New answers tagged

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Yes and no In fact some people incorrectly argued that a few dinosaurs could do this. because of some missing pieces they thought the lower jaw of one predatory dinosaur had 5 jaw joints, the main two one and the "chin" and one halfway up each side, that would let the jaws flex open to swallow prey. I tired to find a picture but it is such an ...


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Is there a scientific way for doctors of the time to detect the usage of drugs or steroids...etc in athletes? Do you know how a doctor of the time would spot diabetes in a patient? He would dip a finger in the patient's urine and then give it a sip. If it tasted sweet, there it was! And that's it for the science part of the medicine of the time. The rest ...


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After many years of development, brain–machine interfaces (like those Neuralink wants to develop) are a reality. They rapidly become popular and "everyone" has one implanted.¹ After a few years, the percentage of the population with that implant is about the same as those having a smartphone nowadays (which are themselves replaced with mind-calls)....


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Pottery. Pottery was vitally important in the development of society. Its weight makes it difficult to carry, but a sedentary culture can manage it even without agriculture. The sedentary hunting and gathering culture in Japan underwent a population explosion when they invented pottery. And the big thing is that it allows you to increase food supplies. ...


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I'm afraid that rather than not being possible, it's simply not advantageous for something you plan to be the perfect predator to need to reconstruct its eyes depending on what it wants to do. Let's assume it's hunting prey with sight alone: it will likely want to see ultraviolet so that it can see traces of urine and better tell a camouflaged prey from its ...


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If your worry is that local prey won't suffice all year round, and your elves are too sedentary to want to move to new hunting grounds (or travel is otherwise too difficult) bring the food to them! Your forest is central to a migration route. There are huge lands - or seas with habitable or nestable islands to the North (ideal climate in northern hemisphere ...


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Yes. While similar to a subset of this answer I give you a worked example in the Chip Fab Here they use lithography to apply different chemicals in patterns on a piece of silicon in layers. There are several layers of abstraction that have gone on in this process. The "program" was designed. the logic to implement that was derived. the logic gates ...


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as @elemtilas mentions the pupil shape and size. This will be connected to the amount of light gathered, but the slit pupil for predators give improved depth of field and the ability to judge distances while horizontal pupils are more useful to detect predators giving a wide field of view but along the plane. the mantis shrimp you mention is a wonderful ...


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Well, the youtube channel Artifexian have some videos on this topic, he also deals with a more hyper realistic worldbuilding that you might be interest. How To Design Realistic Climates 1 How To Design Realistic Climates 2 Hot & Cold Planet Climates Terrestrial, Waterworld & Tidally Locked Planets Climate Zones Of RETROGRADE Planets Wind, Weather, ...


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Some things to consider: Shape Changing Pupils: this is plausible, and in fact we do this all the time! The pupil is simply the open space or aperture left open to light transmission by the veiling property of the iris. The iris a muscular diaphragm that controls the pupil's size by relaxing or contracting. Changing the shape of the iris, within sensible (...


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Cash bonuses for sterilization: As a philanthropist, monarch, or governmental agency offer a cash bonus to anyone willing to be sterilized. This has two major advantages over forceful kinds of eugenic acts suggested in other answers: People are doing this voluntarily so nobody can complain about fairness. The people who are doing this are reversing the ...


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Having loose yet powerful jaws could be achieved by simply having regular biting jaws, but extremely large relative to the body. This would allow the creature to realistically have a strong biting force, as its jaws are just like real creatures, but with a much larger jaw opening, as the jaws are longer than expected. However, this would require that the ...


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As others pointed out, the premise to your FTL engine arises from a misunderstanding of the article and under the hard-science constraints would not be feasible. You are correct in that the article is proposing that the permittivity and permeability of free space arise from virtual particles. However, it appear there is a misunderstanding of the meaning and ...


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Absolutely As another answer points out, smiths of the past knew how to make "good steel". They had no idea why it worked, or that what was really happening was alloying carbon with the steel, because the atom hadn't been discovered yet, never mind identifying "carbon" and "iron" as independent chemical elements. All the same ...


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I don't know that this is worthy of a full answer of its own, particularly as you have already marked a solution, and I am sure it is a thing you have thought about already... However! The key stumbling block in all the answers posted so far is "impervious". This could mean one of two things: Figuratively: The key to understanding the technology ...


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We have no fundamental understanding of how Quantum Mechanics "works". Those who 'understand' don't. It 'just does'. Albert Einstein violently disliked QM's "spooky action at a distance" - but experiments since his death have confirmed the reality in our reality of such "nonsensical" effects. And yet, QM is arguably the most ...


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The easiest way to accomplish this is to create a replicator. Require use of one of the artifacts during the process of assembling a new one. In this step, the device does something, which proves quite essential, even if nobody knows what it is doing. One might draw a corollary to reproduction, actually. People did it for quite a long period of time ...


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To continue on from JRE's example of the microwave oven, there is actually a thruster design that works on the same principle called a radio frequency resonant cavity thruster. Currently we can build them, but we aren't sure if they work (NASA Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory tested it and said it worked, but others haven't been able to replicate the ...


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Fecundity inhibitors One way to do it biologically would be to make it so that some humans emit a hormone that acts as a fecundity inhibitors when in presence of a lot of other humans. This ability could have emerged with a darwinian process on subsets of the whole human population. People in a certain continent had an overpopulation which caused famine and ...


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Yes - and we've been doing it for a long time As a very simple modern day analogue, consider the forging of steel. There are many levels to understanding, but at a very basic sense when we began forging steel it was a happy accident that led to a significant mythos of what you had to put in the iron to make it stronger (lots of "interesting" ...


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Yes, but it's because you made an assumption that's false Truly higher civilizations will try to use the least amount of energy possible, until their energy consumption is as close to zero as possible, which sounds like a neat idea to me but I can't imagine a highly sophisticated and intelligent life-form/civilization running their bodies and technology on ...


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You don't need alien artifacts - that's how the things currently are. The other answers mention DC motor, or light switch, that can be copied without understanding. But is our "understanding" any better? We do know that the motor works because Lorentz force acts on charges moving in magnetic fields, but why does it? We can bring Maxwell equations ...


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No Assumption: The target civilization is technologically capable of replicating the Clarketech. Assumption: The duplication results in an object that is 100% identical to the original. In other words, you can't replace a miniature fusion generator the size of a coin with a battery that only lasts a micro-second and claim to have duplicated the object. Every ...


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Yes, why not? I'm going to crib from The Crystal Spheres, Ask a Foolish Question and The Naked God. And The Last Question for good measure. You say we have a K-IV civilization - something like the originator race of AAFQ: Of the race that built him, the less said the better. They also Knew, and never said whether they found the knowledge pleasant. They ...


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Yes, consider a satellite phone. You can have something you understand but cannot replicate, that's fairly easy, but there is only one believable ways to have something you can replicate but do not understand. You only have part of the device, PCman hints at this. like having a cellphone is great but a cellphone does not work without the cellular network. A ...


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Perhaps they have a recipe rather than a blue print. Maybe they are told to synthesize a particularly complex range of chemicals, arrange them in a complex matrix of other compounds and are then told to add x, y and z in a specific sequence and at specified temperatures. They follow the exact instructions and the mixture suddenly starts to self organize ...


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"Clarketech"... OK, if you insist. In one of the passages quoted in Clarke's "The Lost Worlds of 2001", somebody at a White House reception makes the old joke about humans being replicated by unskilled labour. Most things about what makes "a man a man for a' that" are still mysteries to the people who insist on making more of ...


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Maybe this is obvious from your use of the word "Clarketech," but FWIW, this is exactly how magic spells work in most systems, right? The spellcaster knows how to reliably reproduce the effect of "wingardium leviosa" (namely "repeat these nonsense words in this order"), but doesn't have a clear picture of why it should work. If ...


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from op /farm will just be free food for wild animals/ This is why they farm. Free food for wild animals means wild animals will come and that is what the elves want. Mature forest does not offer as much food for large herbivores as open areas do - the trees shade out grasses and favored vegetation for deer and the like. Your elves clear areas of forest and ...


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I think you want minimum energy per unit of accomplishment I think your observation is fair - minimising energy consumption would be a goal as a civilisation advances, however L Dutch is right, measuring this as absolutes runs backwards - the optimal score (0) could be quickest achieved with collective suicide. Lets consider 4 civilisations: A's, have a ...


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Balance your town's needs relatively to its hunting area coverage It depends a lot on the resources production/km² you can get of your land. Then balance it against how many settlers you want and the area you're willing for them to travel in. This can be summed up in three main points. How to reduce the town's needs? Unfortunately, reducing a town's needs is ...


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Assuming good quality roads without significant elevation changes, healthy horses and well maintained carriage: 120 miles in one day, with multiple horse and driver changes. This is pretty much the utter ceiling distance possible. 50 miles in one day, but likely not repeatable the next day. (requires a day or 2 rest, or change of horses for next day) 30 ...


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Forest Management as a Substitute for Agriculture: With the abundance of foods, and an organized society, do what people have been doing with elves for years - portraying them as forest rangers and land management experts. They don't really farm the forest as much as guide it to be more amenable for their needs. The foods that support the animals they hunt ...


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truly higher civilizations will try to use the least amount of energy possible Energy usage being a non negative number by necessity, it follows that its minimum is necessarily 0. Since a living being has to consume energy to survive, even including in the definition of life non carbon based life forms based on computronium, there cannot be any life with 0 ...


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All life on Earth thrives on equilibrium. When a predatorial species hunts too much prey, then its next generation suffers and their numbers dwindle. Also notice that natural selection makes sure that both prey and predator are adequate to each other. This process is called coevolution: In biology, coevolution occurs when two or more species reciprocally ...


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In July 1821, my great great grandmother travelled 36 miles on the Monday and this included a stop at Grantham to vist St Wulfram's Church and have lunch and then 48 miles the next day which included a tour of Lincoln Cathedral and having lunch. She travelled, as I understand it, in a carriage with 2 horses and a coachman. There were a total of three ...


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Yes, the drive is NOT what enables Hyperspace travel. The "Hyperspace Drives" your people are discovering and duplicating are merely the activators, the "keys", to the actual mechanism that is not available for scrutiny. Maybe it is in an alternate parallel dimension, maybe it is something programmed into the very fabric of space. As a ...


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Certainly Understanding isn't required on every level. Someone can make a watch with a schematic and the parts without ever understanding the battery. Even better. When they made the electron microscope they didn't understand how small they were looking at first. They researched something that they knew had smaller wavelengths than light, allowing for higher ...


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If it's within our fabrication tolerances, of course we can. To copy tech at a high level, there's really 2 parts to: Scan it in. How accurately can we turn the atomic layout into a computer model? Print it out. How accurately can we turn that model into a physical thing? Scanning we can do really well if properly motivated. It's totally possible to: ...


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Yes, but It must be fundamentally designed to be copied by a civilisation with a given minimum technological capability. This is the story of the first Krikkit starhip. They copied it from a "crashed starship" that rather than being the geniuine article was in fact a full blueprint for a starship carefully engineered such that they would be able to ...


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Technological solutions (assuming unlimited advanced tech): Merging persons Create a technology that smoothly merges multiple persons into one. At first compatible (i.e. similarly minded and bodied) people are selected. The more population number is, the more chances that some persons would be almost identical. The super-technology then connects their minds ...


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hard-science = NO Currently, we describe particles by their speed compared to the speed of light using the light-cone: Light that moves with the speed of light is light-like. The totality of events that create such particles lies on the surface of a cone of past and future, both crossing in the point of "now" (the spectator). Anything on the cone ...


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Maybe. Take a wound stator DC motor, If you can identify steel, iron, and copper in a motor you find (or are given) then you can build a mechanical copy of it. If you build your copy precisely enough, then applying an appropriate voltage (with enough current) to the power connections will make it run. If you copied it precisely enough, then the copy will ...


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Potentially, as long as: The artefacts are capable of self replication If an elder race is specifically trying to gift technology to a younger one they wouldn’t risk misunderstandings or confusion getting in the way. A much simpler and easier thing to do is make a high tech 3D printer that the younger race can use to print all the components for another 3D ...


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Free Market Economics. As presented in Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. Ration that amount of children the population as a whole can have without explicitly enforcing limits on any individual. Because you get good narratives, right off the bat. I mean, if the governments of the world would say, "OK, everybody has the legal right to three-quarters of ...


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I don't think it is plausible: an assembly is more than its individual parts. Take a car engine: one can replicate all its components, but when they are put together without the knowledge on how to properly sync the valves with the piston the end result will be a CLANK BANG not a running engine. Even worse if one takes something that has software or IC in it....


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It certainly seems plausible: Regenerating eyes or parts thereof is not unknown in the animal kingdom, having been observed in rabbits, salamanders, zebrafish, dogs, mice, frogs, etc, however this normally takes weeks or months, even years. But there is a species of spider, deinopidae, which regrows its incredibly sensitive membranes each night. The ...


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There are plenty of examples of fatalism in governments right now. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/26/saudi-mufti-hajj-stampede-beyond-human-control/ Saudi Arabia’s top religious leader has said that the Hajj stampede which killed 717 pilgrims was beyond human control, official media reported on the final day of this year’s pilgrimage. The stampede ...


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As one of the people above mentioned, one civilization that might meet the criteria of 150 years and fatalistic is the Great Seljuq Empire. It lasted for 157 years from 1037 AD to 1194 AD. In 1194, it was replaced by the Khwarezmian Empire. The empire was an important part of the first crusade and fought constant battles to conquer eastern Anatolia. The ...


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It will happen automatically, in fact it has already happened in your society. You are worried about nothing. If you have a civilization with the following features: low mortality, high standard of living, abundant resources, the population stops growing. Evolution actually favors K strategy in these situations, that having few offspring but investing a lot ...


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