Is the Cat an Alien?

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Pembers, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Pembers

    Pembers Console Officer

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    His species is not from earth, the 'origins' of his species are but Felis Sapiens are not from earth.

    Its possible Felis Sapiens evolved on earth as well, though I might hypotheise that they didn't need to, as the domestic feline had no survival issues.

    I'm not being totally serious here but I just wanted to see what people thought.
     
  2. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Felis Sapiens evolved from cats from Earth (via Frankenstein and the tomcat, who were apparently from Titan). As such I don't think it meets the definition of "alien", which I would define as a creature that evolved independently of Earth. The same question could be asked about the GELFs: are the GELFs personally immortal and personally from Earth, or have they similarly evolved away from Earth over many generations, making them akin to the Cat.

    A question that occurs to me is how does the Cat species even have a name. Who named it Felis Sapiens. Hudzen-10 scans Cat and recognises him as Felis Sapiens, and Blinx from the holoship also recognises Felis Sapiens. So they must have encountered the other Felis Sapiens before. If Felis Sapiens is common knowledge in the universe then Red Dwarf must be common knowledge too.
     
  3. Pembers

    Pembers Console Officer

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    Yes I think that shows perhaps that Felis Sapiens evolved elsewhere as well. Possibly including earth.
     
  4. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    It could well be that the cat species was discovered and established through genetic testing to be derived from the house cat long before Lister left stasis. If humans had already become all but extinct by then, the Galaxy appears to be scattered with research stations, many of which are probably populated by computers and droids, and some of which may now be run by simulants and GELFs. So I don't think it's very unlikely that Felis sapiens gained its binomial during its expansion through the Galaxy.

    Is the Cat an alien? Some words and expressions only have specific meanings in context. It's been made clear that in the context of the Red Dwarf universe, the word 'alien' refers to a being whose origins are not connected to humanity's science, technology and culture. In terms of intelligent lifeforms, this means there are no aliens. It could be that some planets contain alien plants and animals because there seem to be life-bearing planets in the series, although I can't recall anything in the canon that states that all of these weren't terraformed by humans in the past.

    An argument could certainly be made that the Cat and other species which have evolved into their current forms in space are aliens, but that's not the way the word is used in the series.

    EDIT With regards to whether Felis sapiens 'also' evolved on Earth, that being the origin of the species identification and binomial; if that's the case, the Cat and his people may resemble Felis sapiens due to convergent evolution, but must in fact be a species in their own right, certainly different enough from their distant terrestrial relatives that they would not be genetically compatible. Of course, science fiction (I'm looking at you, Star Trek, among others) habitually features human-alien hybrids, even though it's doubtful we can breed with our nearest relatives, let alone beings with an entirely removed genetic heritage, so there's nothing preventing Red Dwarf from ignoring biological law.
     
  5. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    The definition of "alien" as far as Red Dwarf's universe goes, is a species that can't trace its origin back to Earth. The point is that there are no aliens - everything goes back to Earth.

    If Cat is an alien by virtue of not being born on Earth, then Rimmer - who's from Io - is an "alien" too.

    So, in short: by the definition of the show, no, Cat is an Earth-originated lifeform. As are GELFs, Simulants and anyone and everything else the Dwarfers encounter.
     
  6. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor Console Officer

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    What about the vidal beast of Sharmutt II and pan-dimensional liquid beast from the Mogadon Cluster? I'm not saying they did't originate on Earth, but they sound very alieny.;-)
     
  7. Underdunn

    Underdunn Supply Officer

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    Then who the hecky-thump were they chatting away on the phone to in Krysis? :lol:
     
  8. percyP

    percyP Third Technician

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    On a similar (ish) note, there's a general thread throughout of Lister's responsibility as the last human alive (especially in ouroboros). I can't remember a single comment about the cat being the last felix sapiens, or him having a duty to keep the species going.

    Is this some sort of human-centric racism?! (Said with tongue in cheek). Is the cat race not thought to be worth saving, but humans are?
     
  9. Underdunn

    Underdunn Supply Officer

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    I don't think its ever been presumed cat is the last of his species. The Felix-Sapien evolved millions of years after the humans didn't it? Whilst Lister was still frozen? Isn't the general assumption that there's still loads of them out there somewhere?
     
  10. karnie

    karnie Supply Officer

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    He's no more an alien than Space Weevils or Mimosian Bladderfish, according to the show's definition of the word, as Seb described above.
     
  11. percyP

    percyP Third Technician

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    Have they ever been mentioned again, since series one? I always took it that they only evolved the once (on RD), then the two factions flew off and both died.
     
  12. percyP

    percyP Third Technician

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    Just remembered, they are mentioned in the series vii episode that didn't get made.
     
  13. Mardroid

    Mardroid Console Officer

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    In Waiting for God, I believe it states that one of the factions crashed into an asteroid. The other flew on in search of Fuchal. We don't know what happened to them.
     
  14. Underdunn

    Underdunn Supply Officer

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    No I don't think its been brought up much since, if at all. But I certainly don't think they suggested they died either.

    The Dwarfers themselves presume that the human race is dead, but they're only guessing that based on the fact its been 3 million years. How long has it been since the Felix Sapiens left Red Dwarf? 30 or 40 years? We know Cat was still a child at the time and Lister was frozen. Have we had another million year time jump since then? If not then I don't think we've any reason to assume there aren't more cats out there.
     
  15. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Why didn't Cat go with the rest of the cat-people?
     
  16. percyP

    percyP Third Technician

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    They didn't all go. A few remained on RD and Cat was born to two of these.
     
  17. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    So what happened to the rest of the ones that stayed? We saw that one cat-priest, but surely Cat would have relatives. Okay, only children do exist, but they're exceptional enough in humans let alone in cats! And for him to be the only one left would mean he was an only child, his parents were only children, his grandparents were only children . . .
     
  18. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    Not that exceptional in humans - nearly half the families in the UK are one-child families!

    I sort of imagined his family went off in the arks, and he was left behind?
     
  19. percyP

    percyP Third Technician

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    All the healthy cats left, so the ones left behind wouldn't have bred much.
     
  20. Pembers

    Pembers Console Officer

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    Cat was born to the cripple and the idiot, one of the few who were left. I assume the others were too old and/or sick to breed. They all died, leaving our Cat, who had no one to breed with.
     

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