Have you heard of a website called Android Genealogy? The strange name caught my attention. It is not a family tree for droids. Instead, it is a useful blog that tells information about interesting genealogy apps for genealogists who use Android devices.
I happen to be a big fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The phrase “Android Genealogy” made me think of the character Lt. Commander Data. He is an android that was created by Dr. Noonian Soong, (who was a human). I guess you could say that Dr. Soong was Data’s father.
Dr. Soong had an assistant named Juliana O’Donnell, (who also was a human). The two got married, and she became Juliana Soong. She was very involved in the creation of Data, (and the other androids that Dr. Soong was creating). You could say that she was Data’s mother.
Oddly enough, she eventually became an android. She became injured during an attack on her planet, and fell into a coma. Dr. Soong created an android that physical resembled her in every way, and transferred her memories into it. After the human Juliana died, Dr. Soong activated the android Juliana, (who didn’t know she was an android). Later, Juliana and Dr. Soong divorced, and she married Pran Tainer. She became Juliana Tainer, and Pran Tainer, in a way, became Data’s stepfather.
Data was not the only android that Dr. Soong (and Juliana) created. Before he made Data, he made Lore, who was very similar to Data in many ways. Lore could be considered Data’s brother. Previous to the creation of Data and Lore, Dr. Soong, (and Juliana) created B-4. Although he physically resembled both of his brothers, Data and Lore, he was not equipped with a positronic brain that was as sophisticated as the brains of his brothers. You could say that B-4 is Data’s brother who has an intellectual disability.
The androids in the Star Trek series cannot reproduce in the way that humans can. However, this didn’t stop Data from attempting to re-create the work of his father, to experience an android form of procreation, and to have a daughter. When she was first created, she was gender neutral and had a basic humanoid appearance.
After much consideration, Data’s child chose to be resemble a human female. He named her Lal. Unfortunately, Lal had a cascade failure in her neural net that was brought on by the stress from learning that Star Fleet wanted to separate her from her father. She “died”, and could not be repaired.
The website called Android Genealogy has nothing to do with Star Trek. It is a straightforward website that points out different genealogy apps that can be used on Android devices. The site is run by Jill Ball, who is an ancient Australian ancestor hunter, who was formerly a librarian, a teacher, and an IT specialist.
Image by George Thomas on Flickr