Human (Babylon 5)

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Humans are one of the many races in the fictional Babylon 5 universe. They appear in all seasons of Babylon 5, and all of its spinoffs. Their homeworld is Earth, from which the interstellar Earth Alliance is governed. Humans are considered one of the younger races in the galaxy, but their government, the Earth Alliance, is currently a Galactic Superpower.

Homeworld[edit]

Main article: Earth (Babylon 5)

Earth is the homeworld of the Human race. The Babylon 5 series is set in the 23rd Century, and like the Earth of today, the 23rd-Century Earth has blue skies, large oceans, and seven continents as well as numerous islands of various sizes. Earth's population in the Babylon 5 universe is approximately 9 billion.

In addition to Earth, humans have colonized 23 other planets by the opening of the Babylon 5 space station, together forming the Earth Alliance. Other major planets that humans have colonized are Mars, Orion 7, and Proxima 3.

Biological[edit]

Humans in Babylon 5 are identical to humans of today, with one major difference: telepathic abilities appeared in humans around 2160 and exist in around 1 in 1,000 individuals.[1] No verifiable telepaths were known before this time, and their sudden appearance may have been caused by interference at the genetic level by the Vorlons.[2] About 1 in 1,000 humans are telepaths, and 1 in 10,000 telepaths are telekinetics (teeks), and half of them are insane.[3] This is 1×10^-5% of the population or 500 out of 10 billion people. No mention is made in the series of the frequency of occurrence or links to mental instability of telekinesis in other species, although it or a similar ability is demonstrated by the Vorlons ("Interludes and Examinations") and other First Ones. Prior to the Telepath War, all telepaths were required by law to be members of Psi Corps.

Throughout the series, humans are characterised by their adaptability, their willingness to form communities with other (i.e. alien) species, and their stubbornness in the face of opposition, even overwhelming odds. Although some other alien species, such as the Narn and Minbari, are physically stronger and tougher than humans, the ability of humans to adapt to diverse environments has given them an edge over many other species. For example, humans can survive in high-temperature climates that would kill a Minbari, and they can survive in cold-temperature environments that would kill a Drazi.

A link between human and Minbari souls is discovered early in the series which explains why the Minbari surrendered in the Earth-Minbari War.[4]

An evolved human in an encounter suit, as seen in the episode The Deconstruction of Falling Stars

In the final episode of Season Four, which takes place one million years in the future, humans have achieved First One status. (The Deconstruction of Falling Stars) Humans, now evolved into energy beings, have left Earth for the last time, and are capable of assuming physical form. Their appearance is most akin to the effect seen for the First One Lorien.[5]

Government and Military[edit]

The Earth Alliance, founded in 2085, is the government of Earth and its colonies and has the largest known military size of any of the races (an estimated 20,000+ ships) during the Babylon 5 timeframe. Earthgov, the name of the government, is located in Geneva, Switzerland.[6] The Earth Alliance is a representative democracy. Earthgov is regulated by the Earth Alliance Constitution, and it is apparently modeled after the United States government and the British government. The Chief Executive of Earthgov is the president; the legislative body is called the Earth Senate, which was temporarily dissolved when President Clark declared Martial Law. There is also an Earthgov Supreme Court. The Earth Alliance was created by several of the Earth's leading nations to colonize Mars. Although the Babylon 5 universe shows the Earth as being united under a single government, separate nation-states still exist (such as when the Interstellar News Network reports that Indonesia's government is complaining about not receiving its fair share of money from Earthgov). To defend the Earth and her colonies, the Earth Alliance maintains a large and powerful military organization called EarthForce. EarthForce is under the authority of the president and is managed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Normally EarthForce personnel are volunteers who decide to join the service. However, in times of war, such as during the Earth-Minbari War, a planetary draft can be held to recruit military personnel for EarthForce.

Religion[edit]

One of the features of humanity that the show does highlight, and to some degree contrast with the alien civilizations (with the possible exception of the Narn who are also noted as having an extensive selection of religious beliefs), is the existence of a large number of religions, none of which can claim to be the dominant belief system.[7] Many of the human religions depicted in the Babylon 5 universe are the same ones which exist today: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and others are depicted on episodes of the series; most notably, an order of Dominican friars set up a mission on the station, Commander Susan Ivanova is an occasionally practicing Jew, and Michael Garibaldi, though raised Catholic, is an agnostic. Additionally, several new human religions have been created in the Babylon 5 future. Among the most-discussed is "Foundationism," as one of Babylon 5's main characters, Dr. Steven Franklin, is a follower of this religion.

References[edit]

  1. ^ David, P. Babylon 5: Dark Genesis - The Birth of the Psi Corps (1998, ISBN 0-345-42715-7)
  2. ^ "Guide page: "Z'ha'dum"". Retrieved 2006-10-19. 
  3. ^ "Mind War". Babylon 5. 1994-03-02.
  4. ^ "Chrysalis". Babylon 5. 1994-10-26.
  5. ^ "Guide page: "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars"". Retrieved 2006-10-19. 
  6. ^ "Babylon 5 Universe: Setting (season four)". Retrieved 2006-10-19. 
  7. ^ "The Parliament of Dreams". Babylon 5. 1994-02-09.