It’s all one, sexy species
Star Trek is full of aliens, who often have sex and make babies. This is highly illogical. A human penis working on an alien vagina is far less likely than successfully mating with a crocodile, but it happens. Case in point Spock and countless ‘inter-species’ relationships on Star Trek.
These cannot, by definition, be inter-species relationships at all. If sex produces fertile offspring that is a species. All of the Star Trek must be one species. Because they bang.
Every alien in Star Trek must have a common ancestor, and a recent one at that. They were all originally human, or Vulcan, or Klingon, or something. Otherwise, the parts wouldn’t work.
This leads to two possible conclusions.
- An early species colonized the stars and then forgot
- A higher power deposited this species all across the cosmos
1. The Forgotten Race
On Earth, the first scenario actually happened. Humans all came from one set of ancestors, but we forgot that in an (ongoing) fit of racism. Perhaps the same thing happened in the Star Trek universe.
Imagine that 1,000,000 years ago humans somehow became a spacefaring species. We set up colonies all over the cosmos. Then something terrible happened and everyone simultaneously went back to the Stone Age. Something also obliterated the fossil record of this civilization and cleaned up all the mess. In this time we start to diverge (ridges, telepathy), but our penises, vaginas and DNA all remain much the same. We were separated long enough to forget, but not long enough to speciate.
Then, 1,000,100 years later, we all become spacefaring at about the same time. Exploring the universe, we rediscover our distant relatives, who we now identify as aliens, but also hot.
This is an interesting thought, that if you rediscover your relatives late enough you’d call them aliens. But this would also be easy enough to measure, as we would have almost identical DNA.
In the Next Generation episode ‘The Chase’ something similar is proposed, that an ancient race seeded the cosmos with their DNA, giving all the lifeforms a common ancestor. The timeline, however, is way off. They were said to have seeded the information billions of years ago, meaning humans and Vulcans would be much more distantly related than us and crocodiles.
This explanation would only make sense if we had split millions of years ago, not billions, for the simple reason that the parts wouldn’t fit. However, there are billions of years of fossil records showing how we evolved here alone, so that wouldn’t make sense to any scientific civilization. Unless the fossil records were laboriously forged.
Basically it’s so implausible that higher intelligence must be involved, cause only a higher intelligence could think of something so stupid.
2. The Higher Power
The other alternative is that this is all a sort of game. Literally, God playing dice. Some higher intelligence saw/created humans, picked them up, and scattered them throughout the universe. Multiple Adam and Eves, sown across the cosmos. Our current gene pool may have narrowed to a few hundred people at one point, so this is not genetically implausible, the question is just how everything else, and why?
How did this intelligence terraform multiple planets? Had they been seeded with water and bacterial life eons earlier? How did they move humans around? How did they cover their tracks? Most importantly, why? Did they want to retire to Florida and get residuals on the television series? Was it just lols?
The original series explores this idea as a race called the Preservers, who pick up species and drop them elsewhere. In the Paradise Syndrome, Kirk et al discover a Native American civilization that’s been dropped on a distant planet, with a (broken) obelisk that keeps asteroids away. This would be central to a modern series (where did we come from?), but it’s just an episode in Star Trek.
It’s just another mystery that they tidily solve before moving on. But it still doesn’t make sense. Why would this higher power be dead now? Wouldn’t they still be around, watching the show?
This I think would be a very interesting question for Star Trek to explore. What is this shadowy power, effectively running a simulation across the universe? Seeding our species across multiple planets and then watching us fight or cooperate. Perhaps it’s an experiment that’s running in multiple universes at once. Perhaps it’s the future us going back in time and creating ourselves, in a weird time loop.
Or perhaps it’s just the latest mobile game on a higher plane. Maybe’s it’s just some idiot cosmic child wasting time by spinning up our universe. Perhaps our strange, eventful history is just some idle computation.
Most interestingly of all, what does this say about us, the real humans watching the show? Could we someday seed life across the cosmos and forget about it? Is there a higher power playing dice with us right now? Could we become that higher power in time?
All fascinating questions, springing from the simple fact that characters in Star Trek have sex. If they have sex, they must be one species. If they’re one species, then what the hell is going on?