Tuesday March 28, 2006

This I Believe #9

...that New Caprica is Earth during the last Ice Age.

Think about it:

  • The planet is only marginally habitable—too cold at the poles, with a temperate band at the equator.  Sound familiar?
  • It's conveniently surrounded by a cloud of some kind that prevents the colonials from seeing the stars and noticing they match up with Earth's constellations.  Recall that the planet was discovered accidentally, and the fleet later reached it, by FTL jumping directly into the cloud instead of approaching from outside.
  • If humans arrived during the last Ice Age with some facility for space travel, that would make it possible for them to be the forefathers of the Egyptians and the Toltecs and the Mayans, so that life here began out there.  That means the new series could be a prequel, set tens of thousands of years earlier, of the old series.  How awesome would that be?

(This idea occurred to me while we were on vacation without 'net access, so I was anxious to get home and post about it while the number of Google hits for "New Caprica is Earth" is still zero.  First!)

[Update:  As of a flashback in episode 3x09, "Unfinished Business", this theory is shot all to hell.  In that scene, we see Adama and Roslin hanging (and smoking!) out on a New Caprica hillside at night while looking up at the stars.  Presumably, they weren't so baked that they failed to recognize the constellations from their vision on Kobol.  Sigh.]

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Comments

It's conveniently surrounded by a cloud of some kind that prevents the colonials from seeing the stars and noticing they match up with Earth's constellations.

[snark]Permanent overcast? Gotta be Dragaera.[/snark]

I haven't watched the show, so a serious question: Does New Caprica have a large moon?

Additionally, even if the distant stars are not visible, wouldn't the other planets in the local system be visible? Two rocky worlds closer to the sun, another rocky world further out, an asteroid belt, and four outer gas giants (one with a spot, one with rings) would be a giveway, after all (neglecting Pluto as just another Kuiper Belt wossname).

Posted by: at Mar 28, 2006 6:34:26 PM

Off topic, Tensor, but have you ever done a post on "inkhorn terms"?

Posted by: Steve at Mar 28, 2006 7:59:46 PM

I haven't watched the show, so a serious question: Does New Caprica have a large moon?

We don't know.

Additionally, even if the distant stars are not visible, wouldn't the other planets in the local system be visible? Two rocky worlds closer to the sun, another rocky world further out, an asteroid belt, and four outer gas giants (one with a spot, one with rings) would be a giveway, after all (neglecting Pluto as just another Kuiper Belt wossname).

The cloud surrounding the planet was pretty close in, as I recall, and this is media science fiction, so it's of a Mutara Nebula-like density instead of being a slight thickening of the interstellar medium. Even if the colonials could see the other planets and the moon, though, it wouldn't do them any good—the only thing they know about the Earth is the shape of the constellations in its sky, as revealed in a vision in an earlier episode.

Posted by: The Tensor at Mar 28, 2006 10:26:07 PM

Even if the colonials could see the other planets and the moon, though, it wouldn't do them any good

It would clue in the viewers, though. And it seems odd to me that a spacefaring civilization would not catalog the local solar system in detail - especially a conveniently close moon.

The only thing they know about the Earth is the shape of the constellations in its sky

Which would be different 10K years ago, what with precession and drift.

Come to think of it, Jupiter might not have had a spot, and Saturn might not have had its rings, that long ago. It could make for an amusing twist that it's things that happen in the show that create one or both of them.

this is media science fiction,

Sigh. Says it all, really.

Posted by: Owlmirror at Mar 29, 2006 1:47:41 PM

Come to think of it, Jupiter might not have had a spot, and Saturn might not have had its rings, that long ago. It could make for an amusing twist that it's things that happen in the show that create one or both of them.

You're right about the Great Red Spot, which may be less of a permanent feature than we'd thought, but this timely article says that Saturn's rings are about 100 million years old. Of course, real science is no guarantee that the show's producers won't try to explain everything from Olympus Mons to the big crater on Mimas.

Posted by: The Tensor at Mar 30, 2006 10:37:36 PM

But that would totaly ruin my fanficcy tie in with the stargate universe. Hey we have the egyption element in both, and a plausable explanation for why they ended up scattered.

Posted by: baronger at Apr 2, 2006 6:36:16 PM

Are most of the citizens in the colonial fleet actually telephone sanitizers, management consultants and hairdressers? Then this would all make sense.

Posted by: Vanya at Apr 10, 2006 3:38:50 PM

Umm, to make New Caprica Ice Age Earth, won't the B.G. writers have to slip on a science fantasy version of the Pointy Creationist Cap and dismiss Earth's fossil hominids as the remains of entirely unrelated pre-Deluge bipeds? And what of the genetic evidence that all life on Earth is molecularly related? Sounds kinda silly to me. But you did say this is Media SF. Heh.

Posted by: dan dragna at Apr 20, 2006 2:07:26 AM