38 votes

How would an adult artificial human behave after they exit the biofabricator?

The problem with this is that mature brains develop in parallel with the body, growing and making connections initially 'organically' but later on in response to external stimuli. Physical skills ...
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  • 12.4k
34 votes
Accepted

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

Armor penetration Conventional bullets all work the same way: by applying kinetic energy directly to a small area on the target and punching through it. This is relatively easy to armor against: hard ...
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  • 32.5k
29 votes

FTL gates and drives used simultaneously without redundancy?

Planes, trains and automobiles The different forms of FTL travel are the same difference between walking, cycling, driving, and flying on an airplane. The later methods are more technologically ...
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  • 38.6k
25 votes

How would an adult artificial human behave after they exit the biofabricator?

Legal loophole! As several of the answers point out, an adult with a "blank" printed brain would be at best at the stage of a newborn (but probably worse, because the newborn's brain is much ...
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  • 1,622
15 votes

Are Mass Effect "style" guns possible?

The answer is "no," but just how it fails depends on the details. If the projectile is a "shaving", a curved sheet of material, rather than axisymmetric, then it's going to be ...
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14 votes

FTL gates and drives used simultaneously without redundancy?

Risk. Wormgates are in space and some weasels clear space next to them. Jump is 100% safe. Wormdrive is risky. You do not know that your travel will not end with a collision with an asteroid right ...
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  • 439
13 votes

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

Ammunition Bullets weigh a lot and need to be carried. An energy weapon really is limited by it's battery capacity. Currently our battery tech is rubbish so any sort of energy weapon simply isn't ...
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  • 43.2k
13 votes
Accepted

Advantages of reverse jointed legs in bipedal mechs?

Joints Let's say these fine engineers have taken clues from biology and are trying to select some joint for their walkers. They would likely be looking at various "knee joints" in the animal ...
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10 votes

Advantages of reverse jointed legs in bipedal mechs?

The difference between a knee and an ankle Forward bending joints and rear bending joints on rear and bipedal legs have separate purposes in the animal kingdom. The knee helps us adjust how far our ...
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10 votes

How would time logically be measured on a massive starship in perpetual flight?

I assume all of these species(!) evolved on a planet. Their biology will be atuned to their planets' day-night cycles, so it will still make sense to have artificial cycles on the ship. (see Circadian ...
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  • 6,457
9 votes

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

Carry capacity and weapon handling. The recoil of a weapon quickly goes up the more powerful your bullets become. A .50cal mounted machine gun would bruise your body if you fired it by hand. But if ...
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  • 39.5k
9 votes

Safe Alcubierre drive

Not a Problem I do not understand the maths behind the Alison Cubert Warp Drive. But I am VERY good at reading Wikipedia articles. On a good day I can also read the Abstract and Summary of an ...
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  • 38.6k
9 votes

How would an adult artificial human behave after they exit the biofabricator?

You can't do it. If implanted memories is illegal, the adult comes out as a new born baby. They first need to learn to walk and talk and not soil themselves in public. Everything you do is memories. ...
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  • 43.2k
9 votes

Under what circumstances would a species with 2 sexes evolve into a species with 1 sex?

Evolution through the intermediary of partial sexual reproduction You specifically ask for an evolutionary reason - rather than asking about a species that was always single-gendered. This has ...
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7 votes

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

They're plasma projectors These guns fire a short jet of superheated gas, that on impact vaporizes armor and kills by sending the body into shock from the combined explosion, pressing the molten armor ...
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  • 11.8k
7 votes

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

Shield Harmonics The plasma envelope allows the bullet to penetrate energy shields. This works because the shields are made of the same sort of plasma. Two possibilities. The plasma envelope pushes ...
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  • 38.6k
7 votes

Are Mass Effect "style" guns possible?

Sure Flechette style ammunition works just fine. The late 1980s weapon in the second link fired a 0.66g metal projectile - though probably not fast enough to make a pretty light show. Considerations ...
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  • 9,110
6 votes

FTL gates and drives used simultaneously without redundancy?

You just described interplanetary and interstellar transports. The wormgates are awesome for ships without any drives. They take you to and from one planet to another, or even across interstellar ...
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  • 39.5k
6 votes

FTL gates and drives used simultaneously without redundancy?

The most obvious point here is... how do you use an FTL gate, if the only place you can put the destination gate is within sublight-attainable distances? Woohoo, 10 years to set up the Oort cloud gate!...
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  • 9,888
6 votes
Accepted

How would the laws of physics need to be adjusted if there really were a preferred frame of reference for FTL?

There's really nothing needed to make a privileged frame consistent with what we currently know - you just have to make it so that the privileged frame is empirically undetectable with any experiment ...
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6 votes

Under what circumstances would a species with 2 sexes evolve into a species with 1 sex?

There already are: The whiptail lizard family (to name just one) has several groups where only females exist. They do not have sexual reproduction, but instead reproduce by parthenogenesis. Other ...
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  • 52.3k
5 votes

Are Mass Effect "style" guns possible?

The previous answers address the projectile viability, but there's a logical consistency problem, too. Real weapons don't have the firepower they have because it's the "right amount", they ...
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  • 214
4 votes

FTL gates and drives used simultaneously without redundancy?

As I read the question, it's a bit hard to understand what you are asking. Assuming that you mean, How can I justify the existence of these three types of FTL without making any of them redundant/...
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  • 1,295
4 votes

FTL gates and drives used simultaneously without redundancy?

Largest difference is travel speed Worm gate (long distance): Can be much larger and have more power generation, wormhole stabilizers, wormhole creators, etc. Can connect to a much further distance ...
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4 votes

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

Gyrojet Plasma Rocket: This idea has all of the appearance elements of your weapons, is based on real engineering, and would represent a superior projectile weapon with distinct advantages over ...
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  • 52.3k
4 votes

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

Shields What is different here is that shields are everywhere. Large ships, tiny fighters to even some small drones have them. The goal of firing a laser is in general taking something out of the ...
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  • 27.3k
4 votes

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

You can find energy anywhere conveniently you can not find gunpowder as easily. In a sci-fi environment, it is likely for a group to touch ground on one planet, then a couple of weeks later we touch ...
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4 votes

How would time logically be measured on a massive starship in perpetual flight?

Atomic clock? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_clock An atomic clock is a clock that measures time by monitoring the frequency of radiation of atoms. It is based on atoms having different energy ...
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  • 273k
4 votes
Accepted

Safe Alcubierre drive

The warped space is supposed to create a flat region in the center, so any blue shifts going through the warped space should be nullified by complementary redshifts, I believe. However, there is still ...
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4 votes

How would an adult artificial human behave after they exit the biofabricator?

I prefer to think in solutions rather than problems. A purely 3D printed brain wouldnt know much, in fact this printer likely wont be able to guide the synapses to the right dendrites to make a ...
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  • 39.5k

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