Not the national park you are looking for!
The Starfleet Yellowstone-class runabout is a small starship used by the Federation for a variety of missions. These missions include everything from scouting to cargo and personnel transport to combat (in extreme cases). All this is made possible due to the modular nature of the starship design, as the entire central portion can be swapped out depending on the mission called for. This has the advantage of making this small starship much more versatile than larger starships that are built specifically for just one purpose, such as science ships, exploration ships, etc.
Too often as human beings we resemble those larger fixed designation starships, believing that we are only built for one purpose, one role. We tend to define ourselves by what we do. The truth however is that we are much more versatile than we give ourselves credit for, we are adaptable, we can change to suit the mission life has set before us.
So let us all be more like the humble runabout, adaptable and versatile, multi-faceted and agile as we wend our way through the infinite choices of our lives!
It’s funny the kind of conversations you can have when tired and on a caffeine high driving down the Interstate at half past 10 at night. My wife and I were discussing her belief that humanity returning to its natural roots, whether in the consumption of organic matter (not that highly-processed stuff so many of us eat now) or a life with less reliance on technology, would lead to a greater spiritual connection with God.
We soon began discussing how our advancing medical technology may soon make it possible for humanity to replace failing organs with lab-grown substitutes or with artificial metal or plastic replacements. We soon began discussing whether a human whose memory is transferred to a machine would truly be considered human. This led to a question many have pondered before us; what does it mean to be human? Would a machine with all the memories, hopes, dreams, emotions, and foibles of a human being actually be a human being, or would it simply be a fancy copy? Can machines like Data from Star Trek, that exhibit awareness of their surroundings, demonstrate a desire for self-preservation, strive to better themselves, and to create more of their own kind, actually be conscious beings? Perhaps they are merely sophisticated machines, and that is all they are. How can we even measure consciousness when we cannot even define it for ourselves? Who’s to say that life and consciousness as we know it on Earth is the only kind that there is in this vast universe?
We discussed more than just these topics on our drive, including but not limited to: Organic machines, transferring human consciousness remotely to organic machines/machines to explore hostile environments, etc. But those are topics for another day!
So I’ve been waxing nostalgic for all things Trek, and was re-inspired to post my Expanded CODA Rules that detail some of the systems used for the universally (Ha!) amazing Starfleet Universe-class U.S.S. Enterprise-J.
Imagine being able to travel across our own galaxy in just 2 days, or clear to the Andromeda galaxy over 2.5 million light-years away in just 5 weeks! What wondrous and terrible things would we see? To see what no one (from Earth) has ever seen before, what new (or old) civilizations might we meet? What new life?Ahh, maybe someday.