by Joanne Tolson

Star Trek did a lot of science

     I remember back in the 60s when I was growing up watching Star Trek. Whoever dreamed we would one day be using the technology of science fiction like the people on the Star Trek show? The Star Trek technology we have today only the inventors could have foreseen.

     “The Phaser is set to stun.”

     What we call a stun gun is a non-lethal weapon that has, however, in some cases turned out to be lethal.

     Fifty years ago, people weren’t talking on cell phones like they are now. They had the bag phones in the 70s and the car phones, precursors to the cell phones of today’s technology.

     The com they talked on then is now, you see, a precursor to the microphone attached to the police officers’ uniforms, and to spy technology.

     The space race fueled the new technology and the need for more satellites in outer space.

     Machines on Earth like the computers needed satellites and optic fiber cables to communicate back here on Earth. How far technology can communicate back here from outer space is dependent on the help from satellites.

     STAR TREK may have been a work of fiction, but it was on the cutting edge of technology, like all science fiction is on the cutting edge of technology, such as Jules Verne in his day. So was Gene Roddenberry and a slew of other science fiction writers. He has brought the technology of science fiction to the forefront of the world in advancements of science. On Star Trek they have visual/audio that no one but scientists and visionary writers could have imagined back in the 1960s, except NASA. Now it’s commonplace on computers and in not quite every household, with video communications companies and cell phone programs like Skype for video conferencing all over the world.

     We have X-ray machines in airports. No teleportation as yet—which is the molecular deconstruction and re-assembling of matter reassembled on the planet’s surface. Science has not been able to duplicate this from Star Trek, or the Vulcan mind-meld or the power of telepathy.

     Today’s technology is not too far-fetched from the imagination of sci-fi writers, who were the mechanisms to open the future’s gateway to today’s technology. Technologies have been invented by past generations of humans, only to be lost and forgotten by future generations like the Dark Ages when knowledge was lost.

     Sure, there will be another dark age, with the effects of the drug culture draining potential brain power to power the next generation of technology. The future of technology will then morph into something else.