye
2010-11-27, 06:57 PM
Traditionally, Humans tend to be the ones who excel at diplomacy in a sci-fi setting. They forge alliances, negotiate truces between mortal enemies, etc.

Personally, I like the origin story used in the Master of Orion games, where Humans are a failed experiment in creating a race of infiltrators intended to destabilize the Orion Sector in advance of an impending invasion, but they were sent to some backwoods planet in the middle of nowhere (Earth) instead.



Humans will be like Space Pirates from Metroid. I don't know if this is awesome or not.

I think that depends on whether or not we get the Metroids. :smallamused:

Aux-Ash
2010-11-27, 06:59 PM
Actually, speaking as a person studying in medicine, I'm not so sure one can do better if creating a warrior species. Human bodies are very efficient things, we have sweat glands, colour-vision, one of the most effective DNA-repair systems, we have less genes than mouses and amoebas but far more phenotypes, we have a very effective brain when it comes to innovation and pattern recognition and much much more.
Anything of the same size that should be able to do the same things needs a similar amount of time and resources to develop. So super-hives are going to need about the same amount of biological material as the same amount of humans would and, unless they're rather small beasts, similar maturation time. Similarily, our ability to innovate is very useful in battle.

Greenish
2010-11-27, 07:07 PM
It was only within the last 122 years that radio waves were discovered on earth. If we encountered a creature that used them to communicate before then, it would be "pure magic" to us.Yes!

I'm not sure if you're not getting my point, or I'm not getting yours, but I prefer to keep pure magic out of my science fiction. :smallamused:

[Edit]:
Anything of the same size that should be able to do the same things needs a similar amount of time and resources to develop.Though to be fair, space battles would hardly be determined by one's brawn, so ideally the organic creatures (if you're to have them) should be rather small.

grarrrg
2010-11-27, 08:33 PM
Humans are Average (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumansAreAverage)

For every race that's faster than humans, there is one that's slower.
For every race that's smarter than humans, there is one that dumber.
Humans are average.

Jallorn
2010-11-28, 12:47 AM
-snip-
There are numerous science fiction stories where humans had mostly replaced schooling with implants that would let them access any information at a moment's notice.
-snip-

Fixed it for you. :smallwink:


racial memory is not particularly useful because of the rate technology advances a species that relied on that would soon be left in the dust.
-snip-

Which is of course why one of the theories as to Neaderthal extinction is that although they were smarter, they couldn't innovate like we could because it was too easy to do the same thing over and over, so their genetic memory (or whatever it is) hemmed them into a dead end where we caught up, gutted them, and then used them as a ladder to get over the wall. Metaphorically speaking of course.

Ravens_cry
2010-11-28, 01:09 AM
Yes!

I'm not sure if you're not getting my point, or I'm not getting yours, but I prefer to keep pure magic out of my science fiction. :smallamused:

If handled right, like obeying the inverse square, or a plausible explanation why it doesn't, it would be far less magical then say . . .faster then light travel or communications.