I think of Star Trek to be the forerunner of today's inventions/culture. Most of what is available/happens in the Enterprise becomes reality soon thereafter (Touch displays, holographic projections, diversity of people collaborating etc.,) However there are things Star Trek that has gone wrong such as Captain Picard saying in one of the TNG episodes that Fermat's last theorem is yet to be solved in the 24th Century (which was later solved in the year 1995 by the Mathematician Andrew Wiles). What other things Star trek famously predicted wrong?

  • 1
    Touchscreens existed prior to TNG, and I don't think any were shown in the original series. The first practical holograms were demonstrated in 1962, and it's still basically impossible to freely project images in 3D space as shown on Trek (with holograms there is always some kind of plate or screen along the same line of sight as the apparent 3D image). – Hypnosifl Aug 30 '15 at 4:52
  • Fermat's last theorem was solved using methods not available in Fermat's time; as far as I know, how Fermat did it is still unknown – Izkata Aug 30 '15 at 5:14
  • 1
    I don't know why this is receiving downvotes. Care to explain, downvoters? – Tom Mickey Aug 30 '15 at 5:35
  • 2
    I didn't downvote (in fact I upvoted!) but it may be because it's a list question? – Often Right Aug 30 '15 at 8:47
  • 5
    “Most of what is available/happens in the Enterprise becomes reality soon thereafter.” Most? Are we flying through space at warp speed, with artificial gravity, transporting down to planets, shooting phasers, eating food from replicators, and chilling out in the holodeck? – Paul D. Waite Aug 30 '15 at 9:38

Quite a few things

This could turn out to be an extremely long list, but I'll focus on the main ones which were mentioned in this article as well as a few others I can think of:

  • The Eugenics Wars in the 1990s (Space Seed); that didn't happen (thank goodness)
  • Trans-generational 'sleeper' space ships (Space Seed (TOS) and The Neutral Zone (TNG)); don't have them yet
  • The Voyager Probes being launched in the 20th century; in The Motion Picture we have Voyager VI; we're in the 21st century and have only launched 2
  • A manned mission to Saturn in 2009 (Tomorrow is Yesterday); we haven't even put men on Mars yet!
  • The launch of the Nomad probe in 2002 (The Changeling)

To be fair though, have a look at this article which points out a number of technologies which have since been actually developed.

  • Nice work, @N_Soong --- you've selected some telling examples, +1. – Praxis Aug 30 '15 at 5:00
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer Dr.Soong. How is that positronic brain of yours coming along? ;-) – Tom Mickey Aug 30 '15 at 5:37
  • @TomMickey slowly but surely ;) – Often Right Aug 30 '15 at 7:11
  • 1
    @N_Soong: I thought you'd be the last one to call your sons' brains "slow" – ThePopMachine Aug 30 '15 at 13:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.